Monday, May 30, 2011


May 30, 2011
Hi gang,

This is one busy place here. The sun is shining at last and the farm crew is planting and planting! Many of the early/main planting items are in although there is more to go. It's good to at least imagine the main planting being done, even if it's an illusion. This past week I have been home farming and have been very lucky to have the help of Sarah, Robin and farm member, Desiree. Thanks, you guys!

Fruit trees: 7 new fruit trees will be arriving this week. 2 peaches, 2 sweet cherries, 1 sour cherry, 1 quince and 1 pear. Thank goodness Robin is coming up to help plant them. Here's hoping for lots of delicious fruit in the shares in years to come!

The first share went well. Picking and distribution was pretty smooth. Thank you all for switching to pick up this year. It makes the process a lot simpler for me. One lovely thing was that the tree peony decided to bloom just in time for last week's bouquets. It is absolutely gorgeous.
You can read about last week's share and follow the link for recipe ideas here:

Birthday Gift: This past Saturday I got a phone call from Atlanta, Georgia from a woman who found the farm on line. She asked if I would make up a gift box of vegetables and flowers and deliver it to her friend who lives in Leyden. What a fun thing, out of the blue. So I picked and delivered a Birthday Share to the birthday gal, who was very surprised and pleased. Fun!

You can see pictures here:

I seemed to have run out of steam for the day so I'll just give you a quick low down on this week's share.

Pick Up on Thursday - 12:00 - 6:00

pea shoots - for stir frys and more
kale and/or endive
Sweet Cicely seed pods - these are tasty just for nibbling but could be added to salads too.
flowers - hoping there will still be peonies and maybe dogwood blossoms

Okay, now to rest up so I can plant more tomorrow!
PS Anyone who does not want to be on this email list, just let me know.

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SHARE # 1 - 2011


Thing went pretty well today. I still have a fair amount of prep work to do to make the process more speedy. Simple things like cleaning up the dining room (where we prep the shares) so there is more counter top/table space to use. Also, I need to finish cleaning up the garage so I can make a long term set up. But, all in all, it went well and I am happy with the size and quality of the shares. I had to pick all the head lettuce but that's fine. The mesclun is getting bigger every day and I have lots more small head lettuce plants to set out.

I am trying out a whole new system of distribution this year so it was fun to try out a few new things. No delivery anymore, just pickups. And the bouquets are MYO (Make Your Own). I did not separate each person's share but instead put the bags or bundles of each thing all together and let the farm members pick out their own. Lots of new details to think about.

SHARE # 1 (quantities are approximate)

Half Share:
Rhubarb 1 # 6 OZ.
Lettuce 13.5 OZ
Spinach 1 1/4 #
Peppermint 1 bunch
Violets 1 bunch

Full Share: Twice as much.

For cooking ideas see the Farm Recipe Blog

Flowers: Tree Peonies, Leopard's Bane, Hosta leaves, Perennial Centaurea


Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Farm Share # 1

May 23, 2011
Hello Farm Members and Friends of the Farm!

(If you are busy, zip down to the bottom of this email for a list of what will be in this week's share!)

At last I am writing to you all and the share season is beginning. I have not sent you any emails for a long time but starting now, you'll be getting at least one each week, usually on Sunday or Monday. Thank you for waiting so patiently.

FARM NEWS: Rest assured, I have not been idle. Those who I get to see or talk to in my day to day life know that there are hundreds of seedlings and many, many rows of seeds planted and growing. This week I am home all week setting out tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and flowers, and planting beans, squash and cucumbers and more! And then there is fertilizing, hoeing, pruning and mulching. (Not much watering though.)
It's a busy time here.

I am the kind of person who tends to see the bright side, even in the rain. This is great weather for transplanting seedlings and it's wonderful for growing crisp and juicy lettuce and spinach. In fact, the lettuce and spinach are *insisting* that I START THE SHARES THIS WEEK. Okay, okay guys. It's always an act of faith and courage to make any commitment, and that is true for starting the farm shares as well. Now that I've been farming for five years, I recognize the feeling of uncertainty, the concern that there will not be enough for the shares. But, I remember that every year this feeling quickly passes into "What are we going to do with all this food?!"

Oops, I mean the FULL AND HALF-SIZED SHARES ARE STARTING. You mini-share folks will need to wait one or possibly two more weeks. It is entirely weather dependant. The plants are in the ground - mesclun, cilantro, spinach, radishes, arugula and more - but they need some sunshine to really get growing. The start up shares this week will be a bit smaller than later ones. Just think of them as warm up shares. We all get to practice our parts and gather our containers, recipes, etc.

- Farm Helper, Sarah Brown-Anson has started working at the farm! It is just terrific to have another pair of hands and another interested gardener around the place. I can tell that Sarah's help will make a huge difference around the farm this year.

- There are baby chicks. I have twenty 2 1/2 week old chicks that are thriving and cute. Come by to see them if you are interested. They include more of the green egg laying Ameracaunas and some Welsummers, Leghorns, Anconas, Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussex chicks. The grown up hens are laying well. If you are interested in eggs, send me a note. I usually have plenty.

- I'm getting a hoop house! My sons Dan and Robin gave me a hoop house as a birthday/mothers' day gift!!

- It's Farming Week # 2. With a few possible exceptions, I am home this week through Sunday, May 29. If you have the urge to visit, look at your vegetables, admire the chicks or help with the planting, come on by!


PICK UP will be Thursday afternoon. I will be here to help you find your share. Let's say any time between 12:00 and 6:00. If that is a problem, please let me know.
(At this writing, I do not yet have a refrigerator in the garage, so I will be using coolers to start the season. Still looking for one or two more refrigerators, if you happen to bump into one.)

Bring your own BAG or BOX to hold your share. Bring a JAR for your flowers.

Now is a great time to start thinking about how to manage your share. Many people find it helpful to look through and possibly wash their vegetables the day they get them. That way you can get a good sense of what and how much you have. A good goal is to use up all your food before the following week, even if that means freezing some or inviting a friend over.

I usually rinse off the soil from the vegetables but your produce WILL NEED WASHING! If you plan on storing lettuce or mesclun or other leafy things after washing, it helps to dry it off before refrigerating. And it helps to cool down all your vegetables as soon as possible.

Okay, I don't want to say more right now because this email is already way too long. Remember that I am here to help you. If you have questions, please ask. If you want to read more about the farm, check the blog. It has a section for the farm, for the csa, for eggs and other picked-to-order items, and for recipes. If you are not a farm member this year and don't want to be on this email list, let me know. That's no problem; I'll take you right off.

THIS WEEK'S SHARE - May 26, 2011

Head lettuce
Rhubarb (Thanks to Karen Loomis)
Wild peppermint (or applemint or spearmint, if you prefer)
Flowers - unless the rain is too much for them

This is for the Full and Half Share folks. If you all would send me a reply so I know that you got this message, that would be helpful.

See you soon!

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337
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