News from the Farm, Monday August 31st

We had another productive week on the farm this week. Eric has taken over mowing everything and now has the orchards in a place of easy access.He also gets up really early every morning and accomplishes our daily foliar feeding. We are now back on schedule after it being hit or miss for several weeks.

The amazing Thursday crew helped us weed and mulch two new plantings of pole beans. Fingers crossed that we can get them to maturity without being taken out by disease and insects. Then we weeded and mulched our three beds of peppers, a bed of cucumbers (that doesn’t look totally promising) and then went on to accomplish half of three beds of kale. Friday we were able to plant new beds of spinach, radishes, and cilantro, which was promptly rained in on Saturday! Early in the week we mulched a perennial herb bed with wood chips and hay mulched another bed of peppers and some parsnips. Our ensemble of 4 beds of carrots and 4 beds of beets are now all weeded and growing beautifully for harvest in the next several weeks. Asian greens and lettuce were started in the greenhouse for planting out in the next 3 weeks or so. We are about done starting things in the greenhouse for this year, but will start to plant in the hoop houses in the next 2-3 weeks for late fall crops for the fall CSA.

Meanwhile we are processing tomatoes, applesauce, beet greens, beef stock from farmer friends, and always have at least one 5 gallon pot on the stove. Jack holds down the damaged peach management which includes turning them into dried peaches for enjoyment over the winter.

Ari and Maya are back at college, virtually, and wondering if that is what they really want to do with their time. They each are working here one day per week and are much appreciated. Sam and Eric will soon complete two weeks here and have both been irreplaceable WWOOFers. Julia is now gone, and Chloe, also doing the virtual college thing at Mt. Holyoke is here once per week. New WWOOFer Lindsy arrived Sunday night at 8pm and was out early on the farm this morning.  I am happy to have another midwesterner here on the farm (Lindsy is from Wisconsin). Cathleen and Clare are the rocks of the farm operation and we are eternally grateful each week to working shareholders Jim, Norma, Christine, Anna, Morgan, Cindy, Stu, Ann and Karen. We almost got the Friday shares ready by noon this past week!

Chickens went to slaughter on August 30. It turned out to be a glorious day with lots of fun. We will miss the chorus of young males who regaled us with their fine crows all morning long.

I will be officially retired from NOFA/Mass as of the end of the day today (Monday, August 31st) and got a taste of the fun moving forward when I worked outside all afternoon on Friday. Good times coming.

I hope you enjoy the move into the nostalgic month of September – a different one for most of us because of Covid, but we live in times of great change and disruption, and yet still have many blessed advantages in our wonderful Central Mass world.

– Julie