The Weblog

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strawberries


I walked the strawberry fields just now. There are only a few berries ready and big areas with nothing ripe. However, I do see a a lot of little berries that appear to be sizing nicely. These are 10 days -2 weeks off yet though and are from the later opening flowers. I am hopeful that they may amount to something.

We will open for u-pick tommorrow morning at 7 am. Do not expect to get more than a few quarts for fresh eating. What should be ready now was mostly lost due to the frost. The picking will remain bad through next week. We will not open for u-pick Monday. The next picking is Wednesday, June 24 at 2 pm. Daniel

U- pick Strawberries


We are opening the strawberry patches for u-pick this afternoon at 2 PM. The fields are behind our stand at 11 Needham road. The u-pick price this year is $1.40 per lb. The next picking times after today will be Saturday at 7 AM and then Wednesday June 24 at 2 PM again. There is no picking planned for Monday June 22.

We had a lot of damage from the frost on Memorial day weekend. The picking conditions are very poor. You should only expect to get a few quarts today. The best patch is the one that is all the way in the back of the field. It is a fairly long walk back to it though. Daniel

Strawberries


Come and get it! We have lots of things to make a very good salad right now. Lettuce is at its prime, sweet, good and abundant. Green onions, salad mix, radish, kale…. its all hear and more. I have 6 tubs full of fine tomatoes and 5 tubs of beautiful cucumbers for today with more to be picked tommorrow. You can also order on the website.
The garlic scapes are ready. They are delicious and I also believe they make a good “spring tonic”. Eat lots of them. You can use them in any way that you would use garlic, just use more volume. My favorite way to fix them is to put them into a blender or food processer with a bit of oil or something like cucumber and salt and grind them fine.You can add anything that would go into a pesto or salsa if you wish. From that point it can be served on almost anykind of salad, meat, or starch food such as potatoes, pasta, or rice. They are also wonderful sauted with all sorts of vegetables, meat or starch foods.
We plan to open for the first u-pick strawberry day on Wednesday, June 17 at 2 PM. There will be a very limited amount of berries available. I do not want to hear complaining about how bad the picking is. Be thankful for what we have.
U-pick strawberry price is $1.40 per lb this year and I am offering sharepicking just as normal (pick 2 for me 1 for you) The berries that should have been for the eary- peak part of berry season were mostly lost in the freeze on Memorial day weekend; the later part of the season has a more potential. This rain is good for the late berries to size.
We will have some picked strawberries on the stand on an intermitant basis both from our patch and also from an Amish family that covered and saved there crop. We will label the source with the display. The first picking from their patch will be at our stand about midday today. Daniel

More rain!


It is lovely to listen to more rain on the roof! I was just out working in the greenhouse. The weather is lovely in the greenhouse. I just picked 5 pails of beautiful zucchini from our greenhouse. This is the last week for asparagus till next year.
We are starting to see some ripening strawberries already. We should be picking by next week. It looks as if we will have a small amount of strawberries at a time, spread over a long time. What should be the peak of the season will be empty because of the frost damage. The apple and pear trees have lots of nice little fruit on them. We may need to eat less strawberries and more apples this year.

There is a debate in this country about labeling the GMO ingredients in our food. I think it would be really nice if this was done. I also think it would be good to label other added ingredients such as fungicides, fumigants in the grain and such like. I hear of so many people with problems and allergies to various foods such as wheat, strawberries, etc. I have to wonder if in some cases people may be reacting to the chemicals rather then the actual food item and it can be really hard to find out what chemicals are present. Daniel

Rain!


It is raining!!! This is wonderful as without rain we would not grow food. Here we have had about 15% of the normal rainfall in April and May. I had used about half of the water in the pond already. I have never seen it this dry in May before. So if you are going to complain about the rain today- You probably should not complain to a produce farmer.
We have piles of green onions. The cucumbers and tomatoes are getting more plenty. It is still asparagus season yet. I will be stopping the asparagus harvest soon as the plants have been stressed by the heat and drought. The strawberries look dismal but I do see some sizing fruit and the later flowers are blooming and look nice. The beets, chard and field lettuce all look good and will be on the stand soon. And do pause for a moment to thank God for giving us rain. Daniel

Frost on the strawbeeries


We are starting to pick a few tomatoes and cucumbers. At this point the supply is still very small. We have lots of kale, green onions etc.

