ShopTalk - Winter Share

a home-base for shareholders

January 2019 - Distribution MONTH #2

(you can still get the newsletter the usual way - just scroll below for our .pdf archive)

January Distribution HourS

December 31 - January 6 (Mon-Sun) - 8am - 7pm
January 14 - 20 (Mon-Sun) - 8am - 7pm


Pic of the Month

Make compost while the snow doesn't fall.

What's happening at the farm


Still Cooling Down and Looking Good!

The cellar is now 44F and 95% humidity:

Sweet PotatoesPotatoes, ButternutSquash: These are all looking good and plentiful.

Carrots: We are into the un-washed carrots now, which hold better through the winter. They are crunchy, sweet, and in good supply.

Beet, Parsnips, Celeriac, Gilfeather Turnip, Storage Radish (Black, Watermelon, Daikon):  We traded some sweet potatoes for parsnips and should have a decent supply now for the rest of the winter. This is the last month for celeriac, but all of these roots are all looking good.

Onions, Garlic: One more week of garlic and red onions. Then we move to the yellow storage onions which are good quality  and in limited supply for the remainder of the winter.


REcipe of The MONTH


Winter SHOPTALK - OlD School

(you can still get the newsletter the usual way -
just click on the week for a .pdf to print)

December 2018 - Distribution Month #1

January 2019 - Distribution Month #2



Welcome in 2019 with the Twelfth Annual “Beating the Bounds”

A Brookfield Farm Walk on New Year’s Day

1:30 to 3:00

(This is an any weather event!)

Beating the Bounds 2019 will begin at the barn on Tuesday, January 1, at 1:30, as we gather together to walk the perimeter of Brookfield Farm to receive and offer blessings of the land and acknowledge our gratitude for the wonders of our farm. Please feel free to invite friends or family who are not farm members to join us. Dogs on leashes are also welcome!

Beating the Bounds is an ancient tradition heralding from a time before maps were drawn. It has taken place all over the Britain Isles for over 2000 years. The purpose was and still is to protect the line of the Parish Boundary. Residents would perambulate the route, carrying willow wands. At the edges of the parish they would beat the post stones with their wands to mark the boundary. This was serious (and social) business. It was the way the communities avoided land boundary disputes between parishes. In England, the walk took place in the Spring…but we New Englanders are a tougher breed! SO we choose to do it in the Winter…at the turning of the year. I invite you to join in.

We stop at each corner of the farm and mark the boundary with verse and whatever moves us in the moment: a rousing cheer, a song, a sprinkling of tobacco, whatever speaks to each and all of us. During the first Beating the Bounds, farm member and neighbor Erika Zekos brought a bag of birdseed, and we each tossed a few seeds. It has become a part of this day’s tradition and just in case she is not there, I always bring some as well.

Dress for the weather…the first year we walked in a mini-blizzard—like I said, a hardy bunch! If there is snow, feel free to bring cross country skies or snowshoes. The walk takes a little over an hour. Adults, children on foot, children in carriers, leashed dogs, and musical instruments are all welcome!

If you would like to carry out the spirit of the walk, but find that the larger boundaries are more than you care to do, then consider walking the boundaries of the field behind the barn or the
accessible Flower and Herb Garden. You are welcome to walk the bounds at any time that afternoon, and I encourage you to form groups of walkers for these walks as well. The barn marks the southeast corner of the farm.

No need to sign up, but if you have any questions, you may email
Rosie Pearson at

To learn more about the tradition of Beating the Bounds, go to



Farm-Raised MEat Sale

Saturday, January 5,   9am until sold out
(at the Farm Shop)

Grass-fed Beef & Smoked Pork Sale

Steaks, Roasts, Ground, Ham, Bacon, and more

First-Come. First-Served. All cuts sold frozen.



Brookfield Farm Hoodies Now Available

Thanks to Sandy Littell you can now order your very own Brookfield Farm Sweatshirt anytime you want! Lots of colors available:

Great new years gift!
Show your Brookfield Farm pride in style!


Winter Share - General INfo

Get Ready For A Great Winter of Eating!

Welcome to our root cellar! This space was created in 2004 to be an environmentally sustainable food storage space for a large amount of local produce. It uses minimal electricity to keep cold. The cooling power of the earth (and one single fan to keep, powered by photovoltaics, to keep air circulating) keeps over 40,000 lbs of organic / biodynamic vegetables stored safely for (at least) four months. There's a few things you'll need to get used to (cleaning dirty veggies, coming down to the cellar, picking through lugs of unsorted veggies), but for the most part, people have found this experience easy to get used to, economical, and delicious all winter long.

After 14 winters we have learned how to use our cellar and are very confident that we will have great food for you all the way through March.  Here's a few things you might be wondering which may help make your winter share a fantastic way to stay fed all winter long....

How do I get my share?
Just like in our regular share, we will post the amounts of each crop to take on one chalkboard in the cellar. All amounts will be either by volume (measurers provided), by the piece, or by weight (hanging scale next to the table). Bring bags or boxes to carry your share home. Each crop is marked with a sign, in case it's difficult to identify and there is a map on the other chalk board to help you find everything. We will stock the cellar every couple of hours. If you find the lugs looking a little low, feel free to open the bags behind the lugs and help yourself. We will try to keep the lugs filled. In addition, we will have locally produced items for sale (yogurt, eggs, syrup, greens, etc) on the tables in the cellar. You can pay for these items by dropping cash into the black "how-we-doing!?" box, or by sending a check to Brookfield Farm (address above).
When can I pick up my share?
The root cellar will be open every other week (from Mon - Sun) to pick up your share. The distribution calendar is posted on our website. All posted share amounts are for a single share. If you only want to come to the cellar once a month (every other distribution) feel free to take double the posted amount. Please check off your name on the clipboard (on the table). If you take a month's worth of produce, please mark down for two distributions. Using this check-off sheet will help us keep track of our vegetable stocks and make sure that we have plenty of food for the entire winter.

What do I do with all of this food?
If you feel like you get more than will fit in your fridge, don't worry! In general everything in this root cellar will keep best if it's kept around 34F and 95% humidity. The closest place to approximate this in your home besides your fridge, is in your garage or an unheated part of your basement. A little insulation (foam, sand, blankets) is all you need to make sure that your crops won’t freeze. If you have a couple of buckets or boxes to drop the produce in and then a wool blanket to cover them, in a cold spot (garage, etc) they should be just fine. For the sweet potatoes and squash, it will be too cold in the garage - put them in a dry corner of your home away from the heater (they want it to be 55F - 60F) and they will last for weeks. These crops are HARDY – that’s why they store well. We have lots of recipes on the website to help make your winter cooking interesting and delicious.

This stuff is dirty!
We don’t wash the roots because they keep better that way and we don't have the facilities to wash them in the winter without freezing our pipes and/or our hands!  Put them into the fridge (without washing). When you are ready to use them, scrub them with a veggie brush, and they'll be all set. If you are going to eat the carrots raw, and want them bright shiny orange, you will need to peel them. Yes, that will take some of the nutrients away (with the skin), but we consider that a small price to pay for organic carrots, stored with no refrigeration, for sweet eating into March!

How is this working for you?
If you ever have a question or comment, don't hesitate to call, email, or leave a note in our "How We Doing?" black box on the table in the cellar. One of our goals for the winter is to get some rest after a long season of farm work so you might not see us around all that often. Still, we will probably be around the office during the day, and certainly every morning at 8am during our distribution weeks. We want you to let us know how things are going as we are very committed to making this winter share work for you and your family.