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Monday, July 16, 2018

CSA Week Six

CSA Distribution/Farm Stand Hours

Tuesdays 2:30pm-6:30pm
Without weed cloth and twine, the tomatoes would
become in impassible jungle
Thursdays 10:30am-6:30pm
Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm

Powisset Café Hours

Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

Barnyard Hours

Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

Another week down, another week closer to harvesting tomatoes! We grow many different crops at Powisset, but the plump red orbs (sometimes orange, yellow, green, or purple) always seem to be a summer favorite in New England. I say it all the time, but this is a vegetable where you can truly taste the difference between a local product and a product from a large growing operation. Local farms tend to put more care into their soil, resulting in a tomato bursting with flavor and nutrients. So far, I have only eaten a single cherry tomato that ripened early, and it was definitely the best tomato that I have eaten in my life. I can’t promise that they will all be that way, but I am certainly excited for more of them to be ready.

Since tomatoes are such an important part of our farm, we put a great deal of care into them. A tomato plant starts as a seed in a tray with hundreds of siblings. Even though growing conditions within a tray are almost identical, it is amazing to see how some seeds grow quickly while others straggle behind. We then take the strongest of the bunch and transplant them into a tray with bigger cells (“potting-up”) where they will have enough nutrients to bulk up before heading outside. By selecting the strongest plants at this stage, we give ourselves the best chance of using a vine that will produce the best tasting and highest volume of fruit later on in the season. Once planted, next comes the strenuous task of pounding in stakes. The hundreds (if not thousands) of stakes set the stage for the beloved task of tomato twining. String is tediously threaded between the plants and stakes throughout the season as the plants grow taller to keep the vines from touching the ground. This makes it easier to harvest the fruit, but more importantly it allows for increased airflow. This is the best way to prevent blight. This year, we have added an additional step by laying straw or weed cloth in the aisles between beds. By cutting down on weeds, we will again increase airflow and also decrease pests and competition for water. Having done the best we can, let’s hope for a great start to tomato season soon!

This is week six of our CSA distribution. If you have purchased a half-share (10-weeks), you will pick up if your last name begins with L-Z. In this weeks share, we have…

Gabe doing great on the waterwheel transplanter!
  • Hakurei Turnip
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Favas
  • Kohlrabi or Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Kale or Chard
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Salanova or Head Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Flowers
  • Herbs



Shade cloth keeps the greenhouse cool during the scalding
July heat. Only 50% of sunlight is able to enter.
In addition to our produce, please don’t forget about the other wonderful activities that Powisset Farm has to offer! There is an upcoming farm dinner on July 27. Please register now if you are interested, we have been selling out quickly this summer. There is also a CSA member potluck in the works, thanks to the help of some of our excellent members and staff! This will be a great way to experience the community of Community Supported Agriculture.


While we have a special appreciation for our CSA members, please know that you do not have to buy share to experience the property. The Trustees of Reservations aims provide recreational and learning opportunities to the surrounding community. Powisset Farm is a great place to enjoy a day, especially on a Saturday when you can swing by the barnyard, take a hike, eat at the café, or purchase vegetables from our farm stand. We are passionate about the work that we do, and we love to share that work with our visitors.

We hope to see you soon!

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice

Monday, July 9, 2018

CSA Week Five-Mother Nature Brings the Heat

CSA Distribution/Farm Stand Hours
  • Tuesdays 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Thursdays 10:30am-6:30pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm

I hope that everyone had a great Fourth of July and that you were able to beat the heat! The high temperatures have certainly been the most challenging issue at the farm. It is as difficult on the plants as it is on the crew, and it is one frustrating variable that farmers cannot change. Our staff worked hard to stay hydrated and we were out in the fields by 6:00am in order to take advantage of the somewhat cooler morning hours.

James hanging with the farmers
While the heat is uncomfortable and works against productivity, it is even more harmful to some of our crops. Many of our veggies prefer cooler temperatures, but weeds thrive in the heat of the summer. With so much harvesting and planting going on, pulling weeds seems like it would be further down on the list of priorities. However, we have invested so much into our crops that weeding takes an extremely important role in making sure that our investments make their way into the farm stand for distribution. In this business (or any business), product quality and safety is of utmost importance. This means that to keep everything at an acceptable temperature, we must bring our harvested vegetables up in smaller loads immediately after they are picked.

