Spotlight on G&M farms, Morrisville

City Slicker

By Linda J. Haley

(Morrisville, NY) I set my GPS for Brooks Road in Morrisville only to find myself … in Peterboro? The screen says go just past the green area, to my final destination but I’m still nowhere near downtown Morrisville. Wait, there’s a street sign: Pleasant Valley Road.

Good name, it really is beautiful here.

Just then I spot a quiet country road on the left – Brooks! As the trees thin out a sweet, old farmhouse comes into view, complete with chicken coop, barns and a greenhouse-type structure. Across the street are perfect rows of crops stretching out before me like a striped multi-colored carpet. Directly in front of the carpet is a red garden shed with white trim – a farm stand – this must be the place.

I’m greeted by a petite woman with strawberry blonde hair trailed by a German shepherd. She’s Ginger Scoville, owner and head weeder of G&M. Ginger is an English teacher originally from North Carolina who married and relocated to Central New York. Ginger, along with her husband and children, lives in a real-deal 1850 farmhouse on four acres that makes up G&M.

They are hardworking veggie farmers whenever they aren’t working off-farm careers or renovating the farmhouse. It’s their goal to be full-time farmers in the future. Ginger is a small powerhouse of a woman. Hair pulled up in t-shirt and jeans, Ginger sports upper arms Madonna would be jealous of. She dusts off hands fresh from weeding to offer me a handshake and a smile.

On my visit, Ginger and her daughter had just finished working the veggie beds into weed-free rows of perfection – row after row of plants just bursting through the soil. I wish my garden rows were half as perfect as these. Colorful chickens were busily investigating the yard around me with Sable the shepherd on patrol.

Ginger names the four varieties wandering about: Dominiques, Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds and a hybrid chicken called a Black Sexlink. Her son distracts the flock with a bit of feed while we wander off to explore the farm. There’s a large hoop house directly ahead. Ginger explains hoop houses offer increased protection and heat to start spring plants early; once they’re large enough, they go into the soil, giving G& M a jump on the season.

We wander to the backyard to find more perfect beds of veggies, mostly lettuce varieties. Ginger’s pointing out different varieties, but all I can think of is ranch dressing. Seriously, it’s gorgeous lettuce people! So besides the obvious egg production, I ask Ginger what else G& M does.

“Oh, we make salsa, hot sauce and specialty jams.”

Really? I love all three! I have the best job ever. G&M’s farm stand offers farm fresh eggs, produce AND 14 kinds of jams. Jam flavors range from funky savory blends like red onion with garlic or horseradish, right down to traditional fruit jams like blackberry and plum, plus super chili hot sauce and Thai dragon hot sauce made from unique pepper varieties.

Finally four different heat levels of salsa, perfect for a backyard wing challenge. Quick, I need chips! Toast! Chicken wings! Crackers and cheese! I need bigger jeans!

But it’s worth it!

G& M’s products are all natural – no preservatives, no added sodium and sweetened with real sugar. They use no chemicals or synthetic fertilizers on the farm, just mechanical and hand cultivation, crop rotation, cover crops and season extenders.

Taking in the chickens, children, planting beds and house, I ask Ginger where she finds time and space to process all her delicious products. Ginger completed the “Better Processing Class” at Cornell in order to do all her own processing at the Nelson Farms facility kitchen. She designed the labels, packaging and brochures for her products, too.

I’m overwhelmed just listening to her. If that weren’t enough, she told me if I can’t make it back to the farm, I’ll find her at the Hamilton Farmers market. Her products are also at Hamilton’s Price Chopper, Deli on the Green in Peterboro and, of course, Nelson Farms Country Store. Good to know, Ginger, because I travel a lot, and am always looking for food gifties.

OK, salsa, hot sauce and jam lovers: set your GPS for G&M.

Happy eating!

Linda J. Haley is a freelance writer specializing in rural and agricultural topics. She can be reached at linda@m3pmedia.com.

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