Silverthorn Member Story: Mary Ann Lee

You know the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Although I wouldn’t discount the value of genuine knowledge, there’s a lot of truth to the idea that networking and word-of-mouth are great ways to share ideas and resources.

That’s why it’s so important to get the word out about Silverthorn Farm and all the great products Nate and Emily have available for anyone who cares about great, healthy food, our central Indiana community, and about our Earth.

Silverthorn member Mary Ann Lee’s story is the perfect example of how someone else’s knowledge and support of the farm helped spread the word.

“I am a city girl who 35 years ago married a farmer. With acres and acres around me and a family full of great cooks, including a professional chef sister, I thought it was incumbent on me to grow vegetables. I had many, many failures…rabbits and deer and just bad luck. Too much zucchini, tomatoes with blossom rot, and strange misshapen carrots…As my off-farm career required long days and travel, I abandoned my garden and turned to small markets and roadside stands to sate my desire for colorful, tasty vegetables.

“I met Nate and Emily in 2010 through my sister, the chef, who is a college professor and department chair at CUNY. She spent a summer here (quite a change for a New Yorker) working in a Farm to Fork project about Indiana farmers. She visited and interviewed farmers all over the state including Nate and Emily. She wrote about their story for her academic paper. She invited the Parks to our farm—Little Potato Creek Farm—for a dinner with all the farmers she interviewed, and we cooked a great meal using ingredients from all the farmers. When I discovered the availability of the Silverthorn CSA I jumped at the chance to stock up on healthy, fresh products from one local source…so convenient.”

Mary Ann went on to share that her CSA membership allows her to cook more seasonally and with an emphasis on vegetables. “I love scouring recipes in my many cookbooks to find just the right recipe for Silverthorn Farm’s Swiss chard,” she says. “And the summer tomatoes star in my tomato basil soup, the butternut squash is the base for my butternut squash pie, and the broccoli, carrots, and fennel provide a great start for the crudités my family devours.”

She also mentioned one of the best benefits of buying fresh and local—and it’s a great benefit for any of us to share with family and friends who might be interested in becoming Silverthorn members—fresh produce lasts longer than store-bought. “Nate’s mixed greens are fabulous. And they last so much longer than those cello boxes at the store. I always wonder how long ago that store-bought stuff was picked!”

Since Mary Ann came to know Silverthorn farm through her sister the chef, I was curious about what she would like others to know about her own Silverthorn experience. She summed it up in one very important concept that I think all of us can happily share with others. “Trust. I would tell them it is a wonderful thing to personally know and trust the family that grows the food my family eats!”

About the Author:
Lorrie Wehr is a freelance writer, blog contributor and Silverthorn Farm member