Not a farmer, but doing my part
New Farm reader helps her community keep it local.

Posted December 14, 2006


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I am a suburban homesteader in Montclair, New Jersey, raising a family of people and a flock of chickens in my backyard, growing food for the table, and teaching organic gardening to kids and adults. I have opened a tea room and fair trade eco-market in town, serving and selling organic fair-trade tea and food, fair-trade handcrafts and local and seasonal produce. We cook with local ingredients and as much organic as possible.

We work with NOFA New Jersey ( and a couple of local farmers. Last week, I visited Valley Shepherd Creamery and brought home delicious sheep cheeses for Montclair. Today I made roasted winter vegetable soup with veggies from farmer John Krueger of Starbrite Farm. I know where my food comes from, and so do my customers. Everything tastes so good. I am almost done with Nina Planck's book—it makes so much sense to me. I am Chinese and grew up eating everything-the Chinese waste nothing...veggies cooked in pork fat, and I'm a pretty healthy person. I am always on your website, and have been a subscriber for a while. Thank you for the stories and the information. Even though I cannot be a farmer, I appreciate reading all the stories and knowing that in my small way I can support and honor their good work.

Grace Grund
New Jersey