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Friday, September 23, 2016

Appleton CSA- Week 16 (September 26th-30th)

Good morning shareholders,

We had a fabulous turnout for Family Farm Day despite the rainy forecast and want to give a public thank you to all who volunteered to paint faces, sell cider donuts, run the hay obstacle course, and so much more. Thanks to all who came to enjoy the day with us!

On Wednesday we are hosting our mid-season shareholders meeting.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this is an excellent chance to deliver your feedback directly to the folks with the ability to make decisions about the CSA’s direction and future.  We will be meeting on Wednesday September 28th from 6-7:30pm in the CSA barn (note: location has changed).  We are planning to start the meeting with introductions, a brief review of the season so far and an overview of the mid-season survey results before opening the floor to questions and conversation with shareholders.  Please sign up to attend the meeting here!

Some fun news from the farm includes the arrival of America's Test Kitchen on Monday.  They will be using the porch of the Old House to film the intro scenes of their show Cook's County.  There will be a few days over the next two weeks where access to the Old House will be restricted so just keep an eye out for their signs.  We'll let you know when the show airs if you're interested.

As part of The Trustees Hike 125, we are offering our second Pinnacle to Pinnacle Walking Tour in September.  Led by two long-time volunteers, this hike will introduce you to the incredible story of Appleton Farms, the family members who called this farm home for 9 generations, and the origin of the Gore Hall Pinnacles that are part of this treasured landscape.  Join Susan and Katrina to visit the Prince of Wales and New House Pinnacles on Sunday, September 25th.  Walks are FREE to Members. $5 for Nonmembers.  This walk meets in front of the Old House at 10am.  



The Share
Greens
Bok Choi
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Peppers
Carrots
Squash
Garlic
Onions
Kale/Collards
PYO Cherry Tomatoes

Updates from the Fields:

We have finally reached “peak tomato” this week.  Like peak oil, peak tomato is the point at which we have reached the maximum rate of harvest for the season before yields begin to diminish.  This may sound like a negative occurrence but with context it is actually quite good news.  Tomato harvesting is a major consumer of  labor during this time of the year.  The entire farm crew probably spent 40% of this week just on tomato harvest.  Right now we are picking tomatoes faster than shareholders are using them and unfortunately we can’t just stop harvesting because this week’s ripe tomatoes become next weeks rotten mess if left out on the vine.  Still, in a year of austerity it does feel very nice to have something in excess.  Since we aren’t seeing many problems with blight (possibly the only advantage this drought has brought us) the tomatoes may well last until the first frost.  My hope and plan is that yields will diminish gradually over the next three weeks and we will have enough warning before the first frost to harvest absolutely everything that is left on the vine.  At this point it doesn’t seem unreasonable to hope for tomatoes through the second week in October.  Keep your fingers crossed for moderate over night lows and we just might get there.

In the past week or so many shareholders have been struggling to make it to the share room during their regularly scheduled pickup block.  We understand that the changing season can bring chaos to our regular routines and sometimes things just come up.  For this reason we try to be as flexible as possible with our official policy of asking for advanced written notice if you plan to swap your pickup block.  In turn we ask that you let us know as soon as you can that you will need to switch pickup days.  For us, this isn’t just an overly formal courtesy.  We plan our work week around harvests and getting a dozen more or less shareholders than expected on a given day can interrupt the flow of our work or cause certain items to unexpectedly run out in the share room.  Thank you for doing your best to help us with this issue.  If you need to switch your pickup block for a single week or for the rest of the season please send an email to me at rwood@thetrustees.org or to Ashley at Achapman@thetrustees.org .   