Despite these difficulties, our crew has come out of the week in good health and our plants are still doing great. The rain that we received was a definite help, as was the bulk supply of sports drinks and popsicles. As great as our produce tastes, cold ice water has been the most delicious thing consumed this week. Our crew did a great job of staying tough and taking care of one another. It is great to work with people who consider each other friends and watch out for each other’s well being. We thoroughly enjoy our work, and we truly appreciate our CSA members who support our mission.

Learning how to make plastic beds
Last week also brought a seasonal challenge to our members; the arrival of kohlrabi. Many rejoice in the unique vegetable that is seldom found in grocery stores while others question what in the world to do with it. I was also confused by it when I first arrived at the farm last summer. I quickly found that the easiest way to enjoy kohlrabi is to eat it raw. Peeled and cut into thin slices, it is great on a salad, dipped in humus, or eaten plain. On the other hand, my favorite way to prepare it is by roasting it with other vegetables that are currently in season. I have found that it takes a bit longer to cook than other veggies, so I cut it smaller and mix it all up with some oil, garlic, and spices. If these options aren’t to your liking, I would still suggest browsing the internet in search of a recipe that suits your taste. It really is a versatile piece of produce, and it is certainly not something that is seen every day.

In this week’s share, we have:
ALMOST tomato time!
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Dill Flowers (think pickles!)
  • Kale or Chard
  • Fennel
  • Bok Choy or Kohlrabi
  • Cabbage
  • Mustard Greens or Broccoli
  • Hakurei Turnips or Radishes
  • Scallions or Spring Onions
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Salanova
  • Head Lettuce
  • Escarole


Pick your own will include:
  • Favas
  • Beans
  • Flowers


Please remember to check out the Powisset barnyard and café! The barnyard is open on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am-2:00pm. Powisset Café is open on Saturdays from 10:00am-2:00pm. Swing by to learn about our animals and taste some great food made with our fresh veggies.

And now a word from our excellent events staff:

Imagine....gathering with friends and family, enjoying a delicious catered meal with Powisset Farm fresh ingredients, sipping refreshing beverages while listening to live music. In the background is a stunning sunset. Be a part of this experience throughout the summer, every other Friday at Powisset Farm in Dover, MA. Our next dinner is THIS Friday, July 13th, 6-8pm. 
Ticket prices includes multi-course dinner, non-alcoholic beverages (beer and wine will be available for purchase), and entertainment. Please note that registration for farm dinners will close 48 hours in advance. Vegetarian and kid-friendly menu options available. Special food requests cannot be accommodated

For more information and to reserve your spot: https://mailchi.mp/7405728a0a6c/powfridayfarmdinners2018


Hope to see you soon!

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Let Us Have Lettuce!

Hi all,

Interesting cloud formation over Powisset
Welcome to week #4 of the CSA. If you are a half-share member (10 weeks), you will pick up if the last name of the shareholder begins with an L-Z. This is also a fruit share week. We will be distributing 1 quart of cherries. The fruit arrives on Tuesdays, so it is best to pick it up as soon as possible. If you have a 10-week share and would not typically pick up this week, but you have purchased a fruit share, we suggest that you also pick up your fruit as soon as possible this week.

Thank you for a great final week of June at the CSA. We are fortunate to have plenty of crops available for harvest, and we hope that you enjoy what we have to offer. There will be some new produce on the tables (especially for those of you who have 10-week shares), as well as some old favorites that you have seen each week. Back by popular demand… salanova! We know that receiving new kinds of vegetables is exciting, but this staple has been coming in healthy and we have been receiving a great reaction from our members. If you are looking for a new way to consume the lettuce, try adding some thinly sliced raw beets, or perhaps some scallions or even garlic scapes.
Cutting down on weed pressure by using the cultivating tractor


In addition, we will be adding to our pick-your-own options this week. Due to a lack of staffing earlier in the season, our beds of peas have been partially consumed by weeds. Despite this pressure, the plants have produced some mighty tasty peas. If you are willing to wade through some weeds, please take some time to pick some peas to bring home. Within the next few weeks, these plants will mowed and tilled into the soil to make room for another planting of vegetables. I would definitely suggest that you spend some time in this field. Nothing tastes quite like a fresh pea.
Flowers are getting tall!

