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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meet the Farmers and Seedling Sale this Friday!



Join us for Meet the Farmers & our first-ever SEEDLING SALE on Friday, June 2,     4-7pm at the farm. 

Come say hello to Andrew, the new CSA manager; Leah, our returning assistant manager; and the 4 great apprentices working in the fields this season. 

If you’re new, we’ll be available to answer questions about how the share pickup works. 

And pick up some beautiful vegetable, flower and herb seedlings grown in our own greenhouses - frost danger will be past so it’s a great time to put out new plants. The farm store will be open and we'll be sharing cheese samples!


*One change you can expect in the share room this season: we’re cutting cut back on waste & doing our part to be more environmentally sustainable, so EACH primary shareholder will get an Appleton CSA canvas bag this season to pack your share in! (Additional bags for those who share shares can be purchased in the store.  Extra paper bags will be available as a backup on a limited basis, but we really want to encourage all of you to bring your new share bag. These are printed locally in Rockport and are the perfect size for packing your share.)

*The share will start the week of June 12!* 


Please note that pickup hours are slightly different this year: 2-7pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 12-5pm on Tuesday and Fridays. (Pick up blocks have not changed- you are still a M/T or Th/F share pick up) 

If you have questions about billing, have an invoice to pay, or want to check your share pick up days, please call the farm office at (978)356-5728 or email appletonfarmscsa@thetrustees.org

Friday, May 19, 2017

Farm News and Updates

Good morning shareholders and friends,

We hope that you have had a wonderful week enjoying the sunshine! It has been a busy but productive week on the farm and we are counting down the days until we are able to welcome you all back to the share room.

We want to introduce you to someone special who has just joined our team! Sarah Hammond Creighton joins the Appleton Farms Team as the General Manager for Appleton Farms and the Appleton Grass Rides.

Before joining The Trustees, Creighton served as the Director of the Office of Sustainability where she developed and advanced sustainability for the institution in the areas of green energy, sustainable dining, gardening and grounds management.   Previously, Sarah was the Director of the Office of Sustainability at Tufts University, directing all aspects of the first-in-the-nation university climate commitment program. She is also the author of two books which have helped to define the college “greening” movement.

“I am excited to join the Trustees and the excellent staff at Appleton,” adds Creighton.   “The Farm and Grass Rides offer unique opportunities to steward the land, preserve local farming, and provide opportunities for visitors to relax, learn, and enjoy this magical place.”

Sarah can be found out and about on the farm, in her office at the Old House, or by email at screighton@thetrustees.org.  Don't hesitate to reach out or stop by to meet her!


CSA News & updates:  


Someone once told me, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. The roller coaster that has been the weather this spring has tested our patience and spirits over the past few weeks, with weekly rainfalls dropping inches at a time and cool weather that has made for some slow growing. Quite a bit of our land has stayed too wet to prepare for planting. So, like a puzzle without a picture, we started shifting our crop plan to fit the early plantings of lettuce, beets and onions wherever we could find dry ground. After a few days of dry weather, I’d prepare as many beds as I could for planting and then tell the crew to bring full rain gear because we’d be out there regardless of rain.  And so we started planting, and planted some more, and then some more. Every day we have a meeting first thing in the morning to go over what the plan is for the day, and I think exactly every day since the first of May has involved planting! And just when I think they will tire of the work, backs achy and bored, they show up the next morning with a smile on their face, a willing attitude, and are ready for anything. Now that the warm weather and sunshine has finally showed up to the dance, it’s beautiful to see how the fields are coming to life and how the crew has come together to make it happen. 
-Andrew

*The share will start the week of June 12!* 

Please note that pickup hours are slightly different this year: 2-7pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 12-5pm on Tuesday and Fridays. (Pick up blocks have not changed- you are still a M/T or Th/F share pick up) 

Join us for Meet the Farmers & our first-ever SEEDLING SALE on Friday, June 2, 4-7pm at the farm. Come say hello to Andrew, the new CSA manager; Leah, our returning assistant manager; and the 4 great apprentices working in the fields this season. If you’re new, we’ll be available to answer questions about how the share pickup works. 
And pick up some beautiful vegetable, flower and herb seedlings grown in our own greenhouses - frost danger will be past so it’s a great time to put out new plants. 

*One change you can expect in the share room this season: we’re cutting cut back on waste & doing our part to be more environmentally sustainable, so EACH primary shareholder will get an Appleton CSA canvas bag this season to pack your share in! (Additional bags for those who share shares can be purchased in the store.  Extra paper bags will be available as a backup on a limited basis, but we really want to encourage all of you to bring your new share bag. These are printed locally in Rockport and are the perfect size for packing your share.)

