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Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Week #8 - Many Goods and Events!

Welcome to week eight! In addition to the wonderful veggies you'll be gathering this week, we have delicious goods in the Farm Stand to add to your meals and upcoming events and classes that you must check out!

In the share this week:
Barn: lettuce, greens, onions, leeks, squash, cukes, carrots, broccoli(most likely), cabbage, sweet corn and herbs!
PYO: the beginning of cherry tomato season! also, the flower garden is open!

In The Farm Stand

Copper Kettle BakeryIf you haven't checked out the welsh cakes by Kettle Copper Bakery that we have, I recommend that you do! They are a cross between a scone, biscuit and a pancake but with less butter and sugar than conventional cookies or scones. They come in chocolate chip, cranberry and currant (Nicole L's favorite!). We are carrying mixes, too so that you can enjoy the experience of making them yourself.. Enjoy them as a snack, treat or breakfast goodie! For more information, visit: www.copperkettlebakery.com.

2606203797_a9e6a4b15b_b.jpgChickens are here! Yes, we have frozen chickens from Eden Pond Farm a local, small family farm owned by Cris Coffin and Roland Kinsman who specialize in pastured poultry. Come grab one for dinner this week.



More ground beef is arriving this week as well so you can get to grilling those burgers again!

Bushel & Crumb will be here on Thursday, July 28th. This week they will be bringing fresh pies of savory carrot and beet with harissa, feta, and mint. We'll have a few extra in the fridge for purchasing in addition to the pie share pick up! We also will have frozen blueberry maple and strawberry rhubarb available in the small size.

Powisset Farm Events & Classes
Thank you to those who came out for Story Hour and Astronomy Night last week, even though the weather wanted to change by the minute! For those of you who were not aware, we will be hosting Story Hour every Thursday from 10-11:00AM under the tent for the remainder of the summer and possibly beyond. 
Looking forward…we have lots of events planned – something for everyone - and I hope you will join us for one or all of these!
Dehydration & Winter Storage Workshop: Saturday, August 1st at 10:00-12:00PM
Does it break your heart when you have to throw out that big, beautiful tomato from your farm stand because the yield is bigger than your weekly needs? Have you thought about making tomato sauce but don't want to deal with all that goes into canning? Come to this class! Margie Dillenburg (one of our dedicated volunteers) will show you how her $30 dehydrator changed her winter by giving her farm fresh goodies all year long - and it doesn't require the space or effort that jarring/canning does. Learn how to never throw out your wilting veggies again, and to maximize your share to be eaten all year long. You will learn how to dehydrate many veggies and fruits, there will be samples, a storage demo, and before/after examples, as well as a demo on how to RE-hydrate and use these foods when you take them out of storage. Members: $25; Non-members: $35.
Barn Dinner: Sunday, August 30th at 5:30PM
Join a celebration of the great community as we gather for a family-friendly potluck dinner where we strive to incorporate as much farm fresh produce as possible. Feel free to bring beer/wine to be shared with the table. To register, please email toddimmick@gmail.com with the # of people in your group.
Composting 101: Thursday, September 3rd at 6:00-7:00PM
Are you interested in composting but not sure how to get started?  Do you have a compost pile that isn’t doing much?  This session will cover what composting is, the benefits of composting, and how to successfully compost.  Grant Berman, of Dirty Boys Composting in Newton, has experience installing and maintaining over 70 compost piles in the greater Boston area.  He will share his experiences so that attendees will leave this session excited about composting and ready to compost! Members: $5; Non-members: $10.
From Nest to Table: Saturday, September 19th at 10:00-12:00PM
Enjoy a Saturday morning at Powisset Farm. On this program, designed especially for our young farmers, we'll enjoy close encounters with our egg-laying friends. First we will say hello to the chickens, learn about their daily routine, and partake in their egg collection. After we are done tending to them, we will head to the kitchen where we will learn to make frittatas, using the eggs we have just collected! For ages 5 and up with an accompanying adult. Adult + 1 Child Member: $20; Non-Member Adult + 1 Child: $30. Each additional child is $5.
Powisset Farm Fall Friday Dinners: September 25th & October 23rd 6:00-9:00PM
Join us at Powisset Farm while we enjoy a seasonal dinner, the scenic view of the farm at sunset, and the company of new and old farm friends. Ticket price includes full dinner, non-alcoholic beverages (beer and wine will be available for purchase), dessert, and entertainment. Adult Members: $35; Adult Non-members: $45; Child: $15.
Beer, Brewing, Basics: Saturday, October 3rd at 1:00-3:00PM
Learn to brew your own beer with Dan Eng from Barleycorn’s Craft Brew.   You will learn about the different craft beer styles, the ingredients that are used to make beer, and the process of brewing.  The role of water, malt grains, extracts, hops, and yeast in the brewing of beer will be explained.  The equipment needed to brew at home and how to use them will be described.  We will go through a demonstration of the brewing and an explanation of the bottling process.  Sampling of various beers will be offered throughout the demonstration. Members: $15; Non-members: $20.
Astronomy Night: Saturday, October 17th at 6:30PM
Join us and a local Astronomer for a Star Party! You will see and learn more about the stars, planets and moon. Please see our Facebook page for updates regarding the weather. Members: Free; Non-members: $5.
To register, please contact Nicole at nnacamuli@gmail.com or 508.785.0339 x3003.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meet the Summer Crew!

