alliums ameraucana Anthony Bourdain aphids Appleseed Permaculture aquaponics arthritis artichokes Asian Vegetables aussie basil baby chicks baby turnips bearss lime bee keeping beet greens beneficial insects benner tree farm Biochar Bitter Melon blight blooming hill farm boothby blonde cucumber brix broccoli brussels sprouts cabbage cabbage hill farm camp hill farm cancer caraflex celeriac chicken coop chickens children chinese tamale chives cilantro cilantro root coconut cold frames collard greens Compost coriander corn crop rotation cruciferous crucifers cucumber Dan Barber dan kittredge Dave Llewellyn detox dirty dozen dragon fruit Dutch white clover dwarf citrus eggplant Elderberries factory farms farm to table farmer's market farmers markets Fava beans ffarm to table fish oil flea beetle flowers food allergies food combining food miles founding farmers four wind growers Fred Kirschenmann french bulldog G6pd deficiency garlic garlic festival garlic scapes geese Glynwood grass-fed beef Great Outdoors Listening Tour green tomatoes greenhouse growing indoors Hanalei Hemlock Hill Farm heritage turkey heritage USA hudson valley farms hurricane Irene hyssop iced tea infections influenza Insect control isothiocyanates joan gussow jolie lampkin joong kaffir lime kale Kauai kohlrabi korean licorice mint Ladybugs late blight leeks lettuces local food locust tree maine avenue fish market menhaden meyer lemon mycelia mycorrhizal natural fertilizers nectary nightshades No Reservations Nurse cropping nutrient density okra organic Baby food organic christmas tree Organic Pest Control Parsley Paul tappenden peas Permaculture pesticides pesto petite watermelon plant sap pH plymouth barred rock pole beans potatoes preserving food purple basil qunice Radish Greens rainbeau ridge farm raised beds rampicante raw food real food campaign red hook Rockland Farm Alliance ronnybrook farm row covers salt-preserved duck eggs sambucus nigra seed saving seedlings Sheet mulching small space soil analysis soil blocks soil conductivity sorrel Squash Vine Borer star fruit sugar snap peas sustainability sustainable fishing Swiss Chard tabbouleh TEDx Manhattan terracing three sisters tomato sauce tomatoes trellis trovita orange turkana farms Tuttle Farm urban zen volt white clover winter harvest Winter Squash Young Farmers Conference
Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention







Short journal entries detailing the nuts and bolts of our ventures in growing food at our micro-farm

Entries in volt (1)


Farm to Table: HMG get's their review on! Destination: DC/Baltimore

View from inside VOLTIf you could magically have one job in the world, what would it be?  For me, it would be food critic.  Getting paid to eat - what could be better?  With the source of food, especially animal meats, becoming more and more a question on people’s minds, I decided to start an on-going series on farm-to-table restaurant reviews fulfilling my need to constantly find places I feel food is safe to eat and where the local farmer has an important role with what’s on the menu.   And, of course, to also fulfill my fantasy of having Frank Bruni’s job.  This won’t be a hard core critical look at food, but my humble opinions on what’s cooking.

The motivation for this series started when I planned a trip to the Washington DC/Baltimore and Charlottesville, Virginia area.  I know my local haunts and going into uncharted territory I wasn’t sure where to plan our meals.  How does one find a restaurant that strongly believes in supporting small local farms?  Surely, this is where I want to spend my tourist dollars and to experience the terroir of the region in the food and wine.  I found, like many other things, that if you just google "farm to table" and the city in question, you’ll find a smattering of suggestions.  More specifically, the website Local Harvest, can locate farms, restaurants, and Farmers’ markets by zip code and is an invaluable website when doing your research.


Located minutes from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, Founding Farmers, a play on the rich “founding fathers” history of the area was our first destination.  This is farm-inspired eatery serves “scratch-made traditional American classics inspired by the heartland” all in a certified eco-friendly Green Restaurant.  From the energy efficient and reycled building elements to the use of filtered water and low-fume paints, this dynamic space was obviously the hotspot of DC.  The mission of the restaurant  is to buy from family farmers whenever possible, some local, some not. From their menu:

“The difference between institutional/corporate farming vs. family farming affects everyone: our health, our land, and our lives.”

