Provider Farm

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May 1, 2014

Payment Reminder

Just a reminder, final payments for all outstanding balances are due by May 15.  Contact me if you have any questions.

Spring Provider Farm Open House

On May 17 at 4 PM we are hosting a farm tour and potluck at Provider Farm.  Come on out and see the farm, hear about how we farm, and share a meal with us.  Bring a dish to share

 

This Week's Share

Think Warm Thoughts

Getting the spring crops in the ground.
Getting the spring crops in the ground.

Dear Friends,

After a seemingly endless winter, slowly but surely spring has finally made its way to the farm. We spent March sitting and waiting for drier fields but once the weather finally started to turn we got right to work. We fired up the tractor, set up the harrow, got out into the field and got going. Over the past three weeks, the crew jumped right in and planted an unbelievably large amount of crops out in the field.

Beets and carrots are the first thing we usually put in the ground and this year was no different. Our direct seeded carrots are up and happy, although in desperate need of a weeding.  The transplanted beets are settling in nicely and putting out new growth.

Next up after the roots, we focus on planting broccoli, cabbage, chard and kale. While we succeeded in planting our first brassicas right on time, these crops seem a bit perturbed by the persistent cold. They don't look thrilled at all and have protested by turning purple, but they have finally settled in and surely will start to grow sooner than later. 

Probably the single biggest planting we do all season are the onions. We love onions and grow an absolute ton of them. Over the course of two days we planted over 40,000 onions. This year we're growing the familiar yellow storage, fresh white, and red varieties but we've also added a red cipollini variety that we're excited about.

After all the heavy transplanting was completed, we were able to fire up the seeding tractor and seed our first peas, radishes, turnips, spinach, salad greens and lettuce.

This is an exciting time of the year for us. Things change so fast and it is amazing to watch the world come alive around us, though this year, things seem to be happening a lot sloooower. It's a little bit startling how far behind everything is and it is even comforting to see weeds growing between the rows, a sure sign warm days are ahead.

Usually by May 1st we have had the cows out on grass for a week or so, but this year we're still waiting for the grass to grow.  Even though we are caught up with all our plantings, these cold days and cold nights have slowed crop growth considerably.  As much as we try our best to always begin the CSA by the first week of June this year it seems like that may be a challenge. We're still holding out hope that things will turn around but unless we get some warmer days soon, we may be looking at pushing back the start date a bit. Of course nothing is decided yet and you know how New England weather is, so we still have our fingers crossed.

Despite all our farmer kvetching about the weather and cold, we can't deny that spring is here and there are crops in the ground.  Everything will grow and it won't be long before we have fresh salads, delicious kale and succulent hakurei turnips and we can all say good bye to yucky papery grocery store lettuce.

Even if it is hard to believe now, pretty soon we will be planting peppers, eggplants, watermelon and winter squash out in the field, irrigating our crops, complaining about the heat and swimming in the river.  I can hardly wait!

Happy Spring!

On behalf of your farm crew

Ben, Colleen, Mary, and Marycia

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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