Sunday, August 14, 2016

FARM SHARE # 11 - August 11, 2016

Big Share # 11

Sample Mini Share # 11

Sample Mini Share # 11

Sample Mini Share # 11

FARM SHARE # 10 - August 4, 2016

Big Share # 10

Sample Mini Share # 10

Sample Mini Share # 10

Friday, July 29, 2016

FARM SHARE # 9 - JULY 28, 2016

Big Share - flowers, broccolini, lettuce, New Zealand spinach, escarole, beans, greens (turnip, chard, collards, or kale), squash, cucumber, carrots, fennel, herbs (mint, sage, parsley, dill, or dill flowers), hot peppers, and 3 choices, in this case pickling cukes, eggplant, and extra lettuce.

Sample Mini Share - squash and pickling cucumbers

Sample bouquet

Sunday, July 24, 2016

FARM SHARE # 8 - July 21, 2016

Big Share: 4 Squash, 2 fresh garlic, 8 carrots, 1 cucumber, 1 cabbage, 1 bunch basil, 2 head lettuces, ~2 pounds beans, 1 bunch greens (kale, chard, or turnip greens), 3/4 pound New Zealand spinach, 4 beets, 1 fennel, 3 hot peppers, 1 kohlrabi, 3 choosing items (in this share broccolini, baby beet greens, sweet peppers), flowers!

Min Shares got to choose two items, as usual.  Plus flowers and PYO garden.

Beans are in season!  It's time to remember all your favorite bean recipes.  Some ways we like to eat beans:
Pickled Dilly Beans
Steamed beans with butter (or without)
Cooked and cooled beans, seasoned with oil and vinegar and garlic.
Three Bean Salad (fresh beans, cooked kidney beans, garbanzos - dressed with olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, red onions or scallions)
Beans quickly boiled and seasoned with basil and mint
Beans in soup, stir-fry, or chicken pie

There are lots of beans to pick in the PYO garden, too.  Farm Members are welcome to pick on Thursdays during pickup time (2:00 - 7:00) or come over on the weekend.  Call or email first to be sure they have not been picked over. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

FARM SHARE # 7 - July 14, 2016

Lots of colorful vegetables in Share # 7, including beets, carrots, peppers, and squash.  In addition, beans have started in the PYO garden and we had an special PYO item: red currants.  Summertime.

Sample Big Share - Beets, carrots, radishes, squash, collards, Chinese cabbage, head lettuce, beans, scallions, parsley, hot peppers, cucumber, flowers, plus 3 choosing items, in this case: more hot peppers, more beets, and broccolini

Sample Mini Share - squash and beans

Sample Mini Share - beets and hot peppers

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CSA News Flash

When you pick up your share tomorrow, in addition to the PYO garden (snap peas, basil, parsley, and now, beans!), you are welcome to pick some Red Currants!  We've picked all we can manage to put up and there are lots more.  Bring a container.

And, speaking of containers, we are already short on 1 quart berry containers.  If you have some extra, please bring them to the farm.  We use them for beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, etc.  When you pick up your share, try to leave the berry boxes, if possible.

THANKS!  You folks are great!
L & R @ SMF

Farm Week # 7 - July 12, 2016

Hello, farm members,

I hope you are enjoying summer as much as we are.  The garden is cranking out the veggies, the flowers are in bloom, people are visiting.  This week as I surveyed the garden I noticed the tall Asiatic lilies are starting to bloom (check them out on the west side of the house, so sweet!) and the basswood trees are in heavy bloom and buzzing with pollinators.  The beans are in.  Expect an array of colors this Thursday and look for more beans in the PYO garden.

Last Thursday I was sick so Robin prepped the farm shares on his own.  He did a great job and I am so grateful to have him here, every day, not just on sick days!  (All better now.)

This Saturday, July 16, SMF is going to the Bernardston Farmers' Market, 10:00 - 1:00, at the United Church of Bernardston Parking Lot.  Come say hello and bring/send your friends for some of our farm produce.

