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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Waiting Game


I’m not a particularly patient person. I don’t like waiting at red lights, or in lines, or for the oven to preheat. Most often, I like to have the things I want, when I want them. When I first came to farm work, I was attracted to the immediacy of this experience: the instant gratification of sinking your hands into cool soil, or tasting that first strawberry of the season, as it teeters between sweet and tart on your tongue, and meanwhile you’re already reaching out to pick another fruit. You spend an hour weeding a bed of carrots, head down, hands in constant motion, and when you look up, your sense of reward - a clean bed, another check off the to-do list - is instant.
But the longer I do this work, the more I realize those moments of immediacy, while so pleasing and deserved, are actually spread out across a very wide expanse of waiting. We wait for things to grow, to ripen, to die, to multiply, to arrive. The summer onions in the share this last  month were seeded in the greenhouse in March, planted in April and cultivated and weeded and cared for until they were finally ready to be picked in July. After the rains last week, we waited for the soil to dry out enough to tractor cultivate. Walk the bed, look at the soil, pick up a handful, is it too wet? I think so, let’s wait another day and see. . . 
We wait for the frost to melt before we can pick our kale on November mornings, and for the peas to flower on their trellises. We wait for the first heart-shaped leaves of broccoli seeds to break through the surface in their greenhouse trays and for the tiny shoots of garlic to pop up through the layers of mulch in the spring. When it’s dry, we wait for rain; when it’s raining, we wait for a break in the weather. This week, we’re waiting for our tomatoes and watermelons to ripen.  These summer fruits are so close and it’s hard to keep being patient. The tomato plants are hanging heavy with green fruit, and the melons beckon but are still a tease. Will they be ready tomorrow? The next day? How much longer do we have to wait?
The more waiting I do in this job, the easier it comes; and bit by bit I am learning to be patient. You just can’t rush things on the farm. As much as we want the fields to bend to our whim, there’s only so much we can do to hurry things along. We get tractors into the fields as soon as we can in the spring, and fill our heated greenhouse with green, growing plants in defiance of the snow piled in drifts outside. But other than planting and caring and watering and weeding, what we do is wait. The seasons will cycle this year as they are meant to, spring became warm and turned into summer, and these long, hot days will eventually cool and darken come fall. The tomatoes will start to blush red or orange or pink, one by one, and while we wait, soon the whole tomato field will glow with color.
 I suppose there is a real value in waiting, and in surrendering control to the natural pace of the seasons and crops. Instant gratification is wonderful, but it is sometimes too easy or too forgettable. Waiting lets you anticipate, expect, and feel hopeful. Waiting encourages us to muse for weeks over recipes; or sit sweaty and knee-deep in the July weeds of our winter squash field, while imagining eating those butternut when we’re wearing sweaters and watching the leaves change color. Waiting allows us all to build excitement, so when that watermelon finally arrives in the barn, warm from the fields and almost splitting open in its ripeness, we can truly savor that food.  Perhaps, in the end, waiting is really more of a gift than a chore. It is an invitation to pause, a suspended moment of anticipation, in the otherwise hectic and busy life of the farm.

See you in the fields, 
Tessa (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)


Cherry tomatoes starting to ripen!

watermelons! we want to eat you!

green fruit on our tomatoes
the crew scouts the tomato field for ripe fruit



What’s in the Share:

In the barn: Salad mix, basil, choice of cooking green, onions, red and striped beets, green and purple mizuna, carrots, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, maybe tomatoes, maybe watermelons.

In the fields: dill, parsley, chard, kale, sunflowers, and a taste of cherry tomatoes and raspberries!



The blueberries are back!
Summer is here and so are the blueberries! We've partnered again this year with Blue Sky Produce to bring you fresh wild blueberries from Down East Maine. For a special few weeks in August, pints of these sweet treats will be available in the Farm Stand.

