If you’ve ever glanced around Dorothy Lane Market, you may have seen pictures of a certain man named Ed. He’s a local farmer who raises free-range chickens. He supplies poultry to many local restaurants. The chicken is always the highest quality, and he drops it off personally with a smile on his face, and pride behind the product.
His name is Ed Hill, he is kind, warm, and dedicated – but there is so much more than what meets the eye. Ed is a Farmer’s Almanac expert and an Ancient Grain guru. Earlier this summer we asked Ed about what sorts of crops he was most looking forward to, and with a glimmer in his eye he told us about Turkey Red Winter Wheat. As summer has drawn to a close and (despite the warm temperatures) fall is here, and Ed’s excitement about this wheat hasn’t faded away.
This wheat was brought over to America from Russia in 1874. Ed started a “test plot” of 2 acres of the wheat on his land last October. The wheat grew to be almost 6 feet high and the distinct nutty flavor shined. Now Ed has 20 acres of the wheat and is picking up more seed for next year. This wheat originally set the standard for bread baking, and is rather unique because it is considered an acceptable wheat to eat for those with a gluten intolerance. You’ll be able to try the bread soon enough, but we won’t spill the beans, or should we say seeds!
We asked Ed what his favorite season to grow was and this wasn’t an easy question for him to answer. Each season brings new triumphs and challenges. In the winter Ed tends to dream about what he wants to see in the spring. In spring he loves to see potatoes sprout up from the earth, and in the autumn Ed does some major planning – he must be very strategic in order for crops to survive through the harsh winter conditions.
Farming is much more of an academic job than one might think, Ed explained to me. It’s a misconception about farmers that it’s all labor, but there’s more to it than that. Ed says “What I don’t know about, I don’t know about – but what I know, I know really well…or else I wouldn’t have so many books!”
Ed's love of farming is seen so clearly in his crops, and we try and put that love and respect for the food back on the plate. Ed's passion and enthusiasm is infectious and we are so lucky to serve his food.