Dear Farm Boxers,
“The taste of summer arrives in a bite. Someone must be doing somethin’ right”.
These were Ron’s words after tasting the first strawberry of the season.
We are just fine here at Colchester Neighborhood Farm. Ron, Nicholas and I have been at the farm each day preparing for our first CSA pick up. Our organic farm intern, Paul Knox, has been working with us 3 days each week. We have a wonderful bunch of volunteers, who we are so grateful for… some of them come faithfully each week and others have come sporadically but each one contributes their valuable time and and helps us to accomplish our goals of planting, weeding and harvesting. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!!!
This time of year, I have dreams of the nightmarish torrential rain in 2006 which flooded one field and wiped out an entire planting of tomatoes, or thoughts of a hail storm which could wipe out tender leafy greens or the fear of an unexpected scorcher which could cook plants right in the ground, or an unexpected cold snap which could… gotta stop … am scaring myself! You get the picture; bunnies, cabbage moths, extreme weather, …potential hazards to crops are everywhere.
But, so far all looks fine and for your first farm box pick up, you can expect rhubarb and head lettuce from Frank Albani, at Soule Farm Homestead, in Middleboro. Frank is a long time organic farmer, owner of Golden Rule Farm in Middleboro and 2009 growing partner for the CNF. He will be providing various specialty crops like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants through out the season. We will have the following including but not limited to: onion tops, greens such as kale, collard, Swiss chard, arugula, some Asian greens, some peas and strawberries.
From our retail days, you will notice lots of “ stuff” at the barn. There are old time farm tools and implements, pots for plants, pottery decorations, new and used handmade and manufactured baskets, old wooden boxes, old bottles, hand painted slates, etc… all of these items are for sale. If you see something that you’d like and do not see a price on it; just make an offer. You will also see items on sale for $1.00. There are 2 and 3 foot hardwood stakes, 4 foot bamboo stakes, used picture frames, brackets of several types, hose couplings, several sizes of saucers to be placed under your potted plants,… and more!
We have a few misnomers at Colchester Neighborhood Farm. The actual term Farm Box: Originally we commissioned a local carpenter to craft our wooden farm box. This is no longer financially possible so the term “farm box” really now refers to the contents of the box. Please bring your own containers to bring your produce home in. Many people rinse out the plastic boxes that lettuce and salad mixes come in from the store and re-fill them with fresh organic green leaves for their farm box. Others bring the plastic, paper or canvass or recycled grocery bags and refill them. Some folks bring boxes or baskets, whatever works best for you is what we hope you will bring.
Goat Salad : When we had goats, we encouraged folks to bring their table scraps (old but not mushy fruits and vegetables) to be hand fed to the goats. We referred to this as “goat salad”. We are not keeping goats at the moment, but, we still encourage people to bring “ goat salad” to the chickens. The chickens are also fond of stale bread and crackers. Dapple is especially fond of carrots and apples and the pigs will eat just about anything. We prefer that the animals receive fruits and vegetables only 2 or 3 days old, but if you have produce that is less fresh, it can go into our compost. Please check with us if you have anything that you question.
When you come for your farm box, please notice the 2 large chalk boards in the barn. One has the list of people that we expect to pick up their farm box that day. If your name is not there or if the spelling is incorrect, please take no offense, but please do let me know. So that we can keep track, we would appreciate it if you would cross your name off the list after you gather your items. The other board has the offerings of the day. We look forward to a bountiful season where the farm box contents will be increasing each week. … remember, the concept of the CSA is that you receive a “share” of the harvest. If we harvest 15 pounds of peas and there are 30 people expected that day, each shareholder receives a half pound. So, we harvest first thing in the morning and then divide it up according to how many of each size share we are expecting.