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Organics, Hydroponics and the Farmers Market

Posted on August 01, 2015 by Jeannie Vanpopta

"The only truly dependable production technologies are those that are sustainable over the long term. By that very definition, they must avoid erosion, pollution, environmental degradation, and resource waste. Any rational food-production system will emphasize the well-being of the soil-air-water biosphere, the creatures which inhabit it, and the human beings who depend upon it."

Eliot Coleman, The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener

When growing food, all aspects of our environment are important…wind, sun, rain, the tiniest earthworm, and the microscopic biodiversity in the soil. Soil matters.

We’ve been asked about the difference between organically grown greenhouse produce, such as Mans Organics, and conventional hydroponically grown. Martin wrote this brief description.

Comparison of Mans Greenhouse Organics and Hydroponically Grown Products

Mans Organics is soil based, with compost input. Not much different than how we grow our food, except more heat.

Hydroponic agriculture is very artificial. It might seem impressive that they can grow that much food in a small area, but that isn't the whole picture.

Just to provide the phosphorous, there's a strip mine to harvest the ore, a smelting plant to refine it and a fluoride waste stream. Hydroponic agriculture doesn't use less land than our gardens do. Just like feedlots don't use less land than range cattle do. The appearance is deceiving.

Also, hydroponic plants don't coexist symbiotically with microbiology. There are no fungi or nematodes or beetles. There is no ecosystem. As far as I can tell, it's about the same as lab grown hamburger. I like my veggies with dirt on them. :-)

Downtown Farmers' Market

Catch us at the Downtown Farmers’ Market every Wednesday, from 10:00 AM till 3:00 PM and with every purchase over $20.00, we’ll Roll Out The Rooster to Win.

You could win a $25.00 Harvest Haven Gift Certificate, a bag of Nature’s Cargo Salt, a bottle of Harvest Haven Spice Blend, or even an onion. Everyone’s a winner!

Rhode Island Rooster

Oops! Not this guy. He doesn’t get to come to the market with us.

Roll out the Rooster

This splendid spotted Holstein bird is our Roll Out The Rooster. And you think we don’t know farming….


Sale Items

Harvest Haven Inside Round Roast – Sale $9.29/lb Reg. $10.50/lb (See Recipe Box)

Harvest Haven Chicken Wings – FIRE SALE $3.50/lb Reg. $5.50/lb

Harvest Haven Oak Leaf Lettuce (red or green) – Sale $2.50 each Reg. $3.00 each

Harvest Haven Zucchinis (variety of sizes) - Sale $2.00/lb Reg. $2.75/lb

Oakleaf Lettuce2

Fresh Oakleaf Lettuce


The Recipe Box

Pulled Beef Poutine

This works just as well in the slow cooker – brown it first if you like, or just toss it all in – and you can get away with cutting back on the stock by half or more.


canola or olive oil, for cooking

2-3 lb. beef pot roast, such as blade, cross rib or brisket

salt and pepper

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup beef stock

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup red wine (optional)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Potato wedges:

3-4 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin wedges

canola oil


1 cup cheese curds

green onions, chopped


Preheat the oven to 275F.

Set a heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Pat the beef dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper; brown the meat on all sides in the pot. Push it to the side (or remove it and set it aside) and add the onion to the pot; cook for a few minutes, until starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Return the meat to the pan and add the stock, barbecue sauce, wine and Worcestershire. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours – or put everything into a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

When the meat is done, pull it apart with two forks right in the pot, and turn the oven up to 425F. Put the potatoes on a heavy baking sheet, drizzle generously with oil, toss with your hands to coat the wedges well and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

Top the fries with warm beef and sauce, cheese curds and green onion. Serve immediately.

Serves 4, with extra beef left over for sandwiches.

Recipe courtesy of DinnerWithJulie.com


Down on the Farm

Keeping with the theme for this newsletter that every living thing is important, here’s a nice little story.

Jeannie, Martin’s wife, was walking to the house when she spotted a little grey thing next to the sidewalk. Upon closer examination, she discovered a baby Mourning Dove, its sibling and their nest of straw strewn on the ground under the Maple tree.

She called Dena to the rescue. But Dena was too short to replace the nest in the branches. (Sorry, no pictures of Dena up a tree. Would love to have shared that with you.)

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