For those of you looking to buy in greater quantities, we will be arranging for the delivery of bulk blueberries. For $27, you can purchase a full 5 lb. box (each box holds 6 to 7 pints - roughly a $30 to $35 value):


  • To place an order for a bulk box, email Tessa at tpechenik@ttor.org
  • Folks wanting to pick up their boxes on either Tuesdays or Thursdays must get their orders in on the previous Friday (for example, email Tessa by this Friday, August 2nd, and you may pick up your fruit box when you collect your CSA share the following week). 
  • For those who'd like to claim their bulk boxes during our Saturday distribution hours, your orders must be in by that Wednesday (for example, if you're planning to pick up on Saturday, August 10th, please have your order in by Wednesday the 7th).
It may seem a bit complicated, but the aim is to bring you the fruit as fresh as possible! We’ll also have a paper sign up sheet in the barn, if you’d prefer pen and paper to email.

To keep things simple, please have your payment ready when you pick up your fruit box; and feel free to email Tessa with any questions.

Oil and Vinegar Tasting!
Our friend Jill from Gustare Oils and Vinegars will be hosting a tasting during CSA distribution hours on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Gustare, which opened in 2009 on Cape Cod, is owned by Catherine and Dave Ferraresi, who after living abroad in Europe for over a decade, returned stateside with a desire to share their passion for high quality, healthful oils and vinegars. Stop by to taste and let us know if you’d like to see any particular flavors in the farm stand!

Bushel + Crumb Pies!
This week, we’re excited to try the third pie flavor from the expert pie bakers at Bushel + Crumb! If you are a pie share member, please remember to collect your pie; and if you’re not, look for the pies in the farm stand. This week’s flavor sounds interesting: carrot, beet and za’atar. Apparently this was the overall favorite from their tasting trials!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Storytelling



In the past couple weeks I have found myself recounting often the story of how I became a farmer.  I’m convinced that the questions about my journey and adventures in farming are coming now, because there is a curiosity about how anyone would want to work outside in the dirt and heat of a week like last week!  In weeks like the last one when the heat makes it challenging to think clearly, or make a good plan for the day, or find enough time to harvest before the sun wilts the leaves of chard, or irrigate the crops the way they need to, or even make time to eat lunch, I think about all the summers and heat waves that came before, and all that will come after this one. 

I got my start in farming eleven years ago, at a small farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts called, Blue Heron Farm.  The story goes that I was a post college grad unsure of what I was going to do with my life (can you imagine!).  I was at a rally in downtown Boston—marching and chanting is one of my favorite pastimes—when I saw a group of people with signs that said, “farmers for peace.”  I recognized one woman as the tired farmer who would come to sell vegetables to the vegetarian restaurant where I waited tables at the time.  I had recently done some gardening and friends of mine had travelled as ‘wwoofers’ (willing workers on organic farms); farming as a job had wedged in my brain.  I ran over to this petite woman, introduced myself as someone who may want to do that.  That, being farming—or at least I wanted to be a ‘farmer for peace.’  A week later, I was digging into the soil in Lincoln about to embark on becoming a farmer. 

For four years I apprenticed at three different farms, ran small farm projects, worked as a farm educator, led volunteers, ate chard for the first time, learned to work on tractors, harvested tomatoes upon tomatoes, squished a 5 gallon bucket full of tomato horn worms, and weeded. All while waiting tables on the side and wondering how long I could manage to balance farming, life outside of farming, and paying rent! 

At a farming conference in the summer of 2006, I noticed a very long job posting near the coffee cart (maybe all good things come from coffee?).  I grabbed the posting, read through its pages upon pages of job demands and decided I was crazy enough to apply for this position, at a place called Powisset Farm, a place I had never heard of, only two towns from where I grew up. 

These past seven years have been full of so many joys and challenges.  I have grown things well and made a disaster of others.  I have been a great leader, and I have been a terrible leader.  I have written and created a beautiful farm plan for the season, and I have lacked that beauty and vision in other years.  I have learned to weld farm equipment and watched as the welds broke or held. 

