Monday, June 27, 2011

FARM WEEK # 6 - June 30, 2011 - Minis - Week # 3

June 27, 2011
Good evening, friends and farm members!

The sun has been a big tease lately but today was a treat!

This week the focus has been on weeding, supporting with trellises and stakes, mulching and setting out the very last of the seedlings. We got the pumpkins in and transplanted a bunch of head lettuces for later on. Most of the flowers are in as well. Still looking for a spot to tuck some more fennel and kolrabi plants. Next up, re-planting some of our favorites like mesclun and white turnips.

In between chores we, (or is it just me?), have been distracted by the prettiness of the garden, especially the weeded and mulched areas and the tiny new crops coming in. Sarah taste tested the first of the Sugar Snap peas and I've been munching tiny turnips and carrots and sniffing the first blooms of the Sweet Peas. Lovely.

The new arbor is up and now we get to watch the hops and moonflower vines grow. So far the shade there is imaginary but I have high hopes for a cool spot to relax and watch the moonflowers open up in the evening. If you've never seen a moonflower, they are amazing. Like giant, fragrant full moons.

The Wicked Early Tomato patch is thriving. The plants are 5 feet tall and stocky AND there is a yellow tomato ripening! There are LOTS of raspberries forming. It looks like a good year for berries. Little orange, yellow and purple carrots are forming. The young pullets now have their own little house and yard so they get lots of outdoor time and the chance to study the big birds to see they can learn anything. Sadly for us, the woodchuck seems to be getting most of the second planting of kale. Hopefully, the third planting will be all ours.

The bantam hen is setting her four eggs with dedication. Her due date is Monday! The Dark Cornish hen's eleven eggs should hatch the following Saturday, July 9.

Pea shoots - I have discovered that the very tips of the shoots are the most tender and for now will be adding them to the mesclun. Or you can request a bundle of just the shoots, if you like, and I will keep them on the short side. When the hot weather comes, these will probably get too tough. I should have more in the fall.

If you have the time when you pick up your share, take a walk through the Pick-Your-Own snap peas on Thursday. There are more ready every day! Eat them up or bring a container. Look for signs at the south end of the garden. (closest to the mail box)

kolrabi - These are delicious. Just peel and eat the insides raw. Usually slice them and add to salads.
head lettuce
garlic scapes - the buds of garlic plants, use like scallions or garlic or make scape pesto
radishes? - They are almost done for now but I think there are still some. More just germinated.
turnips? - almost ready, but it may be next week, we'll just have to see.
Shell peas - Full and Working Shares only
Kale - for the Full Share only
flowers - rudbeckia? sweet peas? sweet william, daisies, cosmos, calendula, yarrow, etc.


1 - mesclun

2 - Your Choice of one of these:
garlic scapes
mustard greens (only one portion, first to call it, gets it)
curly parsley
pea shoots
Farmer's Choice of any of the above or something else entirely that needs picking!

3 - flowers

Most likely I'll be picking on Wednesday late afternoon so let me know before that if you have a preference.

Have a great day and see you Thursday,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337
Farm Blog
2011 Farm Shares on facebook:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Share # 5 - 2011, Mini Share # 2 - 2011

Suddenly, the shares seem big! And there is enough growing in the garden that I didn't need to pick every last leaf that was ready for harvest.

Lots of Sweet William for the bouquets this week, and there are calendula, yarrow, canterbury bells and rudbeckia starting to bloom. Flowers for everyone.

The garlic scapes are in full swing. Expect more next week.

Check out the recipe blog for some ideas for using radish tops, kolrabi, garlic scapes, parsley and pea shoots.


Full Share
mesclun 4 oz
kolrabi 4
parsley 4 oz
garlic scapes 6.5 oz
radishes 2 big bunches
scallions 3.5oz
pea shoots 3 oz
cilantro 1.3 oz
chard/beet thinnings 6 oz
mustard greens 1 #

Half Share
Half as much as the full share but no mustard greens and the same amount of mesclun

Mini Shares
Everyone gets 4 oz mesclun and a big bunch of radishes, except for the special requests who got parsley and turnip greens.

Enjoy your fresh food and flowers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FARM WEEK # 5 - June 23, 2011


June 21, 2011
Good morning, farm members!

All is well here on this sunny Solstice morning. Last week's picking and delivery went well. Check the CSA blog for pictures and details.