Meet the summer crew! 

Our four-woman unit joined the Powisset team at the end of May and will support the full-timers during the height of the growing season, through mid-August. Some of us have been courting Powisset for a while now–– returning each summer as beloved farm apprentices move on to new adventures and others–– no less good-looking or handy with a hoe–– arrive. On the other hand, some of us are getting a taste of the farm life–– here or anywhere–– for the first time this season. 

Though we're part-time and could easily just be treated as passing summer labor, we're incredibly lucky to enjoy the egalitarian atmosphere that Meryl and the assistant growers create: one where everyone is welcomed into the farm family, and the summer crew is integrated into the diversity of projects that unfold over the course of the season-–– from seeding in the greenhouse to transplanting young crops, from trellising tomatoes to processing them in the wash station, from hoeing to hand-weeding to harvesting... Each morning brings rain pants and dirt and sweat and song. As Tessa used to say, the worst day at Powisset is the best of days. We love this place.

Prior seasons have involved formal bios from summer crew workers. This time around, in a bout of creativity (or boredom?), we decided to mix things up a bit. We've written haikus and crafted portraits for each other. We were even ambitious enough to attempt a time lapse weeding video! Hope you enjoy.

See you in the fields!
Frannie, Sasha, Erinn, & Andrea of the Powisset Summer Crew
 
 
What's in the share this week:
 
up in the barn: lettuce, celery, scallions or onions, leeks, potatoes, beets or fennel, carrots, herb choice, kale or chard, lettuce mix
out in the fields: peas or favas, dill, sunflowers 


The summer crew, in haiku form:

Frannie Parrish (portrait by Andrea / haiku by Sasha)

dwells in Big Apple 
loves to brunch and study psych
she’s the dairy QWEEN

Sasha Wolfe (portrait by Frannie / haiku by Erinn)

sunscreen not rubbed in,
hula hoe in hand, spreading
laughter all over
 
Erinn Bineham (portrait by Sasha / haiku by Andrea)
 
wild-woman Erinn
the song-voiced lover of Sun
speeds through beets and laughs

Andrea Schindler (portrait by Erinn / haiku by Frannie)

Tree enthusiast,
summer crew pro, and warm heart
Who says, "push it, team!"

sasha 
erinn
andy 
 
what a crew!


Monday, July 13, 2015

July is for Pulling Weeds!

Come volunteer at your farm!

July is a time for growing.  Growing plants, growing weeds, growing to-do lists, growing desire to go swimming more....growing a little more tired and a lot more excited about all the crops still to come! In order to keep things rolling, we've got to keep on top of these crazy weeds! Come help us pull weeds and let the plants do all the growing!

