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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Garlic Marks the Spot

Yesterday we stood in front of 16 beds of just-planted garlic, doing some math.  We had planted 24,000 cloves of garlic.  Those cloves will hopefully turn into 24,000 bulbs.  Those 24,000 bulbs hopefully making their way through the soil, up through the leaf mulch and up towards the sky some time in April, the first green thing we will see growing in the 2014 season.  Hopefully, growing strong in well-composted soil, setting its roots as I write this, laying quiet for the winter, feeling the spring sun, sparking its growth for the new season.  Planting garlic is hopeful.  Planting garlic is like saying, ‘yes, we will be farming next season.’  Planting garlic is trusting that those tiny bulbs know what to do; we just have to give them the space to do it.

Spreading those last few buckets of mulch over the last few patches of bare soil is, for me, as much about believing in the future of these fields as it is signifying the end of the 2013 growing year.  The more years that I farm, the longer the seasons become, until it feels like there isn’t ever much of a start or and end.  Harvesting and planting share most months of the year.  Hiring and re-posting and training new teams seem to begin as soon as we’ve just found our rhythm.  Budgets and fixing equipment and taking down and putting up fences overlap and keep us looking forward and back at the same time.  And then there’s garlic. 

washing roots!
Holding an orange bucket filled with cloves, I walked along the bed, across from my friends, my team.  The cloves find the perfectly spaced depressions in the soil.  Six inches apart, three rows, sixteen beds.  Someone crawls behind me pushing the cloves in the soil, root side down.  A day and half we work on planting.  A day and half we work on mulching.  Then we stand, doing math in front of a half-acre of garlic, a planting of hope for the future and a ritual of closure for our farm team. 

Come say goodbye to your 2013 farm crew this Saturday at the barn as we host our third winter CSA pick up and farm stand!  The barn will be open from 10-3pm this Saturday the 23rd and on Saturday, December 14th from 10-3!  Now’s the time to stock up on veggies and see the farm and farmers, before we settle in, like the garlic, setting roots and preparing for next season!
what a crew!

See you at the barn,

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

Winter Farm Stand!
This Saturday, November 23 10am-3pm

What’s at the stand:
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, beets, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, kale, spinach, lettuce (we hope), garlic, onions, shallots, hot peppers, sweet peppers, butternut squash, cabbage, cilantro, leeks, radish, eggs, pork, beef, dry beans, honey and more!

Special Vendors:

  • Jordan Brothers Seafood, there at 10am until their product runs out

  • Alan Chilton will tell you all about his new firewood enterprise!

  • Appleton Farm Dairy will be sampling their milk!

  • The Norfolk hunt club will tell you a brief history of the club as we watch the horses ride by:
  •  **12:30 for the talk—riders come by a little after 1pm.

  • Powisset Farm Cider Press!  Come press some apples with us on our bike powered cider press!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gift of a Warm November Day! (Winter Share Pick Up #2 and Fall Farm Stand)!!

This morning I woke up to find that the frost that had so completely covered the farm fields yesterday, had hardly returned in the early morning hours, and I could take the dog out through the farm without my teeth chattering.  At morning meeting, the five of us full-time Powisset farmers, sat together, finishing breakfasts and warm cups of coffee and reviewed our plan for the day.  This gift of a warm November day was not to be squandered with a lingering morning meeting.  We quickly adjourned and our crew headed to the fields while Tessa and I finished piecing together the puzzle of what the contents of our last three winter share pick-ups would be.  After feeling satisfied with our plan and deciding that growing ginger was the coolest thing that we had done this season, we looked out at the sun through the office windows and let it lead us out to where the crew was picking leeks.

i love leeks
The rhythm of the leek harvest made me beam with happiness and I pulled off the extra sweater that I didn’t need and hopped off the truck to join the dance.  Some of us pulled the long alliums from the soil where they had remained since May.  Others cleaned and bunched the sweet veggies together—some bunches filled with five or six slender leeks, others made up of only two giant leeks.  Each one, the perfect handful, in line for soups and scrambled eggs of the future.  I fell in line by grabbing a large harvest knife and chopping the less-edible dark green leaves off of the bunch, creating a “v” shape with the swift movement of my arm and wrist as I held the bunch out in front of me. 

kasey, jon & tessa after a cold day of harvesting!
We quickly filled bins, each of us proud of the bunches we had picked and banded and cut.  We headed to the parsnips and then to the potatoes, then to remove the dahlia tubers from the flower garden, then to un-trellis the raspberries.  Our walking turning to running as our energy grew with each vegetable we picked.  The knowledge of the impending cold weather making for cold harvest days was driving us forward.  The sun and our conversation kept us in good spirits as we worked. 

As I write this, the crew is out there harvesting even more potatoes and I am eager to join them.  Our wonderful crew will finish their season at Powisset in just over two weeks, leaving Tessa and I to the soon-to-be quiet office and chilly December work days.  For today, I am going to relish in their company and their incredible team work.  I am going to enjoy a day in the fields without a winter hat.  And I am going to enjoy the picking this week because it is preparing us for this Saturday’s second winter share pick-up and farm stand, where the barn will be filled with our produce and with you!  A festive fall day at the barn, seeing everyone filling their bags with sweet carrots and bunches of leeks is one of the best moments this farmer can have.

road radish
I hope to see you in the fields before it gets too chilly!

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

Winter Share #2 and Fall Farm Stand!  
This Saturday, November 9, 10am-3pm

This Saturday is the 2nd winter share pick up and another awesome fall farm stand!
At the stand there will be:
beans, beets, carrots, celeriac, broccoli, radish, garlic, turnips, kale, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, onions, shallots, leeks, winter squash, rutabega, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, radicchio, hot peppers, cilantro, kohlrabi, Powisset farm Ginger!!!! and more!!

There will also be Powisset Farm pork, Moose Hill Farm eggs and lots of jam and honey!
Jordan Brothers Seafood will also be at the farm but last time were only here from about 10am-12pm--so be sure to get here early if you are looking for some fish!

We are so excited to see you! The stand is open to all from 10am-3pm!

See you there!