Vendor Profile: Eric and Marie of Pole Star Farm

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Pole Star Farm is a relative newcomer to the Ithaca Farmers Market, having been with us for only a couple of seasons, but they have years of experience growing good old-fashioned vegetables and herbs! This year they were regulars at the Wednesday East Hill Market, which just ended its glorious 2015 season at the end of October. They can also be found on selected Sundays at Steamboat Landing. You can recognize their booth with this distinctive sign, which is always at their booth, along with colorful and beautifully displayed herbs and veggies.

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Pole Star Farm’s handpainted sign, featuring Morgaine and Rune

Marie and Eric both grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to our area to start their farm. Pole Star Farm is located between Mecklenburg and Trumansburg, where the farmers live with their almost-2-year-old daughter, Morgaine, who enjoys helping out with farm work and at market. She still needs a little bit of supervision, as one of her favorite tasks is pulling out the just planted seedlings, but she is always delighted to be involved. Their dog Rune, a pug-beagle-terrier mix, is also an essential part of the business, working hard every day to keep the crops safe from invading ground hogs and mice. But the lion’s share of the farming is done by Eric, who works on the farm full-time. Eric began as a college farmer back in Pennsylvania, and has passionately pursued the farming life ever since. Marie works off-farm with youth and young adults, and she is also the field and market assistant, often running their Farmers Market booth.

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Marie at East Hill Market begs the question, are you going to Pole Star Farm? Cilantro, sage, oregano, and thyme!

Marie says that her work teaching peace education to youth complements her work on the farm, as it is all about the connectedness of what you’re doing with the earth, and how it connects people in communities. On the farm, she is particularly excited about growing nightshades such Sungold cherry tomatoes and ground cherries. She also loves their botanical cousins, the tomatillos and jalapenos, which she combines with garlic and lime juice to make a mean salsa verde. But Pole Star Farm does not live by Solanaceae alone… they also grow plenty of potatoes, onions, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, garlic, beans, all types of culinary herbs… The list could go on for a long time!

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Onions and potatoes from Pole Star Farm, just waiting for some nice market shopper to take them home

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Luscious, freshly harvested beets from Pole Star

In addition to selling at market, Pole Star Farm also distributes their produce through a small CSA with on-farm pickup, and sells to a few local restaurants. To learn more about Pole Star Farm, and see lots of beautiful pictures and fun updates from Eric, Marie, Morgaine, and Rune, you can check out the Pole Star Farm Facebook page, or better yet, find them at a Farmers Market near you!