We first started with a few cocktails with the most memorable one called “Bone” - a combination of Knob Creek whiskey, lime juice and tabasco garnished with a sweet bacon lollipop!  A stiff drink, the bacon made for an interesting pairing that took the edge off the hard liquor element.  I enjoyed it for the novelty but wouldn’t go back for seconds.

For appetizers, we had the popcorn of the day - Rosemary-butter, which was shockingly addictive.  There were raw oysters from Maryland that were absolutely perfect and skillet roasted Mussles with Chorizo in a white wine pesto broth that was so good we drank the broth after wolfing down the mussels.  For dinner, we had the Southern Fried Chicken Salad which was buttermilk-marinated fried chicken on top of iceberg lettuce, bacon, avocado and cheddar.  Not usually a fan of iceberg lettuce, this came together to feel both satisfying and somehow light at the same time.  The piece de resistance was the Fresh-ground Cheeseburger.  The meat, tender, tasty, perfectly cooked had a sauce reminiscent of the secret sauce in a Big Mac.  This burger made our top 5 hamburgers of all-time.  Don’t miss this one.

This was our first experience with a farm-to table restaurant with a comfort-driven food feel.  Expecting to feel our energy plummet after eating the heavier comfort foods, we surprisingly felt fine.  A reflection, I’m sure, of the high quality sourced ingredients.

Very good


Located about 50 miles north of DC in Frederick, Maryland, VOLT was our second night’s dinner adventure.  Being a huge fan of Top Chef and the Voltaggio brothers, I was excited to see Bryan Voltaggio’s menu.  The restaurant is located in a 19th century restored brownstone mansion.  The decor was an interesting mix of natural elements with a strong undercurrent of the 1980’s from the abstract artwork and the white seating with black accents to the Converse sneakers worn by all the waitstaff.  A fun theatrical element was a wide-screen TV at the bar showcasing the kitchen in action so that all patrons could partake in the culinary spectacle.

The close proximity of VOLT to the area’s numerous artisanal farmers and ranchers drives the menu.  Meats were sourced from nearby Shenendoah Valley specifically the heritage breed Red Wattle Pork and Border Springs Lamb.

Artic Char - don't miss this masterpiece.
Overall, we were pleased with the service, and the food was excellent with a few extraordinary dishes that were highly memorable:   Cherry Glen Farm Goat cheese ravioli with butternut squash, maitake mushrooms, toasted pumpkin seeds and celeriac .  Artic char with carnival squash, pumpkin leaves, black forbidden rice, matsutake mushrooms in brown butter. Both of these dishes were second courses.

Very Good

Sadly, Bryan Voltaggio was not cooking that night

Maine Avenue Fish Market

Don't let the looks of this place scare you away. Best crabs and raw oysters!There is nothing more local and seasonal than crabs in Washington DC.  I always follow the simple rule: If the month ends in the letter “r” i.e. October through December - that’s when crabs are in season.  One of the last remaining open seafood markets on the east coast, the Maine Avenue Fish Market has been in operation since 1805 - older than the Fulton Fish Market in NYC.  DO NOT MISS this destination if you are ever in the area.  Freshly shucked oysters and clams were almost for the taking but my main mission was to get messy with some steamed Maryland crabs seasoned with Old Bay spices. 



Right before your eyes, crabs were selected, brought back to the kitchen and presented to you in a brown paper bag.  It’s advisable to bring some towelettes since there are no washrooms available and your fingers are the only utensils needed for good crab eating.  Standing looking out over the water I made a bib out of a bunch of napkins and chowed down until my hands hurt.  Crabs were sold by the size and were a bargainous $20 for a dozen.  The meat was plentiful, succulent, and as flavorful as can be.  When crabs are in season the eggs located in the head of the crab are sublime.  I sucked them all dry and dream of them as I write this blog wishing I could teleport back for just another taste.


Don't talk to me, I'm eating...