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Monday, September 24, 2012

Four More Weeks and a Farm Festival!



Last week we harvested the winter squash.  Thousands of acorn, delicata, butternut and kabocha squash are now covering the greenhouse tables and flowing out of bulk bins.  They are curing, their stems drying, their skin setting around the tender orange flesh, becoming sweet for our fall and winter soups and roasted vegetable dishes.  

acorn squash in the greenhouse
We are cleaning and weighing and boxing onions and figuring out what we can distribute.  We begin to harvest sweet potatoes and reveal whether or not our yields will be high or low.  We pull carrots from the ground and store them dirty in the cooler.  We watch beets size up and decide whether or not the greens look good enough to harvest and distribute.  We shift from a place of distributing all that we have, knowing that more will continue to grow, to a more thoughtful, carefully counted distribution, making sure that we will have enough of everything to make it through our fall distributions.

butternut, curing in the field

This time of year I make more lists than ever, spending time counting and recounting the number of onions, garlic, turnips, squash, row feet of winter greens and heads of lettuce that we have and when we they will appear on the tables at the barn for you to enjoy.  The leaves are turning, the squash is curing, and the fall carrots become sweeter with every cold night that they live in cold soil.  Welcome to fall at Powisset Farm.






See you in the fields, (and hopefully at the fall festival),

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)



Fall Festival!

When: This Sunday, September 30, at
 Powisset Farm--10am-3pm

What: live music from the Homestead Family Band, warm food to eat, cider to press, potatoes to pick, farm tours, a few local vendors, our own produce for sale, fun to be had!

Who: you and your friends and family, enjoying the day with the farm crew and all the people who make this farm special

Why: to enjoy the wonderful season of fall and to celebrate another great year at Powisset Farm!

This event is free and open to all! Let's celebrate Fall!!



What's in the Share this week:

Up in the barn: arugula, basil, radishes, scallions, choice of: kale, collards, chard, peppers, lettuce, potatoes and more!

In the field: chard, hot peppers, husk cherries
 
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pork Shares and Winter Shares!







happy powisset pigs

Pork Shares for Sale!
 
This season at Powisset Farm, we raised twelve piglets to market weight (between 225-250 pounds).  Our pigs were born on our farm in March and lived here, enjoying the pig pasture and quality care from our farm staff.  Our pigs are raised on grain, supplemented by pasture and of course, farm veggies.  When it is time for market our pigs are handled humanely throughout transport and slaughter.  Our pigs were processed at Adams Farm in Athol, MA; a USDA inspected facility.  We are thrilled to provide you the opportunity to purchase pork from Powisset Farm raised pigs.

PORK SHARES:

This season, for the first time, we are offering a Powisset Farm Pork Share.  By purchasing a share, you are ensuring yourself a variety of cuts, including chops, sausage and bacon.  You are also getting an overall discounted rate on our pork and helping to support the Powisset Farm pig operation.  ***we are only selling a limited number of shares!***

The share includes:

1”chops - 4 packages
Tenderloin- 1 package
Country style ribs - 2 packages
Spare ribs - 2 packages
Sausage - 6 packages (1 pound packages)
Bacon - 4 packages (1 pound packages)

The share will contain about 25-30 pounds of pork.   
The shares will be priced at $7.50/per pound of pork.

Shares are available on a first come-first served basis.  
 If you are interested, please email Meryl at mlatronica@ttor.org or call at 508-785-0339.   

You must provide a $50 deposit to hold your spot.  When you pick up your share, you will pay the balance due, which depends on the final weight of your box.  We are expecting the boxes to weigh between 25-30 pounds.  Therefore, your final cost will be between $185-$225.


BY THE CUT:

We’ll also be offering Powisset pork by the cut at the farm stand.  If you are interested in just a few pounds of pork, you can find pork chops, sausage, bacon and a few other cuts, at the farm stand in our freezers.  Then cuts will be for sale by the pound.

Price by the cut:
 
1”chops: $7/lb
Tenderloin: $10/lb
Country Style ribs: $7/lb
Sausage: $7/lb
Bacon: $9/lb 



Winter Shares for Sale!

Now is the time to sign up for the Powisset Farm winter CSA shares, so that you can enjoy our farm produce for as many months of the year as possible!  
This season our winter share will consist of four pick-ups:

November 17th (a pre-thanksgiving share!)
December 8th
January 26th
February 23rd

The cost of the share is $200.  Each pick up will be on a Saturday from noon-4pm. 
(with snow dates to be announced if need be)
**if you have already signed up and paid for the winter share, you may need to pay a balance for the cost of the share--contact Meryl with questions. mlatronica@ttor.org 
 
The November and December shares will include more produce than the January and February shares, but value of the winter share will total $200.  The share will include a mix of the following:

 potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, rutabega, celeriac
 kale, collards, spinach, cabbage
winter squash
leeks, onions, shallots
salad greens, (some grown in the greenhouses through the winter)
and more! 