YOUR SHARE - I keep forgetting a couple of things about the shares. One is that if you have particular likes or dislikes or allergies, please let me know. The other thing is that please remember that your vegetables are NOT ready to eat. They need washing!

The farm crew has been working hard to get the last of the seedlings in and to plant for later crops, like carrots, beets and rutabagas. And to weed, mulch, water, support, fertilize, encourage, admire, and generally nurture all the growing things around here. This includes tiny pea pods, budding calendula, bees, borage seedlings, mock orange flowers, wild roses, baby chicks, setting hens, small green raspberries, huge (I mean really huge!) tomato plants, and more. The garden is alive, smelling sweetly of flowers and full of singing birds. Heavenly.


One exciting item of farm news is that we have a new FARM HELPER, Nick of Leyden, a recent high school graduate and friend, looking for some time outdoors and a chance to build muscles. Well. The farm as an outdoor gym? We have lots of that kind of work around here! Thank you so much, Nick!

The woodchuck is still around. There has been some damage but mostly s/he is making me nervous. Next step is to clear the brush around the garden, especially near the den. I know that they do not like being exposed.

The Italian parsley has decided to bolt. (That means go to seed, not run away.) So I will pick all of that this week and replant. We still have curly leaf parsley to eat. One item that needs picking is some Thick Stemmed Mustard greens. Unfortunately the leaves have lots of holes due to insect damage. It is still fine to eat but I won't put it in your share unless you request it. Garlic scapes are ready!

garlic scapes (the buds of garlic plants, use like scallions or garlic)
pea shoots (if you come up with a great way to prepare these, please let me know)
cilantro (can substitute dill)
thinnings of beets and chard (baby greens, use like spinach)
mustard greens (by request only)
flowers - still lots of Sweet William out there

Your Choice of one of these - parsley, garlic scapes, turnip green thinnings
Farmer's Choice of any of the above or something else entirely that needs picking!

Because of the coming rain, I'll be picking on Wednesday, so let me know soon if you have a preference.

Have a wonderful day and a peaceful, happy summer,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337
2011 Farm Shares on facebook:


Share # 4 - 2011, Mini Share # 1 - 2011

Mini Share - 1 bunch radishes and 6 oz. mesclun

We did it! We picked and packed for all the shares this time and the Mini Share folks came and picked up their mesclun and radishes. It was great to have the farm going full swing and thank you, everyone for patiently waiting for your food to grow.

Some little Pick Up related items:
Please check off your NAME when you take your share, so I can tell who didn't get theirs if there is a problem.
Please do take your food in any bag or container it is packed in, if you wish. Please wash, dry and return freezer BAGS and CONTAINERS. This is a big help to me.
If I have extra EGGS, I will put them in the little refrigerator. Any that are reserved will be so marked but others are for sale. $4.00 a dozen. Leave the money in the basket.
FLOWERS - So far we are using no real system except trusting that each person will take flowers if they want and leave some for others. It's working fine, and later there will be even more flowers available so that should continue to be fine. If you don't want flowers for yourself, or even if you do but it looks like there are lots that day, please take flowers for someone who needs something beautiful and bright in their life.


Approximate amounts for the Half Shares; Full Shares got twice as much.
1 bunch radishes
6 oz. mesclun
5 oz. turnip greens
3 oz. arugula
1/2 oz. cilantro
herb sampler: lemon thyme, parsley, peppermint

To see photos of all the 2011 shares click here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

YES!! The Mini Shares are starting tomorrow! 6/16/11


Hip hip hooray! We picked the mesclun and radishes this morning and there is enough for all the farm shares! I can't offer the minis any choice this week, but you can eat crunchy, juicy Radishes and Mesclun.

This week's mesclun includes baby chard, chicory, leaf lettuce, wild sorrel, chickweed, baby spinach, endive thinnings, mustard thinnings, Golden Frills mustard, Ruby Streaks mustard, Endive frisee, Johnny Jump Up flowers and calendula flower petals! Pretty and tasty.

For those new to picking up:

Pick up is 12:00 - 6:00, or let me know if you need to be late.

I live at 910 Greenfield Rd. Call me if you don't know where that is. 773-8325
I have a circular driveway. Come in at the end by the mailbox.

