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Friday, May 26, 2017

Lettuce, garlic, spinach, oh my!

Lettuce for days
News from the fields:
Wow, I can't believe June is almost upon us. I'm sitting in my office watching the sweet spring rain saturate our fields. This week we transplanted tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, scallions, and our first generation of cucumbers. We also direct seeded carrots, radishes, arugula, cilantro, and the week isn't over yet. We are plowing in the last sections of cover crop on the farm to prepare our fields for summer and fall crops.

Busy town! This week we had work done
on the well and put in some new fencing
When we aren't out in the fields we have been preparing the farm for Spring Fest. Please join us on Memorial Day from 10-3. There are a ton of vendors, activities (including farm tours!), and a great band. Swing by the farm stand and check out the renovations! The farm stand will be open and fully stocked.

CSA details:
Cultivating beets
I have received a few inquiries recently asking when the CSA will start and how the half share rotation will work. If you have a half share and your last name begins with a letter A through L you will pick up on odd share weeks (1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,18,19). If your last name starts with a letter M through Z you will pick up on even weeks (2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20).

Week 1 or the CSA is scheduled to start Tuesday June 13th!

The farm crew is really excited for the start of the farm season. The farm just isn't the same without you.

Your farmer,

Lush cover crop building our soils

Zannah


Transplanting broccoli
 






 






Thursday, May 18, 2017

New's from the fields



The farm is so lush this year

 
Plowing in preparation for cucumbers
Wow, spring is in full swing here on the farm! We have several killdeer nesting in the fields, swarms of insects buzzing around (both pests and beneficial insects). The farm has really come alive in the past few weeks. We have had a really nice balance if rain and sunshine this spring. The farm is incredibly lush. We seeded a lot of rye and vetch cover crop last fall that did not germinate very well due to the drought but this spring it has come in incredibly lush and vibrant. Good cover crop reflects a healthy soil biome. And healthy soil means healthy, robust crops!




Tomatoes!
On dry days we have been hustling to get the fields prepared for transplanting and seeding. Wet days are ideal for transplanting spring crops(strawberries, lettuce, onions, scallions, beets, broccoli, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard). Over the next few weeks we'll be transplanting the first of our hot weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
 
 

The piglets are outside and
ready for you to visit!
 
This week we welcomed our summer field crew. Jeff, Tim, Kurt, Paul, and Emily (who will join us in June) are critical members of the farm team. The field crew spends their days transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and moving irrigation equipment. They work behind the scene on the farm but we all get to enjoy their handy work. Please welcome them if you see them around the farm.

 
Springfest is right around the corner. The farm stand will be open and we will have spring produce for sale. We will also have your favorite farm stand products as well as lots of new offerings. Their are tons of activities planned including the annual trail run, farm tours, kids activities, vendors, Powisset Cafe, and much more.
 
Add a fruit share to your summer vegetable CSA!
We are thrilled to offer a FRUIT SHARE as an add-on to your 2017 CSA at Powisset Farm - if you’re interested, please read on below and follow the link to sign up. 

DETAILS:
- Local, seasonal, delicious fruit! 10 weeks for $100. 

- For 10 weeks we’ll have fruit from Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Mass., ready for pickup alongside your veggie CSA on TUESDAY of each week.  

- The share includes 1-2 items per week (for example: 1 quart of strawberries; or 2-3 pounds of apples; or 1 pint each of blueberries & raspberries). 

- Berries generally come in smaller quantities as they are higher-value and more labor-intensive to harvest (pints or quarts);  peaches, plums, pears and apples come in 2-3 pound bags. 

- Generally, here’s what you can expect (but just like the veggie CSA, things may change with the weather and show up earlier or later!): 
 
early-mid June: strawberries, cherries

 
early-mid July: blackberries, raspberries, blueberries

early August: peaches, nectarines 

late August/early September: pears, apples 

About the orchard: 
Cider Hill is a family farm, owned and operated by Glenn & Karen Cook (read more about them & their farm here). Cider Hill is a leader in renewable energy sources on farm. Their fruit is not organic; they use IPM (integrated pest management) to track pests & diseases and spray only when necessary. The quality and flavor is excellent! 
If you want to sign up, click here and bring a check with you to the first CSA pickup (week of June 12). 
Please note that fruit will arrive at the farm each Tuesday of the fruit share; we will keep fruit in our walk-in cooler but recommend you pick up on Tuesday as it’s best enjoyed when very fresh! 

