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Monday, September 2, 2013

Driving With Chickens

Tonight I took a chicken for a ride in the four-wheeler.  Yup.  Just me and a beautiful, shimmery-black chicken named Freddie, gliding down the farm road in the little, green Gator as the sun set over the fields.  Freddie had been living in my mini, backyard chicken coop for the last couple months and I finally decided it was time to return her to the chicken gang up near the barn.  I waited until dusk, pulled her from her slumber and onto my lap and set out slowly for our ride from one end of the farm to the other.  I held her warm chicken body to my lap and belly with my right arm, her wings tucked in under my arms, but her head free to look around at the world around us.  Her neck extended and moved left and right, her eyes at full attention taking in the fields and sky and road.  She seemed truly alarmed, but she didn’t try to escape my grasp.  When I placed her in the chicken coop, she jumped up on a perch next to another shimmery black chicken, settling in like it was just another night. 
powisset cherry tomatoes

I hopped back on the Gator and slowly began the ride home.  I saw hula hoops and toys, pulled from the barn and left near the flower garden, evidence of a busy Saturday pick up full of games and wild imaginations.  I glanced at the herb garden where some of our CSA members and friends had weeded this weekend, the piles of weeds reflecting hours of hard work and care and love for our fields and flowers.  I pulled into the fields and crept along each row, jotting down notes for the week and finally getting a clearer picture of what the share was going to look and feel like this week.  And what it was going to feel like to harvest this week with crew members on vacation or away for Holidays.  My eyes strained to see in the dusk what the basil looked like and whether the chard looked good for picking or if I needed to wait a week before harvesting.  My neck moved up and down and side to side as I peered under and over eggplants, estimating the yield that we may be able to harvest this week.

The list of things to harvest was steadily creeping down the page and the list of things to weed was growing shorter by the week.  By looking at this list in front of me, glowing now in the light of my headlamp, I knew that September was here.  On the list: pick tomatoes (thousands of them), harvest peppers and eggplant (finally), bunch cilantro, weed celeriac, harvest winter squash, clean and sort the onions.  Our tasks of Summer and Fall are blending on the page—harvesting for the winter CSA in the same week as we will likely pull in another thousand pounds of tomatoes!  My eyes bounced around the now-dark farm, from the fields onto the pages of my notebook and I started to piece together plans for our next eight weeks of the season—that special time when fall arrives at the farm.

my favorite tomato of the week.
I turned off the head lamp and drove the Gator back to my house, navigating the fields in the medium darkness, mostly out of instinct, knowing each bump and turn so well after these seven years.  Like the chicken seemed, I was slightly alarmed-- at the tasks ahead of me, of the pounds of produce to harvest and the not-too-distant cold weather.  But, I arrived home, jumped out and into my house, fell into my comfy chair next to my dog Henry and settled in for the night.  Tomorrow the fields will be ready to work as the always are and the to-do list will be written and the squash and tomatoes will be harvested.

See you in the fields!
(I’ll be wearing the button that says, ‘I love September)

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

The Powisset 4-H Club goes to the Worcester County Fair!

On Sunday, August 25th, the Powisset Farm Hens and Hogs 4-H club showed their pigs at the Worcester County 4-H Fair. Eight youth from Medfield, Millis, Needham and Westwood successfully participated in showmanship, fitting and breed competitions. We are so proud of our amazing young people who have learned about and cared for our Powisset pigs!  Our 4-H club will be at our fall festival--I hope you will all ask them all about their awesome time at the fair!

Back row: Ben Adjami, Westwood; Matt Monroe, Millis; Gabe Springer, Medfield; 
James Benner, Needham
Front row: Hannah Jordanides, Westwood; Ava Butler, Westwood; Stephanie Moran, Westwood,
 Luke Butler, Westwood; Jane D'Abate, Medfield

Save the Date! Powisset Farm Fall Festival!

When: Sunday, September 22 10am-3pm
Where: Powisset Farm
Why: It's awesome! Music! Cider pressing! Great vendors! Fun!
Who: You and me and all of our friends!

What's in the Share:

In the barn: arugula, lettuce, cilantro or fennel, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, spinach or tatsoi, 
onions or scallions, maybe eggplant (plants not yielding well this season!)
In the fields: last of the beans, dill, husk cherries, cherry tomatoes

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