Bring a bag for your things, including a bag or container for your radishes, if you wish. The mesclun will be in bags. Mostly this year, I am hoping you will bring your own containers but I will be packing some items to protect them from drying or crushing, etc. Please return clean, dry containers the following week.

Bouquets are Make-Your-Own this year. There will be plenty of Sweet William for everyone tomorrow. Bring a jar, or a vase, or a vase. There will be scissors for trimming, water for containers and a few extra jars.

I will be here to guide you and in some cases, meet you! I am so glad to be starting up the Mini-Shares.
See you,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FARM WEEK # 4 - June 16, 2011 - Still only FULL AND HALF SHARES?????

June 14, 2011

Dear friends of the farm,

I've been putting off writing this week because I SO want to start the Mini-Shares. Earlier in the week I was sure there were not enough vegetables ready. Now, I am not so sure. I will be picking the radishes and mesclun tomorrow morning and will make a decision based on the harvest. There is a chance that there will be enough for everyone. I'll send you an email by noon tomorrow and let you know. If the minis start, there will be no choice this time; only the mesclun and radishes look likely.

However, coming right along are garlic scapes, head lettuce, kolrabi, dill and cilantro. The peas, (snow, snap and shell), are all blooming, the tomatoes are busily setting fruit, the onions and leeks suddenly look substantial, the pole beans are climbing their poles and making buds, and the cabbages are forming heads. The garden is a happening place!

The chicken coop is kind of busy too. There are two broody hens and I am gathering eggs for them to set. In a few weeks there will be more chicks, if all goes well. And the young pullets are all feathered out and about ready to enter the main flock. They look like miniature chickens now.
To see pictures of chicks from our hens' eggs go here:
We gave some eggs to someone with a broody hen and that's what hatched out!

Now that the rain slowed down I have been setting out more plants. Celery, fennel, Asian onions, 75 more head lettuces, and Pick-Your-Own flowers are all in. Kale, brussel sprouts, more lettuce and a ton of flowers going in tomorrow. After that I'll be planting rutabagas and more squash, cukes, carrots and beets. And then more succession plantings after that, but if I look that far ahead my head starts spinning.

I am looking forward to some sunny days! Wow!

Still lots to do here before I feel like the garden is really in. Planting and mulching are the main things. If you feel like helping with that, come on by on Saturday (all day) or Sunday morning. It's fun! it's grubby! It's peaceful here! There are chickens for entertainment!

SHARE # 3: For information about last week's share check out the csa blog:

PICK UP: Pick up went more smoothly this week. Thanks for the extra care selecting your items. I think that listing the Half and Full Shares on separate papers might have helped as well. For the time being, (until I finish cleaning the garage) we will continue putting the shares on the porch, especially if it looks like rain. I will probably put the flowers outside on sunny days since the porch gets so warm. The coolers worked fine for the vegetables. (Still looking for more refrigerators...)


Mesclun - featuring thinnings of spinach, chard, mustard and chicory and Johnny Jump Up flowers
Baby turnip greens
Probably bits of garlic scapes, mint, cilantro and maybe dill.
Flowers - Peonies! Sweet William!, and more. Calendula and Valerian starting to bloom. And I just bought about 75 more flower plants at Walker Farm in Putney, VT, mostly perennials that we can enjoy in the bouquets for years and years.

The shares still seem kind of small to me. We need sun and rain. In good proportion.
I am looking forward to that.

Look for another email tomorrow by noon about the minis. If not this week, it will be next week for sure. Think garlic scapes!

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

Sunday, June 12, 2011

SHARE # 3 - 2011

This week's share was picked by Laura and prepped by Sarah. Thank you, Sarah! Because of the possibility of thunderstorms, we put the produce and flowers on the front porch. This worked out well and when the rains came, everything stayed nice and dry. Eventually, the garage will be set up for the shares but the porch is a convenient alternative.

One of the fun parts of the day occurred when two farm shares were being picked up at the same time. This allowed Marie Bartlett to read her new book, The Little Yellow Trolley Car to our youngest farm member, Hugo and his mom. It was a hit.