Sign up at the distribution barn, or contact Meryl at:
mlatronica@ttor.org or 508-785-0339





 

 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the time between summer and fall

fall lettuce! yes.
Today started off like any other Monday.  I woke up, let the dog out for her morning walk (or rather, sprint around the compost piles) and I let the chickens out of the coop and watched them run in their funny way around the yard.  I drank warm coffee and looked out over the fields thinking about the tasks for the day and for the week to come.  I had big plans, like i do most Mondays.  I was going to get about 25 farm tasks accomplished and still have time to walk the dog, catch up with old friends, clean all my dishes from a Sunday spent cooking and go to the gym.  Surprisingly (to me), not all of these things got done.  In fact, most of them were left undone.  Instead, I spent my time with surprise farm visitors.

In the morning, I was visited by an old co-worker and his family, in town from Hawaii where they run a farm growing taro (a starchy root grown in muddy soil).  We toured the farm for hours and talked farming and dry land versus wet land growing. I saw pictures of a 50 pound yam that they had harvested this season and crazy beds of mud piled on more mud where vegetables were growing.  I was proud to share the farm with such warm, kind people and felt our community deepen as they connected with our fields and admired our kohlrabi.

Later in the day an old camp friend (yes, I went to summer camp in Maine and loved it) stumbled upon our farm not knowing that i worked here and we bumped into each other out in the way back fields as I was walking my dog! We talked for a long time while leaning against a farm fence, watching the daylight turn to dusk, reminding each other of our summers in Maine and the way our time there helped to shape our deep longing to create and nurture community wherever we are.

In the time in between my unexpected visitors i walked the fields, created our harvest list for the week and watched the arugula grow right in front of my eyes.  I also struggled with the transition that was happening in the fields.  As excited as I am for fall to be so near (and basically already here), it's bittersweet to say goodbye to summer.  The heat, the not knowing how a season will be, the promise of successes and challenges and swimming and the first tomato, or first pepper harvested.  Now, those plants are getting tired of the picking and I turn my gaze towards the pumpkins, unbelieving that it is really time to harvest them.

In a blog post by a friend this week, she wrote about the Rosh Hashanah holiday time as a time to both look in an be introspective, but to also be involved in community and celebration.  When I read that I found that such a paradox resonated with how I felt this week.  I am eager to go inward a bit and think about the season we have had so far--think about the things that felt good and about what I would change for the future seasons.  But, i want also to celebrate the farm and be in community with the crew, and you, the people that compose our farm community.  This change from summer to fall--I want to find that balance between quiet reflection and big farm celebrations with lots of surprise farm visitors in those moments in between.

See you in the fields! 

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm crew)



 What's in the share:


Up at the barn: lettuce, bok choi, peppers, tomatoes, kale or collards, 
tatsoi or hakurei turnips, leeks, eggplant

in the field:
chard, husk cherries, hot peppers

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bread Day. Celebrate!


squash. another sign of fall. (last years' crop)
For those of you who have been in our farm community for several years (and who read our farm newsletter) have probably heard about ‘Bread Day’ before.  But, as it is an annual holiday, I find reason every year to bring up the joys of this holiday. Ok, what is Bread Day?  Bread Day is a holiday that exists to mark the transition from summer to fall.  I was 19 years old, it was fall and for the first time in my life this seasonal transition was not marked by the beginning of a school year.  My best friend and I were doing what we liked to call at the time, getting life experience, which I now know is just called, getting a job. We were feeling the lack of structure and new things and that change that a school calendar brings—prompting you to let go of summer and start fall.  Out of the craving for marking that September many years ago we decided to start Bread Day.  We found a recipe for Anadama Bread, baked a delicious loaf to eat warm with marmalade.  We bought flowers to make crowns to wear all day (this is back when I wore corduroy dresses) and celebrated the end of summer.