2017 Summer Beef CSA:
 
We are also excited to announce that The Trustees are launching our first ever Summer Beef CSA!  

 
As a quick overview:
The Summer Beef CSA includes 2 lbs. of beef per week distributed over the course of 20 weekly pick-ups.  This will total 40 pounds of meat over the course of the season.

The meat CSA begins in June 2017 and ends in October 2017. Pickups will be held every week, for a total of 20 pick-ups.

Pick-ups are offered at the following locations and times:
  • Powisset Farm, Tuesday 2-6PM, Thursdays 10AM-6PM, Saturdays 10AM-4PM

Meat CSA members can choose the time that is most convenient.

The cost of the Summer Beef CSA is $22 per pick-up, or $440 for the season. On average, these prices represent a cost of $11/lb., which includes all cuts.  This is the same price as the Winter CSA

For more information and to sign up, visit: thetrustees.org/meatcsa


Your farmer,

Zannah



Friday, May 5, 2017

Powisset Happenins!

It's been a while since I wrote so I thought I would fill you in on all of the exciting things going on at Powisset in the near future...and this summer!

In case you didn't notice, its May and Mothers Day is coming up. On Sunday, May 14th we are hosting our 2nd Annual Mothers Day Brunch. Join us as we toast Mom with delicious food catered by Bonne Bouche, listen to some music by the Sharon Music Academy, visit our animals including our newly born piglets, and kids will have the opportunity to make a craft for Mom. Tickets are going quickly so get yours now!

2 weeks later, on May 29th (Memorial Day) we host our biggest event of the year, Springfest! This is when we do a little dance and celebrate that CSA season is about to start! The event, which starts at 10am is preceded by the Powisset Farm Trail Run (starting at 8am) organized by SunMultisport. The lineup for Springfest includes music by The Railroad House Band, The Powisset Cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch, the farm stand where we will be selling veggies and other local products.We will be offering 2 farm tours, we'll have our goats friends on hand (including 2 goat milking demos), a pie-eating contest, a bike blender (whipping up smoothies), lots of local vendors, and much more! Check out our whole line up here.

Looking for something to do with your pre-schooler this spring. We will be hosting a 4-week series program called "Pre-School Farm Explorers", held Wednesdays from 10-11am, May 17th-June 7th. Every week will be different and we'll be doing activities such as collecting eggs from our chickens, planting some veggies and/or herbs, reading a farm-friendly story and perhaps even learning about seasonal foods.

Looking ahead to June and beyond....for anyone who has enjoyed our Friday Farm Dinners, we will be holding 7 of them this season - every other Friday starting on June 30th. Didi Emmons will be our chef for all dinners, and we will of course have music, lawn games, beer & wine for sale...and lots of family-friendly fun! To check out all of the dates, please see the "Things to Do" section of our web site.

We're Hiring! We are still looking to hire a Cook to prepare yummy local food for our Powisset Cafe this summer. The Cafe will be open from June 13th thru mid Oct from 10-2pm. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about this position please contact me at nnacamuli@thetrustees.org.

On behalf of the Powisset Farm team, we hope to see you around the farm!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

News from the fields

News From the Fields:


Garlic is up!
Field preperation
It has been very busy on the farm recently. We started seeding in the greenhouse in mid march and have continued at a hasty pace. The greenhouse is filling up! In the fields the garlic is up, and the chickweed and henbit are in full bloom. We have been busy preparing the fields to create a welcoming environment for all the crops we will grow this year. Last season I purchased a drop spreader to apply fertilizer soil amendments. The drop spreader allows us to apply custom fertilizer mixes that are specific to each crops needs and apply them directly to where the plants will grow. We used to only be able to apply fertilizer field wide or by hand. The drop spreader has been getting a lot of use the last few weeks. We purchased a few other key pieces of equipment over the winter which will really help streamline our systems on the farm freeing us up to hopefully spend more time on innovation as well as engaging with you  in the barn and fields.


