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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Words of Farewell!

As spring stretches its legs, the snow still seems reluctant to melt. That hasn't stopped us from charging forward though, and the greenhouse is filled with onions and the first rounds of scallions, cabbage, kale, broccoli and lettuces - each seed turning out new measures of growth each day, regardless of the cold outside. So stay warm, please cross your fingers for a thaw, and in the meantime read on to hear some parting thoughts from Rachel and me . . . AND come celebrate with us for a goodbye potluck this Thursday, March 26th from 6-8PM at the farm!



RACHEL:
Rachel and Meryl chat in the field
It’s been almost two years since I came to Powisset Farm. Arriving in the midst of a major life transition, I was looking for a new farm home, a place and a community in which to ground myself. Meryl, Tessa and the entire Powisset Farm team welcomed me with open arms. I fell in love with the beautiful fields, the iconic barn, and, most importantly, the people that give life to this piece of land.
Rachel and crew rock the daikon harvest!

As we began to wrap up the 2013 season the winds of change blew stronger. Plans for the barn renovations solidified and we talked about who would shepherd the farm through this new stage of growth. It has been a pleasure to support the farm as we added the Farm Kitchen and Classroom to the repertoire of what Powisset has to offer the community. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my role as the Education and Outreach Coordinator: groups of school and corporate volunteers, members of the Powisset Education Programs Committee, TTOR staff throughout the state, CSA members, farm visitors, and Powisset Cooks workshop attendees. For me, community is the focal point of farming. Developing relationships with a myriad of farm supporters not only broadened my connection to this particular farm, but also deepened my sense of hope as food brings people together. Vegetables, joy, flowers, gratitude, eggs – there is so much abundance at Powisset and I look forward to the ways in which the farm will continue to grow.

In moving on to new and exciting adventures, I want to reiterate my gratitude to the Powisset Farm Crew. Your individual and collective dedication and warmth makes hard work easier and it has been an honor to work with all of you.
 
Rachel (in center) - who is a canoe expert, no joke, on a summer staff outing
Thank you all for the wonderful chapter of my life that is Powisset Farm!
With love and gratitude,

Rachel


TESSA:
Watering onions in 2010
One of my favorite memories of Powisset is also one of my earliest: on that sweltering August afternoon, so significant now in hindsight, when I first came to the farm. I remember so clearly those initial moments – the first time I met Meryl, covered in tattoos and dirt and radiating her particular joy; when I met the crew, equally filthy and cheerful and already a seasoned team, with a language all their own; and the first time I saw the fields, green, lush and overflowing, heavy with food under the full weight of the season. That afternoon we picked onions under an unforgiving sun – pull the bulbs, put them in the bag, repeat, over and over, dragging an increasing weight down the bed. Midway through the day, the clouds rolled in and a thunderstorm suddenly cut through the heat, firing crackling rods of lightening off into the distance and bringing a curtain of rain in to the dry fields.  As I trailed after the crew to throw bags of harvested onions onto the truck to pull them safely into the barn, I felt a new pulse rush through my heart. Such vibrancy and sensation in that moment. Such tangibility and urgency and visceral push. It was like learning to breathe for the first time, or learning to speak a new language. Dramatic, I know, but true.

That initial memory still feels as vibrant as the moment I lived it – but it’s since been joined by countless others: I remember listening to the farm crew teach me how to pick kale with two hands. I remember the summer we watered endless rows and rows of tomatoes with tiny watering cans in a field that didn’t have irrigation. I remember weeding rows of carrots on my hands and knees, my nose so close to the ground I hardly noticed coming face to face with a dead bunny, quiet and still with no discernable injury. I remember cultivating our brussels sprouts on a tractor and hopping off at the end of the row only to discover I had accidentally annihilated half a bed and instantly bursting into tears (I’m still sorry about that, Meryl!). I remember years of looking forward to whatever new bathroom art installation Paul would have carefully put in place. I remember getting fed fresh baked bread and chilled butter by Christiane while sitting on the back of the farm truck. I remember driving a tractor down the farm road, pausing to shift gears and chugging forward only to find I had wrenched the entire shifting knob off the machine. I remember long and hot days, filled with sun; I remember cold and wet days, when it got dark at four. I remember seasons of songs and jokes and donuts and reaching new limits of exhaustion, joy and growth.

