Easter at the Farm
by Laura Frerichs, Tastemaker in Residence
Holiday traditions can take on new meaning to parents of young children. For us, they have caused us to pause and evaluate how we want holidays to be and feel for our little ones. While we left behind the trappings of Easter in our 20's (save for that occasional family gathering when relatives were nearby), we are drawn back to it now and enjoy experiencing some of the traditions anew with our children. Easter comes at a time of seasonal transition especially important as farmers. It is imbued with a sense of renewal and revival as we begin to see signs of life on the farm, can smell the earth begin to thaw and our tiny seedlings unfurl towards the sunlight. It is all very fitting for the religious roots of the holiday.
We love to dye Easter eggs with red onion skins, beet skins, and red cabbage leaves--all items in our winter cellar stored from last year. If we have an afternoon to spend on this task, we boil separate pots of water with each item, let it steep for 30 minutes, before hard boiling the eggs in each separate color. If we are crunched for time, it all goes in a pot together to boil for 5 minutes before the eggs are tossed in. The colors can show up various shades of dark red, maroon, and pink, with muted tones and uneven coloring. The beauty and fun are to see the differences between the eggs and eventually, to eat them. The insides of the eggs may often be dyed as well which adds to the fun. We may experiment this year with boiling spinach to make a green dye that might create a Dr. Seuss-inspired "green egg". Who knows if it will work? Once the eggs are completed, we always do an informal egg hunt around the house or outside if it is decent weather.
Easter baskets are also hidden about the house, and we pick a few special chocolate items and other edible and fun treats that go in the baskets for a special surprise. As may be expected of organic vegetable farmers, our family tries to eat plant-based and whole foods most of the time and we love to cook at home. We will cook a special Easter brunch to share with each other, usually featuring wilted spinach with eggs, waffles with maple syrup, a fruit salad and heaps of hot coffee for the adults. I also always make an exception for the children to have a Cadbury cream egg, one of the most prized treats in my own Easter basket as a child.
May you all have a peaceful and beautiful Easter in your home as well, no matter how you choose to celebrate.
photos by Kristine Leuze