Here comes the rain… doo doo doo doo – it’s been the moodiest Spring ever..

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,


Whoo hoo!  As of last week, we’re officially SOLD OUT for the 2017 Spring, Summer & Fall CSA Season!  If you’d like to be added to our waiting list please fill out the sign up form here: we’ll email you should a share become available!  We can’t wait for the 2017 CSA season to start (see details at the bottom of this newsletter)! Thank you to all of our amazing CSA members both new and old who have signed up for the 2017 Spring and Summer CSA season!

Winter CSA Success!  This past week was the final pick up week of our second Winter CSA season and I know we’ve said this time and time again but we LOVE the Winter CSA!!  We, your farmers, THANK YOU CSA-ers!  Thank you all for your continued support through all the seasons.  You are all CSA rock stars and we are proud to be your farmers!  

The Winter Bounty.  We started our Winter CSA journey on November 28th and we’ve made it all the way to the middle of April! Our expectation for the Winter Shares was 8-10 items (dependent on weather) in each weekly share.   Over the course of 18 weeks we had 11-17 items in each weekly share.  We were also impressed with the variety of veggies we harvested through the winter months – most weeks we had more fresh picked produce than storage veggies which is amazing (even in the coldest and darkest of winter days)!   To top it all off, it was an average of 450lbs per share which comes in around $1.52 per lb of produce.

So many different kind of goodies in the winter shares…Arugula, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, cilantro, collards, garlic, greens mix, italian dandelion, kale, kohlrabi, komatsuna, leeks, lettuce heads, onions, herbs (thyme, oregano), pac choi, parsley, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, pumpkins, radish, rapini, radicchio, romanesco, rutabaga, scallions, shallots, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, storage tomatoes, turnips, winter squash and more!

Becca & I weeding the garlic, Brian prepping beds before the rains and finishing up our planting of strawberries (almost a mile!)

We’ve been through just about every bit of weather you can experience this winter… hail, sleet, ice rain, torrential down pours, SNOW (more than once and 12 inches!), high winds, frigid temps (12 degrees for successional days)… and through it all we always had food to put on the table.  Brushing 12” of snow off the 4 high tunnels for 12 hours overnight was definitely a low point but we survived it all and have grown through the experience and believe it or not LOVED IT every step of the way.  We’re just crazy about growing vegetables and this kind of winter weather is invaluable for us farmers to learn and grow from.

We are so excited to learn and grow for the next winter season!  Keep your eyes and ears open when we launch the 2017 Winter CSA Sign Ups later this summer!  We’ll be starting Fall and Winter veggie starts in the coming months (we’re always thinking ahead…!)

This extra wet Spring/remnants of Winter just doesn’t want to quit and it’s been the wettest   and coolest Spring we’ve ever experienced as farmers.  It’s one of those Springs despite having plans you’re just doing things as the weather permits.  We’ve been working hard and paying close attention to the soil conditions, soil temperatures, forecasts, etc and really making the most of the milder days.  At times we’re having to plant in less than ideal conditions and flying by the seat of our pants so to say… planting in between storms and being extra flexible based on the morning forecast.

Part of the bed prep process, drop spreading lime and our custom fertilizer blend, getting those transplants in the ground, and prepping more beds/covering with heavy tarps before the rains.. 

For the past few weeks, after CSA harvests, Brian and I (with the help of our amazing new tractor with creeper gear – finally!) had ourselves a few planting date nights and planted out 4,000 row ft just the three of us (tractor totally counts) in the evening sun. Brian had spent two days last week prepping TWO new 200ft x 200ft blocks in the upper pasture (!!). Everything was set to go and we were able to plant 3 beds but then it rained just enough to dampen our plans. So the next day we looked to our upper gardens and sure enough one of them had the most perfect texture. After another harvest, we planted another round of brassicas and decided to make 12 extra beds for future direct seeding. We covered them with 6 mil plastic tarps (from Home Depot) for stale seed bedding/occultation and secured them with tons of sandbags. It made for a really long day but we were energized by the endless possibilities ahead… and we think our futures selves will thank us when there are more veggies to be sown!  #bringonthesun #wereready #sundancespring#thebestlaidplans #flyingbytheseatofourpants  #signsofspring  #gotime

We’ve been prepping a lot of beds all at once when we get our chance and the beds that we aren’t able to plant in that same day we’ve been covering with the plastic tarps to keep rain off of them for better planting conditions.  It’s worked great for us so far and is getting us by!  With our tractor/transplanter set up last week alone Brian and I were also able to plant 1,800 row ft of kale, 600 row ft of collards, 1,800 ft of cabbage, and with Becca’s help we were able to plant 1,200 ft of beets, 1,200 ft of chard, 900 row ft of spinach, 1,200 ft of lettuce  & 1,800 row ft of strawberries.

We’ve be busy soaking up the last few days of sun before the forecasted day of rain…  In the last 72 hours thanks to some more mild weather Becca, Brian & I were able to plant the remaining strawberries (4800 ft.. almost a mile of strawberries) and 2500 ft of greens (spinach and chicory varieties).  Yesterday, Brian and I planted 3,000 ft of brassicas (cabbage, kohlrabi, mustards, cauliflower) and this morning Brian has been preparing almost a 1/2 acre for a few upcoming epic plantings of onions (7,200 row ft) and potatoes (4,800 row ft).  Our windows of opportunity to plant have been slim compared to years prior but we’ve been making the most of the the time we have and it sure feels good to keep things rolling forward.

So keep all those fingers and toes crossed for us and do as many sun dances as you can!

Driving the new tractor with Becca and Brian transplanting on the back, spring radishes and Brian filling up the compost spreader!  

The planting and seeding continues.. last weekend we started our first curcubits (cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini) in the propagation house as well as a bunch of greens and other goodies!  Our first round of sweet corn will be started in just a few days… the first succession of tomatoes & basil will be planted in the high tunnel…. things are about to get real!  It’s hard to believe it’s already the middle of April.. pretty soon harvest will begin again and a whole new adventure awaits!  #keepswimming #endlesspossibilities

WHEN DOES THE SPRING/SUMMER/FALL CSA begin?  Our estimated start date for the season is the week of May 16th – so it could be as early as then but as the seasons vary the CSA may begin up to two weeks after our estimated start date.    Due to the extra wet Spring we’ve been having it has left the soils cooler than usual which means the plants are growing much slower than we’re used to.  This could mean that we might be starting the CSA a touch later than planned… but anything can happen so stay tuned!  We’re working hard to make a mid-May start date happen.. now it’s just up to ol’ mother nature (more sun = warmer temps = faster growing plants!)

We’ll send everyone an official start date email during the first few weeks of May!    

Gloucester and Ahab are the kings of leisure on the farm and this high tunnel is all prepped and ready to go for Spring/Summer!

We look forward to seeing and meeting all our Spring/Summer/Fall CSA Members next month!  We’ll be in touch with updates about the start date etc.  In the meantime, follow us on Instagram Facebook to keep in touch with our daily happenings on the farm.  Here we grow!  Whoo hoo!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts