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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Seedling city, opportunities to get involved, and special visits to the farm

Greetings from Appleton,

We have a few fun things to share from the past two weeks. Our Easter event was truly egg-cellent!  Over 300 people braved the chilly wind and came to celebrate the holiday with us. Thanks to all of you who participated and especially to our wonderful volunteers who helped serve refreshments, managed the crafts, introduced children to our chicks, calves, and bunnies, and worked our activity stations.  Missed it? Join us for our next holiday event: Mother's Day Spring Alpen Celebration



We also enjoyed a visit from Trustees President and CEO, Barbara Erickson, along with her executive team this week. Directors from our three regions and all of our major departments took part in a cooking class, farm tour, and the afternoon milking. Here, Livestock Manager Aaron Knight preps Barbara for her turn at milking.

  


In other news, we have a handful of seasonal employment opportunities available: part-time Education Assistant, PYO Flower Fields coordinator, and Farm Camp counselor positions. Please inquire with Beth at bzschau@thetrustees.org or see our website for more information.

News from the CSA:

The familiar hum of the greenhouse heater and the smell of warming soil fills the air as we start our greenhouse work. It is refreshing to just be standing inside of it, meticulously seeding tiny seeds thinking and talking about what the season will bring .After an extensive  clean out and repair session, we quickly filled every space the greenhouse has in just about a week! Luckily we have the use of the Moraine Farm greenhouse where we have already moved over 200 trays of storage onions and shallots. This additional space is key to being able to produce all the seedlings we need. We have since filled all the space up again, so hopefully we can get out in the fields and plow soon!

In the greenhouse you get to see a mini map of the whole farm (of course, without the direct seeded crops) where the successions for continued supply become apparent.  A lot of crops we see over and over:  lettuces and some greens, beets, summer squash cucumbers, fennel. Whereas other crops- peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, leeks and onions, have just the one seeding. Storage onions were seeded March 15 and they will not likely be harvested until the end of august. Solanaceous crops are seeded next week and they don’t really start producing until the end of July. All this makes a lot of our early greenhouse work especially important because we one get one shot. These little babies are nursed along, given room to grow, extra food, and extra care.  We then help them along to independence in the field, with initially a lot of support and attention hoping  they live healthy lives and produce for a us beautiful fruits and the happiness that goes along with them.  In the end, that all the TLC is totally worth it. They really do grow up so fast.

-Leah, Assistant CSA Manager

THE FARM WISH LISTHave what we are looking for? Email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org and thank you!
  • Chainsaw artist who can create some veggie friends for our lonely but well-loved  wooden carrot outside the farm store
  • Garden carts or wheelbarrows in decent condition
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org for more info
  • Public Program Assistants
  • Monday morning greenhouse volunteers
  • Appleton Cooks! culinary class volunteers
  • Morning and afternoon barnyard animal care (chickens, sheep, and goats)

UPCOMING FAMILY PROGRAMS, CULINARY WORKSHOPS & FARM EVENTS:

From Cultures to Rinds: Cheese Making Fundamentals: Saturday, April 9th 1PM-5PM
Our cheese making classes are back! Spend the afternoon with Appleton’s new cheese maker, Kristian Holbrook for a hands-on cheese making class in our farm kitchen.  You’ll learn all the basics of making soft and hard cheese, make your own mozzarella and ricotta to take home, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of our dairy operation and cheese caves. Kristian will cover all the basics of cheese making and teach you exactly how to make delicious fresh cheese at home. Pre-registration required. Members: $100.  Nonmembers: $135. Registration and all the details at www.thetrustees.org

Handpicked: Farm Dinner and "When Food Works for You" Talk with Core Retreats: April 16th 5PM
Tour the dairy barn and learn how cheese is made at the farm
Enjoy a signature cocktail and hors d’ oeuvres on the porch at the 
farm house over looking the beautiful fields and gardens. Sample a farm fresh dinner created by local chefs followed by dessert and an enlightening talk “When Food Works for You” with Catrina Marie
Catrina Marie is a AADP certified Holistic Health Coach and international
yoga and meditation teacher with the Art of Living Foundation. She has
over 17 years of experience with alternative healing, preventative care,
spiritual based life coaching, and healing with food; learning and working
with internationally recognized experts in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. www.coreretreats.com

Appleton Farm Summer Camp Open House
Saturday, April 16 & Saturday, April 23 from 10AM-3PM
Calling all mini-human animal lovers!  You asked, we listened.  Our new farm camp is coming this summer and we’d like to show you what a day in the life of a camper looks like here on the farm. Join us for a FREE drop-in camp sampler. Meet with our camp director, see our camp headquarters, and find out what Appleton Farm Camp will offer for activities, learning, and summer fun. There will be crafts, games, and activities all day for kids. Register for camp on site or take home information to share with friends.  FREE