I am behind on posting recipes at the recipe blog but hope to catch up soon.  If you have recipes to share, send them on or comment at the blog.  We all need ideas.  Also, watch the Wednesday edition of the Greenfield Recorder, Trouble's recipe for Kohl-slawbi might be in there.

How this gets distributed will depend on the amount we pick of each thing.  There should be plenty of choices.  We plan on using the same system as last week where the MINI SHARE items and the CHOOSING AREA for the big shares are merged.  That system has been working well, as far as we can tell, and is a bit simpler on our end.

Lots of these-
Greens: kale, chard, collards, New Zealand spinach
Cabbage - cole slaw, anyone? 
Chinese cabbage
Salad mix
Head lettuce
Herbs: basil, parsley, mint
Beets - eat the tops as cooked greens
Salad turnips (eat the tops too)


That's enough for now.  See you Thursday (and maybe Saturday?)
Robin and Laura

FARM SHARE # 6 - July 7, 2016

Kohlrabi in the choosing area

Big Share

Ready for pick up

Happy farmer and happy farm member
PS  Look for Trouble's recipe for "Kohlslawbi" in the July 13 issue of the Greenfield Recorder.  Or check out our Recipe Blog for her recipe and other ways to use your farm produce.

FARM SHARE # 5 - June 30, 2016

Big Share

Chinese cabbage!

Mini Share

Flowers under the apple tree

Monday, June 27, 2016

FARM SHARE # 4 - June 23, 2016

Forgot to post this last week.  Here's what the shares looked like:

A portion of zucchini (a choice for the minis or a choosing item for the big shares)

Flowers - not very many this week but very pretty.

Bigfoot in her "Aren't I adorable?" pose.

Sample Mini Share - zucchini and chard

Big Share: Garlic scapes, zucchini, cucumber, radishes, Chinese cabbage, head lettuce, greens (kale or chard), herbs (basil, parsley, or mint), salad mix, rhubarb (if requested), 1 choosing item (in this share = squash blossoms)

Monday, June 20, 2016

FARM SHARE # 3 - June 16, 2016

Flowers for the shares: Icelandic Poppies, Pyrethrum, Daisies, Peonies, Ladies' Mantle, Sweet Peas, Astrantia, Lupines

Big Share #3: Mesclun, Head Lettuce, Bok Choy, Radishes, Greens (kale, chard, or turnip greens), Herbs (parsley, catnip, apple mint, or wild peppermint), 1 choosing item, (in this case, Rhubarb), and flowers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Farm Week # 3 - June 13, 2016

Peonies are beautiful.

June 13, 2016

Tomatoes  in the "cat" tunnels look great, poultry has been safe, new chicks hatched last night!, we are really close to being done with the main planting (for real), we planted more kinds of greens - Red Garnet mustard, turnip greens, and collards, we are researching Sweet Cicely and rhubarb recipes, we planted some watermelons (cross your fingers for late August melons), tiny carrots are forming, we planted rutabagas and more beets and more kohlrabi and more fennel.  We are still setting out and transplanting flowers, planting late season brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), setting out winter squash, and lots of odds and ends!  Future new projects will include building the new high tunnel and creating and planting the new herb garden.  The list continues.  

Our system of making more garden space using cardboard and mulch is working well.  Thanks for all the cardboard contributions and tips on where to get more.  We need a lot!  More information here:

Last week was the first week we had a “choosing shelf” for part of the shares and it went just fine.  We will most likely have that every week.  More flowers coming this week but will not be as plentiful as they will be later in the summer.

Head lettuce - several types if mini romaine lettuces
Cooking greens - kale, baby chard
Bok choy
Turnips/turnip greens
Broccoli - some
Cucumbers - a few
Kohlrabi - a few
Herbs - fennel, parsley, wild peppermint, catnip
Flowers: pyrethrum, peonies, iris, etc.
Plus whatever else we find while we're harvesting for you.

