Farmers' Kitchen—Indian Summer

Lini Mazumdar and Emmett Dunbar, photo by Celia Kelly
Lini Mazumdar and Emmett Dunbar, photo by Celia Kelly

Written on

August 25 , 2015

We chose “Anjali”—a Sanskrit word meaning “offerings to the deities”—as the name of our farm to honor Lini’s Indian heritage. And since moving to our South Londonderry farm on the winter solstice of 2000, we have grown mixed vegetables, medicinal herbs, blueberries, raspberries, and hops in harmony with our ecosystem and the cosmos. Our greenhouse production extends the season and our fields are planted mostly with winter storage crops. These crops, such as Samarkand heirloom garlic, are used to create tasty dishes until the next anticipated harvest. A flock of heritage-breed chickens, typically Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Black Wyandottes, help work the land and provide essential fertility.

Thanks to our seed saving for nearly two decades, a great depth of varietal types within certain families of plants make up 80 percent of the crops we raise on Anjali Farm. By selectively choosing the right seed to produce well on this hill-side farm, Emmett has encouraged the best cherry tomato in Vermont to evolve! Of course, no fresh meal would be complete without Italian basil from Genoa or heat-tolerant Hindustani cilantro, which has now been trialed and saved for several years in our cold northern climate of Zone 3.

Lini is a certified herbalist and Ayurvedic nutritional counselor, and her herbal products business, Lotus Moon Medicinals, has been a vital part of the community for nearly 18 years. Fostering healing with plants and dietary suggestions is only a part of her business, however. Recently, she started cooking Indian ”tiffin” meals for local families. These are Indian meals packed in a tiffin carrier—a small stainless steel container that keeps food fresh and consists of five stacked containers that carry rice, lentil, vegetable, meat, and raita (yogurt condiment). The menu varies each week according to what is growing on the farm and is available in local markets.

Lini also teaches Ayurvedic nutrition and Indian cooking classes, and offers Indian food catering for small events and weddings. Catering can be arranged year-round, but Lini absolutely lives for Vermont living in the summertime!

Anjali Farm in South Londonderry is open by appointment or by chance and can be found anytime at www.anjalifarm.com or on Facebook. Call 802-824-4658 for more information.

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