Donut Break, so critical to organic farming

The truth is, in the last five and a half years, Powisset has become my home. I grew up here, fell in love with friends here, turned a new decade older, cried, fought, regretted, felt proud and lived. In large part, that attachment is due to the crew and to you - the community and CSA members - without which, the farm wouldn’t be filled with this overflowing life that drives it forward. This place is truly special, and I hope you know how grateful I feel to you, my community, for welcoming me, sharing the ups and downs of the season and allowing me to become part of your farm family. As I like to say, we cannot grow food in a vacuum, and every farm needs a community of devoted eaters. It is the support and appreciation of people like you who make long hours worth it, who remind us of the significance of this work, and who are helping to change the shape of our food culture. We all eat, but choosing how and what you eat has a power that is often overlooked. It may be hard to chew through pounds of local rutabaga, but it is honorable work, in my opinion.
Getting my tractor cultivation on

I’d like to take a moment to express my profound gratitude for the many crew members, workshares and volunteers, with whom I’ve had the true privilege to sweat alongside of over the years. Sometimes I think working at Powisset is like getting to work in the daily company of your heroes, and each person brings so many gifts, it’s really mind-boggling. And or course, without the talents of Meryl LaTronica, this farm wouldn’t be the place it is, but words fail me to explain my thankfulness on that one.

Well, this is long enough, but hey, one last blog, I thought I could take some artistic license. Thank you for letting me in to your farm life. It has been an honor to be in community with you. My partner Reuben and I are headed to Bowdoin, Maine next week to take on a new adventure. I don’t plan on being much of a stranger to Powisset, so I hope we cross paths again. Until then, keep in touch if you’d like (tessa.pechenik@gmail.com), or come visit, as I’d love to see a familiar face.
High fives and kale bunches,

Tessa Pechenik

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Two Goodbyes and One Goodbye Party!


Hello Powisset Farm Family!  Spring is in the air and with it change is blowing through the fields of Powisset Farm.  I wanted to share with you all the upcoming transitions at Powisset and give you a opportunity to say goodbye to two amazing and talented farmers and educators! 

This month, Powisset Farm says goodbye to two wonderful staff members, Assistant Farm Manager, Tessa Pechenik and Education and Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Tali Kalplan.  Come celebrate their work at a Potluck Goodbye Party on Thursday, March 26th at 6pm at Powisset Farm!!

 
Tessa Pechenik!

Tessa Pechenik started in the Powisset Farm fields as a volunteer in 2009 before she was hired as an apprentice for two consecutive seasons.  She thrived as a field worker and team member and in 2012 she took the leap into leadership by becoming Powisset Farm’s Assistant Manager.  

While being a part of the management team at Powisset, Tessa mentored apprentices and field staff with humor, knowledge and compassion.  She made special connections with CSA members and work shares and led hundreds of volunteers in the fields, harvesting thousands of pounds of produce.  Tessa helped to improve and build Powisset’s on-site farm stand, bringing in new and delicious products and honing our farm aesthetic through her artist lense. Tessa made everything at Powisset more organized, more beautiful and more fun.  This farm and community will not be the same without her.  We will miss you, Tessa! 

Tessa and her partner Reuben will be headed north to Maine where they will be starting a new project on a beautiful farm homestead.  March 27th will be her last day at TTOR.  Please join me in wishing her goodbye and thank you for all her hard work.  tpechenik@ttor.org


meryl, simba & tessa!


Aji (saturday workshare) & Tessa




















Rachel Tali Kaplan!
Rachel Tali Kapan joined the team at Powisset in the summer of 2013 when she jumped in mid-season as an apprentice when we were short on farm hands!  An experienced farmer, she brought her farm knowledge, intuition and calm energy to our wacky farm.  She immediately fit in! 

In 2014, with the addition of our new farm kitchen and classroom, Rachel was hired for the brand new position of Education and Outreach coordinator at Powisset Farm.  Under the guidance of the TTOR Engagement team, Rachel created a suite of Powisset Cooks! programming; formed and nurtured a volunteer committee at the farm; lead hundreds of volunteers in the fields and brought our farm kitchen to working order.  We will miss you, Rachel!

Rachel is gifted in creating a supportive and exciting atmosphere for volunteers and visitors and has created positive momentum for public programs here at Powisset.  Rachel will be staying in the area to pursue new and exciting possibilities outside of the farm world.  March 31, will be her last day.  Please join me in wishing her goodbye and thank you for her hard work.  rkaplan@ttor.org




Potluck Goodbye Party!