Drop In!
This friday: 2-5pm and Saturday from 9-12:30!  
Drop in for an hour, or stay the whole time!  We'll show you what are weeds and what are vegetables and crawl around in the dirt side-by-side! 

Any questions, please contact: meryl at: mlatronica@ttor.org

I hope to see you in the fields!


What's in the share this week:

in the barn: lettuce, carrots, fennel, cukes, summer squash/zucchini,  cabbage, kale, popcorn
in the fields: fava beans, snow peas, dill
flower garden to open soon....


Choose Fresh & Local License Plate!

How awesome would it be to drive around with a license plate that not only supports Massachusetts farmers but also looks great and spreads the word about local farming? New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and Mass Farmers Markets are launching a specialty license plate to support new farmers, farmers’ markets, and a vibrant Massachusetts food economy. Be an early adopter and supporter of the local food system in Massachusetts by signing up for a Choose Fresh & Local license plate.

Register today to be one of the first 1,500 to get a plate and help us get them on the road! You will even get to select your own license plate number (100-1600) or bid for a low number! We're over a third of the way to our goal, and you can help us get there. Visit our website to find out how it works, or to sign up for your plate today. E-mail info@massfoodplate.org with any questions.


Some views of the flower garden right now:






Monday, July 6, 2015

Holiday Farm



This past Saturday, on the fourth of July, when grills were firing up and families were gathering and swimmers were swimming, we started the day harvesting.  My incredible farm crew and I pulled bins down rows of squash and enjoyed a quiet(er) weekend.   We seeded fall crops in the greenhouse and watched as our holiday visitors found the last of the peas and strawberries in the fields.  

After lunch, I sat up in the barn for the afternoon, a shift I often don’t take at the farm.  The crew had dispersed for some afternoon relaxing and I took up with my favorite fourth of july pastime; hanging out at the distro.  The music coming from a stream of ‘mountain stage’ performances set the tone.  I bundled rubber bands like Paul used to do.  I conversed with visitors for longer than a busy Saturday usually allows.  I learned about elderberries from Peter and saw some of my favorite tiny humans.  At the end of the day, I packed up the cooler slowly and deliberately.  I swept the floor and realized I was still wearing rain pants.  

Later that night, as the sun was fading, a group of friends and farmers headed into the Powisset fields, stepping away from the cozy campfire for a moment.  We walked together, a posse of farm tour junkies, taking in each row, straining our eyes to take in the details of the crops, the weeds, the tomatoes growing along the 400 foot rows.  The more we walked and the talked the more excited we became, brainstorming about this cover crop and that variety of squash, encouraging each other to keep inventing and keep going.  I felt proud and lucky to have been started my day with a harvest in the morning dew and end it with a tour as the grass grew wet again.  Thank you, Powisset , for an awesome holiday on the farm.

See you in the fileds!
Meryl, On behalf of the Powisset Crew


What’s in the share this week:
In the barn: lettuce, chard or kale, beets, carrots, fennel, kohlrabi, squash, cabbage, scallions, choice of greens
In the fields: fava beans, dill, parsley, kale or chard


Eggs! Why are there never any eggs!

Dear members, 

yes! we wish we had more eggs too!

At Powisset, we have 81 lovely hens, laying a total of about 65 eggs a day!  That may sound awesome, and it is, but it definitely isn't enough to keep up with your needs!  We have reached out to other local egg producers, but haven't been able to track down an organic, local supplier...yet! We're working on it! And we're thinking of expanding our flock a little, if we can swing it!  There is actually a nationwide egg shortage...so you are not alone in the your quest for eggs!  If you can't get them here, please check Volante Farms in Needham, or the Natick Community Organic Farm, in Natick!  Thanks for loving our eggs!

love,
powisset farmers



In the Farm Stand
The pies were a huge hit last week! If you missed out don't worry....we bought extras. There are frozen, unbaked pies available in the freezer with the ice cream. Grab one then bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Take it along to your next gathering...we won't tell anyone that you bought it from us. :)

We are awaiting our chicken delivery and hope to have them for sale this week. Ask if they've arrived at your next pick up.



