John and Kathleen Augustine are bringing their harvest to market. As Greenwich’s surviving farmer’s market, the couple has tended their garden through a harsh winter and are happily displaying their produce in their garden shop.
A table is overloaded with giant red tomatoes but John Augustine picks up one of the few he has harvested. “It needs a bit ripening,” he says. The others are New Jersey tomatoes.
“The weather has been terrible,” says Augustine, “We’ve been playing catchup.”
A big pile of freshly picked butter corn is ready to be sold. “Last Sunday was our first picking of the corn,” says Augustine, “See what the weather has done,” he shucks an ear to see the kernels not filled out quite. “The hotter it is, the better the corn grows,” says farmer Augustine.
An amazing basket full of zucchini is bright yellow instead of green. “It’s Gold Rush zucchini,” says Augustine. “We’ve been growing it for five years. Its’ selling good.”
“Next week we’’ll have roly poly zucchini,” says wife Kathleen Augustine. “It’s round and the color of cabbage.”
The Augustines also stock prize California melons and keep them chilled for customers. “They’re orange flecked honeydews,” says Kathleen Augustine. “They’re not your usual green honeydews.” They’re available she says until mid-September.
For those with a sweet tooth there’s Augustine honey “raised” from their 11 hives. “I’m serving clover, goldenrod, fruit tree and wildflower honey,” says Kathleen Augustine. Her bees travel to nearby orchards she says to pollinate the apple trees. “They stay there for a month,” she says.
She offers an alert to honey lovers with allergies: “You need to eat honey indigenous to your area.”
There’s plenty of fresh eggs at the Augustine’s Farm, but don’t get them started talking about their very special Araucana chickens. They lay eggs in pastel colors and customers are keen on them. And a gentle reminder is given, eggs of any color have only eight weeks of shelf life.
Lastly, John Augustine wants to squelch any rumor going round that he and his wife are selling their farm. “I’ve had this farm for 64 years,” he says, “and I’m planning on having it another 64.” Which would make Augustine 136 years as he turns 71 in two weeks. Happy birthday and happy harvesting and a long life is in order here!