Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 3/22/2012 7:52pm by Andre Cantelmo.

   I don't know what to say about this weather anymore. It feels like June and the greenhouses are distinctly uncomfortable to work in even with every door wide open. On a positive note, seeds are germinating outside and it has been very pleasant outside for working. We are still seeding away in the greenhouses and the crew has done a tremendous amount of pruning in the blueberries. We expect 'normal' spring weather to return at some point so we can't do much more planting outside than we have without worrying that it will come to naught.

   For those of you who pick up in Dover or Portsmouth, this will be the last pickup of the season while farmstand members have one more pickup after this one. We've enjoyed growing your food this winter and meeting many of you. We hope that you'll join us for a great summer season to come.

Thanks again! Greg, Andre, Anna, Lis, Dave, Rich and Tim


This week's share:

4 lbs potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb purple top turnips

1 lb rutabagas

1 kohlrabi

1 bag spinach

1 bag kale

Posted 3/8/2012 9:01pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  It feels early for 65 degrees, but who's complaining? Warm weather lowers the heating bill and all the sun helps the seedlings grow more quickly. We still won't rush out to plant in the fields yet, but the warmth does help to make planting season more tangible. Right now the wind is howling and it has already made a mess of several greenhouse doors today. Let's hope that mild weather continues into April when it can really make a difference towards an early season.

  Many of you have signed up for a summer share, thank you and we look forward to great food all summer and fall. For those who are still thinking of signing up for the summer, it's getting close to that time when we would like to have an idea of how many families we'll be growing for this season. Right now we have onions, shallots, beets, chard, lettuce, cabbage, choi and parsley sown as well as many kinds of flowers. The first rounds of greenhouse tomatoes are also ready to plant. The days are getting longer whether we're ready or not!

         Enjoy!  Greg


This week's share:

4 lbs potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb purple top turnips

1 kohlrabi

2 lbs wheat berries

1 bag spinach

1 bag greens, choose from (availability will change) kale, yukina savoy, pink lettuce mustard, me quing choi

Posted 2/24/2012 7:39pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  Come to Wentworth Greenhouses on Saturday for a great market! Root veggies, shallots, spinach and other greens from Heron Pond Farm. Many other delicious local farm products and crafts. The market runs from 10:00 to 2:00 in the greenhouse.


        Greg

Posted 2/24/2012 7:19am by Andre Cantelmo.

  We're now about half way through our onion seeding in the greenhouse. In addition to more onions we will also be seeding shallots, leeks, lettuce, several herbs and some flowers. Andre is officially on the lookout for some thawed, dry ground to sneak in some early direct seedings. In February!

  While we will have a few onions for sale at the farmstand, our storage supply is essentially gone. We do however have some shallots to last through this share at least. For those who don't remember the me quing choi, it looks like a baby bok choi. Great for stir fries and soups. We expect spinach to return to the share next time. Eat well! Greg

This week's share:

4 lbs potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb beets

1 lb rutabagas

1 lb purple top turnips

1/3 lb shallots

1/2 lb Me Quing Choi

Posted 2/10/2012 8:12pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  This Saturday you can find us at the Seacoast Eat Local market held in Exeter High School from 10 to 2. Agricultural vendors offering vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, honey, maple syrup, milk, cheese, yogurt and more will be joined by crafts of many types and delicious prepared foods.

  We can also be found at the Armory in Somerville from 9:30 to 2:30 along with vendors of all types.

Posted 2/9/2012 8:36pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  This week on the farm we've certainly felt the sun get higher in the sky. It seems like the growth of the greens has already responded and we can hear the increase in birdsong. We also feel the pressure to begin seeding in earnest for the new season. The early greenhouse still needs some more cleaning and organization but by next week we will be seeding onions, shallots, leeks and some herbs. Within a month the first of the greenhouse tomatoes will be planted and away we go!

