Posts from the “Earth-friendly Ag” Category

This weekend at the farm: Late summer planting and harvesting

Posted on August 18, 2014

I woke up feeling good on Saturday morning, and expecting my brother Nick for the evening.  What do you do right before your house guest arrives, when you unexpectedly don’t have a migraine?  Because my answer was, “go to the farm to plant broccoli seedlings and harvest curcurbits.” This was instead of my more typical, “scrub the toilet and sweep the cat hair out of the living room.” I joined Seth’s crew, along with a volunteer, an intern, and two work-for-shares.  The process goes something like this: Use the tractor to form beds, then use the dibbler to dibble holes in the ground.  Fertilize your seedlings by submerging them in fish fertilizer (not pictured because it looks as bad as it smells) then lay out a seedling at every hole you…

Gimme gimme gimme gimme garlic tonight!

Posted on July 20, 2014

Seth has been teasing me all week with pictures.  It’s his daily ritual.  I ask him how his day is going, and he responds with a photo of fresh tomatoes, or mini sunflowers, or a pile of beets.  This week it was garlic.  “I don’t know what we’re going to do with it all.  We’ve got no place to cure it,” he told me Friday night, after I asked him about his photo of the day.  I nodded absentmindedly. When I went to the farm this morning, this is what I saw: “Oh, did I tell you?  We picked 2500 pounds of garlic in two days,” Seth called me to as he pulled a farm cart over to the zucchinis.  Huh. The garlic will…

This Week on the Farm: Summer Solstice

Posted on June 22, 2014

Five years ago, Seth and I got married.  We picked the first day of summer so we could use the longest day every year to celebrate ourselves and the outdoors.  (Bee tee dubs, it was one of the few really great decisions we made over the wedding season.  Why are US weddings so bloated and expensive?  I digress.) When I tell my coworkers we celebrated this year’s anniversary by working on the farm, they give me a funny look.  Don’t judge my people too harshly — they all live and work in Boston and the surrounding area.  They are not rugged farmers and volunteers.  Very few have pulled fresh vegetables from the ground, let alone recognized that farm food is far superior to restaurant food. It was a standard…

This week on the farm: a dog’s life

Posted on June 9, 2014

It was another bright, sunny day this weekend, and well into the 80s (that’s high 20s if you’re not in the US).  The farm is prepping for the first week of CSA pickups.  The lettuces are ready to pop, and you can see Kenneth harvesting Napa cabbages in the greenhouse on the right.  It was a beautiful day.  The only one to complain was the dog. Not that I blame her for taking refuge in the shade from the lovage.  It’s too hot to be wearing a fur coat. I don’t know if she was uncomfortably warm or glad to have me around, but the dog shadowed me for most of the day.  I spent the morning hand-weeding the cucumbers and squash with a couple of volunteers. Lily…

This week on the farm

Posted on May 26, 2014

I’ve taken to volunteering Saturday afternoons at The Work Farm in order to glean experience from the farm manager, Susan.  We spent the afternoon putting in tomato and pepper plants and laying plastic down. The plastic is called “biofilm,” and it serves as a weed-block and soil warmer.  It also biodegrades after about a year.   Stearns uses plastic instead of sprays because sprays are not organic, in case you were wondering. It’s a process: We spread out the soaker hoses.  Then we lay the plastic, then someone comes along and pokes holes at the proper intervals for whatever we’re planting.  We  scoop a handful of compost into each hole.  Then someone comes behind and lays out one plant for every hole.  And finally, another someone…

Working Girl

Posted on April 21, 2014

We recently made Lily the happiest dog in the world. I use “we” loosely, because it was Seth who did it. He got a job as an assistant grower at Stearns CSA farm, who then decided they need a smart dog around the place. It’s a dream come true for our lucky girl. Working outside every day? Learning how to ride a tractor? Chasing off squirrels and bunnies and birds? This dog loves it. Of course the issue is that she comes home, eats supper, and goes straight to bed. We have to coax her to get moving the next morning. Every once in a while when Seth calls, “Lily, time to go to work,” as he puts on his coat, we might have a prancing, grunting dog who can’t wait…

Bye bye cucumbers

Posted on August 18, 2013

A garden is not like a dog.  If you stop paying attention to a dog, the dog will stop doing what you ask.  If you stop paying attention to the garden, it still grows.  Case in point?  This week’s harvest.  I didn’t think once about the garden for the past 10 days or so, and yet my garden grows. Sure, the weeds are there, but so is the zucchini and even more tomatoes — more everything.  I feel like we’re in its heyday: these are the golden days of gardening.  The Roma and Sungold tomatoes just keep producing.  The sage overflows like a fountain, and the basil shoots up with abandon.  I even got my first butternut squash and green beans — although I…

Tomatoes. Finally.

Posted on August 3, 2013

At long last, tomato season has arrived. I picked what felt like 10 pounds of tomatoes this week, along with six cumbers and two zucchini. One of my neighbors gave me five heads of garlic, and another gave me a long skinny zucchini. All I need is eggplant, and I could turn the contents of my kitchen table into one awesome ratatouille. Next up: spaghetti sauce. And cucumber pickles. And stuffed zucchini? And I think I’m going to need a bigger kitchen.