Your farm share this week:
(approximate weights)

Half Share
Radishes 1 bunch
Rhubarb 1 #
Kale 1 bunch
mesclun 4 oz.
parsley 1/2 oz
Sweet Cicely 1 oz

Full Share -
Twice as much plus 1 kolrabi, 12 oz broccoli side shoots and 6 oz. arugula thinnings

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

FARM WEEK # 3 - June 9, 2011 - Still only FULL AND HALF SHARES


June 7, 2011

Hello farm members,

I am writing this in the parking lot of Green Fields Market, waiting for a tow truck to come get my car. I ran into a friend who is coming to give me a ride home. Life is full of unexpected challenges and pleasures. The car breaks down, and there is a friend right there to give me help. It rains and rains and then it's hot, hot, hot! There is always something good going on and there is always something good that can be done, no matter what the weather. My task each day is to find those good things that can be done.

Shares: Things are still a bit behind because of our cold, wet May so unfortunately, I need to delay the start of the Mini- Shares. Hang in there, people! Your mesclun, salad turnips, radishes and snow peas are growing but are still too small. They getting bigger every day. Really, thank you for your patience. I will make certain that the Minis go for 16 weeks, no matter when they start.

Share # 2: For information about last week's share check out the csa blog:

Pick Up: We had a few snags last week during pick up. I believe that Sarah and I left out the correct number of bags of various vegetables and yet by the last two people picking up, the numbers were off. I am working on a better system of identifying the items and what each share should include. Please be extra careful while choosing your items and let me know if you have ideas for improving the set up. This is a work in progress, definitely a change from previous years so there is plenty of room for improvement. (Still looking for more refrigerators...)

Woodchucks: Yesterday morning I saw an amazing thing, a woodchuck carrying her baby! Into the woodshed! This is a mixed experience for sure. I love nature, and seeing a mother creature moving her baby, how cool is that? But, no, no, no, no! I am not sharing! So plans are in place. The woodshed is now my pathway of choice for my numerous trips in and out of the house, a radio is blasting and the light is on. Wood pallets to be removed soon and I guess if I start stacking wood, that will help too. And as soon as all the seedlings are in, more brush clearing will be done. And I have covered some of the choicest items in the garden. Plotting and scheming on ways to make my little corner of the world less attractive to woodchucks.

Chickens: The young chicks are fully feathered and getting frisky. On sunny days when I know I will be home all day, they get to go out on the grass in their own special yard. They love it. And gobble up bugs and comfrey leaves and run around with worms in their mouths. One of my hens, a Dark Cornish, seems to be getting broody. Robin and I have been waiting for this so we can raise up some chicks from our own hens. I am hopeful that this is about to start as she keeps sitting heavily on the nest, will barely stand up, and pecks me when I check under her for eggs. Keep your fingers crossed. Eggs are being laid regularly and in good amounts, usually 18 per day. $4.00/dozen.

Some sad things: Arugula eaten fiercely by flea beetles, some woodchuck damage on the cauliflower plants. (now covered)


Some hopeful things: Soybeans bursting out of the ground, thick lush pea vines forming buds, green tomatoes, the loan of a great tool from some friends (thanks, Paula and Karen!), a new trellis for hops and moonflowers (thanks, Rob!), 7 new fruit trees in the ground (thanks, Rob!), Sweet William showing color, big radishes!




Mesclun - featuring various thinnings and Johnny Jump Up flowers
Radishes (full sized)
Rhubarb (from Karen Loomis)
Flowers - signs look good for peonies and Lady's Rocket and more.

Farm blog: I have doing better so far this year about regularly posting general news at the farm blog and news about the shares at the csa blog and some cooking ideas at the recipe blog. Also, there are pictures there and sometimes links to more pictures, related items on the web, etc. (recipes, herbal info, farms). I'll try to keep it up. I like to post a picture of the shares each week and some cooking ideas that relate to that share. I did a bit of re-vamping recently and now you can search the blogs using keywords. Sarah will be signing on as an author at the farm blog so perhaps we will get the chance to hear about her experience as a working farm member this summer. (Welcome, Sarah! So glad you are here.) If you have recipes or thoughts you want to share with the rest of the farm members, just send them to me or comment directly at the blogs. That would be great.

See you soon,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

SHARE # 2 - 2011

Last week's share was pretty green and I imagine that they will continue to be that way for awhile. For cooking ideas, see the recipe blog.

Week 2 Full Share:

1 bunch kale
1 bunch endive
2 bags of mesclun
2 bags of pea shoots
2 bunches of radishes
2 bundles of sweet cicely pods
2 bundles of apple mint
flowers - dogwood, centaurea, valerian buds, lady's mantle, peonies