Monday, June 29, 2015

The Magnificence of Soil (and our love of it)

“We impress students with the spectacle of millions of stars in the heavens, but neglect to awe them with the miracle of millions of living organisms in a single teaspoon of fertile soil.” – Eliot Coleman (2007)
our beautiful broccoli
 
Soil is alive.

Or it is teeming with life. In addition to the visible critters whose existence we more readily acknowledge (earthworms, beetles, voles…), an astounding array of microbes also make a home of the dirt. Their numbers—“millions… in a single teaspoon of fertile soil” are as staggering as their diversity. Some of these microbes are pathogenic, but many form intricate networks of interdependencies with the crops we plant–– for instance, helping decompose organic matter and make its nutrients newly available to feed our food. We can only grow vibrant veggies with decent yields when we nurture and maintain the soil’s structure and biology. As farmers, we are at the mercy of the conditions set up by the invisible microbial world—at times it helps us, at times it hurts us, and it shifts in response to our actions. Decisions about crop rotations, compost treatments, pest control strategies, and tractor cultivation are all shaped by this necessity for healthy soil. The Powisset farm crew that you were introduced to in Meryl’s last post may be about twelve humans strong, but if you count the microbiota that we employ, we’re millions!

Yes, the soil lives and breathes and changes over time and space like you and I. At times, when the rain is scarce and the over-eager sun makes dust of the earth, it’s easy to forget the soil’s humbling vitality. But on that humid day after a rainstorm has quenched the field’s thirst, while I dig my fingers into the warm earth to give the rootball of the tomato I’m planting a firm press, the aliveness of the soil is felt. And it is small-making in a magnificent way. I think Eliot Coleman, just as awed as I, got it right when he asked, “What better medium than a compost heap for students to come face-to-face with life, death, and the processes that keep our planet alive?”

I hope the awe finds you too, and I hope it reaches your children!

How lucky are we to have access not only to beautiful, fresh, and healthy food, but also to this sort of learning experience? The satisfaction of knowing what a potato plant actually looks like above ground; the delight of crawling through the strawberry patch and guzzling the red treasures; the appreciation of earthly rhythms that comes with watching a season unfold from start to finish; the knowledge, both cognitive and felt, that the soil is alive— all push us towards a reverence for the earth. This sort of reverence is a gift in its own right, but it is also a necessity. For as our climate changes and our societies shift, a thorough connection to our food systems will leave us better equipped to adapt and adopt practices that foster both ecological and cultural vigor.

Let’s be thankful for the agricultural education that Powisset provides. And always remember: dirt made your lunch!

See you in the fields,
Andrea Schindler, on behalf of the Powisset Crew


What's in the share this week:
Up at the barn: lettuce (red butterhead, or romaine), beets, carrots!, radishes or turnips, scallions, broccoli (most likely), cabbage (three different to choose from), summer squash, choice of cooking greens

In the fields: kale, parsley, the last of the strawberries, shelling peas
 

In the Barn
As we enter week four, I am feeling a bit more settled in my role as Distribution Coordinator. Along with the food leaving the bins and shelves, I am enjoying seeing members picking up their shares and connecting with friends and other members. I enjoy seeing children playing in the open space and trying to find the farm cats James & Simba. I am enjoying the connection that is happening everywhere.

What is the "share table?"
Have you noticed the share table in the distribution area? This table is set out for you to exchange veggies that you don't want. If there's something in your share that you absolutely do not want, leave it on the share table for someone else to take. And if you see something on the share table, feel free to grab it. Although we HIGHLY encourage you to try all the veggies you get in your share - farm fresh is so delicious.

New in the Farm Stand

This week Bushel & Crumb will be delivering their pies for the pie CSA on Thursday. There will also be plenty for purchasing, too! Expect to find savory pie, Strawberry Rhubarb and Blueberry Maple. Grab a pie (and some Crescent Ridge ice cream) to take along to your 4th of July celebration!