Thursday, March 26th  -  6pm-8pm (ish)
Bring a dish to share!
Come celebrate the hard work, energy and talent of these wonderful women!
At: The Powisset Farm Kitchen
37 Powisset Street, Dover, MA
for more information, email Meryl: mlatronica@ttor.org
no need to RSVP. Just come! all welcome! bring kids, friends, you!

 


 
rachel!
rachel, tessa, & jon 2013



farm crew 2013

tessa, tossing delicata! 2013


jump! farm crew 2012.


tessa & molly on squash telephones! 2011.

fall farm crew! 2009. Molly, Laura, Liz, Tessa & Meryl

2009 Garlic mulching! Kim, Amy, Liz & Tessa!








Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bring on the Warmth!

Just a few short weeks ago I was all excited about the snow and couldn't get enough. 
Oh how quickly things change!
I've definitely had enough.
Now I'm focusing on ways to stay warm and joyful.

What could bring on more warmth
than sharing time in the Powisset Farm Kitchen with old and new friends?!

Below are four great opportunities to warm up with Powisset Cooks:


From the Fields: Chili!
THURSDAY, FEB 26


Nicole Lewis at Spring Fest 2014!
Join Nicole Lewis as we explore the ins and outs of chili. 
Nicole's grandfather was an award winning chili maker!
In addition to her culinary lineage, Nicole is a longtime CSA member, raised bed gardener, photographer, member of the Powisset Education Program Committee (PEP) and all around star.


MONDAY, MARCH 2

Christiane teaching focaccia this fall
Photo courtesy of Tod Dimmick 
Join Christiane Oberli as we learn how to make our own ravioli from scratch!
As we saw this fall in Christiane's herb focaccia workshop, her teaching is as dynamic as it is entertaining, delicious as it is educational. A long time CSA member, Christiane has lived and cooked all over the world and brings so much enthusiasm to the kitchen.
Don't miss this fabulous learning opportunity.


TUESDAY, MARCH 10

Tod baking bread to inaugurate the Powisset Farm Kitchen at Spring Fest 2014
 
Photo courtesy of Tod Dimmick

















Join Tod Dimmick as we learn the art of bread baking with local grains! CSA member, food writer, accomplished cook and member of the Powisset Education Program Committee (PEP), Tod's passion for all things culinary is contagious. His Farm Fresh Muffin workshop earlier this winter was a sweet and savory success and we are grateful for another chance to learn with Tod in the kitchen.


SUNDAY, MARCH 15


Join Rachel for another opportunity to spice up your lunchbox and your kitchen! 
Adults and children come together for a unique learning experience in the Farm Kitchen where exploration and fun are the specials of the day!


ONE LAST WAY TO BRING ON THE WARMTH...

SIGN UP FOR THE 2015 CSA!
If you are a returning CSA member, you should have received an email that gave you access to our sign-up form. If you did not receive an email, please contact Meryl and she will forward the information to you!

If you want to join our CSA for the 2015 and you are not a current member: 
We will open up registration on March 1, 2015.  
We will first invite people off of our waiting list.  
Please make sure your name is on our waiting list.  
Or, add your name now if you would like an opportunity to join our CSA program.

Waiting list link:


Rachel and the Powisset Farm Crew

Monday, February 9, 2015

CSA Sign ups and Winter Fun at Powisset!


CSA Sign-Ups Have Begun! (for returning members) 

It’s Monday, February 9th and I am sitting in my snow pants and boots in our cozy classroom space in the barn, watching the snow fall and swirl outside the windows around me.  My face is still rosy from having been waist deep in the snow around the greenhouse, pulling and throwing the endless flakes from the side of the “hot houses” trying to keep the weight off of what seem like such delicate structures.  I think this may have been the 100th time in the last couple weeks that I have found myself crawling around our greenhouses, freeing them from their snow cover.  Each time I scoop and dig, I peer inside at the empty tables and am reminded that in just a few short weeks, I will be inside, filling trays, sewing our onions, making roots for the 2015 season.  It’s about to begin again!

Yes! The 2015 season is coming up quick!  As you hopefully already know, we have begun sign-ups for the season (open now for all returning members).  And I hope you will join us for another great season at Powisset Farm.  Like most seasons, we are making a few changes and adjustments. 