Upcoming Events and Programs:

Down on the Farm: Fall Concert Series:  Join us for our first fall concert series at Appleton Farms!  These family-friendly concerts will feature live music, food trucks, lawn games, and an opportunity to meet our dairy cows and farm animals.  The series kicks off on Sunday, October 9th at 4pm.  Bring your own picnic or purchase food from a selection of food trucks.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase with Ipswich Ale, Old Planters Brewing, and Mill River Winery.  Gates open at 4pm and concert starts at 5pm.  Leaf-peeping and family photo opportunities among the foliage in our historic Stone Paddock a bonus!   Entry will be by the car, cash only.  No pre-purchase required.  Trustees Members: $20 per car.  Nonmembers: $30 per car. 

October 9th will feature classic rock music by Decades of Rock and food by Gabi’s Smoke Shack BBQ      truck.

October 16th will feature reggae music by Soul Rebel Project and food by Copper Dome Crust (wood fired pizza) and Boston Burger. 

October 23rd will feature folk-rock music by Rust Never Sleeps, a Neil Young inspired band, and Copper Dome Crust pizza truck and Gabi’s Smoke Shack.  Plus on October 23rd, bring a carved pumpkin for our pumpkin contest and let the kids come in costumes to take part in the farmyard trick-or-treat!  Carved, glowing pumpkins will surround the event for a spectacular Halloween inspired show


Fun in the Farmyard:  Sundays in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 


Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here



Friday, September 16, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 15 (September 19th-23rd)

Good morning shareholders,

This week we have been gearing up for Family Farm Day which takes place this Sunday from 10am-3pm, rain or shine.  Staff from all around the region came to lend a hand - we cleaned the barns, tidied up the Stone Paddock, built the hay obstacle course, shined up the tractors, decorated the farmstead with hay bales and mums, and so much more.  Hopefully no one gave up and tossed their raincoats and galoshes during the drought because we'll be celebrating the start to fall regardless of the weather. All the details can be found here: http://bit.ly/familyfarmday2016 

The Share
Potatoes
Squash
Tomatoes
Garlic
Peppers
Kale/Collards
Carrots
Leeks
PYO Cherry Tomatoes

From the Fields:
While many people consider Labor Day to be the unofficial end of summer, technically we have another week before the fall equinox which officially marks the passage of summer.  The trees are still green (or at least those that haven’t turned brown), the days are still warm and the mornings have only a hint of chill but something about the light does feel different.  The mid day sun is still hot but it has lost some of its blinding harshness and the mornings and evenings have become clear and pleasant in the fields.  Everywhere you can feel that a change is coming and it prods us to attend to our tasks with greater focus less we should end up like the lazy grasshopper from Aesop’s fable. 

We transplanted lettuce, spinach and bok choi this week: our very last planting for the season.  Next week we will seed the very last of the greens and radishes.  Thinning and weeding the watermelon radishes, beets and turnips have been keeping us busy as have several weeding projects.  One benefit of the shorter days and cooler nights has been that new weed pressure is minimized.  Bulk harvesting for the fall is in full swing right now with squash, onions, potatoes, carrots and many other root crops coming in.  This has been a little bit stressful since many of the bulk harvest crops, which we rely upon to fill out the share through the fall, suffered from the drought.  I alluded to this worry in last weeks post when I mentioned that we have been dipping into our storage crops to fill out our summer share.  The potatoes and carrots we ordered from Heron Pond farm and Picadilly farm mean that we will have a steady supply of these key crops.  Onions and squash yields are looking about as good as can be expected but, with careful distribution management, I’m optimistic that they will last for the next 5 or 6 weeks.  Add to this list some very promising brassicas along with the extra radishes, and direct seeded greens and the final third of this season looks to be in decent shape all things considered. We are at the doorstep of autumn and it seems the most difficult period is behind us.

At the most troubling times during the last month and a half, I worried that we would need to shut down the CSA, that we would be forced to lay off our farm crew and send out apprentices home early and that I would need to draft a letter of apology and explanation to send to all of you, our shareholders and supporters.  We were never so close to this dark possibility that the fate of the CSA was in imminent peril but the persistent, nagging dread that “maybe next week will be the week when our luck and fortitude abscond with the last of our high hopes” was enough to tie my guts into knots for days at a time.  I know that to a greater or lesser degree, all of the CSA staff has felt this way once or twice this summer.  During a moment like this an off hand comment from one or our shareholders might have crippled morale.  Instead we have received an unbelievable amount of patience, understanding and support.  I can’t say what impact this has had on the success of the CSA operations but for myself and my crew this has made the difference.  

