A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
—Michael Pollan

Feeding nine billion people in a truly sustainable way will be one of the greatest challenges our civilization has had to confront. It will require the imagination, determination and hard work of countless people from all over the world. There is no time to lose.
—Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN

The surest way to capture the flavors, colors, and textures of a culture is by using authentic products.
—Lidia Bastianich, from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

The most important habit you can develop is to taste as you are preparing something. Take a sample and taste it critically at different stages of the cooking, then correct the seasonings…
—Marion Cunningham, from Learning to Cook

Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don’t.
—Michael Pollan

The Rice Whisperer – a sequel

In the Kitchen with Bronwyn invites you to share our blog with your friends and family.  For each new subscriber during October, we will donate $2 to the Vermont Foodbank!    *SUBSCRIBE*

This story is part two of my adventures with duck and rice farming at Boundbrook Farm in Vergennes.  If you missed part one, please start by reading it here!  In the spring, I enjoyed Erik singing to his ducklings in lush rice paddies (video).  He invited me back for fall harvest, and I was equally enchanted.

This is the first year for Erik with authentic Japanese equipment.  He shipped a container from Japan filled with a specialized rice transplanter, combine, trailer, dryer, and bagger.  When I arrived, he gave me a welcoming wave and invited me to ride with him on the combine.  He weaved us back and forth across the crop, while the combine deftly captured only the rice in their husky pods in a built-in storage tank (video). Once full, we used a tractor to haul over the aptly named GRAIN CONTAINER.  The combine has a Dr. Seuss-like arm that lifted up and over the machine to deposit rice into the trailer. Careful not to overfill the trailer, Erik explained the front tires of the tractor will lift off the ground if we fill the trailer completely.  The Japanese use little trucks to trail their GRAIN CONTAINERS, and these, he explained, would not tip.

We then carted our harvest up to the barn, where he hooked an auger-filled hose up to the trailer to transport the rice to the dryer.  The base of the GRAIN CONTAINER also has an auger; together they are branded the Super Twin. The entire setup looks like a dentist office setup: a huge white machine with arms, hoses, and controls.  There is a clear window on one side, where you can see the rice being blown up and into the drying tank, much like my grandmother’s old popcorn air-popper.  It takes Erik 2 days to fill the drying tank and another day to dry.  The entire harvest process takes him 5-7 days.  Afterward, the rice is stored in a rodent proof, temperature and humidity controlled rice locker, which can hold up to eight tons of rice.  Theoretically, he could store rice fresh in there for a year, but his demand (and his own high standards) will only allow him to sell the finest and freshest rice.

After harvest, the work is still not complete.  The soil on Erik’s farm was not nutrient-rich to begin with.  Further, he disrupted the topsoil to form the rice paddies.  Therefore, although the duck + rice method is fertility producing, he needs to nurture the soil.  He spreads manure from local horse farms and dairy operations, as well as compost from his harvest scraps.  After a few more years, his harvest life-cycle should be well sustained, making these extra efforts unnecessary.

Erik is one of the nicest and calmly enthusiastic people I have ever met.  He clearly loves what he does, and he loves sharing the experience.  You can pre-order rice on his website for a farm pick-up (what a treat!), or find him at the Burlington Farmer’s Market.  He sells out every year, so get it while you can!  You can also buy ducks for egg-laying or ducks for dinner.  Please contact Erik directly for details: erik@vermontrice.net.

Share your favorite harvest story in the comments below!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

 

Posted: 10-15-2017

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In the Kitchen with Bronwyn invites you to share our blog with your friends and family.  For each new subscriber during October, we will donate $2 to the Vermont Foodbank!    *SUBSCRIBE*