If you have not checked out some of our other offerings at Powisset farm, please keep them in mind. Our café is open on Saturdays until 2:00pm, and our barnyard is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Admission is free to Trustees members, and it is an excellent way for children or adults to experience the farm. For a schedule of our upcoming Friday Farm Dinners or other events at the property, please visit our events page.


If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, we would love to speak with you. Thank you so much for your continued support!


Week #4 Distribution List

  • Fennel
  • Chard
  • Salanova
  • Summer Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnip


Hope to see you soon,

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Veggies in Week Three!

Check out our Flower Garden!
CSA Distribution/Farm Stand Hours


  • Tuesdays 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Thursdays 10:30am-6:30pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm


Thank you to everyone who came out in support of the farm last week. We were able to put together a great share for our members, and we are excited to add a few new vegetables again this week! It is always fun to begin harvesting a new crop after spending so much time on a select few. We started working on these plants months ago, and it is sometimes a surprise to see how big they have gotten. Many of our crops spend most of their lives looking more or less like many other crops. It is only once you spend a few days away from a certain corner of the field that you see how quickly they pop into forms recognizable in the kitchen. One might think that changes aren’t so noticeable to someone who sees these plants every day, but it really is incredible how much change can occur in just a few hours or days, especially when rainfall is a factor.


We are so grateful to add some excellent staff this week. It was daunting to face the first half of the season with such a small group, and entering this phase of the season feels like we have passed a test and are ready to face a new set of challenges. New staff means new smiles, faster planting, faster harvesting, and a greater ability to cut down on weed pressure that is speeding up with the increasing temperatures. Pests (especially groundhogs) are still a common issue, but weeds creep up stealthily until they suddenly choke the life from our precious crops. As most of you know, it is a never-ending battle keeping up with unwanted vegetation. Seeing happy customers is one of the only things that makes us feel better when weeds begin overtake our plants despite our best efforts to hold them back. We put so much time and effort into helping our crops grow strong, and yet the weeds prevail with everything working against them.
The Piglets are Growing Up!


Two of this week’s vegetables always force me to hit the internet in search of ways to use them. Fennel and bok choy aren’t as common as most of our other veggies, but one of the purposes of a CSA membership is to encourage the use of new produce in new ways.  Fennel is a Mediterranean plant known for its light scent of licorice. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. It can be consumed raw, but is also popular roasted in many different ways, so please search for a recipe that suits your taste! If you find the scent off-putting, cooked fennel takes on a milder taste and softer texture.

Bok choy is a low-calorie member of the cabbage family, but looks nothing like cabbage we are used to seeing. It has a mild taste similar to that of mustard greens, and is ranked sixth on the list of fruit and vegetable nutrient density (only behind kale, collards, mustard greens, watercress, and swiss chard). Bok choy is most often used in stir-fry and in soups, but it can also be used raw to add a unique texture and flavor to a salad.


We hope you enjoy this week’s share! These are the vegetables that will be available; some of them will be a choice between one or the other. If you have any questions, we would be more than happy to talk about food or faming with you!
Red Sky at Night...

  • Fennel
  • Chard
  • Salanova
  • Summer Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach


We hope to see you soon!

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice





Bushel + Crumb pies are back! Celebrate July 4th in classic style with pies. We’ll be offering both Strawberry Rhubarb pie and Blueberry Maple  Pies will be available for pickup at Powisset Farm on Tuesday, July 3rd. Pies feature the freshest, local fruits, dairy, grains, and maple. Click on the pie variety below to read a full description of the pie and to place your order. Orders are due by 5pm on Friday, June 29th.


A small number of pies will also be available at the farm stand, including frozen, unbaked pies that you can bake fresh for your celebration.

Be in touch at info@bushelandcrumb.com with any questions about the pies.



