NATURE’S TURN: White Goose stars at area farmers’ markets
January 15 – 28, 2018
Mount Washington — The Brussels sprout, a vegetable that appeared on the culinary scene in ancient times, has its enthusiastic fans and equally emphatic detractors. An aversion to the sprouts is mostly attributed to overcooking. And so it was that my article of Jan. 1 was abruptly concluded when I sniffed the aroma of just-right Brussels sprouts rising up to my writing perch from a pot on the downstairs wood stove. I had purchased vegetables from several farmers at last month’s Berkshire Grown winter farmers’ market, where the freshest possible unprocessed as well as prepared edibles were in abundance. The fine-textured miniature cabbages I was about to eat were from Kate Pike’s White Goose Gardens. The beauty of Kate’s vegetables inspired me to want to know more about her enterprise.
Once upon a time, Kate hatched and raised a beloved Shetland goose, a rare breed that, fitting a fairy tale, lives on as the namesake and mascot for White Goose Gardens. Established in 2015 on 3 acres at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, White Goose Gardens offers a diversity of organically grown produce and a specialty line of pickled vegetables at Holiday Brook’s year-round farm store as well as at area farmers’ markets. In season, Kate opens a farm stand and operates a CSA (community supported agriculture).
Kate, who earned a Bachelor of Technology in Aquaponics from SUNY Cobleskill, mentored Wahconah Regional High School seniors in the gardens last spring as part of a student-run service-learning project. She writes, “The students worked for a number of hours each week and were ‘paid’ in vegetables which they then donated to local veterans.”
Kate Pike emphasizes, “It matters where your food comes from, especially the wide-ranging benefits to communities and the environment of supporting your local farmers and small businesses.” Her commitment to community is further evidenced by White Goose Gardens’ acceptance of payment for purchases through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Healthy Incentive Program (HIP).
Picture a summertime field of 2,000 Brussels sprout plants growing alongside rows and rows of almost every other vegetable and garden flower you can identify. See a colorful wintertime display of clear jars packed full of pickled beets, maple jalapeno peppers and curried zucchini spears, to name a few. You’re in White Goose Gardens territory. Stay awhile! Eat it up!
Opportunities to Participate
White Goose Gardens CSA and farm stand – WhiteGooseGardens@gmail.com and Facebook
Holiday Brook Farm, open year-round – https://www.holidaybrookfarm.com
Downtown Pittsfield’s Downtown Pittsfield Farmer’s Market indoor winter farmers’ markets take place the second Saturday of the month through April (Feb. 10, March 10, April 14) at the Zion Lutheran Church. The next Berkshire Grown Great Barrington market is on Saturday, Feb. 17.