Thank you, Ryan  

Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday through September in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here

Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 


Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Appleton CSA Week 14 (September 12th-16th)

Good morning shareholders,

Thank you again to everyone who participated in our mid-season survey.  We heard from many of you that you miss the opportunity to sit down with the farm team to talk about the present and future of the CSA program.  The farm team at Appleton wants to give you a voice to help shape your community agriculture program so we will be hosting a mid season shareholders gathering on September 28th  at 6PM in the Carriage Barn.  Please sign up by clicking on this Sign Up Genius link: Appleton Mid-Season Share Holder Meeting.  This will be an opportunity  to meet with Cathy Wirth, the Food Systems Director for the Trustees, Chris Ward, Acting Regional Director and former Appleton General Manger, Ashley Chapman, Shareroom Manager, and, of course, myself and the many  familiar faces from the farm team that you may normally only see out in the fields or in the share room.  You will be able to directly share your interests, ideas, and concerns with all of the staff involved in our CSA program.  Your words can help shape the direction of our farm so please sign up and speak up - Ryan

In other farm news, we have Family Farm Day coming up next Sunday, the 18th. There will be tractors to climb aboard, ponies to ride, goats to hug, and plenty of farm games to keep your little, middle, and big kids entertained.  We'll be offering our own 100% grass-fed burgers alongside Sal's Pizza, White Farm's Ice Cream, Kim Gregory's Pure Pastry, Mojo and more! Live music, the hay obstacle course, and potato sack races will provide a full day's fun.  All the day-of details and admission info can be found here: http://bit.ly/familyfarmday2016 


The Share
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Peppers
Chard
Beets
Squash
Garlic
Leeks
Bok Choi
PYO Cherry Tomatoes
PYO Hot Peppers
PYO Beans
PYO Flowers 

Updates from the Field:

As for the fields this week, a little more rain and some cooler weather have been very welcome.  The drought is still technically spreading.  In fact, the USDA declaring Essex county a drought disaster area last week but we have actually been able to take a short break from irrigating over the last couple of days.  The kohlrabi transplants, lately given up for dead, have made a miraculous recovery and the fall broccoli and kale are looking fresh and green but still several weeks from ready.  We are finally harvesting good size beets with healthy, attractive greens.  Overall I am pleased with the quality of the produce we have to offer, however I have been disappointed by the quantity and variety we have been able to put on display in the share.  With so many of our summer crops failing and our fall crops either stunted or delayed, a great deal of pressure has been placed on the items we do have available in the share.  We have been using up winter squash, leeks, carrots, potatoes, beets and lettuce at a rate faster than planned.  My hope was to fill the share in with sweet corn for the next couple of weeks but the official word is that Marini’s doesn’t have any more to spare.  The good news is that we will be getting fall carrots from Piccadilly in two weeks and some of our replacement plantings may begin coming in soon.  Until then we will be making the best of things in the share room.

P.S. We had some confusion last Saturday when the barn wasn't open in the morning.  We'll make sure the doors are open before heading to the Ipswich Farmer's Market with our cheese so you can read the limits board and grab pint and quart containers.  Sorry about that!

Volunteer Opportunities:
Family Farm Day!  Our biggest event of the year is coming up on Sunday, September 18th.  We need face painters, hay obstacle course time keepers, farm yard goat wranglers, and more!  Teens are welcome to volunteer and get service hours for school. Click Here for the Sign Up Genius.
 



Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here


Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 


Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Appleton CSA Week 13 (September 5th-9th)


Good morning shareholders,

Happy Labor Day weekend! Its been a beautiful week on the farm. We hope you will come enjoy a walk through the farm and Grass Rides this weekend. Bring your camera to capture the views of the grazing cows, late summer sunsets, and tree-lined allees.  Even working here every day, the views never cease to inspire an appreciation for this beautiful farm.