No scallions or scapes yet, probably no alliums this week
Coming soon: carnations, napa cabbage, cabbage, zukes, coriander for green seeds

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake:
Roasted Bok Choy:
(I am currently researching ways to use Sweet Cicely and Rhubarb.  There are lots of interesting recipes, including some that use both.  I’ll share more when I know more. - Laura)
Wild peppermint is very strong.  We especially like it in tabouli or dried for herbal tea.

Snapping turtle laying eggs, Indigo Buntings, a woodcock digging in the mud, Pileated Woodpecker swooping overhead, a very red bird (Scarlet Tanager?), deer, bunnies in the road, yellow jackets (?) buzzing in a pear tree.  No foxes seen this week.

Robin and Laura
Sweet Morning Farm
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337
CSA info:
Recipe blog:

Friday, June 10, 2016

FARM SHARE # 2 - June 9, 2016

Farm Share # 1 - Mesclun, head lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, radishes, "scallion garlic", sunflower shoots, greens (kale), herbs (dill), plus two choices, in this case salad turnips and broccoli.  Plus sweet cicely.  Plus flowers.

Flowers this week!

Sample Mini Share - rhubarb and mesclun

Sample Mini Share - sunnies and broccoli

It was really fun to have broccoli ready this early.  Soon we will have cucumbers and zucchini as well.  We are really trying to have some of the "fruits" ready early in the season.  So far, so good.

One of our farm members was on a trip this week and offered their share to whomever might be interested.  We contacted a friend who likes fresh veggies but isn't able to get a whole share, who was very happy to fill in.  A win-win plan!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Farm Week # 2 - June 6, 2016

Pyrethrum - (in bloom now)

June 6, 2016

Hi Folks!

The first farm share went very well and it was great to see friends and meet our new farm members.  Let's do it again!  

This week we have continued to set out many seedlings and care for all the little growing things around here.  Robin has mulched more than half the garden and that is terrific for the plants and the soil and the people who do the weeding at the farm.  Next to be planted are beets and fall brassicas.  (cabbage, cauliflower, storage kohlrabi, etc.)   Peas are blooming, there are tiny kohlrabis and a few tiny green tomatoes...

There are small cucumbers on the vines; it's possible that a few will be ready this week!  There will be some broccoli!  Also some bok choy!  Initially we thought the bok choy might be a bust because of flea beetles and a really hot spell in May that made some of it bolt.  I almost pulled it out but Rob had faith and convinced me to leave it.  He was right.  It's a bit small and does have some flea beetle damage but I know it will be yummy.

On a sadder note, a fox discovered our poultry and killed 2 full grown ducks, 2 ducklings, 1 chick, and 1 hen.  Ugh.  For the time being we are keeping the birds in close confinement while we think of something to do and while the fox finds another food source.  Most likely the fox just wants to feed its family but it's hard on us and the flock.  Both mother ducks were too large for the fox to carry off or eat on site so it was a waste.  (Except for the fact that their babies got away.)

On a brighter note, we a had a great visit from some friends from Louisiana.  It was fun to see them and share our lives with them.

Flowers are starting to bloom!

Head lettuce
Cooking greens: kale, chard, spinach
Bok choy
Turnips and radishes
Scallion garlic (young garlic plants that look like scallions and taste like garlic)
Sunflower shoots
Herbs: Sweet cicely pods, dill, peppermint
Flowers: pyrethrum, lupine, peonies?, iris, etc.
Plus whatever else we find while we're harvesting for you.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

FARM SHARE # 1 - JUNE 2, 2016

Big Share - mesclun, head lettuce, arugula, radishes, greens (kale or chard or escarole or collards), baby leeks, rhubarb, herbs (fennel or apple mint or sage)

Sample Mini Share - rhubarb and mesclun

Sample Mini Share - head lettuce and mesclun


Monday, May 30, 2016

Farm Week #1 - May 30, 2016

Tree Peony

May 30, 2016

The shares will be starting June 2, 2:00 - 7:00 - pick up at the farm.