Here are some of those changes:

·         Online Sign-ups!  It finally happened.  We are moving into the technological age.  We can now take your payments online.  You should have received an email that gave you access to our sign-up form.  If you didn’t, please let me know and I will forward it to you.
·         Price increase for full shares:  Full shares were $625 last season; the price is $650 this season.  Throughout The Trustees of Reservations, we are making changes to standardize some of prices and policies.  One of those changes is making our full shares $650 statewide.  At Powisset, we feel good about making this increase for our full shares, as the value that we distributed last season, far exceeded the cost of the share.  This price increase will bring our share price and share value closer together.  The small share will remain the same price at: $400
·         Membership to the Trustees of Reservations required.  Another statewide policy change at TTOR operated farms is that all CSA members are now required to become Trustees members.  As you know, the Trustees are a member supported organization and dues from membership facilitate every facet of the important work that we do in connecting people to places. Including our work at Powisset Farm!  When you purchase your share, you are investing in a season's worth of fresh local produce.  A membership demonstrates a further commitment to ensuring access for all to our beautiful farm.  This also means that we now have only one cost for a share, the member price.  Plus, whatever membership level you join at.  You can sign up for a membership on the same form as your CSA sign up.  For more information about our membership options and benefits, please visit: http://www.thetrustees.org/membership/
·         Paper sign-ups:  These are available upon request.  If you are more comfortable or happy signing up via check/paper registration, please let me know and I will email or snail mail you a form. 

As always, please feel free to be in touch with me about any of these changes that you may have questions about.  Things we won’t be changing for this season; we will continue to grow top quality, healthy produce for you and your family.  We will continue to hold events, special dinners, and workshops that engage you and your community with food, land and each other.  We will continue to be stewards for this beautiful land by following growing practices that prioritize healthy soil, without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We will continue to nurture and nourish our community as you nourish us!

I hope you will join us for the 2015 season!  We will open our CSA to new members beginning March 1st, so please sign up soon to ensure your spot with us this year!

In the meantime, come by the farm for a ski, snowshoe or to do some shoveling with me!

I’ll see you out in the snowy fields or in the Spring!

Meryl (on behalf of all of us at Powisset Farm)


 
CSA Sign-Ups For Non-CSA Members (who would like to join):

If you want to join our CSA for the 2015, (and are not a current member) we will open up registration on March 1, 2015.  We will first invite people off of our waiting list.  Please make sure your name is on our waiting list.  Or, add it now, if you would like an opportunity to join our CSA program.

Waiting list link:




 Winter Fun at Powisset!

It's snowing! Again! While I'm clearly overstating the obvious I mention the snow because the novelty has not worn off. Snow days, working from home, shoveling, wearing snow pants, wondering how long I can get away with saving my parking spot beyond the allowed time period, trudging around in my snow boots all the time...the list of things I'm enjoying about winter is long. At the top of my list of things I'm psyched about this winter: SNOWSHOEING! My dad gave me his old snowshoes and I've thoroughly enjoyed walking atop enormous mountains of snow and exploring the winter wonderland in a new way-- thanks dad!|

Look at that glorious sunshine!
Sunbathing in the snow

Here are a few shots of snowshoeing at Powisset with friends. It was so nice to tromp around the farm on a quiet Sunday and visit all the nooks and crannies of the property that I don't usually make time to explore. Remember the property is open to the public all year from dawn to dusk!


 MORE REASONS TO COME TO THE FARM:
Wednesday
February 18th


Venture out on a glorious winter night of school vacation and join us in the Farm Kitchen for a fun-filled evening of pizza making, eating and board games!

Email rachel if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!














Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Enjoy Chowder, Muffins and the Open Farm Stand!


The sun is shining brightly...
Come to Powisset to celebrate good weather!

Here are THREE GREAT REASONS TO COME TO THE FARM:

REASON #1

We still have spots open for Wednesday's Powisset Cooks CHOWDER workshop!  

This workshop will feature delicious chowders 
AND 
guest speaker, Bobby Jordan, co-owner of our beloved Jordan Brothers Seafood!  


(Bobby is on the far left)

If you love chowder 
and you want to hear the inside scoop about the local seafood industry, join us.


REASON #2

On Sunday we'll be making Farm Fresh Muffins in the kitchen from 1-3PM
Join Powisset Cooks! in the field for a short look at the farm in Winter followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the Farm Kitchen with our very own Tod Dimmick

My Photo
Powisset CSA member, food writer and accomplished cook, Tod will lead us in 
creating different muffin recipes that incorporate farm fresh goodies.


REASON #3

Visit the Farm Stand!

We are so happy that people are coming to visit the stand.
Today we are restocking with more goodies!
Eden Pond Farm organic chickens are back in the freezer for sale at $5/pound.

With SO many reasons to visit Powisset we look forward to seeing you SOON!


See you in the Farm Kitchen,
Rachel and The Powisset Farm Crew