Spring on the Farm

Good evening, everyone!

I just got home from a meeting with the Fitzwilliam District Nursing Association which was a delight to attend. The FDNA has been distributing food to those in need for up to almost 100 years now! And for the past seven years they have purchased baskets from Tracie’s as a part of their summer produce distribution program. They graciously invited me to their meeting to discuss further collaboration between our farm and the association, as well as potential new avenues of distribution they are considering. In the few years I have worked with the FDNA I have always been impressed by the work they do, and was honored to be invited to come and talk with them. They are currently compiling distribution lists for summer produce, so if you are anyone you know is experiencing food insecurity in Fitzwilliam, send me an email and I will get you in contact with the program coordinators!

It’s been a busy week on the farm! Am I sounding like a broken record yet? I’m not sure which is busier, spring or high summer. I think it is the spring time, but we are all so filled with fresh energy that it feels like a breeze. Summer is busy, without a doubt, but some of that is due to dealing with fatigue through the growing season.

Since the last newsletter we weeded our middle greenhouse, submitted a draft of our produce safety plan to CAPS–the governing body that will review the plan, harvested for our first distribution of the season, started pruning the blueberry field that we maintain in Richmond, and transplanted over 1,000 plant starts for the plant stand!

We’re looking forward to the stand this year and are expecting some fun new varieties of flowers, tomatoes, herbs, and veggies. I love doing the plant stand. We buy in some varieties of flowers that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to start in our greenhouse, and it is always one of my favorite days of spring when we get to pot them up. Today it was geranium, begonia, petunia, verbena, dahlia, osteospermum, and some herbs! Tomorrow we’ll start working on our hanging baskets and window boxes filled with petunias, begonias, geraniums and dahlias! All told we will have transplanted 2,400 total plant starts over two days. That’s actually not that many when we are seeding for the field (we regularly seed or transplant over 2,000 individual veggie plants) but those are in trays of 50 or 128. The flowers all get transplanted into individual pots 15 at a time. We get a pretty good workflow going in the greenhouse with split between collecting soil, mixing soil, and transplanting, but it is still time consuming. The next big push happens in late April with out larger tomato starts.

Speaking of the stand, both the plant stand and the farm store will be open in late April! We don’t have a set date yet because it depends on the availability of our plant starts, but we are planning on opening the two up at the same time. Meanwhile, we still have limited options in our store. Fresh eggs and any extra greens will be stocked in the fridge until we do our grand opening in April.

SPRING SHARES WEEK 2

Welcome back spring share members! We hope everyone enjoyed their first share of the season and are working through those big bags of spinach. This week has another big bag in store for you, so better use it all up! Spinach is super easy to freeze and store, and I will include a link below with how to do so.

Maple syrup members will receive a quart in their basket in week three once we have some new syrup boiled for you!

In shares this week we will have: Carrots bought in from Harlow Farm to help fill out the early week baskets. Garlic and Onions stored over from last fall. The same Kale and Chard mix that you saw last week. Micro Greens again. This time the spicy mix! And another big bag of Spinach. We are going to harvest one last time from our beds of mature spinach, and then next week we will have baby spinach in shares. Lots of greens are on the horizon as they size up, and we’ll start seeing them in week 3.

Shares Week 2:
Carrots
Garlic
Kale + Chard
Micro Greens
Onions
Spinach

Egg Share: 12 Week Share Only
Bread Share: Cinnamon Raisin

LINK: Four Easy Ways To Freeze Spinach

LINK: Carrot, Red Lentil, and Spinach Soup

Mmm, this could be a great soup for the cold weather we have coming up. Everyone should get a little over a pound of carrots, so that should be enough for the recipe. Plus we have frozen ginger in the store if you want to use that!

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
5-6 medium carrots, about 3 cups, cut into 1cm (3/4 in.) slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cm piece fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
400 grams (13.5 oz.) canned diced tomatoes
1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
150 grams (1 cup) red lentils
150 grams (1 cup) frozen spinach**
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Brown rice, to serve

Instructions

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the carrots, and cook for another minute or two.
Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, stirring to coat the vegetables. Now add the salt and tomatoes, stir, and pour the vegetable stock in.
Increase the heat to high, cover the pot, and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered, or until the carrots are tender.
Stir in the spinach and turn off the heat, letting the hot soup thaw the spinach with the lid on. Add the lemon juice, taste, and season with salt if necessary.
Serve over brown rice and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Summer CSA Shares!

Summer Shares are available! Right now we are at about 65% sold on shares, and orders keep coming in every day.

We have a 16 week full share or an 8 week half share available. The full share gets a basket every week, and the half share gets one every other week. They feature staples and as well as lesser known varieties. In total we grow about 30 unique veggies for the summer season!

Home delivery is available in 11 towns. Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Harrisville, Jaffrey, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Peterborough, Rindge, Swanzey, and Winchendon.

Flexible payment plans so you don’t have to pay all at once.

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