Last weekend, our cheese maker Krisitan headed to the Boston Public Market for the Boston Fermentation Festival. Kristian sampled out his latest Appleton cheeses alongside Hopster Alley's sour beer.  A match made in food heaven. The market is open 7 days a week with farms and food producers from around New England- it is tons of fun, you'll learn a lot and meet great people.  They also offer events, programs, and themed days each month.  If you haven't been, check it out. If you have been, go again and see all the new additions since the market opened a year ago.  You can follow the market on Facebook and Instagram and make sure to follow our Appleton booth's Instagram page as well @appletonbpm

 As part of The Trustees Hike 125 challenge, we are offering two Pinnacle to Pinnacle Walking Tours in September.  Led by two long-time volunteers, these hikes will introduce you to the incredible story of Appleton Farms, the family members who called this farm home for 9 generations, and the origin of the Gore Hall Pinnacles that are part of this treasured landscape.  Join Susan and Katrina to visit the Round Point and Pigeon Hill Pinnacles on Saturday, September 11th and the Prince of Wales and New House Pinnacles on Sunday, September 25th.  Walks are FREE to Members. $5 for Nonmembers.  More info here.  

The Share
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Peppers
Lettuce
Leeks
Squash
Garlic
Chard
PYO Cherry Tomatoes
PYO Beans
PYO Hot Peppers

News from the Fields:
Another dry week but with the beginning of September relief may be in sight.  In the extended forecast we are seeing weather in the 70s and the possibility of a little rain early next week.  The humidity has seemed a little more bearable the last couple of days but the trade off has been a sharp increase in allergens floating around.  Half the farm crew has been sneezing their faces off.  Our summer squash and cucumbers seem to have given up at last but the tomatoes continue to pick up steam.



We managed to do some planting on Wednesday.  I thought the cooler, overcast days would preserve the delicate transplants a little better but by this afternoon they were looking mighty wilted.   Our well continues to be less reliable than we would like so we didn’t manage to water everything we had planned.  Over at Moraine farm they have been harvesting more winter squash and onions.  Thankfully the well over there has been very reliable and so the squash yields have been pretty decent.  Look forward to seeing a rainbow of winter squash in the share room for the next several weeks.



Volunteer Opportunities:

Family Farm Day!  Our biggest event of the year is coming up on Sunday, September 18th.  We need face painters, hay obstacle course time keepers, farm yard goat wranglers, and more!  Teens are welcome to volunteer and get service hours for school. Click Here for the Sign Up Genius.
 
Upcoming Programs and Events:

Family Farm Day- Sunday, September 18th from 10am-3pm

Grab your friends and family and join us at Appleton Farms for our annual Family Farm Day! Visit with our farm animals, climb aboard a tractor, paint your own pumpkin, learn about beekeeping, challenge your friends at the potato spoon relay or hay obstacle course, and make sure to enjoy a pony ride! Looking for more? There are old-fashioned games like tug-o-war, crafts, face-painting, farm tattoos, and live music by Ben Rudnick and Friends.
All the details here


Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here

Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 

Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 12 (August 29th-September 2nd)

Good morning shareholders,

With so much to say about the CSA this week, we are going to focus this blog post on the share and answering questions or concerns that came up in the mid-season survey.  