Apprentices Jared, Diane, and Phil problem solving
This week we are dodging rain drops to get some of our early plantings into the ground. We are planting onions, strawberries, kale, broccoli, chard, beets, peas, and fava beans (to name a few). We have a lot to do but we have three talented apprentices that joined the farm team at the beginning of April. They have already begun learning about crop planning, greenhouse maintenance, field preparation, and tractor operation. You will be hearing from each of the apprentices this season in the CSA distribution area as well as through the blog, and at our programs and events.


First lady beetle of the season
A day at the spa
As I mentioned above we have been transplanting strawberries this week. You will notice a few new aspects to our strawberry planting this season. First off its in a different field than it was last year. Secondly the strawberries have been planted into plastic mulch. We are using plastic mulch because it allows us to run irrigation lines for the strawberries as well as reduces weed and disease pressure. Thirdly we have planted day neutral strawberries which will fruit a little later than you may be used too but should produce fruit for a longer period during the summer.

Andrew laying plastic mulch for the onions

We are all looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with you soon.

Your Farmer,

Zannah












Friday, March 17, 2017

CSA And Event News

Powisset Happenins! Upcoming Events + Programs!





 
Save the Date for Springfest!
Even though there are several of inches of snow outside Springfest quickly approaching! Like last year, it will be held on Memorial Day, May 29th from 10-3pm so save the date! It will be preceded by the Powisset Farm Trail Race at 8:30am and activities will include music (the amazing Railroad House Band), local food & beer, kid’s crafts & activities, farm tours, visits with our animals, a pie-eating contest, and much more! If you are interested in volunteering at the event or participating as a vendor, please contact Nicole at nnacamuli@thetrustees.org.

We’re Hiring!
Some of you may have joined us this fall for one or more of our Powisset Café Pop Ups but either way, we will be hosting the Powisset Café every other Saturday (June 17th-Oct. 21st) during CSA season, serving breakfast and lunch items made with produce right from the farm! As a result we are looking to hire 4 roles to run this: a Café Manager, Chef, Dishwasher, and Counter Server. For more information about these positions or to apply, please contact nnacamuli@thetrustees.org.

Upcoming Programs
·         April 8th: Intro to Pottery at Powisset: A Clay and Hand building Workshop with one of our favorite artists and friends, Lisa Walker.
·         April 15th: From Nest to Table: Chickens, Eggs & Quiche!


April Vacation Week Programs
Looking for activities for the kiddos during April Vacation week? Well, we’ve got you covered. From April 18-21st, we will be hosting Farmer for a Day or join us for the entire week for Farmer for a Week. From 9:30-12:30pm on those days we will be doing a combination of working in the fields and the kitchen. Activities may include planting, composting, visiting and caring for our animals as well as cooking some simple dishes in our farm kitchen such as pesto, dumplings, & hand pies. Every day will be different and these programs are appropriate for kids aged 7-10.

Eggs & Meat for Sale!
Did you know that every other Thursday, we sell grass-fed beef, Powisset pork and pasture raised chickens from 3 of our Trustees Farms, here at Powisset? Either Tim or Connor will be on hand from 2-6pm on the following dates to answer questions or just sell you these goodies. In addition, we always have eggs for sale. Come on in any day and get your farm fresh eggs! We have a cash box in our fridge.
March 30th
April 13th
Future tomatoes
April 27th

News from the fields:
March has brought its typical extremes in weather. We are busy filling up the greenhouse with this seasons onions and the first of several generations of Swiss chard, kale, and tomatoes. It’s a steamy eighty degrees in the green house during the day. If you are looking for a respite from the wintery weather outside you can join us on Wednesday and Friday mornings. For more information about greenhouse volunteer opportunities follow this link: http://volunteer.thetrustees.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Details_Page?id=a0Co000000BEOUiEAP

Shallot sprouts
Rock star greenhouse volunteers
As soon as this late winter snow melts we will start prepping the fields for seeding and transplanting. The first seeds to be sown in the fields are peas and fava beans. Kale, chard, onions, and beets are quick to follow. I’m really excited about the coming season. We have some interesting new varieties we are growing as well as a plan to integrate new sustainable growing practices on the farm. I am always searching
James and Simba continue offer
their support to the farm operation 
for ways to improve my craft through continuing education opportunities, farmer partnerships, and workshops. This winter has brought lots of opportunity to do just that.

