News from the Farm, Monday September 7th

Julie ended her long tenure with NOFA/Mass on Monday. On Saturday, she was celebrated by the board and staff with a small gathering and the gift of new perennials for the farm – a Cornelian cherry, garlic and white-flowered chives, anise hyssopblack cohosh, asparagus seedlings. She also received a gift certificate to purchase more plants in spring.  Julie also noted that the party also included “at least half an hour of people saying nice things about me. You don’t get that often in life!”

The farm is looking neat and clean this week, thanks to some pre-party weedwacking instigated by Eric. Barre shareholders, prepare to be impressed! 🙂 The West field is looking especially beautiful, and four beds have been prepared to plant the new perennials. This week, the crew also finished weeding and mulching the black raspberries, trimmed the onions curing in the barn, and used up all of the mulch that has been lingering around – two-year-old hay, year-old turkey feathers, last season’s leaves. Don Persons came out from Baystate Organic Certifiers to complete our annual organic inspection and renewal of our Certified Organic status.

Through all of the week’s work, the food preservation push continued: freezng sweet corn and not-quite-CSA-quality peppers, stewing tomatoes, making applesauce and grape juice. One unusual snag came up in the process this year: canning lids and jars seem to be in short supply. Julie comments “it’s great that people are preserving more this year” and is hopeful that she’ll be able to procure more before the November shipping estimate given for her most recent order.

In staff news, Lindsy has completed her first week on the farm. She’s already tight with Cathleen and is learning up a storm. She has been excited about food preservation and loves the chickens, gladly collecting the eggs each morning. This week, she’ll be taking over lunch duty starting on Tuesday. Two new WWOOFers are also due to arrive this week: Gavin, from California and Davida from New Jersey.