I like to recall the past and think about how our farm has grown and how I have grown too.  I like the weeks where the heat challenges my strength and teaches me to better care for myself and the fields.  I like to think about the many people who have put their heart and hands into this farm and changed it forever.  I like all the parts of my story and I like that my story brought me here to Powisset.

See you out in the fields,

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

meryl--first year at Powisset farm-- 2007! woa.


What's in the share:

In the barn: salad mix, basil, bok choi, scallions, cukes and squash, beets, carrots, kale
In the fields: purple beans, dill, flowers



Monday, July 15, 2013

Perfection?

There is a game that I used to play with my sister, Avery, called; Perfection.  It is a board game, an evil board game. (And by evil, I mean, wicked fun).  There are about twenty little plastic pieces that are all differently shaped, with little handles on them.  Each piece is supposed to fit into it's exact spot on the board...but you only have a little bit of time to pick up the piece and fit it into the correct space.  Someone cranks the timer...is it a minute? ten seconds? who knows when you are a kid.  The timer is pulled back and all the little pieces are scattered on the kitchen table.  Avery yells, "go!" and I'm off.  My hands shake ferociously as I reach through the pile of pieces; the half moon, the square, the squiggly thing....so many shapes, all destined for just the right spot on this trembling board that is about to explode.  Sweat gathers on my child-size brows, determination wells up in my arms as try to move them as fast as possible....the timer clicks louder and faster.  I am down to the last two pieces...when...boom! The timer clicks with a sound that jumps my little body of the wooden chairs in our kitchen and the board evacuates each hard fought piece out of its place.  Arms to sky...Noooooo! Perfection!

That game.  That frustrating, but fun game.  That is July on the farm.

July is like a race against time.  The weeds are popping out of the board and we are trying to gather them up as fast as possible.  The timer is the the sun in the morning, calling us to race through harvest to get fresh, morning vegetables up to the stand and washed before they wilt in the humidity.  I walk around the fields day after day, making lists of tasks that can't possibly get done in the course of one week--yet we try.  We gather our strength and go about finding each piece of the puzzle to its correct place on the board.  As soon as we finish one giant task, like harvesting hundreds of bulbs of garlic, there are another thousand in another part of the field waiting to be pulled.  As soon as we gather the early potatoes from the fields, there are carrots sitting, ready, in the seeder about to be planted.  There is thinning and weeding and picking cucumbers until you hate the idea of eating pickles.

Perfection.  On a farm, letting go of the idea that everything look the way you want it to look, is the most important thing that I relearn every day.  There are always a million pieces waiting to be picked up be eager, strong hands, to find their places on the board.  And that timer is always running.  And in July, that timer is loud, and the weeds are as mighty as the heat that grows them.  And there is no perfection.  But, boy, is it a fun game.  Let's play.

See you in the fields, (or in the game room)

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew



What's in the share:

In the Barn: lettuce, bok choi, basil or cilantro choice, radish or scallion choice, onions, leeks, beets, carrots, chard, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, squash
In the fields: beans, dill, flowers!


Flower Garden Opens!

Welcome back to the Powisset Farm flower Garden! We are so proud to have planted another beautiful flower garden this season, thanks to the leadership of our flower lady, Powisset Farm Apprentice, Kasey!  The garden has recently started blooming, and we would like to welcome you to come in and cut some flowers.  The next few weeks, it will be slow, as the flowers are just blooming, but picking the flowers will encourage more to grow!

We will provide scissors, but feel free to bring your own, or leave vases at the farm that you would like to donate!  All members are welcome to flowers each week --we will let you know how many to take up at the barn--but if you want extra, feel free to leave a donation in the drop box by the flower garden. 

Make beautiful bouquets!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Spirit of Powisset

This farm has a soul.  And I'm not even sure what a soul is.  But Powisset Farm has one.  For the purposes of this Monday afternoon stream of consciousness about farming and life and viewing sunsets while driving tractors, I will say that the soul of Powisset Farm is the thing that gives it it's energy-it's spirit-it's core of awesomeness.  