This story is part two of my adventures with duck and rice farming at Boundbrook Farm in Vergennes.  If you missed part one, please start by reading it here!  In the spring, I enjoyed Erik singing to his ducklings in lush rice paddies (video).  He invited me back for fall harvest, and I was equally enchanted. This is the first year for Erik with authentic Japanese equipment.  He shipped a container from Japan filled with a specialized rice transplanter, combine, trailer, dryer, and bagger.  When I arrived, he gave me a welcoming wave and invited me to ride with him on the combine.  He weaved us back and forth across the crop, while the combine deftly captured only the rice in their husky pods in a built-in storage tank (video). Once full, we used a tractor to haul over the aptly named GRAIN CONTAINER.  The combine has a Dr. Seuss-like arm that lifted up and over the machine to deposit rice into the trailer. Careful not to overfill the trailer, Erik explained the front tires of the tractor will lift off the ground if we fill the trailer completely.  The Japanese use little trucks to trail their GRAIN CONTAINERS, and these, he explained, would not tip. We then carted our harvest up to the barn, where he hooked an auger-filled hose up to the trailer to transport the rice to the dryer.  The base of the GRAIN CONTAINER also has an auger; together they are branded the Super Twin. The entire setup looks like a dentist office setup: a huge white machine with arms, hoses, and controls.  There is a clear window on one side, where you can see the rice being blown up and into the drying tank, much like my grandmother's old popcorn air-popper.  It takes Erik 2 days to fill the drying tank and another day to dry.  The entire harvest process takes him 5-7 days.  Afterward, the rice is stored in a rodent proof, temperature and humidity controlled rice locker, which can hold up to eight tons of rice.  Theoretically, he could store rice fresh in there for a year, but his demand (and his own high standards) will only allow him to sell the finest and freshest rice. After harvest, the work is still not complete.  The soil on Erik's farm was not nutrient-rich to begin with.  Further, he disrupted the topsoil to form the rice paddies.  Therefore, although the duck + rice method is fertility producing, he needs to nurture the soil.  He spreads manure from local horse farms and dairy operations, as well as compost from his harvest scraps.  After a few more years, his harvest life-cycle should be well sustained, making these extra efforts unnecessary. Erik is one of the nicest and calmly enthusiastic people I have ever met.  He clearly loves what he does, and he loves sharing the experience.  You can pre-order rice on his website for a farm pick-up (what a treat!), or find him at the Burlington Farmer's Market.  He sells out every year, so get it while you can!  You can also buy ducks for egg-laying or ducks for dinner.  Please contact Erik directly for details: erik@vermontrice.net. Share your favorite harvest story in the comments below!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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In the Kitchen with Bronwyn invites you to share our blog with your friends and family.  For each new subscriber during October, we will donate $2 to the Vermont Foodbank!    *SUBSCRIBE*

This story is part two of my adventures with duck and rice farming at Boundbrook Farm in Vergennes.  If you missed part one, please start by reading it here!  In the spring, I enjoyed Erik singing to his ducklings in lush rice paddies (video).  He invited me back for fall harvest, and I was equally enchanted. This is the first year for Erik with authentic Japanese equipment.  He shipped a container from Japan filled with a specialized rice transplanter, combine, trailer, dryer, and bagger.  When I arrived, he gave me a welcoming wave and invited me to ride with him on the combine.  He weaved us back and forth across the crop, while the combine deftly captured only the rice in their husky pods in a built-in storage tank (video). Once full, we used a tractor to haul over the aptly named GRAIN CONTAINER.  The combine has a Dr. Seuss-like arm that lifted up and over the machine to deposit rice into the trailer. Careful not to overfill the trailer, Erik explained the front tires of the tractor will lift off the ground if we fill the trailer completely.  The Japanese use little trucks to trail their GRAIN CONTAINERS, and these, he explained, would not tip. We then carted our harvest up to the barn, where he hooked an auger-filled hose up to the trailer to transport the rice to the dryer.  The base of the GRAIN CONTAINER also has an auger; together they are branded the Super Twin. The entire setup looks like a dentist office setup: a huge white machine with arms, hoses, and controls.  There is a clear window on one side, where you can see the rice being blown up and into the drying tank, much like my grandmother's old popcorn air-popper.  It takes Erik 2 days to fill the drying tank and another day to dry.  The entire harvest process takes him 5-7 days.  Afterward, the rice is stored in a rodent proof, temperature and humidity controlled rice locker, which can hold up to eight tons of rice.  Theoretically, he could store rice fresh in there for a year, but his demand (and his own high standards) will only allow him to sell the finest and freshest rice. After harvest, the work is still not complete.  The soil on Erik's farm was not nutrient-rich to begin with.  Further, he disrupted the topsoil to form the rice paddies.  Therefore, although the duck + rice method is fertility producing, he needs to nurture the soil.  He spreads manure from local horse farms and dairy operations, as well as compost from his harvest scraps.  After a few more years, his harvest life-cycle should be well sustained, making these extra efforts unnecessary. Erik is one of the nicest and calmly enthusiastic people I have ever met.  He clearly loves what he does, and he loves sharing the experience.  You can pre-order rice on his website for a farm pick-up (what a treat!), or find him at the Burlington Farmer's Market.  He sells out every year, so get it while you can!  You can also buy ducks for egg-laying or ducks for dinner.  Please contact Erik directly for details: erik@vermontrice.net. Share your favorite harvest story in the comments below!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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In the Kitchen with Bronwyn invites you to share our blog with your friends and family.  For each new subscriber during October, we will donate $2 to the Vermont Foodbank!    *SUBSCRIBE*