If you have questions about billing, have an invoice to pay, or want to check your share pick up days, please call the farm office at (978)356-5728 or email appletonfarmscsa@thetrustees.org


Upcoming Programs & Farm Camp Registration:

Appleton Farm Camp registration is still open!  Don't miss your favorite week- sign up today! 

Saturday,  June 3rd | 9:30-11:30am
Members: $60. Nonmembers: $75
Spend the morning with Appleton’s own cheese maker, Kristian Holbrook for a hands-on cheese making class in our farm kitchen.  You’ll learn all the basics of making soft cheeses, make your own mozzarella and ricotta to take home, and get a 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.

Friday May  26th Thursday, June 8th or 22nd
11am-4pm
Members: $200. Nonmembers: $275
Spend the afternoon alongside Kristian and observe his process of turning 200 gallons of our Jersey milk into our rich and creamy farmstead cheese.  You’ll join Kristian in the Creamery at 11am just after the milk has been pasteurized and begin your in-depth, instructional cheese making day.  A comprehensive learning experience will follow, covering everything from rennet and rinds to brines and molds.  You’ll watch the process from coagulation to hooping with opportunities to ask questions at every step.  Lunch and cheese tasting included.  This class is for those considering cheese making as a career, serious hobby cheese makers looking to further their learning, or anyone looking for a distinctive experience and fascinating view into the world of cheese.  Before you leave, you will stop at our farm store and pack your own cheese box full of your favorite Appleton cheeses.  Sessions limited to 5 participants.  Significant periods of standing required.  ( If you are ill, you must reschedule for a different date- will put this part in the email confirmation).

Saturdays and Sundays June-October 10AM-2PM
Member Child: $5 Nonmember Child: $10

Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast sheep will run for their morning helping of grain? Join us for our NEW weekend Hay Bale Hangout and spend the day at Appleton Farms. Stop by anytime between 10AM – 1:30PM for fantastic farmyard meet and greets! Hands on activities start at 10AM and run every ½ hour. Greet our goats, make a wool bracelet, cuddle a calf, farm story time, collect chicken eggs and more! In between activities hang out in the Carriage Barn and explore our all-day learning stations or picnic outside in the Stone Paddock!

Activities may change depending on what’s happening at the farm, but a typical schedule will include:

10:00: Feed the sheep & brush the goats
10:30: Spin wool bracelets
11:00: Collect chicken eggs
11:30: Farm story time (feel free to bring a snack from home!)
12:00: Explore the milking barn & Dairy tools
12:30: Cow dress up and meet a calf
1:00: Collect chicken eggs
1:30: Brush the goats

Please check in at the entrance of the Carriage Barn to pay and receive your hand stamp. Become a Trustees member at the farm on the day of and come for free! Once you’ve paid, stay for an hour or all day! Cash only please. No additional cost for adults. We will do our very best to accommodate everyone, but some activities are first come, first serve.

We have picnic tables, bathrooms, water, and plenty of stroller friendly walking paths for you to enjoy. Parking available the Visitor Center for a shorter walk or at the Farm Store for a longer stroll through our vegetable fields.

Four Wednesdays in June |  9:30-10:30AM
Member Child: $60. Nonmember Child: $75
Explore the rhythms of Appleton Farms with your preschooler. We’ll meet the cows, taste test the vegetable fields, collect chicken eggs and dig into life on the farm. Preschool Farm Explorers experience it all through age-appropriate sensory activities, stories, and crafts. Each program will last 1 hour and will have a different theme such as “What Plants Need to Grow” or “Meet the Cows.” Please pre-register. Fee covers one adult and child. Younger siblings are welcome with an additional fee of $24/$30 for member/nonmembers. Questions?  Email Farm Educator Caroline at crouillard@thetrustees.org

If you have a group of moms or children in afternoon kindergarten, contact us about signing up your group of 6 or more for private Farm Explorer sessions.

Saturdays in June 3:30-4:30PM
Members: $12. Nonmembers: $20
This in-depth look at our dairy operation will take you from the pastures to the cheese kitchen viewing area – and everywhere in between – to learn about how we make our delicious farm fresh cheese. We’ll talk about our rotational grazing, see the milking in action, and get a glimpse of the cheese caves. Finish up with a sampling of some of our products. This program meets at our Dairy Store and there is no need to pre-register. Become a Trustees member at the farm on the day of the tour and come for free!