The Share: (August 29th-Sept. 2nd)
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Peppers
Potatoes
Squash
Leeks
Garlic
PYO Cherry Tomatoes
PYO Hot Peppers

From the Fields:
Thank you everyone who participated in our mid season survey over the last weeks.  As promised, I will be using the majority of this post to address the topics that appeared most frequently in your responses.  We went through and read every single survey and identified theses key issues to expound upon so if you don’t see your particular concern addressed please feel free to mention it to Ashley in the share room.  She will share it with me and we will make sure to take note or address it in the next blog.  So without further ado and in no particular order:

The public flower field
The small field outside of the CSA barn was converted into a public flower field this year so that the many people who visit the farm (but are not shareholders) can enjoy a pick-your-own experience and take a little beauty from the farm home with them.  Since it is pay-to-pick in the public flower field there has been some very natural frustration with the new arrangement as the flowers planted for CSA members suffered from the drought.  The important point to keep in mind is that, other than surrendering a small pocket of marginal land to this project, the CSA has made no investment of time or resources into the flower field.  This project was built from a budget separate from the CSA and it is expected to cover its expenses through flower sales which is why they are pay-to-pick.   
 
Produce in the Farm Store:
Some produce is available for sale in the farm store.  Sometimes this same produce is either limited in the share room or not present at all.  Some members are concerned that produce that was grown for the CSA is being diverted to the store and effectively being sold twice.  In previous growing seasons we attempted to deal with this issue by only selling produce in the farm store when we had either too little  available to fairly distribute to the CSA or, more commonly, when we had such a surplus that our CSA members had access to more produce than they could use.  Because “too much” or “too little” is a subjective measure, we took the extra step this year of completely separating our CSA crop plan from our wholesale crop plan and moving all wholesale growing operations off the Appleton property.  It isn’t grown here, it was never intended for CSA use and it’s production hasn’t been subsidized by CSA funds.  Like the flower field, having produce in the farm store is about covering the costs of production while attempting to make the farm more beautiful, bountiful and accessible to members and non members alike.

Variety:
As most of my past blog posts from this season have indicated, this has been a very tough growing year.  The drought has taken its toll on many of our crops and this has been reflected in the share room with fewer varieties available.  In the beginning of the season we published the complete list of crop varieties we planned to grow this year and sadly not everything on that list will see the inside of the share room.  The good news is that this has forced us to be extra creative with some of our fall crops.  I’m hopeful that the second half of the year will bring more of the weird and the wonderful back to the share room side by side with the old standbys.  Ashley interpreted the request for more variety in the share room as interest in seeing fan favorite crops available over a longer season.  Each crop tends to grow best under certain growing conditions.  Ever year we look for new ways to bend growing conditions to keep things like broccoli, arugula and tomatoes in the share longer.  This is a gamble that sometimes pays off and sometimes doesn’t.  We will continue trying to keep our members updated on the ever changing conditions out in the field so that everyone is confident in what to expect from the CSA share.

Irrigation:
I am thrilled to hear that many of our members are as concerned about the irrigation capacity of the farm as I am.  Every year might not be as dry as this one but it is clear to many of us that we need to be better prepared for drought and dry weather.  We need to get through the rest of this season before we can begin to seriously consider an action plan for the future however we have been brainstorming different options including drilling a second well, improving our existing well, adding infrastructure to capitalize on the capacity of our existing pump and well and modifying our farming techniques to develop the water retention capacity of our soil.  These are big investments and big changes and they will take time to put into place but, in part thanks to the survey responses we have reviewed, there has been no foot dragging about getting started and the organization recognizes that this has to be a priority.


Recipe Exchange:
We heard from many of you that you like the idea of a recipe exchange and love to pick up recipes in the share room but don't have time to email us or don't have original recipes to submit.  Based on your feedback, we are happy to expand this exchange to your favorite recipes from chefs and cookbook authors- they don't have to be your own.  Just send along credit for the recipe and we'd be happy to share it.

Orange Basil Summer Squash from Betsy M
Serves 4
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large fresh onions, sliced
zest of one orange
4-5 carrots, sliced
2 small summer squash, sliced
small bunch of basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Saute onions with oil and grated orange zest. When onions are translucent, add all other ingredients and cook until tender but not soft.