In reality, I shouldn't be awake right now.  I should be sleeping every moment I can, my body exhausted from a week of blisteringly hot days with thick humidity in which I drank iced coffee instead of water (woops) and felt my skin burn each afternoon under layers of sunscreen and long sleeve shirts.  I should be tired from being on my feet for 12 hours a day, running from field to field to complete the harvest, crawling on my hands and knees in the hot soil to pull weeds.  But, on this Monday afternoon, despite my lack of sleep I find myself walking out to the tractor, firing it up, revving the engine until the mower blades are spinning with enough power to crush a boulder, and I'm out in the fields.  And I feel alive and awake and carried by the farm's spirit to do this work.  I am invigorated and am grinning ear to ear as the sun and the clouds and the upcoming rainstorm dance together in the sky over the fields, allowing rays of sun to drive down into the rows of onions, lighting them up like glow sticks.

I see Powisset's soul shine through when volunteers who have never met converge on a Saturday afternoon and hoe a half acre of peppers and eggplants, while laughing and sweating.  I see the spirit carry our farm crew through a harvest with pelting rain or wicked heat.  I see it in you, members, as you walk back to your cars after triumphantly scavenging that very last pint of strawberries for the season.  I feel it when I sit down to Friday Feastival and fill my belly with fresh picked carrots and perfectly constructed coleslaw.  I see it when I get a chance to sit with my friend Paul at the distribution barn while he bundles rubber bands and I hear stories from a CSA member about her wonderful, childhood fourth of July traditions on the farm she grew up on.  

When I visit other farms I see their beauty, I envy their weed-free rows and perfectly twined rows of tomatoes.  But I miss the spirit of this farm when I am away from it.  Maybe it's the spirit of Amelia Peabody?  Or the farmers who came before her?  Or maybe it is what we are creating here with every seed we plant, every beet we bunch, every visitor that comes through our farm stand.  Whatever it is, Powisset Farm's spirit carries me through these seasons with a joy and strength that I can see and feel when I am out in those fields.

See you in the fields,
(I'll be the one looking up at the sky wondering about souls...)


Meryl & The Powisset Farm Crew




New in the Farm Store this month

Pie crusts from Melrose baker Jacqueline Bastoni of just add (fruit)!
Jacqueline brought her delicious pie crusts to share at our Spring Fest this year, and now you can find a fresh batch in our freezer! just add (fruit) is all about using a few simple, high quality ingredients, and Jacqueline chooses to make sure everything's local to New England. She bakes with flour from Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA; butter from Kate's Homemade in Old Orchard Beach, ME; and honey from the Essex County Beekeepers Association in Topsfield, MA. Bring one home to fill with your CSA veggies!


Jam and Jelly
Our much loved jam producer, Angela of Fisher Brook Farm, will be relocating her business out of state at the end of the month. She has generously been cooking up her last few batches exclusively for the farm store, so stock up now before they are gone!
In the meantime, you can find new jams and jellies from Peter's Farm in the store. Peter, who also supplies our honey, cooks his jam and jelly with fruit he grows or wild fruit and flowers he forages!


Knife Sharpening by Nate Belcher (brother of famous Powisset Farm Apprentice, Jon)
This Saturday, July 13th, Nate Belcher will bring his mobile knife sharpening shop to Powisset Farm.  Each knife is about $7 to sharpen.  He can also do lawn mower blades and hedge trimmer blades as well.  Bring your knives and get ready to cut those potatoes!



 Powisset Farm Dinner In The Barn!

On Saturday, August 24, Powisset Farm will host "Dinner in the Barn"!   You are invited to join this celebration of the great community that supports Powisset farm. Imagine the scene: one long table the length of the whole barn that could seat as many as 90 people!  The dinner will be pot luck, family friendly, and we're allowed to bring beer & wine for the table.  Part of the fun will be to incorporate farm produce in as many dishes as possible.  But don't wait, spots at the table are limited, and first come, first served!  
To put your name on the list:
  email Tod Dimmick at tdimmick@tastingtimes.com with the number of people attending. 