Sunday, June 11th 2pm-5pm
Members: $72 Nonmembers: $90
These sweet, juicy red berries are back in season and what better way to celebrate this favorite than in the farm kitchen?   We’ll create a fantastic menu of sweet & savory recipes featuring sun-kissed field strawberries as the star ingredient. Strawberry, Basil, & Goat Cheese Flatbread, Grilled Pork & Field Berry Salad with Hazelnuts, and delicious country-style Summer Strawberry Cake are just some of the dishes that will appear on this very special strawberry crop menu!  This hands-on workshop includes instruction by professional chef Carolyn Grieco, printed recipe booklet and a full meal. BYOB beer and wine is allowed.

Sunday, June 18th 4PM-8PM
Member Family: $24. Nonmember Family: $30
Bring a picnic blanket and load up the kids for a summer evening on the farm to celebrate the special fathers in your life. Enjoy dinner from Fat Belly BBQA&B Burger15 Walnut and CopperDome Crust and beer and wine from Ipswich AleRiverwalk Brewing, and Old Planters Brewing.  With live bluegrass from Old Cold Tater

Your family ticket pays for parking, lawn games, a visit with the farm animals, and live music from 5pm-7pm. Dinner from the food trucks and beer and wine, sold on site, are on you. The summer sunset over the farm fields, warm summer breeze (we hope!), and the memories you’ll make with friends and family are free!

Make sure to pre-register, these tickets will go quickly. Food and beverages are purchased directly from our vendors. Any proceeds help support our farm education programs.

Rainy? We’ll still hold the event under our tent and in the Carriage Barn. Just bring an umbrella for your walk over from the parking area. Sorry, no BYOB, coolers, or dogs allowed.


Friday, June 23rd and June 30th- 5:30PM- 8:00PM
Member Adults: $36. Nonmember Adults: $45. Member Children under 12: $12. Nonmember Children under 12: $15 Children under 1 FREE

Each Friday Appleton Farms and Chive Events invites you to join us for dinner. Relax under the setting sun and enjoy a truly unique farm to table experience. From fresh vegetables and fruits, to local pasture raised meats and sustainable seafood, Chive Events will prepare each meal using the best ingredients available from our own and other local farms. Menus may include slow roasted pork with rhubarb jam, seasonal fresh salads and homemade strawberry short cakes. Watch the season change with each meal and bring the whole family to enjoy the weekly harvests. A casual dinner set overlooking the Great Pasture will remind you to slow down and breathe in the summer's air. Enjoy a cold beverage from our friends at Ipswich Ale while you play old-fashioned lawn games and listen to live music.




Friday, May 5, 2017

May News from Appleton Farms

Good Morning Shareholders,


Driving onto the farm each morning is a bit like putting on sunglasses with green lenses; the pastures, trees, fields, and forests are lush with new growth and getting greener by the minute.  Our dairy herd will be headed out to enjoy the green pasture grass after spending the winter lounging in their comfy barn, coming and going from the milking parlor twice a day. If you're available this Sunday, come by at 10am to watch the girls head out for their first day - it is a celebratory day for all and often includes dancing, leaping, and a whole lot of moo-ing.  Meet in the Stone Paddock at 10am and staff will direct you where to stand (and most importantly...where not to!).                     














Next weekend we're celebrating Mother's Day on the farm.  If you haven't made plans yet, consider bringing Mom to one of our popular culinary classes on Saturday where Chef Carolyn Grieco will lead the class through a full menu of brunch recipes including Country Ham & Sourdough Rarebit, Blackberry-Stuffed Maple Scones, Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potato Hash, and Asparagus & Farm Egg Frittata.  If you're looking for something fun to do with the family, join us on Sunday for our Beatrix Potter themed event Bunny Tales: Mother's Day at Appleton Farms for an adventure with the classic characters like Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and more! Registration and more information can always be found on our website.



From the Fields:
The field crew members are the unsung heroes of the CSA. They do ALL the work, through rain or shine, good days or bad. Our crew has almost a month under their belts already and they’re quickly learning the ropes. They’re a happy and engaged group. Every day they show up with a smile on their face, ready to work and eager to learn. THEY are the ones that grow the food for the Appleton Farms CSA. To truly “know your farmer,” you need to know the field workers making it happen. And so I’d like to introduce this year’s crew, in their words.  (Left to Right: Nate, Trey, Ross, and Emily)

Emily Fenton
Emily is an Ipswich native and spent most of her childhood outside. She graduated from culinary school and fell in love with the slow food movement. Last year was her first year on the farm as a part time worker. She loved it so much that she came back as an apprentice this season. She is excited for the CSA season to start and can’t wait to grow your food!