  The only surprise in the share this week are the wheat berries. We grew the wheat here in town and James and Jocelyn Van Bokkelen generously combined and cleaned the grain. Wheat berries can be boiled and then eaten as a cooked grain with dinner or as a hot breakfast cereal. Some add them to salads or to some breads. There will be some cooking instructions available and as always, sites like epicurious.com can offer many other ideas.

   Enjoy, Greg


This weeks' share:

4 lbs potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb beets

1 lb rutabagas

1 lb purple top turnips

1 lb onions or 1/3 lb shallots

2 lbs wheat berries

1 bag spinach

Posted 1/27/2012 8:00pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  We will be at two markets this Saturday. From 9:30 to 2:30 we will be at the Armory in Somerville. In addition to produce this market features cheese, baked goods and prepared foods.  We will also attend the Seacoast Eat Local market in Rollinsford and Wentworth Greenhouses. This market hosts a wide array of vendors offering local produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, cheese and other dairy products, as well as prepared foods.  The market is held in the greenhouses, a nice warm sunny spot to spend part of a winter day.


              See you there!  Greg

Posted 1/26/2012 9:25pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  Well, we've sweetened the share a little this week with a January surprise: sweet potatoes! The sweet potatoes were grown at Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA. We are going to take another stab at growing our own this season, but for now you can enjoy these beauties. For those shallot lovers out there you will have a choice of shallots or onions this share. Sweet red russian kale in this weeks' share can be cut for a salad or cooked lightly in a variety of ways. The baby spinach leaves are delicious!

  Although we've had some cold nights recently, the weather has warmed (was it really 55 degrees Tuesday!?) and looks to stay mild for a little. This, along with daylength reaching 10 hours around the 8th of February should mean a greens explosion by later in that month.  

   On a different note, we've had some unwelcome guests in our main spinach house: green peach aphids! Unfortunately, they don't stick to green peaches. Several years ago we had a terrible problem with them on the spinach in March and April. This year we caught the problem early and have made releases of lady beetles, a predator of aphids, and a tiny wasp called Aphidius colemani, a parasitoid. We hope that these insects will help keep the aphid population under control as the days lengthen and our spinach grows.

               Greg


This weeks' share:

4 lbs potatoes

2 lbs sweet potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb purple top turnips

1 lb rutabagas

1 lb onions OR 1/3 lb shallots

1/2 lb red russian kale

1 bag baby spinach

Posted 1/13/2012 7:55pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Come and join us at Exeter High School this Saturday from 10 till 2 for a winter farmers' market.  Along with fresh veggies you'll find prepared foods, local meat and eggs, crafts and much more. We'll also be at the Armory in Somerville for the weekly winter market.
Posted 1/12/2012 9:09pm by Andre Cantelmo.

   Our work on the farm has settled into a winter pattern: washing roots; harvesting greens; cutting wood; fixing equipment, and planning. The seed catalogs are in, the nights are long (although going in the other direction now!) and the new season is more tangible with the holidays behind us. We're not ready for winter (if you can call it that) to end, there is certainly more quiet time for us at this time of year, but within a few weeks we will begin to sow seeds in the greenhouses for the upcoming season. The onions in this weeks' share were sown last February!

    We have cancelled Friday nights' CSA meeting/potluck in Dover but hope to reschedule soon for those who would like to attend and tell us about your experience with the CSA this past year and what you would like in the future. However, the Saturday evening meeting/potluck at the South Hampton town hall is still a go. It will be held at 6:00 and all are welcome.

    There is still time to get the early bird registration discount for the 2012 Summer CSA. Shares paid in full by January 19 will be at the 2011 prices of $300 for a half share and $500 for a full share. After January 19 the prices will be $325 for the half and $550 for the full share.

   Enjoy the winter weather (if you can).  Greg

This weeks' share:

4 lbs potatoes

1 lb carrots

1 lb rutabaga

1 lb purple top turnip

1 lb onions

1 kohlrabi

1 bag spinach

radishes (not sure of amount at press time)