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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Half-Birthday to our Farm Season!

I’m sitting in the barn on a Tuesday afternoon (a little late to the blogging this week…).  I watched as Tessa bent her knees and leaned into the big red barn door to slide it open and start distribution for the twelfth week of our 2014 season.  A few members, squinting into the sun outside the barn, walked in toward the tomatoes, lettuce, corn and all that waits, fresh picked just for them.  Twelve weeks.  More than halfway through our 20-week summer CSA season.
scallion harvest!

The halfway point of a CSA season has always felt very significant to me.  In life we have birthdays, anniversaries, and rituals to mark the passing of time.  To celebrate special moments in time, or remember people/times or places that are important to us.  We don’t have any special celebrations to mark the middle of our CSA season, but it tends to line up with some big changes, and big changes at our farm usually mean lots of treats and lots of reflection!  

At the half way point, I like to celebrate our crew and celebrate the end of our summer crews’ season, which ended last week. Losing our four pickers and weeders, their spirit, their hard work, their bodies in the fields helping to lift and smile and sing, is a big change to our farm team.  We go back to our crew of five full-timers and wonder how we will ever pick all those tomatoes.  At the halfway point, I like to celebrate the numbers.  Numbers of hours worked (we each average 80 a week), numbers of plants planted and harvested (this is likely in the 100,000s).  Numbers of days left until fall (35).   At the halfway point I like to look at back at what we have harvested so far—last week we calculated that we had already harvested 10,000 heads of lettuce in 10 weeks—and take one small moment to appreciate all that it took to produce the food we have already harvested and how much we have all feasted on that bounty.
fennel is back!

At the halfway point I look out to the fields to see what is to come.  Winter radishes, turnips and rutabaga are thriving in the warm soil, ready to be thinned for their last month of growing.  The youngest carrots, planted for our winter CSA, are a few inches tall and growing more every minute.  Our massive (truly massive) onion harvest is curing in every possible barn space at the farm, preparing for long-term storage.  And our summer crops are flourishing; the peppers and eggplants are more beautiful than ever and just this morning we hauled in over 1000 pounds of tomatoes. 

With the season going at full speed it’s difficult to stop and sing happy half-birthday to our farm.  But, at least we can sing half of the song and take pride in that we have grown so far.  How has the first half of the season felt to you?  What are some of the milestones you mark the summer with?  Are those moments connected to the farm?  Are they connected to your first bite of cherry tomatoes?  For me the halfway point is a good time for a piece of blueberry pie, a moment of reflection and a time to gather my strength and spirit to give the next ten weeks as much energy and attention as the first 10 received!  Happy halfway birthday, Powisset Farm CSA!
so many beautiful flowers in the stand lately!

See you in the fields, (singing happy birthday),

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

What’s in the share this week (most likely):

Full: lettuce, kale, greens mix, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, corn, beets, fennel, carrots, onions
Small: lettuce, choice of greens, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, corn, beets, fennel, carrots, onions

PYO: cherry tomatoes, raspberries, flowers, parsley

Come one, Come all to the Powisset Cooks Pickling Extravaganza!
This Thursday, Aug 21 from 4-6PM

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 Educators to learn the fine art of pickle making. Limited to 12 participants, so sign up quickly!

This class will be co-taught by Ken Cmar, the longest running chef at Cuisine en Locale, the premier "locavore" caterer in the Boston Area. Cuisine en Locale is dedicated to using only the absolute farm freshest, local ingredients (down to the salt and oil) in every dish made. No exceptions, save a few exotic spices.

Ken got the pickling bug from his Hungarian grandmother, who had a German restaurant which featured ingredients grown in the garden behind the restaurant. Picking and preserving is essential at Cuisine en Locale, enabling the catering company to use local ingredients even in the darkest days of winter. 

Winter Shares and Pork Shares for Sale!
Winter CSA:
potatoes! all winter!

With the summer CSA heading into its second half, we are thinking about our winter CSA!
  Join our winter CSA and continue to eat Powisset produce deep into the winter!  The winter share has: greens (kale, cabbage, collards, & more), potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic and more!  There are four pick-ups, from the end of October through the middle of December.  We will give you a wide variety of produce, tips for storage and recipe suggestions.  

The winter share is a warm, festive time at the farm and we will do our best to provide you with as much variety as possible, as well as produce that is great for long-term storage.

Join us!  To sign up, please email:
Or, sign up at the barn when you come for your share.
The cost of the Powisset Winter Share is $300

Dates and times of the 2014 winter share:
October 25
November 8
November 22
December 13

Pork Shares:

Powisset Farm is offering a Pork Share again this season.  The pork share is about 22 pounds of pork (or roughly a quarter pig).  There will be sausage, loin chops, country style ribs, spare ribs, ham slices (or ham roast), smoked ham hocks or pig feet, bacon included in the share.  The price will be $175.  If you are excited about getting a wide variety of pork from our very own Powisset-raised pigs, then this share is for you!  There will also be cuts of pork available at the farm if you just want a little pork and do not want to commit to a share.  

 There are a limited number of shares available; so we will sell shares at a first-come-first served basis.  Please contact Meryl at: to sign up or with any questions.  You can also sign up at the barn.  Pick up for most of the share will happen in early September.

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