We had a hard frost-freeze on Saturday morning. If a strawberry flower gets frost they still keep on blooming for the next week or so with their pretty white petals but the little yellow center turns dark or black. These flowers will never make a berry. At this point it looks to me as if we lost 85- 95% of this years strawberry crop. The damage was about the same on the parts of the field that I attempted to save with irrigation water and the areas that I did nothing. It was just to cold and the sprinklers made a huge amount of ice and the flowers still froze. I do not know if the apple crop is OK or not yet. I think the raspberry crop is unaffected as they bloom later. Most of the rest of the vegetable crops are either OK or can be replanted with only miner delays. It was that cold that I even had some frost damage on the outer rows of tomatoes at the one end of a tightly closed greenhouse. To have this cold, this late, is rare as I have never seen this hard of a freeze this late here.
We went down to Pa over the weekend for my grandmothers funeral. She was born in 1923 and has been a widow since 1968. She left behind over 300 of us grandchildren, great grandchildren, even some great great grandchildren. In some sense it is the end of an era for us. Grandmas house was always there- Daniel

Strawberry flowers


The online market is open for orders. Asparagus is in its prime season now. The strawberries came through the winter nicely. They are blooming beautifully now and there should be berries ready in about 4 weeks, or maybe a little sooner. I have spent a good portion of the day today pumping water on them. During the bloom and fruit sizing stages strawberries need a good soaking rain or irrigation at least every 5 days or so to give a full crop. We are way behind normal rainfall so far this spring, I hope it rains tonight. There are little cucumbers on the vines in the greenhouse and Melvin picked the first ripe tomato. In a week or two we should have them for sale. Enjoy the springtime. Daniel

Sprouts and seeds


I have lots of glad bulbs to make your place pretty. 1/2 bushel of our homegrown bulbs can be yours for only $25. We also have lots of asparagus and spinach. Through the rest of May is the best time to get asparagus orders in for your freezer needs. That hot weather last week was kind of rough for the little transplants that were set out but the corn and bean seed loved it. As for this farmer- he would rather work in the cool. I do not envy the gardners that live in the south. In normal spring weather it can be a challenge to get heat loving seeds such as corn, squash and beans to sprout. This is especially a problem for those of us that do not use treated seed. A little trick that makes a big differance is to watch the weather forcast for 3 days of bright sunny, dry weather and then plant the seed fairly deep (down to moist dirt) When it is sunny the soil is warming but as soon as it cloudy the cold from deep down is pushing back up. As soon as the seed has sprouted it is somewhat safe from rot etc and it does not matter so much if it gets cool again. Frost does not matter as long as the sprouts have not come up. Daniel

Asparagus


Asparagus harvest is starting. I cut the first today. We will be open at our farmstand tomorrow . ( Thursday). Summer stand hours are 10am – 6pm Mon- Sat. Daniel

Monday, May 4


It is spring time! It is time to plant, plant, plant. I love to see the sprouting seeds and to hear the birds when I go out in the morning. The asparagus is up now. With this nice warm weather I expect to cut the first asparagus sometime late this week. We plan to open the stand for the season on Saturday, May 9. Hours will be the same as they have been in the past, 10am- 6pm, Mon- Sat. I have lots of beatiful spinach and green garlic ready now from outside and lovely mild greenhouse arugula.

We are always looking for ways to make your experience with us easier and more efficient. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive regular updates about our produce and life on the farm! Andrew has joined our crew fulltime. He will be doing most of the social media posts. I plan to still write the weblog as I have been and that will also be on facebook etc. Daniel

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