What's in the share:
Up at the barn: potatoes, cucumbers or squash, lettuce, arugula, kale or kohlrabi, cabbage or chard, carrots (purple or orange), beets, onions, radishes
In the Field: fava beans, green or yellow beans, dill, parsley


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Farm Open on 4th of July!


Powisset Farm will be open on the fourth of July during our regular pick-up hours: 1:30pm-6:30pm.

We'll be open for CSA pick up as well as the farm stand.  We even have some delicious pies for sale from our pie makers; 
Bushel + Crumb!  We hope to see you there!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Weeds and the People Who Pull Them

This Monday morning, I walked out into the fields accompanied by  a cloud of mosquitioes, to make my list of what we will be picking for the week.  I headed out to the check out some radishes, tucked in between the growing tomatoes.  Not only did I find radish and arugula beds, nearly ready to be harvested, but I found our Summer Crew, with Kasey and Deb at the helm, weeding a four-hundred foot bed of carrots.  That is, they were weeding three rows of carrots, each 400-feet long.  So, really, they were weeding 1200 row-feet of carrots.  The six crew members were bent over rows of just-rained-on carrot tops, pulling crab grass and yellow foxtail and pig-weed, their rain pants caked in mud, their faces speckled with soil, from swatting the bugs away all morning.  Weeding.  Lots and lots of Weeding. 

After seeing the crew out there this morning, I came inside and checked my calendar to see that it is July 1rst.  And I realized, it has begun.  The race against weeds. For the next six weeks, we will weed as fast as we can.  The sight of our crew bent, slowly crawling up and down row after row will become a familiar one.  I love weeding.  The immediate satisfaction of a job well done.  The ability to see the work that you are doing, by looking back at a row freshly weeded.  In farming, where there are a lot of unknowns--the weather, diseases, pests, people--these things are constantly changing--yet weeding remains consistent.  There are always weeds to pull.  I find joy in this consistent task.  And I especially find joy in finishing a 400-foot row of carrots.  See below to meet the people who are pulling all of these weeds!

See you in the fields,
(you can find me in the carrots)

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew



weeding carrots!


What's in the share:
In the Barn: lettuce, beets (chioggia or golden), carrots, scallions or onions, fennel, cilantro, chard or kale, cabbage or kohlrabi
In the field: the last of the strawberries, peas (shelling and sugar snap), parsley, fava beans


Meet your Farmers!
Standing (L to R): Paul (volunteer), Meryl, Omer (volunteer), Melissa --Kneeling (L toR): Deb, Kasey, Andrea, Jon, Jill, Becca, Tessa





The Full Time Farmers:

Jon Belcher: full time farmer

Jonathan Belcher was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but I’m not that guy. However, I like to think we probably grew food in similar ways. Of all that I have done, growing food is what I feel the most passionate about. I am a twenty five year old who has tried many things before discovering farming as a trade. From being a collegiate cyclocross champion at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado to competing as a speed skater with the Bay State Speed skating Cub, I have seen the many parts of the United States. First an automotive technician then Exercise science major and now I am a graduate with a sustainable agricultural degree who feels fortunate to be an actual farmer. My most recent goal is to become a farmer/model.  Not a model farmer, well not yet anyway. I hope to succeed in the fashion industry and also farm as a living. I believe in doing what you want to do when you want to do it. Some of my words include Explore, Meet, Laugh, Love, and Dance!!
            Growing up I was planning on being a professional cyclist, traveling around Europe with an international cycling team living off of my sponsors as well as any prize money but that was not my destiny. Anyway, after getting completely burned out with cycling I started to rethink my motives. I moved home to South Walpole and applied to Sterling College in Crafts bury, VT. It only took a month of living in the North East Kingdom to discover my passion for agriculture. The local farmers as well as my instructors taught me so much about the lifestyle, business, and hard work that comes with being a farmer – what they didn’t have to tell me about was the tremendous sense of accomplishment that you finish each day with.
            At Powisset Farm I am one of the apprentices and I live here at the farm. It is so great having the farm in your back yard because it really feels like my own. Also not having a commute gives me time to do other things with the rest of my days. I enjoy playing mandolin, cooking, and going out with friends. I love bringing friends and family to the farm. They are always blown away by everything here and it makes me realize what a special place this is. I hope to be living in Japan by next summer so I will miss Powisset and all my friends here. I feel so lucky to be a part of this farm crew and I am looking forward to a fun and productive rest of the season.  Come over and hang out with us!

