Flea beetle damage on the september broccolis but they are already bouncing back, sunnies and transplants galore!

Hello friends and farm-ily,

We hope you are doing well. It looks like we are in for another round of “unseasonably warm weather” (according to our weather app). We did have an amazing weekend for weather though with temps in the high 70’s and clouds to boot. We were able to plant 4,000 ft of fall kale, chard, collards, and broccoli. Next up on the ol’ planting list is romanesco, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and storage beets! It’s probably going to be another week of long evenings for us (to avoid planting in 100 degree weather or should we say “wither”) but we’re making a big push and getting it done one thing at a time. Send us your good thoughts and spirits!

“But the real products of any year’s work are the farmer’s mind and the cropland itself.” – Wendell Berry

It’s funny how one season you will discover something new – both challenging and inspiring (new could mean: methods, pest pressure, weed pressure or disease, plant successes, the perfect way to store things in the cooler, a new cultivating sweep that keeps you off your hands and knees etc) and some seasons you rediscover things you might not have revisited in a long while. “Ohhh yeahhh! I remember when this happened before” Everyday it feels like something new – a challenge to rise to in many shapes and forms!



Gloucester is the ultimate companion planter, brussel sprouts interplanted with phacelia, and the piper in the pepper patch..

We are finding that systems are so important on the farm and we are constantly asking ourselves, “what is the most efficient ways to do this job”, “what is the best way to move this crop from field to curing to customer” Etc As a farmer you need to be efficient as possible for many reasons… especially if it’s just two of you managing the day to day farm tasks. The working smarter, not harder is the key to it all. How many times do you pick something up, how many times do you harvest any one crop during the week (can you harvest it all at once)?, how many times do you hand weed a crop etc etc. This year more than ever we are feeling less set in our established ways and more open to change. Sometimes you choose it and other times it becomes necessity otherwise it just won’t work out anymore… This old proverb comes to mind…

Necessity is the mother of all invention.” – English proverb


These are all new methods that we’ve added to the mix this season to make the land and work more efficient (and things we are still learning about as we go along).. cooling and storing the produce with the cooler, harvesting and moving the vegetables with our CSA trailer, pre emergence flame weeding, direct seeding crops with our precision jang seeder, prepping beds with the compost spreader and fertilizer drop spreader, making dibble marks for planting with the chalmers (for ease of planting, equal measurements and uniform planting), stalebedding before planting, cultivating with the chalmers, investing more in organic compost and amendments for the soil, interplanting phacelia and alyssum as an attractant to beneficial predatory insects, building a permanent pick up area for the CSA members etc. These efficiencies seem to be working as we’re able to grow food for over 110 families (over 400 individuals) as two farmers on 4 acres of cultivated land. As we hone in on the efficiencies we are also us thinking about productivity…. How to make the land more productive and that has been inspring us to invest more heavily in the soils.


The first of the heirloom tomatoes are rolling on in and the twilight hours in the flower garden are magic..

“To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 400 B.C.

SOIL! We have been talking a lot about our soil this season, how we feel the crops are doing with our custom organic fertilizer mix we blended in the Spring, the extra compost, our tilling and watering methods, etc. Every season we are diving just a little bit deeper and understanding more clearly of what our soil needs are specifically to this piece of land. We are excited to really hone in on soil fertility and to see how much the land will change for the better over time. It all starts in the soil and we really just want to become better soil farmers. Farmer Brian LOVES talking soil science and wishes he had more time just to devote to the science part. Bit by bit though and season by season.. we learn, grow and build.  It’s easy to feel connected to the farm, the food and soil when you can look at a plant and decipher what it’s needs are just by observing. As farmers, we measure success by the quality of the soil. It’s all about feeding it well so it in turn can be taken up by the plant. We will continue to give, give, give and it too will return to us a bountiful harvest year after year.  Same goes for our pasture that we planted in the Fall of 2013.


The latest beet succession (on the left) and carrot succession (on the right) using the pre-emergence flame weeding..

Feelin’ Inspired! So far the pre emergent flame weeding has been working very well for us. So well in fact it feels like we’re breathing new life into the season and into your farmers, which feels amazing. The Upswing as we’ve been calling it. The latest successions of storage carrots, beets, cilantro and greens mix have all come up beautifully. We have prepped and readied another 12 beds to direct seed into this week and will continue to experiment and learn more about this amazing new tool/method we are discovering. It really feels like we are on the right track. The plants have a big head start on the weeds and we are spending way less time hand weeding.. a win-win for us all!

We hope you all have a great start to the week. It was nice to see some of you last week at the pick up – we were able to see about half our members which was a nice pick me up when we weren’t out there planting (it’s a crazy life we lead….) Thank you for your encouragement, appreciation and genuine awesome-ness. We look forward to feeding you all well into the summer and fall! Here we grow week 11!

A note of encouragement and a thank you: as you may know the House voted to ban states from labeling GMO foods at the end of last week.  Thank you for supporting your local farm/farmers!  We couldn’t do any of this without you.   (And keep voting with your food dollars!)  “Shake the hand that feeds you.” ― Michael Pollan ‪#‎knowyourfarmer‬‪#‎knowyourfood‬

With kind regards,

Your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts