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Monday, July 28, 2014

Farm Time

pine trees along the back field
Time passes in strange ways during the farm season. The weeks start to blend into one another as the pace of the season quickens, and soon I feel like the hours are seamless successions of planting, harvesting, weeding, sleeping, repeat. Instead of individual days strung together, the weeks become fluid and their passing is only noted by subtle punctuations and changes to routine. One day in the spring, the sun will suddenly become warm and we realize we no longer need our winter hats while planting spinach. Or all at once, after weeks of weeding and waiting, we’re able to pull our first long carrot roots from the field, and finally our early summer share has a new color in its palette.

This season has felt like any other in that way, with time passing rapidly or very slowly, and almost always vaguely. Wasn’t it just April? I’m not sure. Isn’t September next week? I’ll check. But I noticed today, when I took a long walk around the fields, a slight change in this pattern. As I scribbled down the projects of the week ahead, matching tasks to each new field I walked through, I thought about this season coming together as a collection of places, even more so than passing moments. I realized that this year, the pace of the season feels less defined by those familiar seasonal benchmarks and more so by the physical changes of the farm and fields themselves. Picking potatoes in July, I was reminded that our Apprentices spent some of their first weeks together this April carefully planting each seed potato in 250-foot long rows, 50 times over. In May, our Summer Crew joined us and we all started getting to know each other while pulling rye out of those same long potato beds. Now, two months later, we’re moving up and down the familiar rows, elbow deep in soil, treasure-hunting for those matured tubers -full crew and workshares picking, chatting and leap-frogging down the bed with a practiced but effortless choreography.
fairy tale eggplant ripening

In the back field, where we’re now scouting for our first ripe eggplant, I remember that leeks used to grow there in seasons past. Last week, my co-worker and I (both tall ladies), recalled extricating these leeks in a salvage-mission from amaranth trees that were taller than our heads. Tomorrow we’ll start picking our 2014 crop of leeks - also weedy - from the field that held our peppers and eggplant last season, and all our broccoli and kale the season before that. Beyond the 2014 allium field, our current season of peppers start to lean under the weight of growing fruit and I remember last season’s Summer Crew making hula skirts out of wreaths of grass they wrestled free from our 2013 sweet potatoes in that same corner of the farm. Here is the field that Kasey remembers picking winter squash from last season, tossing fruit after fruit from their orderly windrows into wooden harvest crates. Here is the field where the crew ate broken watermelons after work until we couldn’t bear to eat any more, and the field where the truck got stuck outside the fence line in a lightening storm, and here is the field where we saw a coyote suddenly break into a run and bolt towards the back meadow.

this guy

As I made my way back up towards the barn at the end of my farm walk, I stopped by the 4-H office, where Powisset’s livestock care-taker planted a butterfly bush years ago, and under the afternoon shade of which I know James, the tuxedo-ed farm cat, likes to lounge. As luck would have it, he was there and ready for belly rubs, and I took a moment to appreciate another incidence of place that the farm and this season had created. It makes me wonder, how the season feels for you. Does your summer pass quickly like ours does in the field, with weeks between pick-ups in the barn speeding by? Does the farm offer you a sense of time according to moments or to place? Like the time you tasted a season’s first strawberry, or the field in which you realized that sungold cherry tomatoes are your favorite.

Thinking of the farm as a collection of places, brings to mind how much has happened in these fields and barns throughout the seasons. So many cycles, so much life and so much time has come and gone and been renewed again in these spaces. And just like that, July ends this week and we press on to August, halfway through another summer season and yet still in the heady thick magic of farm time.

See you on the farm,
Tessa (on behalf of the Powisset Crew)

What’s in the share (most likely):
Full: summer squash, cucumbers, celery or arugula, scallions, leeks, lettuce, greens choice, cabbage choice, potatoes, beets, carrots, maybe peppers and/or eggplant

Small: summer squash, cucumbers, celery or arugula, allium choice, lettuce, cabbage or greens choice, potatoes, roots choice, maybe peppers

PYO: beans, parsley, sunflowers, kale or chard, dill flowers, first hint of raspberries.

Events and Awesomeness at the farm:
Tuesday: Jordan Brothers Seafoood at the farm from 1:30-6:30
Friday: 2pm-3pm, volunteer in the flower garden for Flower Power Hour
Saturday: 8am-noon, volunteer in the fields with the farmers

Launching Powisset Cooks!
(A note from our Farm-Based Education and Outreach Coordinator: Rachel Kaplan)

Tod bakes bread!

I hope by now that the majority of you have seen our amazing new kitchen and classroom. After months of planning and organizing, the time has come to launch our newest program at the farm, Powisset Cooks!

The following farm-based culinary workshops start on August 12 and we are beyond excited to learn and eat with you! Space in each workshop is limited so sign up quickly.

Please note that the Powisset Cooks! website is coming soon with online registration and the list of the rest of our workshops for 2014. For any questions, please email Rachel at

I look forward to seeing you all in the kitchen!
With gratitude,

From the Fields: Sassy Salads
Tuesday, August 12 | 4-6PM
Powisset Farm, Dover
Looking for creative ways to make your salads more exciting? Join Powisset Cooks! in the field for a short harvest followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the kitchen with our Culinary Educator to learn new salad combinations that will spice up any meal. Limited to 12 participants, so sign up quickly!

For the Pantry: Pickling Extravaganza
Thursday, August 21| 4-6PM
Powisset Farm, Dover
Wondering what to do with your abundance of cucumbers? Join Powisset Cooks! in the field for a short harvest followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the kitchen with our Culinary Educator to learn the fine art of pickle making. Limited to 12 participants, so sign up quickly!

From the Fields: Wild Edibles
Sunday, August 24 | 10AM-12PM
Powisset Farm, Dover
Do you know there are delicacies in our own backyards that we can enjoyJoin Powisset Cooks! in the field for a wild edible walk, followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the kitchen with our Culinary Educator where we will prepare delicious treats. Limited to 12 participants, so sign up quickly!

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