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Monday, June 25, 2012

A Week of Crazy Weather at Powisset!

lavender in the herb garden. so pretty.

A Week of Crazy Weather at Powisset!

I think Mother Nature missed the meeting last week when I requested that no hail be dropped on our precious crops!  Just as Saturday came to a close, finally bringing a week of blasting heat and pounding floods to an end, the hail started to fall.  Yes! Hail! At Powisset farm!  For about twelve minutes, your farmers stood in disbelief at the barn, watching that ‘dime-sized’ hail crashing into the windshield of our farm truck, and ducking into the nooks of our plants.  Like a protective mother, I yearned to pull out that eleven acre tarp and run swiftly, covering each row of peppers, tomatoes and cukes, sacrificing my own skin to save the growing plants.  Alas, we stood and watched, Jess, documenting this wonder of nature, hopeful that the damage would be little.

In the blue sky and sun of yesterday’s beauty, I drove out on the tractor to inspect the rows.  Broken tomato branches, mud slides, holes in romaine lettuce and bok choi, and hard ground awaited me out there.  But, I smiled at the bent plants there in the sun, laughing at the lessons learned year after year as I farm—I am not in control of this weather, these crops, this season!  Plan and plan as we do all winter---carefully constructing a “perfect” map of a season to take us through a year of vegetables, we farmers have to step back and do as much reacting as we do planning! 

So, I mowed our farm roads, I plowed in old patches of lettuce, arugula and broccoli that have already come and gone for the season, to make room for the dry beans, winter squash, cabbages and popcorn that will be transplanted this week. I sang to the injured potato plants, encouraging them to stand tall and grow strong!  I tried to find that sweet spot between moving the farm forward, thinking three months down the road to what we will be harvesting in October, and being completely present in what this weeks’ harvest will hold for us! 

Maybe I’ll make my invite for Mother Nature to join our morning meetings a little sweeter…does she like donuts?  I would love to know what she has in store for us this season!

See you in the fields!

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)

red cabbage!

What's in the share this week:

Up at the barn:
lettuce, greens bunches (choice of arugula, tatsoi, red choi), escarole or radicchio, cabbage, carrots, beets, radish or turnips, choice of cauliflower, kohlrabi, and summer squash, kale or collard greens, scallions.

in the fields: peas, swiss chard, dill

Fish and Pottery at the Tuesday Farm Stand!

Jordan Brothers Seafood will be back at the Farm Stand this Tuesday from 1:30-6:30 to sell the days' freshest catch!  I hope you will sample the delicious fish!  Last week the salmon rocked my dinner with some fresh picked kale and dill.  yum!

You can also catch some pottery by CSA member, Lisa Walker!  You will want to check out her awesome bowls and mugs tomorrow!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pictures of our Farm

scallions--soon to be harvested!
Pictures of our Farm

This past week at the farm I was able to do something that I have always day dreamed about—I walked around the farm for an hour, just taking pictures of the crops.  I leaned into the lettuce to get a close-up of a sparkling green oakleaf, called panisse.  I lay on the ground and took shots of scallions standing tall in rows that had just been weeded.  I spotted bees on potato flowers and cucumber beetles disturbing young cucumber plants.  I stood back and captured moments in time—weedy patches and thriving plants and the Powisset farm crew harvesting spinach for the pick-ups. 

This season marks my tenth year of farming.  In that time I’ve been trying to learn how to see all the close-ups on a farm and how to also see the whole landscape at once.  When I try to capture a full picture of the farm landscape I see rows of green, colorful caps of people working, pollinators buzzing, sun shining—a farm at work, thriving.  When I look up close I see the details of the red veins on our growing beets, the tiny, yellow tomato flowers blooming-wanting to make fruit.  Up close I also see the weeds drowning the parsnips and the soil-born disease that is threatening the success of our broccoli crop.  To farm is to see all the close-ups as well as the broad picture of this landscape—and to not get too overwhelmed by either shot!

In the fields right now, we are turning over soil where our first lettuce has already been harvested.  We are seeding storage beets and winter cabbage in the greenhouse.  We are weeding carrots and onions and leeks that won’t be picked for months!  Even though we are at the start of the season, our fields are preparing for the many harvests to come.  I’m hoping that I can capture that perfect wide shot—the beautiful kale bunch in the foreground, you and your families picking peas behind that, and slightly out of focus, the rows of vegetables, cared for by our farm crew, painting the background of the picture. 

See you out in the fields,

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset farm crew)

potato flower!

What's in the share this week:

in the barn: lettuce, spinach, arugula, scallions, beets, radish or turnips, kale

in the pick-yer-own: dill, peas

This week at the farm stand-Fish!

This week we have a new vendor joining us on Tuesdays--Jordan Brothers will be selling fresh fish at our Farm!  Every Tuesday from 1:30-6:30 they will be selling their fresh fish!  Check them out on facebook: Jordan brothers seafood 

We will continue to have awesome produce, eggs, jam, honey, granola and T's Greens sprouts!  Help spread the word about our farm stand!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Let the Harvests Begin!