Monday, June 18, 2018

CSA Week Two

Notch Biergarten
It was quite an eventful week at Powisset Farm. We are pleased to have shared a successful CSA distribution with members old and new. We also kicked off our first-ever biergarten with Notch Brewing. The property was bustling with happy people enjoying the beautiful weather and activities that the farm has to offer. Powisset has been striving to create a balanced community that provides multiple uses without damaging the close-knit relationship between members, visitors, and staff. It was such a pleasure to see this in action as families grew smiles in the barnyard and pick-your-own areas while still taking the time to interact with the farmers. As a first-year apprentice, it was a privilege to meet many of the customers who make our community possible. We truly enjoy the work that we do, and being able to share this journey with our friends is an exciting opportunity for all of us. Thank you to all who took the time to say hello or offer observations.


"Surround" is simply clay that provides protection from sun
and pests. It is mixed with water and sprayed on. It is organic
and NOT harmful.
So far, the challenge of the week has been keeping up with irrigation. Our systems allow us to cater to the wide variety of crops that we grow. Many of our beds utilize plastic mulch to retain moisture in the soil. The long sheets of plastic also keep weeds to a minimum and prevent pests from making an easy buffet of our plants. Underneath the plastic is a long line of plastic tubing called drip tape. Once hooked up to high-flow irrigation lines, this drip tape carries water throughout the bed. This is a great system once the lines are set up and any leaks have been repaired.


Baby Squashes!


We also use another method that involves running long lines of high-flow tubing along the wheel tracks (aisles) between beds. Overhead sprinklers are then attached to spread water to about four or five beds at a time. These lines must be moved periodically to either water other beds or to cultivate. While this method isn’t as efficient with time or water, it is necessary in areas where plastic mulch and drip tape can’t be used. Irrigation plays a vital role in getting plants into the farm stand. Temperatures have risen and rainfall hasn’t provided adequate moisture to keep plants healthy. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the pattern doesn’t hold for the rest of the summer.


Powisset Farm Stand
Harvesting has also become a priority on the farm. Many of our crops are at their peak and ready to be consumed. Hours of work must be devoted to preparing these veggies ready for pickup. We enjoy producing an abundant share as much as our members enjoy picking one up. Happy members and a plentiful distribution tell us that we are doing a good job. We are very grateful to have experienced both last week. We will continue to work as hard as possible to provide the best produce possible for you!





Without further ado, here is the list for our second CSA distribution.


  • Head Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Salanova
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Hakurei Turnips (Salad Turnips)
  • Radishes
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Pick Your Own Herbs

Farm Stand Hours
  • Tuesdays 2:30pm-6:30pm
  • Thursdays 10:30am-6:30pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm

If you aren’t a member, but would like to try our vegetables, please consider stopping by our farm stand. We are currently open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We also sell a variety of other local products to complement our produce.

Thank you for your continued support!

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice

Monday, June 11, 2018

First CSA Distribution

First Color in the Flower Bed
One of the most exciting weeks of the year has arrived. The farm stand will be open for CSA pickups starting tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again. Seeding and transplanting will certainly continue, but this week adds the task of harvesting to our schedule. It is great to mix another interesting job into the day, but it is particularly rewarding to see our many hours of hard work pay off. As you know, this produce has been a long time in the making. These vegetables will now conclude their journey by making their way into your kitchens. Here is where we are able to receive your feedback and hopefully see smiles on the faces of friends and customers who have waited for months to regain access to their fresh, local produce once again.


Strawberries on the Lawn
This time of the year also brings other changes to the farm. We will be adding additional summer staff to our existing group of three (plus our excellent band of volunteers). Powisset will welcome back some employees from past summers, a volunteer who proved herself this spring, and a couple new faces who are seeking to experience the challenge of agriculture. The additional crew will allow us to better keep up with jobs around the farm as we reach the peak season.
Dragonfly Operating the Cultivating Tractor