Next week we will return to posting about our upcoming programs, volunteer opportunities and notes from the farm.  As always, thank you for your support.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 11 (August 22-26th)

Good morning shareholders,

Thank you to all who have participated in our mid-season survey.  We appreciate your feedback and ideas to make the CSA the best it can be.  We are reading your submissions daily and will keep the survey link open and paper copies in the share room for one more week. After next week, we will be addressing some of the most common questions and concerns through the blog and in the share room.  Your kind words of understanding during the severe drought and the support for our farm team has been greatly appreciated.  Thank you.  



While the farm camp was wrapping up its last week, we had the pleasure of being featured on NECN's Making the Grade series.  Check out the link to see our farm camp in action: link to watch online! We will miss the farm campers and the life they brought to the farm each day and can't wait to see many of them back on the farm this fall on school trips or at Family Farm Day on September 18th.  



Speaking of kids... Do you have some teenagers who need to keep busy before school starts? Send them over to help us stack our winter wood piles!  We are also looking for some volunteer landscape gardeners to help keep up the garden beds around the store, Old House, and Dairy Barn neat and tidy. We're also looking for another handyman/property steward and help in the dairy barn.  If you're interested in any of these volunteer opportunities or for more information, email the farm at appletonfarms@thetrustees.org




The Share:
Potatoes
Leeks
Peppers
Squash
Lettuce
Garlic
Chard
Carrots

From the Fields:
I posted this drought map several weeks ago.  Check out the neat slide comparison tool to track the progress of the drought over time.  We have official entered “Extreme Drought” conditions. Hooray!?

The tomatoes are taking their time in ripening up as they seem to do every year.  We really need them to be ready for next week in order to fill out the share and because I know how happy everyone will be to see them.  Nature doesn’t take advice from me unfortunately, so we will most likely be forced to wait another week before tomatoes join the share.  The tomato plants have been given the highest watering priority through the drought and heat waves but have never the less still been impacted.  Most of the vines are looking extremely healthy if a bit stunted and the fruit sets have been erratic but my hope is that this will not have a dramatic effect on the yield or harvest window for these plants.  Eggplants have not been so lucky.  I’m actually very resentful that, in spite of a tremendous amount of effort and resources allocated to the eggplants, they continue to be contrary and unproductive.  One in every 5 plants has a single fruit or blossom.  The rest just sit out there; stunted, tip burnt and extremely irritating.  It doesn’t help that last season at this time of year we were harvesting twice a week and bringing in 50-60 bushels with each harvest.  Our last harvest yielded 4 bushels.  I took pictures to document last years harvest and this one.

We have been cultivating extensively after last weeks rain.  The soil stayed moist for several days which allowed plenty of time for weeds to germinate.  It has been a pleasure to work in the soil again without having to inhale quite so much of it.  We are in race to weed and cultivate as many beds as possible before it becomes too dusty.  The fall brassicas have been getting quite a bit of attention as have the lettuces.  Our final extra large beans planting actually germinated (somewhat) and has survived against the odds so we have set to work hand weeding the beds.  With any luck our members should get at least one decent bean haul this year.


We have also been planting as much as possible this past week with the weather finally favoring us a bit and with the window for fall plantings closing.  Lettuce, fennel and celery went into the ground in the beginning of the week and I am hopeful that we will get chard and Chinese cabbage into the ground today.  The greens we seeded two weeks ago popped up and were almost immediately devoured by flea beetles.  Believe it or not we hadn’t been seeing much flea beetle damage prior to this so it was a nasty surprise.  With our next planting we will try a combination of organic deterrents and row cover.  Normally we wouldn’t dedicate this much attention to fall greens but they have taken on a greater importance this year with the success of our late season crops still uncertain.