Kasey Butler: full time farmer

Kasey is a recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area bringing with her a passion for cut flower production, sustainable vegetable farming, equal food access and sharing nourishing food with friends and loved ones. The past few years she has been finding her way through the sustainable food system teaching cooking, nutrition and gardening classes; starting a preschool garden and finally digging deep into sustainable farming at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz in California. There she fell in love with farming and stayed on for a 2nd year as an assistant garden manager. This season she is excited to be producing food on a much larger scale, learning how to drive tractors and working with Meryl to plan the flower garden. Off the farm you may find her riding her bike, practicing yoga, wearing tutus, preserving farm produce and making funny videos to send to her family in California.

Tessa Pechenik: full time farmer-Powisset Farm Assistant Manager

Hello! My name is Tessa and I’m thrilled to be sharing the 2013 season with you all!

Powisset has been my farming classroom since the summer of 2009, when I first came here as a volunteer. That August afternoon of harvesting onions - gently pulling the plump allium globes from the field and nestling them one after the other into a  bag - was more significant than I could have imagined at the time. I came back each week to spend an afternoon on the farm and before long I was hooked. With the help of the patient crew, I learned how to seed in the greenhouse; how to wield a hoe in the war against weeds; how to carry bins overflowing with veggies out of long rows; and how to really taste and appreciate food when it is grown with such care. It really is no wonder that once I started to spend time here, I dug in my heels and refused to budge.

My favorite tasks include harvesting kale in the early morning - rapidly snapping off crisp stems and gathering the leaves that still hold dew; anything to do with hot peppers, which I think are beautiful and present exciting culinary possibilities. And tractor work, of course. Any time I can be driving around the fields on an ancient piece of farming history, I’m thrilled. Everyone looks good on a tractor.

When I’m not farming, I’m usually cooking, getting lost in Noanet with my partner, Reuben, or attempting to read while actually falling asleep. Before living and working in Dover, I lived in Washington, DC, a city I genuinely miss - although not as much as I miss my hometown, Oakland, California. But the seasonal cycles of New England, which play out so beautifully at Powisset, are irresistible and come summer in the farm fields, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Meryl LaTronica: full time farmer-Powisset Farm Manager

My name is Meryl LaTronica and this is my seventh season managing Powisset Farm!  Over the last seven years I have grown my own roots, along with these crops, building community with farmers, family, CSA members and visitors.  When I head out into the fields every day I know that I am doing this work not just for myself, but with and for a big, beautiful community is Powisset Farm.  I love hopping on a tractor on a quiet Sunday morning.  I love seeing families and friends out in the strawberry patch, filling pints and hands.  I love watching a new crew member make a gorgeous carrot bunch and see the pride in their eyes.  And I love walking out into the fields in the evening hours to pick a bunch of kale for dinner.  

