Join us this Saturday for our annual outdoor Summer Concert and Strawberry Shortcake with the Family Folk Chorale. Concert at noon, hayrides and Pick Your Own before. The forecast looks super for a visit to the farm – come on out! Looks good for strawberry picking this weekend! Please join us, and friends and neighbors are welcome. FREE admission, donations welcome. Bring a picnic and a blanket to sit on. Hiking, river, Brattleboro nearby, so make a day of it!
From Bruce Wooster, Picadilly Farmer:
In spite of a forecast for 45 degrees tonight, summer may be truly upon us. The sunshine and warm ahead comes at the right time for the harvests that are just around the corner – peas, strawberries, basil and summer squash. We’ve also just finished the main season planting push, with the winter squash all tucked into our farthest field. In just a week or so, we’ll start setting out fall crops, believe it or not – broccoli, cabbage, storage carrots, beets and rutabagas. All will be planted in the first weeks of July. Before this, though, we’ll take a celebratory respite from planting and weeding to celebrate the harvest [with our strawberry concert…]
Out in the middle of our big field, we’re finally finishing our own version of the big dig. Since last spring (yep, a year ago), we’ve been installing 1000 feet of grass-lined waterway, along with three concrete road crossings, a rock-lined drainage chute, and hundreds of slope-stabilizing shrubs. Together they are designed to convey spring snow melt and excess rainstorm waters off our big field without taking the topsoil too. Any day now, the excavator will be hauled away and the road grader will make it’s final pass. Thanks to the Hinsdale Gravel Company, Jay Roy Construction, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service for all their work. Now we’re well-positioned for years and years of bumper crops, with a little less to fear about climate change and whopper storms.
Around the edges and in between, we’ve continued to plant, harvest, and weed. The damp weather we’ve just come through, which can contribute to leaf disease and plant health problems, as well as make the weeding more challenging, has conversely been favorable for transplanting the two acres of winter squash just done, and has helped the sweet potato slips get their roots growing. Three cheers for our solid crew who make it happen.
Early last week, I was out mowing with the new, big, orange tractor — clearing space for our young piglets who arrived this past weekend, mowing the field where our Family Folk Chorale singers will camp this coming weekend, and more. Just like before, when I would use our old Massey Fergusen tractor, the mower sits wider than the tractor, with outside edges that the driver can’t quite see beyond the tractor’s rear tires. That put a little guesswork into the task of mowing, combined with shifting attention between the edge of what was just cut and a view of what’s ahead, to get the steering right. Anyway, I was mowing along in the usual fashion, but in the new tractor, when suddenly I realized, “Geez, this thing has side and rear view mirrors!” Sure enough, the leading edge was right there, easy to see and easier to guide than I could ever have imagined before. Now I just have to decide if life is better now, being so dialed in, or if the old formula of finesse and fine tuning showed the better measure of artful practice!
The harvest sure is gaining traction, and we hope you enjoy it.
Bruce (for Jenny and the crew: Allegra, Harold, Antonio, Alex, Keith, Heather, Iver, Anna, Adelina, Willie, Julie, Carol, Molly, Brian, Joe, Sarah, Doug, Beckley and Jesse)