Summer Farming- CSA Shares Week 5

basketsThe summer rains seem to be letting up a bit in our corner of the hills in West County.   This spring has been a fun and productive one for the farm.  CSA Shares have been moving right along and are now in their fifth week of pickups.  This time of year, shares and market wares include Kale, Swiss Chard, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Garlic Scapes, Salad Turnips, Basil and Broccoli.  Our old versatile friend the Potato is back this week too!  Earlier this spring we had great pea and radish crops but like so many flavors of the growing season, these delicious treats only lasted for a few weeks.  Don’t worry, the radishes will return this fall!   We are enjoying our new ‘market style’ CSA pickups, where members have free choice with what they take away in their shares each week.  Our punch card shares have been working out as well, these members only pickup when they want to and can take as little or as much as they like each time, just don’t lose those punch cards!  🙂

The excitement IMG_6919of the new Downtown Pittsfield Market has continued on into the summer.  At the end of June we took a fun trip to the “big city” of Chicopee to make an appearance on WWLP’s “Mass Appeal” to discuss the new market and cook up some of our delicious eggs and veggies live on camera.

We’ve done several farm tours this season so far.  The downtown market manager took the time to write this wonderful article about our little farm after their visit.  We also met with the founder of an exciting new project, Localcycle.   They will be working with the farm by connecting us to institutional buyers who want to offer local food in their dining facilities.

Speaking of working with the farm, Alex and I are lucky to have some help this season.  Last year’s live in apprentice, Tyler, has started his own farm in Windsor this season.  He came out several times this spring to help with our larger plantings and went home with lots of seedlings for his own patch.  We also have had steady help from a Boston transplant, Justin.  It has been so nice to have helpers during our busiest time of year.  They seem to be enjoying all of the yummy farm food too!

Our fall crop of Brassicas is coming along in the greenhouse.  Once they are in the ground, we will be finished with field transplanting for the year, whew!  Now begins the season of weeding, cultivating and harvesting.  All of this rain has brought on a bumber crops of bugs as well.  Tomatoes in the hoophouseWe  are trying to harvest those guys off of our plants, by harvest I really mean staring at them and wishing they would go away…  Let’s hope they don’t affect our potato and squash crops too much.

In the next few weeks we will begin harvesting what is shaping up to be a great tomato crop from the hoop house and the field.  Cucumbers will be coming in and the cabbage too.  We hope all of our CSA members and market customers are enjoying the great flavors of early summer.  We’ll see you at the markets!

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