When I’m not farming, I love walking my dog, Henry, around the woods near the farm with friends and family.  I cook lots of kale and broccoli and I love cheese-all cheese.  I play music when I can, ride my bicycle to farm pond and back, and ride my motorcycle around town and yell with glee when I go faster than 50 mph!  And, in my dreams I spend every Sunday climbing a mountain in Maine and sleeping in my tent. 


tessa picking first roots of the season

steve, jon, kasey and tessa after planting flowers

tessa and jon planting flowers


The Part time farmers:

Hannah Schiff:
As a teenager during the summers, it is often tricky to find something interesting to do—just too old for camp, the idea of working during the summer sounds treacherous. However, when a friend suggested volunteering at a nearby farm, I thought, why not? During these summers, volunteering at Powisset served as the perfect balance between hard work and summer, outdoorsy fun. With this just-right balance of work and fun, the welcoming Powisset community, and delicious vegetables, I knew I would be back for more.
            My teenage summer days are now over, yet I have managed to find a new role for myself at Powisset as part of the Summer Crew.  During the year, I am a junior at American University in Washington, DC studying Spanish/Latin America and Public Health. Although my future career path is not completely clear and bound to change, my academic interest in public health connects to my attraction to farming. The questions of how to sustainably feed large populations and deal with growing global rates of obesity tie together my academic interests and my work at Powisset.
The fact that I have a summer job that fulfills my childhood memories of camp while allowing me to broaden my academic interests outside of a classroom feels just plain lucky. Here’s to another awesome summer.


Andrea Schindler:
Hello, there! My name is Andrea, but the folks here on the farm tend to call me Andy. This season marks my second summer as a member of Powisset’s summer crew. It’s so wonderful to be back! Lots has changed since last season—the pick-your-own is on the other side of the road; beloved farm apprentices have moved on to new adventures, and others—no less good-looking or handy with a hoe–– have arrived; the mangy pigeon that once frequented the wash station has disappeared. But that same sense of groundedness that draws me to small-scale farming, and that same quality of jolliness that draws me to Powisset, certainly remain. Not to mention that this place is still unbelievable eye-candy (and ear- and nose- and just plain- candy)!
 Nature and the messiness that accompanies it have always brought me joy. As a youngin,’ I would stalk squirrels as I attempted to emulate, chimpanzee-less, my idolized Jane Goodall, and go on frogging expeditions with my mother in the Needham town forest. Now, as a college student, not much has changed: I’ll jump out a dorm room window to photograph a groundhog that appears across the street, and find solace in a good tree-climb every now and then. My interest in sustainable agriculture doesn’t have a clear direction yet, but is tied up in this love of life as well as its interactions with the rock and atmosphere that surround it. I’m currently studying biology and environmental studies at Wesleyan University. So far I prefer rain pants to lab coats, so perhaps farming will be in my future—who knows?
 It’s so easy to get lost in our biosphere; finding one’s place within the intricate complex of interdependencies that comprise our earth systems, and tracking the ethical, ecological, or nutritional reliability of one’s food sources are both overwhelming tasks. It’s so easy to do unknowing harm. When I’m farming, though, I feel like I’m doing the least harm. (Perhaps the weeds that I massacre, or the potato beetles that I’m less than thrilled to smash, would claim otherwise…) Though we’re only a few weeks into our time here as a summer crew this season, we’ve already interacted with plants at varying points in their life cycles and been involved in a diversity of projects—from seeding in the greenhouse to transplanting eggplants to mulching the tomato pathways to weeding the leeks… Can’t wait to see what’s in store tomorrow!


Jill Glidden:
My name is Jill, and I live in Framingham with my boyfriend Kevin, in the back of an old historical house that’s literally right around the corner from the wonderful Callahan State Park. My road to Powisset began after I was laid off from my full-time job this past February. The event I first felt was one of life’s “tough breaks” rapidly proved
to be a blessing in disguise. After suffering through 6+ years in a retail management role where I was unhappy with myself and my stagnant career choice, I decided to take this summer to get myself back to the things that truly make me happy. I’ve always appreciated farmers and had an interest in plants and gardening, thanks to my mom who has a total green thumb and lives and breathes plants, as well as my time spent surrounded by beautiful farms in western MA while attending UMass Amherst. I also have an immense love for the outdoors (sans daddy long-legs, as my fellow crew members will attest to!), so I decided to sign on for a summer here at Powisset. I couldn’t be happier I did so. I arrived in Dover jaded and wary of rude, angry, demanding people, and found myself surrounded by vibrant, upbeat, and motivated individuals from all over the area. The people that make up the Powisset team have completely restored my faith that friendly and compassionate people still do exist around here. I can’t say enough
about my experience at the farm thus far, other than to say that I’m so happy I took the small leap of faith and followed my heart this summer.