April Vacation Programs:

Farm Felting
Monday, April 18 & Friday, April 22 from 10AM-11AM
Warmer spring weather means its sheep shearing time on the farm.  But what to do with all that wool? Learn about the time honored tradition of wool felting. We’ll start by learning how to “card” the raw wool into soft fiber for spinning or felting. Afterwards, we’ll try our hand at making felt balls to be used for farm-fun necklaces. Wool, wood beads and decorative string will be provided, but feel free to bring anything special of your own to add to your necklace. Recommended for ages 6-9.  Trustees Member Child: $12; Nonmember Child: $20

Mason Jar Terrariums
Monday, April 18 & Friday, April 22 from 2PM-3PM
It may still be too cold for fresh flowers or green grass so bring some green life inside with an easy and adorable mason jar terrarium. We’ll create a miniature natural world with gravel, soil, mosses and plants that can stay on your desk or windowsill. You’ll leave with a mini terrarium of your own, plus the skills to make bigger ones at home. All materials provided. Recommended for ages 7-12. Trustees Member Child: $12; Nonmember Child: $20

Spring Yarn Wreaths
Wednesday, April 20 from 10AM-11AM & 2PM-3PM
Winter is over and the bright colors of springtime are here. Celebrate the season and create a beautiful decorative wreath for your front door! We’ll use bright colored yarn to make the base of our wreath and then decorate with felt flowers, ribbon, and items from nature such as lavender and mosses. We’ll provide all the materials and instruction. You provide the creativity! Recommended for ages 7-12.  Trustees Member Child: $12; Nonmember Child: $20



P.S.- Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about what's happening on the farm

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

News from the Farm and your 2016 CSA Crop List!

Greetings from Appleton,

This spring weather has us all a little frazzled over here at the farm.  65 degree days have us feeling like we should be much further ahead in our seed planting, spring clean-ups, farm camp preparations, and menu planning for our line up of summer farm dinners.  I think the 20 degree nights this weekend may actually be welcomed by the crew here at Appleton.  

We've wrapped up our maple sugaring and you can find the sweet and flavorful syrup in the farm store now. We also have plenty of milk, cheese and grass-fed beef stocked on the shelves so come on by and add a little local goodness to your weekend. 
  
FROM THE CSA: We thought it would be neat to include a list of all the different vegetable varieties that we plan to grow this season.  NOT included on this list are the veggies that we will be getting from our friends at Heron Pond (several varieties of storage potatoes), Picadilly (some fall carrots) and Marini's (the return of sweet corn).

Pictured: roughly $10,000 worth of seed purchases
There are a few new varieties that I am especially excited to try this year.  We added not one, not two, not three but FOUR kinds of Radicchio to the crop mix this year.  Each one is pretty unique but since this is a brand new crop for us we will be trying to determine which variety, if any, works best here at Appleton.  I can't wait to work these beautiful veggies into spring and fall salads at my house.  After a one year hiatus we are bringing back Oranos sweet peppers!  These pepper are extra early, extra sweet, extra reliable and even at over $0.40 per seed they are well worth the price.  For hot peppers we will be trying a new variety of habanero this season called Helios.  It is suppose to pack the same spicy sweet punch as regular habaneros but it actually ripens during our short New England summer.  Sugar dumpling winter squash are one of my favorite varieties but their short storage window made them a little fickle to grow.  We decided to swap this variety for Gold Nugget, a cute little single serving mini hubbard with pale orange skin.  We also added a variety of golden zucchini to our summer squash just for fun.  There are plenty more new varieties and old favorites on the list so check it out!  
-Ryan 