Nate Harlan
Nate is excited for his first season as an apprentice at Appleton Farms. He realized his interest in farming while participating in WWOOf volunteering on the west coast. Originally from the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia), Nate has been enjoying his forays into country life in the last couple years. He enjoys music, hiking, and giant amounts of food.

Ross MacGregor
This is Ross’s third season at Appleton Farms and his second as an apprentice. He is a North Shore native but he has also lived in New York City, California, and Boston, working on various farms and kitchens. He’s an avid sports and music fan, and he’s excited for the farm season this year! Peace and love.

Trey Snow
Originally from South Carolina, Trey spent many hours of his childhood harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers in his grandfather's garden. Before coming to the North Shore, he farmed on CSAs and community gardens near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. In his free time Trey enjoys reading, good food, bagging peaks and spontaneously breaking into monologue.

You’ll have an opportunity to meet this season’s farm crew  and CSA managers at our 
CSA Open House, Seedling Sale & Meet the Farmers Event!

Whether this is your first season with us or you have been a member since the very beginning, we want to extend a warm welcome to all our CSA members to come see the farm and say hello before the share starts. If you’re new, this is a great time to see where to pick up and how it all works.

Join us Friday, June 2nd, from 4-7pm at the CSA Barn. Our whole farm crew will be there - Andrew, new CSA manager; Leah, assistant manager; and 4 apprentices: Ross, Emily, Trey, and Nate. 

We’ll also have our own organically-grown seedlings for sale - flowers, herbs, and veggies for your patio pots, window boxes, or home garden. Look forward to seeing all of you on the farm!  - Andrew, Leah, and crew

Upcoming Programs and Events:

Beekeeping Basics with the Essex County Beekeepers Association- YES there is still room!  Walk-ins welcome.  Saturday, May 6th 10am-1pm. Registration can be found at: http://bit.ly/2pemcsc 

Friday, May 12th or Friday May 26th 11AM-4PM
Spend the afternoon alongside Kristian and observe his process of turning 200 gallons of our Jersey milk into our rich and creamy farmstead cheese.  

Sunday, May 14th from 10am-12pm
Join us this Mother’s Day for an adventure with the classic characters from Beatrix Potter! Bring the whole family to enjoy a morning with the mischievous Peter Rabbit and his friends!  Attendees will explore the farm and meet some of the classic characters such as; Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Johnny Town Mouse, Tom Kitten and more!  Visit Mr. McGregor’s garden, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s kitchen, Jemima Puddle Duck’s nest and Hunca Munca’s doll house.  After your adventure, join us in the Carriage Barn for light refreshments and meet our farm animals in the barnyard.  Kids will also make a beautiful potted lettuce garden inspired by Peter Rabbit as a gift for mom.  FREE for moms! Please register all other adults and children

Our friends from The Book Shop of Beverly Farms will be selling Beatrix Potter favorites during the event and photographer Maureen Cotton of Inner Life Portraits will be setting up an outdoor “photo booth" so that Mom can finally be in the picture too! 

Saturday, May 13th Food is love and what better way to celebrate Mom than spending time together in the farm kitchen? Together we’ll prepare a very special Mother’s Day Brunch menu highlighting our farm foods and vibrant spring flavors, all while learning culinary tips & techniques in good company.  Our menu may include dishes such as Country Ham & Sourdough Rarebit, Blackberry-Stuffed Maple Scones, Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potato Hash, and Asparagus & Farm Egg Frittata.  Hands-on cooking with professional chef instruction, printed recipes, and a wonderful Mother’s Day Brunch with celebration mimosas in the farmhouse dining room. Two sessions: 9am or 2pm. Trustees Members: $72. Nonmembers: $90. Pre-register online.

Saturdays starting May 20th  from 10am-2pm. Runs weekly on Saturdays though summer.
Hands on activities start at 10AM and run every ½ hour. Greet our goats, make a wool bracelet, cuddle a calf, farm story time, collect chicken eggs and more! In between activities hang out in the Carriage Barn and explore our all-day learning stations or picnic outside in the Stone Paddock!

Appleton Farms Volunteer Opportunities:
We're always looking for helping hands.  We love to welcome volunteers into all of our operations.  Handy with a hammer or love to pull weeds?  We would love to hear from you and have you join our volunteer team.  Upcoming this month, we're looking for volunteers to help at our Mother's Day event, Hay Bale Hangout (introducing families to our animals), planting our Learning Garden, carpentry volunteers who are on call for various projects, bottle feeding our baby goats in the evening, and more.  Email Marc at mmahan@thetrustees.org to be connected with one of these or other projects.