If you were unable to fill out the survey online or in the share room- here it is again.  We hope you will take a few minutes to fill it outhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AFCSAmidseasonsurvey




Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here

Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 

Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here   

Cooking with Fire: August 28th at 6PM.  Inspired by the farm’s very own wood-fired Earth Oven, this special workshop celebrates the season with signature recipes featuring the freshest farm ingredients along with all the skills needed to enjoy your own backyard grilling all summer long. Class begins in the farm kitchen with menu preparation, culinary tips, and instruction before heading outdoors to the kitchen patio for fun grilling, dining, and local beer! Pre-register online here

Friday, August 12, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 10

Good morning shareholders,
The summer heat continues to bake the pastures, veggie fields, farmers and staff but we had lots of fun with our group of farm campers this week, made some tasty pickled carrots, zucchini and corn salsa at our Putting Up the Harvest class in the kitchen, and have our new batch of Broad Meadow cheese in the farm store.  We'll be heading off the farm this weekend to sample and sell cheese at the Ipswich Farmer's Market and Beverly's Bacon and Brew Fest.

We are looking forward to an exciting week ahead with our  monthly Farm Store Open House on Thursday the 18th and our first Graze the North Shore Food Festival on Saturday, August 20th.  Get your tickets and join us for a fun night on the farm with live music by the Jason Spooner band, your favorite local restaurants and beverage crafters.

Next week marks the half way point in the CSA season.  In our continuing efforts to improve communication between CSA shareholders and farmers, we will be doing a mid season survey this year in addition to our end of season survey. The survey will be posted here on the blog and will also be available to fill out in the share room next week. This is an opportunity to provide feedback on your CSA experience thus far with a focus on aspects of the CSA that we can improve for the second half of the season.  We hope you will participate and let us know how we’re doing and what you would like to see us do better between now and November.  Thanks in advance!      


The Share
Lettuce
Chard
Carrots
Potatoes
Cabbage
Onions
Melons
Cucumbers
Squash

From the Fields:
We finally got some rain this week!  It wasn’t a season altering quantity but it was enough to keep the soil moist for the past two days.  More importantly, the rain signaled both a climatic as well as spiritual shift here on the farm. With more wet weather a possibility in the forecast maybe we can begin to hope again for a good fall. 

Hope has been wrestling with Pragmatism in my mind for the last couple of weeks and it hadn’t been looking good for Hope prior to this Wednesday’s storm.  It remains to be seen how much of a practical impact one storm will have but just for fun lets look on the bright side today.

Tomatoes are still at least a week away from ready but the red slicers look very large and healthy.  When they do finally start coming in I’m expecting a fast flush.  The extra fall crops that we seeded over the last two weeks have had strong germination and fast growth in the greenhouse.  If we can beat the pests, the extra napa cabbage, sprouting broccoli and kohlrabi should be great this fall in addition to the extra greens, radishes and turnips.  We aren’t certain exactly when the sweet corn will be available in the share but it will reportedly be here this month.  I think we may also begin to harvest cantaloupe next week which is extremely exciting for me.  If the yields are reasonable and if they are popular in the share room we may increase the number we grow next year.  The few cantaloupes that we’ve sampled for science have made me believe that they should be extremely well received.

Recipe Exchange:

We didn't have any recipes submitted this week in our recipe exchange but our Office Manager, Susan, made Betsy M's Kohlrabi and Veggie soup and claims it is amazing!  Check out last week's post if you want to try it.  More on the recipe exchange in the survey.  






Volunteer Opportunities: Interested? Email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org

We are still looking for a few more volunteers for our Food Festival, Saturday August 20th, from 6pm-9pm.  Lend a hand for an early or late shift at our food and beverage stations, set up, or clean up.  Volunteers can bring a friend for free.  Away on the 20th? Save the date to lend a hand at Family Farm Day on Sunday, September 18th.  Your help makes our events possible for hundreds of families to learn, connect, and get involved with Appleton Farms.  



Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here


Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 

Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here   

Cooking with Fire: August 28th at 6PM.  Inspired by the farm’s very own wood-fired Earth Oven, this special workshop celebrates the season with signature recipes featuring the freshest farm ingredients along with all the skills needed to enjoy your own backyard grilling all summer long. Class begins in the farm kitchen with menu preparation, culinary tips, and instruction before heading outdoors to the kitchen patio for fun grilling, dining, and local beer! Pre-register online here