This story is part two of my adventures with duck and rice farming at Boundbrook Farm in Vergennes.  If you missed part one, please start by reading it here!  In the spring, I enjoyed Erik singing to his ducklings in lush rice paddies (video).  He invited me back for fall harvest, and I was equally enchanted. This is the first year for Erik with authentic Japanese equipment.  He shipped a container from Japan filled with a specialized rice transplanter, combine, trailer, dryer, and bagger.  When I arrived, he gave me a welcoming wave and invited me to ride with him on the combine.  He weaved us back and forth across the crop, while the combine deftly captured only the rice in their husky pods in a built-in storage tank (video). Once full, we used a tractor to haul over the aptly named GRAIN CONTAINER.  The combine has a Dr. Seuss-like arm that lifted up and over the machine to deposit rice into the trailer. Careful not to overfill the trailer, Erik explained the front tires of the tractor will lift off the ground if we fill the trailer completely.  The Japanese use little trucks to trail their GRAIN CONTAINERS, and these, he explained, would not tip. We then carted our harvest up to the barn, where he hooked an auger-filled hose up to the trailer to transport the rice to the dryer.  The base of the GRAIN CONTAINER also has an auger; together they are branded the Super Twin. The entire setup looks like a dentist office setup: a huge white machine with arms, hoses, and controls.  There is a clear window on one side, where you can see the rice being blown up and into the drying tank, much like my grandmother's old popcorn air-popper.  It takes Erik 2 days to fill the drying tank and another day to dry.  The entire harvest process takes him 5-7 days.  Afterward, the rice is stored in a rodent proof, temperature and humidity controlled rice locker, which can hold up to eight tons of rice.  Theoretically, he could store rice fresh in there for a year, but his demand (and his own high standards) will only allow him to sell the finest and freshest rice. After harvest, the work is still not complete.  The soil on Erik's farm was not nutrient-rich to begin with.  Further, he disrupted the topsoil to form the rice paddies.  Therefore, although the duck + rice method is fertility producing, he needs to nurture the soil.  He spreads manure from local horse farms and dairy operations, as well as compost from his harvest scraps.  After a few more years, his harvest life-cycle should be well sustained, making these extra efforts unnecessary. Erik is one of the nicest and calmly enthusiastic people I have ever met.  He clearly loves what he does, and he loves sharing the experience.  You can pre-order rice on his website for a farm pick-up (what a treat!), or find him at the Burlington Farmer's Market.  He sells out every year, so get it while you can!  You can also buy ducks for egg-laying or ducks for dinner.  Please contact Erik directly for details: erik@vermontrice.net. Share your favorite harvest story in the comments below!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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4 responses to “The Rice Whisperer – a sequel”

  1. Niki Glanz says:

    Bronwhy,
    An inspired posting! Rice sometimes is taken for granted. (Not where I once lived, in Chico, CA, but in areas where other, more exotic foods are grown and marketed.) Also love the way you explore Erik’s work as a story, slowly unfolding.

    Thought I say an email from you flash by on my screen. Perhaps from someone else, but if indeed I missed it, please resend! Would enjoy being in touch occasionally. Best wishes,
    Niki Glanz

  2. Kellie Kutkey says:

    Hey Corrie!
    I love reading about this guy and his operation 🙂
    I want to order rice so thanks for the link.

    • Bronwyn says:

      Hi Mom!
      I believe that link is for pre-order with a farm pick up. If you order some, I can pick it up for you! Let me know 🙂 I can send it home with you when you come for Thanksgiving!

  3. I’d like some rice, too. Maybe we could go to the farm together next week when we get together. Such a good idea with Thanksgiving coming up.

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