Also new is CSA member Kathy Zola's handmade goods. Check out her beautiful hand crafted potholders, facecloth (with soap) and bags knitted with cotton yarn and shopping bags (yes, you read that right!).



Dehydrating and Winter Food Storage
10:00-12:00pm
Saturday, August 1st

Does it break your heart when you have to throw out that big, beautiful tomato from your farm stand because the yield is bigger than your weekly needs?  Have you thought about making tomato sauce but don't want to deal with all that goes into canning?  Come to this class!  Margie Dillenburg (one of our dedicated volunteers) will show you how her $30 dehydrator changed her winter by giving her farm fresh goodies all year long - and it doesn't require the space or effort that jarring/canning does.  Learn how to never throw out your wilting veggies again, and to maximize your share to be eaten all year long. You will learn how to dehydrate many veggies and fruits, there will be samples, a storage demo, and before/after examples, as well as a demo on how to RE-hydrate and use these foods when you take them out of storage.  $25 TTOR members; $35 non-members.

Star Party & BYO Picnic Dinner!
Powisset Farm • 37 Powisset St. • Dover
Friday, July 24, 2015 | 7:00-9:30PM

Join us and our local Astronomer for Powisset Farm’s Star Party! You will see and learn more about the stars, planets and moon. 

BYO Picnic Dinner will begin at 7:00PM and star gazing will begin at sundown, or approximately 8:00PM. FREE for TTOR members; $5 suggested
donation for non-members.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Farm Season Line-Up



One of my first and most awesome farmer mentors used to compare the farm season to the baseball season.  The spring training, the early season games, the all-star break and the striving to make the playoffs, all make for a perfect description of the flow of the farm season.  What I most love about the baseball metaphor is the thinking about our farm crew as a team.  Each of us learning our positions, honing our skills in order to be flawless on defense.   Together, crafting the perfect batting order; finding out who is great at lead off and who is our clean-up hitter.  Each farmer on this incredible team pushes hard through each day and through the long season we’ll have our wins and we’ll have our losses.  All season long, you, our members will get to enjoy the delicious bounty from games well played.  And at the end of the season, we’ll all remember the highlights, the glorious triumphs and note the things we all want different for next year.  Because the thing about the farm season, like baseball, is there’s always next year!

Here’s the line-up this year:

meryl, in the winter woods of western mass
Hi! I’m Meryl, Powisset Farm Manager for the last nine years in these beautiful fields!  This is the thirteenth year of my farming career! Yikes! I grew up down the road in Holliston, MA, headed into Boston for college and then spent a few years on the West Coast and in Mexico before returning east to try my hand at farming!  The years I have spent at Powisset Farm have been the most fulfilling, joyful, challenging and awe-inspiring.  I have grown as a person, a farmer and a manager and am deeply grateful to every crew member, volunteer, visitor, CSA member and friend who touched this farm with their hands and hearts.  You all made it the special place that it is today.  This will be my last season managing at Powisset, so I am enjoying every last moment here!  I hope you will join me this year, in celebrating our incredible farm and community!


The full time crew:
Devin!
devin, loving donuts
This is Devin’s second season on the farm as an apprentice, and his second season farming! He digs most farm tasks, but really loves the joys///challenges of operating tractors, strategically packing the walk-in cooler to the brim with bins of vegetables, and harvesting tomatillos (what? yes). Farm life has really taught him many things, but he especially loves the idea embodied in a quote by Masanobu Fukuoka that: “the ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings”. While unsure of what will come next after this growing season, he will always have bounds and bounds of energy to contribute to building a more just, ecological, and compassionate society. That's a promise. When not farming, Devin is usually holding a cat, riding his bicycle, eating ice cream, dancing like a fool or going on adventures. Also, consider this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb58GaJNpsA