Basil varieties- Genovese, Napoletano, Eleonora, Mrs. Burns’ Lemon, Sweet Thai, and Sacred.
Bean varieties- Provider, Dragons tongue, Carson, Royal burgundy, Strike.
Beet varieties- Boldor, Chioggia gaurdsmark, Red ace, Avalanche, Cylindra
Bok choy varieties- Joi choi, Black summer
Broccoli varieties- Green Magic, Belstar, Arcadia, Fiesta, Bay meadows, Blue wind, Imperial.
Brussels’ sprouts varieties-Dagan, Nautic.
Cabbage varieties- Famosa, Ruby perfection, storage no. 4, tendersweet, Alcosa, Caraflex, Gonzales, Red  express, Omero.
Carrot varieties- Bolero, Nelson, Mokum
Cauliflower varieties- Denali
Celeriac variety-Mars
Celery variety- Tango
Chard varieties- Bright lights, Ruby red
Chicory varieties- Perseo, Bel fiore, Virtus, Dubuisson, Natacha, Indigo.
Collard  green variety- Flash
Popcorn variety- Robust Yellow
Cucumber varieties-Jackson classic, Marketmore, Olympian, SV4719CS.
Cilantro  variety- Santo
Dill variety- Bouquet
Eggplant varieties- Clara, Dancer, Nadia, Orient express.
Fennel varieties- Orion, Zefa fino, Preludio
Flower varieties-  Zinnia, Snapdragon, Rudbeckia, Cosmos, Dianthus, Celosia, Bachelors button, Procut gold, Procut orange, Procut lemon.
Garlic- German extra hardy, Music
Greens varieties – astro arugula, shanghai green pac choy, red Russian kale, spring raab, Siberian kale, tatsoi, arugula, southern giant mustard, red giant mustard, toscano, green wave, mizuna, sessatina grossa
Husk cherry variety- Goldie
Adult kale variety- Winterbor
Kohlrabi varieties-Kossack, Azur star, Kolibri, Quickstar, Winner
Leek varieties- King  Richard, Lexton blue-green, Megaton blue-green
Lettuce varieties- Green forest, Mirlo,  Panisse, Alkindus, Two star, Vulcan, Rouxai, Thurinus, Adriana, Salvius, New red fire, Skyphos, Starfighter, coastal star, Green star, Carioca, Cherokee, Concept, Muir, Nevada, Ruby sky, Winter density
Melon varieties- Sun jewel, Sarah’s choice
Napa cabbage variety- Rubicon
Onion varieties- Ailsa craig, Red long of tropea, Pontiac, Redwing,
Parsnip variety- Javelin
Fresh pea varieties- Premium, Sugar ann, Oregon
Pepper varieties- Ace, Carmen, Flavorburst, Oranos, Red knight ( sweet) Capperino, Devil serrano, el jefe, Hungarian hot wax, Red rocket, Helios, Tiburon, Thai hot ( hot)
Potato varieties- Red gold, Dark red norland, Anuschka
Radish varieties-Cherriette, White Icicle, Rover, Summer cross Daikon , D’avignon, Watermelon
Rutabaga variety- Helenor
Salad turnip varieties- Hakurei, Scarlet queen red stem.
Baby lettuce varieties- Foundation collection, Premier collection
Scallions- Guardsmen
Spinach varieties- Reflect, Gazelle, Space, Woodpecker
Strawberry varieties- Cabot, Earliglow, Jewel
Zucchini/summer squash varieties-Slik pik, Spineless perfection, Goldy, Gold star, Dunja
Sweet potato varieties-Beauregard, Covington
Tomato varieties ( non PYO)- Polbig, Defiant, Big Beef, Pink Beauty, Iron lady, Mountain Merit, Prudens Purple, Black Krim, Striped German, Plum Regal, Granadero,
Tomato varieties ( PYO)-Black cherry, Indigo cherry drops, Jasper, Mountain magic, Sungold, Sunpeach, Pink boar, Juliet
Turnip variety- Purple top white globe
Watermelon variety- Starlight
Winter squash varieties- Bonbon, Delicate, Jet acorn, New England Pie, Gold nugget, Pinnacle, Red Kuri, Winter sweet, Tip top PMR, Waltham Butternut

THE FARM WISH LIST- Have what we are looking for? Email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org and thank you!
  • 2-3 healthy, child-friendly rabbits with hutches in good condition
  • A "cooking with kids" expert who would be willing to advise our team on outfitting our teaching kitchen for kids
  • Chainsaw artist who can create some veggie friends for our lonely but well-loved  wooden carrot outside the farm store
  • Small chicken coop in good condition. We will pick up!

UPCOMING FAMILY PROGRAMS, CULINARY WORKSHOPS & FARM EVENTS:

Egg-cellent Easter Adventure: Saturday, March 26th
Say goodbye to the cold and celebrate the arrival of warmer weather here on the Farm! While we often associate eggs with the Easter Bunny, in many cultures eggs symbolize new life and are tied with the coming of spring. At this event, we celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens. Go on the Egg-cellent Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Members: $20 per family.  Nonmembers: $30 per family. Registration and all the details at www.thetrustees.org

From Cultures to Rinds: Cheese Making Fundamentals: Saturday, April 9th 
Our cheese making classes are back! Spend the afternoon with Appleton’s new cheese maker, Kristian Holbrook for a hands-on cheese making class in our farm kitchen.  You’ll learn all the basics of making soft and hard cheese, make your own mozzarella and ricotta to take home, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of our dairy operation and cheese caves. Kristian will cover all the basics of cheesemaking and teach you exactly how to make delicious fresh cheese at home. Pre-registration required. Members: $100.  Nonmembers: $135. Registration and all the details at www.thetrustees.org


P.S.- Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about what's happening on the farm