We are looking forward to seeing you all back on the farm in just a few short months!

Your farmer,

Zannah

 

Friday, February 24, 2017

National CSA Day

Howdy Folks,

Today is National CSA Day! If you haven't already signed up for your 2017 CSA share today is a great day to do so. Follow the link below for CSA registration information.

https://secure3.convio.net/ttor/site/SPageServer?pagename=PowissetFarmCSA

We still have full and half shares available but they are going quickly. Don't miss out on your opportunity to share in the 2017 season.



News from the fields:

It's hard to believe we had multiple feet of snow on the ground just last week. It feels like spring outside today and it is downright hot in the greenhouse. As the snow melts away we are prepping the greenhouse and high tunnel for seeding. We are on the cusp of the 2017 growing! Next week we will start pressing thousands of tiny onion seeds into hundreds of potting trays.

With this blog post I am continuing my theme of "what a farmer does in the winter time". This morning Andrew and I headed to Ashland  to help some friends of mine skin their new greenhouse. "Skinning" just means installing the plastic sheet (or sheets) that cover greenhouses. These sheets are enormous. It takes a lot of planning, set up, and many hands to properly place a 100x40 sheet of plastic over the ribs of a greenhouse. With even the slightest breeze things can go south quickly. I've seen people lifted clear off the ground by an unexpected gust. Fortunately this morning we had ideal weather for the project.

Greenhouse skinning is reminiscent of a barn raising. A farmer puts the word out and folks come from far and wide to lend a hand. This morning we had a couple come from as far as southern Maine. We are really fortunate to have a strong and collaborative farming community in Eastern Massachusetts. People show up for one another in a way that I find refreshing and inspiring.

This winter we also have some major infrastructure upgrades we are working on at Powisset. Work will start soon to renovate our root cellar to replace the walls and framing damaged by the flood. We are also working with a well specialist to increase our well capacity and flow rate. I learned a lot last year about the limits of the existing infrastructure at Powisset Farm. We are taking those lessons and applying them to making smart investments in infrastructure and equipment to help improve and streamline our systems.

Until next time,

Farmer Z

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sun set over the garlic field
 
Howdy Folks,

This is a mid-winter check in from the farm.

In case you missed it, CSA sign-ups are live! If you haven't yet renewed you can follow this link to the sign up page:

https://secure3.convio.net/ttor/site/SPageServer?pagename=PowissetFarmCSA


Over wintering scallions
This year we are offering two share sizes. The full share is a 20-week share. It is large enough to feed a family of four that likes vegetables. We are also offering a 10-week share, which will be the same size as the full size 20-week share, but will be picked up every other week. The 10-week shareholder will be assigned to pick up either even weeks or odd weeks for the duration of the summer. All shares must be picked up at the farm, and there will be opportunities to harvest pick-your-own crops. Please note that there are only a limited number of 10-week shares available, and they will be sold on a first come, first served basis until all slots are filled.

News from the fields:

Winter is the time for fixing equipment, hiring seasonal staff, professional development, budgeting, crop planning, providing a warm lap for the barn cats, etc. We have been busy attending to all of these tasks as well as taking some time to rest up so that we are able to deliver an exceptional CSA experience for you this season.


Picking up our bike powered root washer
after a much need overhaul
Spreading leaf mulch on the 2017 garlic field












The farm stand is closed during the winter months, though we do have self-serve eggs for sale in the bottle cooler. Eggs are $7 a dozen.

Livestock Manager Connor Young is also offering meat for sale to the public during meat share distribution hours at Powisset. The hours are 2-6, every other Thursday. The next distribution will be February 16th from 2-6.

For more information about the meat program follow this  link:

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/csa/meat/meat-csa.html



We look forward to seeing you all this summer!

Zannah, on behalf of the farm staff