Hello, people,
Robin and I excited to be starting the farm share season with you.
Things are growing very quickly lately, with all the sun, warmth, and now, rain!

We have *almost* finished the main planting and the crops look good.  Cabbages, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, greens, and beans look especially happy.  We have two plantings of carrots in so far, and they are thinned and weeded so here’s hoping for nice big carrots this year.  Many area have been mulched.  The Pick-Your-Own garden is planted with snap peas, cherry tomatoes, pole beans, hot pepper, tomatillos, edible flowers, and herbs.  (None are ready to pick yet but you can check them when you pick up your share.)  To keep the harvest flowing, we plant many items repeatedly.  For example, we have kohlrabi growing at 3 different sizes and 2 planting of Chinese broccoli.  We keep planting throughout the season.  Endive frisee and puntarelle are being set out today.  Mustard greens, beets, and late broccoli and cauliflower will be set out next weekend.  Organizing the schedule and layout is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle combined with a symphony and with juggling, all mixed together.  Fortunately, Robin and I love doing what we are doing!

After the main planting, the next big project will be building our new 30’ X 60’ high tunnel.  The tunnel will mostly be used to grow winter crops.  Next winter we hope to have lots of spinach, mesclun, leeks, and kale to keep us healthy through the cold weather.

Two caterpillar tunnels are built and filled with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tomatillos.
13 ducklings so far, hoping for more

We like to grow and share a wide variety of crops.  Sometimes we include items in your share that may be unfamiliar to you.  Please ask away!  We only put things in the shares that we think are delicious.  We are happy to share tips and recipes on how to use them.  Many people find that some of the new things turn out to be their new favorite food.  (If you don’t like something, that’s fine, we won’t be offended.)

We love to learn new ways to cook everything we grow.  If you have a good recipe, we want to hear about it.
Sweet Morning Farm’s recipe blog:

 Some PICK UP DAY tips for you:

- Bring containers for your food.  Some items will be bagged and some will be in bins for you to choose and bring home in your own basket or container.  We don't have flowers yet but should have loads later in the season.  When that happens, most people like to bring a jar or vase for their flowers.
- Please return containers that we provide, including egg cartons, clean and dry.  Thanks!
- One of us will be here to answer questions.  We are always happy to say hello and help you.
- Please call or email if you can’t pick up your share.  413-773-8325

The FLOWERS haven’t started to bloom yet, but will soon.  We have great hopes for a wonderful flower season.  We use a very informal system for the flowers.  Robin and I pick them and put them in vases by type.  When you pick up your share, take some.  You can use your own judgement about how many.  It always seems to work out.  This year we planted a little garden next to the porch with extra PYO flowers.  There will be sweet peas, calendula, sunflowers, centaurea, and cosmos.  Help yourself!

To some extent we can accommodate your VACATION plans.  If you let us know ahead of time, we can double up on a different day.  Or you can have a friend pick up your share.  I am making a chart that will be posted in the pick-up area with all the farm share dates.  Please use it to let us know when you won't be picking up your share.
Head lettuce
Cooking greens - mostly kale this week
Herbs - leaf fennel, sage, oregano, apple mint, etc. (choose when you get here)
Seedlings - we have extras and would like to share them with you

We will pick a variety of the same goodies for you.  When you pick up your share, choose two items that you like from your special area.  We always keep an eye on the mini share area to make sure that even the last people to pick up have some options.  Once the flowers and PYO garden get rolling, you are also welcome to pick extra veggies and take home some flowers.

Hurray for the start of the farm share season!  Here's wishing for a bountiful, delicious harvest for all of us.

See you Thursday,
Laura & Rob
PS Sorry this email is so long.  In future they will be more manageable.
PPS Posting these weekly emails at:

Sweet Morning Farm
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337