Elizabeth Almeida grew up on a farm in Ohio, daughter to a beef cattle farmer and a teacher. Her husband’s family owns mango and coconut groves in India. Together, Elizabeth and Noel “share a love of tasty, fresh, and healthy food and hope that you will soon join them at the farm to be part of the local food movement.”
Fat Moon is located at Meadowbrook Farm on Gould Road. The name, Almeida explains, comes from their son “who would call the full moon the Fat Moon. And the moon over the field is beautiful.” The farm began last June with pumpkins and squash. This year she is planning a full season of growing. Arugula, basil, several varieties of beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, eggplant and that is only up to “E” in her long list of vegetables! Spinach, Swiss chard, over 10 varieties of tomatoes, turnips and watermelon round out the alphabet. Her planting plan extends through the fall. “My goal is to have fresh vegetables through Christmas”, says Almeida.
To help her with this goal, Almeida has installed a high tunnel. This unheated greenhouse, funded by a USDA grant, will allow her to start plants earlier. She has also resurrected the greenhouse located at Robinson Elementary and has been using it to start warm weather crops such as eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.
Currently, she has pea shoots (which are delicious), garlic scapes, lots of herbs, and radishes available at her weekly farm stand on Thursdays from 3 – 7pm. She updates her website weekly with what is available, along with recipe ideas on her Facebook page.
The small-scale lends itself to organic production methods. Elizabeth explains that she is following organic methods, although not certified organic because of the cost. She is perusing another certification called “Certified Naturally Grown.” I watched as she dug for cutworms and grubs that were attacking the spinach and feed them to the chickens.
In addition to offering fruits and vegetables, Elizabeth offers many classes and opportunities for people to learn about food, how to prepare it, and other healthy living topics. Picnics and playgroups on the farm are offered free of charge for children and their families. The Kids CSA teaches children about healthy foods in addition to a weekly share of plants for your garden and/or vegetables. The kids have also made rain gauges out of old soda bottles (pictured). Cooking classes offer learning opportunities for adults to learn how to cook with local ingredients. Her latest endeavor is a pumpkin patch with a pumpkin contest in October. You can sponsor a plant and get your pick of the pumpkins.
She has received such a warm welcome from the neighbors and enjoys giving people the opportunity to “see how things are grown and make a connection to where their food comes from.”
More information on Fat Moon is available on their website.