ShopTalk - Regular Season

a home Base For Shareholders
(you can still get the newsletter the classic way - just scroll below for our .pdf archive)

JulY 20, 2019 - Distribution Week #7

Farm Shop Hours:
Saturday 8am - 1pm, Tuesday 2pm - 7pm, Thursday 2pm - 7pm

Boston Distribution Hours: 
Thursday 3-8 (Newton begins at 3:30pm)

Pic(s) of the WEEK

Ellen brings the reel to get water to the kale and collards just in time!!

PicOfTheWeekJul20_3.jpg

What's happening at the farm

what's new this week

Early Signs of High Summer!

Tomatoes: Our early crop from the (unheated) fieldhouse is trickling in and looks great. The fruit are a little smaller than our main season crop, but so far they look disease free. Quantities will be limited to start and then should pick up quickly.

Garlic:
We harvested about half of the crop so far, and it looks good! We sort out our seed for next year as we harvest, and cure the crop in the loft, but we also have enough to distribute a limited quantity now. This is fresh garlic, so it is aromatic and flavorful, somewhat mild, but will NOT store well - use it within a week or so (or put it in the fridge).

Hot Peppers: We grow a mix of spicy peppers to add some zest to your cooking. They range from mild (jalapeno) to hot (habanero). This week there are mostly hungarian hot wax and jalapenos and some poblanos. We should have these through September.

 

Bulk ProducE

Green Kale, Red Kale, Collards, Swiss Chard: $2 / Lb.

Green (Wakefield) Cabbage: $3 ea.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash: $1 lb.

to purchase bulk produce:

in the farm shop:
just come on in and see the farm shopkeeper

in the Boston area:
click here

 

what's on the way

Sweet Corn
Red Cabbage
Early Onions

 
 

Special Events

SPECIAL Thanks

to Farmer Dave Wellborn

For repairing our rotting harvest shed door supports & main support post, as well as securing the sidewalls on our beloved flatbed harvest trucks. We are so lucky to have you visit - Not long enough!!!

The Harvest Shed and trucks are finally in good shape!!

The Harvest Shed and trucks are finally in good shape!!

 

HOW WE FARM

Harvesting

After all of the crop planning, seeding, planting, and tending of crops is done hopefully there’s something out there to harvest! It’s time to get the harvest operation in gear – we load up the knives, 5 gal buckets, and the big black & red barrels and head for the field.

We make use of pickup trucks and wagons for all of our harvesting since our fields are sometimes up to 3 miles away from the harvest shed. One person (a 2nd year apprentice at first, and then all of the apprentices as the season moves along) is designated the harvest manager for the week. It is their responsibility to make sure we have a plan for the week (what we need to harvest when to make sure all of our 500 shares are filled to the brim with fresh veggies!) The harvest manager moves the crew (our apprentices and a few stray teenagers are the harvest crew) to the field and back, ferrying people, buckets, and vegetables from field to harvest shed and back again.

Once in the cool of the shed, vegetables are washed and cooled in our well water and then packed in re-usable plastic lugs and into the walk-in cooler where they sit as close to 36F as we can get them. In this way we ensure maximum freshness for all of our perishable crops. Some crops (onions, winter squash, potatoes, etc) are not washed, but brought to the greenhouse or root cellar for curing & storage.

We generally harvest on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Starting at 6am to make sure the greens & lettuce still have no “field heat” we begin cutting as the sun comes up. Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale) comes next as they like it cool, but can be more tolerant of heat than lettuce. Roots (carrots, beets, turnips, etc) come next along with slightly heartier green veggies like scallions, fennel, celery, and leeks to round out the "wet crops" that want to be picked before 10 or 11am.

After those, we start on the fruiting crops, which want to be picked when they are dry so as to avoid moving plant diseases around the field. In the early summer that's zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers. As summer rolls along we add in peppers and eggplants. In the afternoons we pick tomatoes or whatever other fruits we haven't gotten to in the morning. In the spring we might harvest from 6am until about 10 or 11 and by early summer it takes us until noon. By the time August rolls around, we need almost the entire day to finish the harvest as we sort the tomatoes in the cool of the farm shop and finish by 5pm. By the end of the day, at the height of the season over 2000 lbs of vegetables are packed and cooled and ready for distribution the following day. Then we wake up the next morning (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) we pick sweet corn at 6am so that it has peak flavor and is ready for our CSA distribution later on that same day.

SHOPTALK - OLD SCHOOL

(you can still get the newsletter the usual way - just click on the week for a .pdf to print - here’s last season’s below)

Shoptalk Distribution Week #1- June 8, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #2 - June 15, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #3 - June 22, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #4 - June 29, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #5 - July 6, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #6 - July 13, 2019
Shoptalk Distribution Week #7 - July 20, 2019