Fire Ring Farm is the epitome of new beginnings. For owner Nancy Livensparger the farm is a new way of life, for the farm land it’s an adaptation of its roots and for the locals and visitors who stop by it’s a new way of looking at the food they eat.
After moving to Connecticut in 2005, Livensparger became involved with the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA). The nonprofit organization encourages sustainable agriculture. From working with CT NOFA Livensparger decided she wanted to start a farm to grow organic food not just for herself and family but also for others in her community.
“The advantage of sustainable agriculture is knowing where and how your food is grown and processed and that one is eating healthy nutritious food. It supports local farmers and merchants which helps the community,” Livensparger said.
In 2009 she established Fire Ring Farm on two and half acres of land overlooking the Connecticut River. The farmland was part of the Taylor Estate, which is home to the popular wedding site Saint Clements Castle. Years ago Fire Ring Farm was farmland for the estate.
It wasn’t an easy first year. That first year was a horrible growing season around the state in part due to tomato blight, but Livensparger didn’t give up.
Livensparger developed the farm to be a community supported agricultural farm. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a food distribution system where local farmers and their communities support each. A farm offers so many shares and share members pay a membership fee on average between $300 and $700 to their local farmer or CSA organization. Some CSA’s also require their shareholders to work for a set period of time on the farm. In return members get weekly share boxes of what the farm grows during harvest season. The food included in a full share is normally enough to feed two adult vegetarians for a week.
At Fire Ring shareholders participate in seed purchasing, planting and harvesting and receive as much as 15 pounds of produce a week with the harvest season running from the end of June to the end of October.
Livensparger is hoping to expand the farm to include raising layer chickens for eggs, dairy goats for cheese making and participate in CT Farm to Chef program growing produce for local restaurants.
Here is one of her favorite recipes for pesto:
Here's what you'll need
- 2 tablespoons warm olive oil
- 1 cup loose basil
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons miso (light)
- 2 teaspoons Umeboshi vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
Here's what to do
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix. The recipe makes about a cup and you can freeze the pesto. Serve over Rice pasta or as an appetizer with crackers or tomatoes and carrots.