Thursday, July 22, 2010

Come in and fiddle around! Meet Darren Allen from Maine's VoterVale Farm this Saturday, 7/24 from 7-9 at the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. Darren will be sampling his SWEET AND SOUR PICKLED MAINE FIDDLEHEADS. Live music with fiddler, Craig Judelman of the Dustbusters.

This Saturday we are thrilled to have our 'Fiddlehead Guy', Darren Allen of VoterVale Farm visit us at the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain. This is a real coup, 'cause getting a Maine farm boy off the land is no easy task. Darren will be sampling his sweet and sour pickled fiddlehead ferns, grown wild and hand-picked during spring (the season only lasts two weeks!) on his family farm in Maine. We are honored to have him stop in and talk up his farm, and his fiddleheads.
Having been raised in Maine, Peter and I have a personal mission to support our fellow Mainers by offering their products to our Brooklyn customers. Right from the start we knew we'd met a special guy in Darren, a farmer committed to the work he was doing, and for all the right reasons. Darren posts regular updates on the VoterVale Facebook page covering everything from what's in season to political news about food production in the United States. Our last conversation took place while he was in the pig pen. Gotta love this guy.

Some Back Story. (We love a good story!)
Back to the Family Farm...
VoterVale Farm is a small, family farm in the Sandy River Valley of Maine. After several years of living “away,” Darren and his wife Angel returned to their roots by purchasing the family farm. Believing that society has become too disconnected from where its food comes from, their primary focus was to provide a foundation for their children by connecting them with family and community, their natural surroundings and the food that they eat. As farmers, their mission has always been to produce fresh, naturally-raised, local meats, vegetables, and preserves. They have been told many times that “there’s no money in farming,” but their goal is not to make millions. By melding traditional methods with new technology where it makes sense, they strive to produce and provide healthy, delicious food choices at a reasonable costs. It also seems, at least from our point of view, and correct us if we're wrong, Darren and Angel, that they're having a bit of fun, even with all that hard farm work. Darren and Angel, thank you for doing what you do, and for sharing it with us. Read more about Votervale Farm at:

By the way, what are Fiddleheads?
Fiddlehead ferns are the unfurled fronds of a young fern. The fiddlehead, or circinate vernation, unrolls as the fern emerges from the ground with new growth. Fiddleheads are harvested early in the season, before the frond has opened and reached its full height, and are cut fairly close to the ground. The fiddlehead is so named because it resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin .

In store Now!
We already have a following of fiddlehead lovers. But these beauties won't be on our shelves for long. 

Fiddleheads are a spring delicacy in Maine. These are pickled in a sweet brine that makes for a treat any time of the year.
Pickled in a mustard brine that is sure to please fans of sour foods. They have "Pucker Power."

Photos, top, left to right: Votervale Farm wild fiddleheads, picking season, 2010. Darren Allen, farmer, Votervale Farm in Avon, Maine' Jars of Pickled Fiddleheads at Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain. Photography c. Votervale Farm. / Carolyn Morris photography of in-store fiddleheads.