Farmers & Foragers - Fall 2013

Posted by Marty Castriotta on Monday, November 18, 2013 Under: Farmers and Foragers

Picking apples, pressing cider, herding turkeys, making greenhouse beds and planting seeds. These are just some of the activities that Farmers & Foragers have participated in so far this fall. This week we held circle around a campfire, drinking cider and eating other local treats (apples, carrots, cheddar cheese and popcorn). At our circles we share stories, songs and farm experiences. We also discuss what we are getting into that day and why.

“What does it mean to sustain?” The F & F kids ponder and roast their carrots on the fire. Cassidy (15) shared that sustain was a vocabulary word for her this past week. She offered, “It means to continue.”

I ask, “What does it mean to sustain this fire?”
“Give it wood.” “Feed it!” “Keep it going.”

What does it mean to sustain yourself?”
“Feed yourself!”

The conversation goes down the path of health and maintaining one’s energy. We use Jeremiah’s recent running feats as an example.

“What does Jeremiah need to do to be the best runner he can be?” What does it mean to sustain the land and keep the environment around us?” “To keep it healthy?”

In a world where the concept of sustainability often seems abstract or intangible (it is one that many adults stumble over), these kids understand what it means in its most basic and important sense. Keep the land and the environment healthy and it will continue to be that way for the future. It will sustain itself and us.

Sustainable agriculture implies that methods be used that will maintain the health and security of our food supply and of the environment. For this, we turn to many techniques. On this particular crisp fall day that we sit around the campfire talking and eating, we are preparing ourselves to plant in accordance to the forest ecosystems that surround us. We will mulch heavy and consider the interactions of the surrounding species.

In gratitude,

Farmers & Foragers fall session began Monday October 7. Enrollment is ongoing and mid session entry is welcome. Check out our new Fall registration form at

In : Farmers and Foragers 

Tags: "apple picking" "cider picking" "raising turkeys" greenhouses "planting seeds" "farmers and foragers" "locally grown food" "sustainability" "outdoor education" 
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About Me

Marty Castriotta Marty grew his first potato when he was 12 year old on a worn out piece of ground behind his parents’ house. He’s been attracted to the idea of growing food ever since. He started growing seriously in 2001 with his wife Ellen’s guidance and has worked on several organic farms prior to moving to Orchard Hill. His passion is in integrating all aspects of the farm; the gardens, animals, buildings, water systems and so on. Marty has been raising heritage farm animals since 2003, and started training his young oxen Boss and Chez to do some of the farm work in the winter of 2012. Marty graduated from Antioch University New England with an MS in Environmental Studies and currently teaches Farmers & Foragers and summer camps at The Orchard School, as well as Permaculture Design Courses at Orchard Hill.