Russell, being outdoorsy, like he does
Russell!
Hello! My name is Russell Gutterson, and I’m one of the assistant growers at Powisset Farm.  I grew up in Westwood, MA, worked on the summer crew here at Powisset a few years back, and am excited to be here for the full season this year.  For me farming is all about connecting people to each other and the landbase that supports us through our most basic interaction with the environment: the food we eat.  And I’m thrilled to be part of that here at Powisset. 
becca, rocking strawbs harvest


Becca!
Hello world! My name's Becca and I'm super psyched to be an assistant grower at Powisset this season. After having an incredible time on the summer crew in 2013, I couldn't resist the temptation to come back to these fields for another delicious season.  I'm in the midst of getting my BS from UVM and I am hopeful that I will continue farming veggies once I graduate a mere 330 days from now.  When I'm not farming I can be found sleeping in my bed, trying to start Gran (my '96 Toyota Camry), eating foods I shouldn't be eating, snuggling the farm cats, and hanging out in The Cottage.  Go team!



kyle, being cool in the forest
Kyle!
Kyle is a full time grower-apprentice who aspires to one day own and manage his own vegetable farm.  He is a recent graduate of Boston University where he studied marine science and has since applied his love of the natural world to growing and cultivating plants.  Kyle is extremely excited to be a member of the Powisset Farm team and hopes to grow the best vegetables possible for our CSA!  Also, he is always looking for new recipes and cooking ideas and would love to exchange culinary knowledge anytime.









New position! Meet our Distribution Coordinator!

nicole! looking profesh, as always!
I’m Nicole Lewis – the new Distribution Coordinator which means I’ll be managing the Farm Stand and the CSA Distribution. I’m so thrilled to officially be a part of the Powisset Farm team!  I’ve been a CSA member here for 8 years and also been a member of the PEP (Powisset Education Programming) Committee for the past year. As Meryl can attest, I’ve been bugging her for years about working here at the farm. And as much as I love my vegetable gardening (I have 11 garden beds at home!), I’m not quite ready for the farming life – so being a part of the Farm Stand and Distro area is perfect! My background entails a colorful combination of early childhood education, public health education, restaurants, and most recently early parenting education. My interests and skillsets are varied as well:  photography, making my own beauty products, gardening, cooking, fitness, wellness and the farm-to-table “movement.”  I live in Medfield with my hubby, two daughters (ages 11 and 7) and a cat. I can’t wait to connect with all you all! See you on the farm!



New Hire!: (picture to come!)

Nicole just started as Engagement Site Manager at Powisset Farm. Nicole comes from the educational travel industry where she worked for 9 years on the management and development of travel programs all over the world. She also volunteered as the Events Manager for Slow Food Boston, organizing events from cooking classes and tastings to cookbook author talks and swaps, introducing the community to the bounty of local foods, chefs and artisans.

Her love for the outdoors, hiking, food, cooking, and savoring the area’s local farms is what also brought her to the Trustees. She hopes to bring similar events, programs and passion to Powisset Farm!

Nicole will be working with the farm, CSA and stewardship staff to continue growing the excitement at Powisset Farm. We are thrilled to have her on our Northeast region engagement team.

She can be reached at: nnacamuli@ttor.org


Summer Crew & Work Shares!
We have an incredible part-time crew and volunteer crew that makes a whole lot of magic happen at this farm!  I'll introduce them later! 


The crew! After our first harvest of 2015!

What's in the share this week:
in the barn: lettuce, beets, radishes & turnips, scallions, garlic scapes, choice of greens, broccoli!
in the fields: strawberries & peas!



What's New in the Barn?
The first two weeks of the CSA and Farm Stand have been so much fun. It's been so interesting to see what everyone is excited about - ice cream seems to be the top contender...along with the veggies, pie, bread and the Blue Moon Power Booster bars!

I'm excited to announce that the beef has arrived! Our beef is coming from High Ridge Meadows Farms located in the hills of East Randolph, Vermont. This family farm raises grass fed beef. They pride themselves on their animals that are raised using organic standards with ample room to graze on their certified organic pasture. Check the big white freezer in the Farm Stand and grab some for meals this week. Maybe steaks or ground beef for grilling to accompany your farm fresh Powisset Farm veggies?