This past week was filled with seeding, weeding, transplanting, and cultivation on the tractor. Plastic mulch has done a good job of preventing pests and weeds from totally overwhelming certain crops, but there is still hand-weeding to be done at the base of the plants. There is also the chore of keeping up with weeds that grow in the aisles between beds. The grass that grows here can look beautiful, but it will eventually harbor pests and overtake our crops. These aisles can partially be managed by quickly driving over the beds with the tractor while dragging an implement that rips out unwanted vegetation and buries it under the soil. This is not a perfect system, but it can save a lot of time and energy spent hand-weeding many miles of beds. As far as transplanting goes, we were able to put in squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, eggplants, and peppers. Some of these crops can be quite vulnerable to ravenous pests that frequent the farm. However, they are also some of the most sought-after food that we grow. We will keep doing our best and hope for some good fortune that they will stay strong and provide the return we are looking for.



  • After much ado, here is the lineup for this week's CSA distribution. If you have purchased a half-share, please check your email for information about when to pick up.
    • Green Garlic
    • Head Lettuce
    • Kale
    • Radishes
    • Spinach
    • Salanova
    • Cilantro
    • Dill
    • Pick your own herbs in the herb garden (strawberries will be available another week soon)

If you are interested in enjoying a new experience at the farm, please check out our upcoming biergarten. Notch Brewing will be serving up a good time at Powisset this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is a beautiful time to enjoy the property, and we would love to see you there.

Hope to see you soon,

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ready for Business!

Powisset has a Little Lamb
After months of preparation, Springfest was a huge success at Powisset Farm. Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the new barnyard, the vendors, and the beautiful property. It was such a pleasure being able to share the farm with so many wonderful families that are willing to support the Trustees. While we always feel lucky to spend our time at Powisset, it is so gratifying to meet the people who make our work possible. I was able to shake hands with people who have been CSA members for years and meet other members who just signed up this week. I can safely say that we had the largest turnout of any event that has taken place on the farm. The success of Springfest would not have been possible without the hard work and vision of our engagement site manager, Nicole. She does such great work at our site and it has been the utmost pleasure to know her and work with her. People like Nicole bring the kindness and success that the Trustees is known for.

Ready for Planting!
While wearing a carrot suit was interesting, the highlight of my day was leading a small group of visitors on a tour of the farm. We sincerely enjoy what we do, but it is hard work done with the goal of sharing it with our community. Being able to educate both children and adults about different aspects of agriculture was a total pleasure. Of course the barnyard was a huge hit, but these visitors took great interest in seeing the journey that their favorite vegetables take from seeding in the greenhouse to washing for sale. Leading this tour was also a reminder of how much I have been taught in such a short time. I first came to Powisset Farm only a year ago and the staff has done such a great job of sharing their passion that I am now able pass along some of this knowledge to others who are interested in the field.

Diane and Andrew on a Field Walk
Much of our focus in the past couple weeks has been on preparing for the festival, but the crops have not gone unnoticed. More vegetables have been planted, and a few are even ready to harvest. Rows of lettuce are looking big and beautiful, as are radishes, kale, and strawberries. As the calendar flips into the month of June, our growing season should pick up despite the cooler temperatures this week. Our first round of plantings begins to reach maturity and the typically warmer weather should allow the crops to grow even more quickly. The herb garden has been planted and will provide outstanding flavor and garnish to accompany the fresh produce that is grown only paces away. This will include rosemary, thyme, sage, summer savory, pipicha, chives, marjoram, oregano, and more. The nearby flower garden is also almost full and will provide vibrant beauty to the farm and to the tables of CSA members throughout the summer.

"Stake" and Tomatoes
The CSA will begin on Tuesday, June 12! Please keep an eye on the blog or your email for more information about pick-ups. If you are a new member or would like a refresher, we will be holding two orientations in the share distribution room in the main barn this Saturday 6/9 at 9:00am and 10:00am. We will run through how the CSA distribution works and provide a tour of the farm stand and pick-your-own areas. Be advised that the main driveway will be closed as we are paving the entrance and visitor parking areas. Please park in the field next to the barn where the event parking is located.

If you have any questions about agriculture, the CSA, or the Trustees, please feel free to reach out to us! We would be glad to chat with you. We are also still accepting CSA members for this season. You can sign up here!


Hope to see you soon!

Jeff Hoodlet
Farm Apprentice