Aside from farming, I enjoy art and am an avid painter. I’ve recently begun listing some of my paintings on Etsy. I am continually inspired by the American West and love to travel. Some of my recent excursions include: California South-North via Rt. 1, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Yellowstone/Grand Teton. I’ve also recently
completed a 200-page memoir of my time spent within the retail realm and am hoping to find literary representation at some point in the near future. Fashion, photography, and Jeeps are other interests of mine, and I’m always excited to learn about new things!!

Melissa Tanguay:
Hello! My name is Melissa and I am thrilled to be part of the Summer Farm Crew here at Powisset Farm. I spent ten years working at a local humane society before deciding to return to school to study Exercise Science and Biostatistics in 2011 at Simmons College. With one more year to go before I graduate, I wanted to spend my summer working outdoors and doing something I haven’t done before. I was drawn to the Summer Farm Crew position after listening to friends rave about their positive experiences working on farms. The fact that I love vegetables certainly made position the all that much more appealing.
When I’m not working or going to school, I’m usually hanging out with my husband Bill at our home in Jamaica Plain or taking our dog Addie hiking in the woods. I am a runner, triathlete, and cyclist, and love cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. I am die-hard hot pepper fanatic, and once was a finalist in a habanero pepper eating contest. Needless to say I can’t wait to try the varieties here on the farm!
Although I’m very new to farming, I’ve fallen in love with the work we do here at Powisset Farm. I truly look forward to natural rhythm of our day-to-day tasks. I’ve learned that harvesting broccoli is exceptionally fun, that there’s a steep learning curve for bunching radishes and that I can't get enough weeding. Who knew? It certainly helps to be part of an amazing crew, which is definitely the case here at Powisset Farm! 

Deb Albenberg:
I presently spend much of my time keeping 2 girls alive and keeping the house from being redecorated beyond recognition while 1 kid pulls her sister's hair and the other one yells Ow. My favorite things right now are summer storms, riding and repairing bikes, eating fresh food, weeding and watching my yard bloom and hopefully make food, pulling radishes and turnips out of the ground, reading the New Yorker, hiking in the woods, birdsongs, listening to music and learning to play the cello with my daughter. My last job I did natural resources management with the Cambridge Water Department and (I think) I've decided to study landscape architecture in the fall. This summer I can't think of a more awesome thing to do with my time than help out at Powisset.


Becca Fox:
Hi there, I'm Becca! I'm 19 years old and hail from the lovely city of Newton.  It's my first summer here at Powisset, and I could not be more excited to spend the next two months with these lovely farmers! I'll be a sophomore this fall at the University of Vermont, where I'm majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainability.  When I graduate, I hope to do something that involves farming, or maybe I'll just live in the woods, I haven't decided yet.  When I'm not at the farm, I enjoy watching netflix in my pajamas on the couch, playing air banjo to the sweet sound of bluegrass music, and driving around in my ugly electric blue car with friends.  This is my first time getting down and dirty on a farm, and so far I have had an awesome time getting to know the crew, the farm, and the veggies!


Katy Riley:
Katy is a transplant from Texas whose interests range from weaving to farming to teaching and pretty much everything in between. She spends her rare time off cooking, working on wood projects, and watching M*A*S*H with her cat, Downgrade, and partner, Alex.


becca, jill, melissa and andy rock it out on a rainy day

hannah, jill, becca, deb, andy and melissa after some planting

harvest is awesome!

katy loves broccoli

deb's youngest daughter looking very fashionable for lunch at the farm!
Come out and say hi to this incredible crew of talented farmers!  They will amaze you!