Let the Harvests Begin!

powisset farm spring brassica field

I love June vegetables.  I might actually say that June vegetables are my favorite.  I love the many shades of greens up at the distribution barn—the glowing lettuce, the muted green of the garlic scapes, the hint of deep blues and purple in the lacinato kale bunches.  The glowing green of the broccoli field is one of the most beautiful sights on the farm, visible even from Dover Road.  These greens beckon us to the fields for the first harvests of the season.  Everything is fresh and fairly free of weeds and feels in total abundance.  The mornings and nights in June are still fairly cool, letting the vegetables revive after the warm days.  Up at the stand last week and this week, these June vegetables are beaming, lighting up the barn, and reviving all of our kitchens and our dinner plates! 

For the farm crew, the month of June is a busy one, where we make the transition from planting and weeding, to planting, weeding, harvesting, and distributing vegetables.  Our to-do lists are miles long and we strive to strike a balance between harvesting thousands of pounds of produce, keeping the farm weed free and planting our fall crops!  We will be planting our winter squash next week! 

Just in time for the beginning of this farm marathon, we welcome our summer crew to the fields with us.  Four new crew members, whose objective is clear: help us weed the farm, joined us in the fields today.  For the next ten weeks, our crew of five will grow to a crew of eleven!  The parsnips, onions, and carrots can hardly wait to be free of the weeds that plague them! 

This week’s tasks include twining and staking our cherry tomatoes, weeding our onion patch, harvesting the rest of the garlic scapes, planting carrots, beets and more scallions.  We will be harvesting more lettuce, spinach and broccoli for you, and oh, about one thousand other things!  I better get out there!

See you in the fields,

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)

carrots growing!
Jess and Tessa weeding onions!
potato field #1 (of two)

What's in the Share this Week:

Up at the barn: lettuce, bok choi or broccoli raab, hakurei turnips, radishes, broccoli, garlic scapes or scallions, spinach, escarole

Pick-your-own: strawberries 

powisset strawberries! so delicious!

News from the Farm Stand:

Spread the word about our awesome Farm stand--open to all every Tuesday from 1:30-6:30pm in the barn!  There is granola, honey, jam, and Powisset Farm dry beans (which are going fast!).  Also, our favorite potter, CSA member, Lisa Walker, will be at the farm selling her amazing pieces on Saturday, June 16th up at the barn!  Be sure to stop in for that!

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Powisset Farm CSA begins!

2012 Powisset Farm CSA begins!

I had to double check the calendar today when I saw that it was June 4.  June 4!  The sixth season of our Community Supported program at Powisset Farm has arrived!  I wandered through our beautiful barn this morning, twinkling lights glowing around the large pillars that have supported five seasons of sharing vegetables and community and laughter and carrots! The barn that, by this time tomorrow, will be filled with a new season of nourishment, recipe sharing and tables overflowing with bright, crisp Powisset Farm vegetables!

This season at Powisset Farm we are growing over eleven acres of vegetables—over seventy different crops, and hundreds of different varieties, some old standbys and some new and trial varieties.  Our crop plan this year reflects our CSA member favorites—sweet ‘bolero’ carrots, ‘lacinato’ kale, ‘black cherry’ tomatoes, ‘jimmy nardello’ sweet peppers, ‘fairy tale’ eggplant and so many more.  Our ‘tropicana’ lettuce, our favorite spring lettuce, is glowing from the back fields waiting to be picked this week!

We will continue to offer you more choice up at the distribution barn, as you will be able to take home the items that you most want each week.  This month, there will be a few less items to choose from, but over the course of the season, your choices will expand, allowing you to choose approximately 9-11 items each week, even duplicate items if you desire.  As always, our farm crew and volunteers will be up at the barn to help you navigate the pick-up or brainstorm new ways to cook with our fresh vegetables.

This week, for the first time in our farm’s history, due to our unseasonably warm winter, we will be distributing garlic scapes.  When I was harvesting scapes for my scrambled egg breakfast yesterday, I reflected on the connection between the mighty garlic crop, and our own farm community.  Garlic is a vegetable that varies greatly from season to season—its flavor and growth is particularly sensitive to rainfall, temperature, sunlight, soil type, compost and I might even say to the energy of the people working the land each year.  It maybe even responds to what songs we are singing as we weed it!

Over the last five seasons we have planted garlic, saved seed and replanted Powisset Farm garlic—making our own Powisset variety, carrying with it the characteristics of all previous seasons.  We will each taste the Powisset Farm garlic this season.  It will taste different to each of us—some will think it’s spicy, some will think it mild.  But we will all share in the experience of this crop, adding it to our meals, sharing it with friends and families.  Like the garlic crop, we all change and grow a little by sharing in this farm experience together each year.  Thank you for being a part of helping shape this wonderful farm, the fields and the way our community eats and celebrates land and food.

Welcome to the Powisset Farm CSA 2012!

See you in the fields,

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)

The 2012 Powisset Farm Crew!

What's in the Share this week:
At the barn: lettuce, arugula, bok choi, hakurei turnips, spinach, garlic scapes, kale, potatoes, carrots
Pick-your-own: strawberries
Farm Stand Opens This Tuesday, June 5
Our farm stand is now in its third year!  This Tuesday at the stand you will find Powisset Farm produce, local honey, jam, granola, popcorn, dried beans, and more!  Soon we will have eggs, meat and pork for sale, as well as seasonal fruit from other local farms!  Spread the word about our farm stand!  It is open to the public every Tuesday from 1:30-6:30pm.  See you there!