As funny as it sounds to recount the story of me sitting on my parents kitchen floor braiding flowers to make crowns and wands, I’ll never forget the smell of the baking bread and the true sense of acknowledging the changing of seasons.  Now, many years later, my best friend and I are both farmers. And we still celebrate Bread Day.  The official day is September 2—but in reality; bread day is whenever you feel that transition from summer to fall.  Every year, we call each other to describe what we did to celebrate Bread Day.  We share the tradition with love ones.  Yesterday was my Bread Day.  I made crackers. I woke up and brewed a big pot of coffee and got out the flour and herbs and oil and turned the oven on.  Amy, a farmer who used to work at Powisset, arrived just as I was pulling my first batch of sage-oregano crackers out of the oven.  After that, we rolled out the parmesan-sage batch.  We ate them warm with creamy blue-cheese and cilantro pesto piled on top.  Then we walked around the fields, full with our Bread Day feast, letting the cool air, the thriving kale and our full bellies mark the transition from summer to fall.  This year my best friend was doing her best to have her first child on Bread Day.  She was born on Labor Day instead.  

It is special being connected to a farm—we are in touch with the changes of the seasons through food. You will notice the pick-ups shifting from tomatoes and peppers to kale and spinach.  The natural transition from summer to fall is marked by the produce we eat and the flavors we crave.  Butternut squash and sage and collards and broccoli are on their way.  And maybe you will celebrate Bread Day by making a meal with fall crops from the farm or walking the fields after a pick-up and begin to notice that the farm smells and feels like fall.


I love September!  See you in the fields,

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)


In the Share this week:

up at the barn: lettuce or lettuce mix, hakurei turnips or bok choi, kale or chard, carrots, bell peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, basil, 

in the fields: husk cherries, chard


Fall Festival!

Hooray!  The Fall Festival is almost here!  

Sunday, September 30th from 10am-3pm

Come to the farm to celebrate Fall with us! There will be live music and potentially spontaneous contra dancing, cider pressing, potato picking, produce for sale, pumpkin painting (and pumpkins for sale), and community arbor building--help us finish our beautiful arbor. Our jam, honey and pottery vendors will be setting up and there will be food for sale!

I hope to see you there!

This event is free and open to all! spread the word!
If you are interested in volunteering that day, or in helping us spread the word, please let me know by contacting me at: mlatronica@ttor.org


Pumpkins at last years' Fall Fest!

Monday, September 3, 2012

this food is local.


 salad mix at San Francisco farmers' market-Green Gulch Farm
Today, I returned to Powisset Farm after almost an entire week away from the fields! After flying all night I returned to the farm around 9am, when the air was still moist and surprisingly cool.  The arbor in front of the flower garden had new height to it and the fields were quiet with everyone away for the Monday holiday.  It’s amazing how much our fields transform after just a week.  Around every corner, I was thrilled and amazed to see all the work that the farm crew had done while I was away and how much the kale and chard had grown and how the broccoli will be harvested soon! 

Powisset farm is an easy place to miss.  I wondered often about how many pounds of tomatoes the crew was harvesting each day, or if it rained at all, helping to quench our dry soils.  When I craved a zucchini or cherry tomato, instead of walking out to the fields I had to buy them!!  Luckily, I was vacationing in vegetable mecca; northern California!  So, off to the farmers markets I went—full of excitement to see what these stands had to offer and how the produce would compare to what we were growing in Dover. 

Plums, pluots, peaches, grapes, dates and avocados overflowed displays on delightfully beautiful stands, with smiling people offering delicately sliced sections of figs for visitors to sample.  Those particular stands definitely pointing out the differences between what we grow here and the plentiful stone fruits of California.  But, plenty of stands were filled with beautiful bowls of salad greens, bunches of chard, and red, ripe early girl tomatoes grown with “dry farming” methods, that I really need to read up about.  I perused the rows upon rows of vendors at the big Ferry Plaza farmer’s market in San Francisco, a large cup of coffee in hand—when I normally would have been harvesting for our Saturday distribution—and wondered, how local were these farms?

Of my favorite vendors—the ones that most reminded me of Powisset, and totally inspired me to grow new and beautiful things—the closest one to the market was 20 miles away.  The other farms I admired were growing on forty to one hundred acres and  traveling over 75 miles to come to the market—some of the farms making the trip to the city several times per week.  I gratefully smiled for the true local-ness of our farm and this farming community, both CSAs and farmers’ markets in eastern Massachusetts.  We are truly growing food where we live, small scale production, no need to drive 75 miles each week in order to sell our produce.  Yes, there was beautiful weather, plump stone fruit and the beautiful bay bridge in the background—but there was no Powisset Farm.

It’s good to be back!  See you in the fields!

Meryl

i love onions!







What's in the share this week:

Up at the barn: lettuce, cilantro, sweet corn, hakurei turnips, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, choice of greens (chard, arugula, bok choi)

in the fields: husk cherries, last of the cherry tomatoes


What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.



Wendell Berry