News from Farmer Des:
Welcome to spring in New England! So far the season has started a little slow and rainy, but the flowers have started blooming and the greenhouse has filled and emptied once already. We are getting close to being able to put some of these baby plants out in the field—we just need a couple more of those perfect warm, sunny, breezy spring days to really get it going. Our spring plant sales start happening the first weekend in May! On Saturday May 4th during the Kid Cuddle Party we will have lots of beautiful cool season crops ready to put in the ground- kale, broccoli, cabbage, chard, spinach, onions, herbs and more! As the weekends progress, we will add the warm and hot season crops as they are ready (you don’t want to put them in too early – we could still have a frost) so there will be new plants every Saturday.
If you haven’t had a chance, come out to the farm for an afternoon hike. The farm is greening up fast and all the maples are in bloom. We’ve had a couple of ring-necked pheasant wandering about and the bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, killdeer and resident red-tailed hawks are all here finding mates and nesting spots (I’ve already marked TWO nests in the farm fields that I will have to go around until the eggs hatch).
The sheep and goat flocks have been busy having babies since January with 65 lambs/kids born and 13 more ladies still yet to give birth. It has been a very very busy winter. They are super cute and very bouncy! We also have a number of bottle babies and fun success stories that you can find on Instagram. One of our favorites has been lamb Midget. Midget was born and rejected by his mother immediately because he couldn’t walk and his front legs didn’t work properly. He was immediately put on a bottle and adopted by Elspeth. It took him two weeks to stand on his own. Then another four weeks before he could go out to the barn. We are happy to report that at just over three months old he can run and jump with all the other lambs!
In case you haven’t heard through the town grapevine, Cole Trager, our assistant manager for the last couple of years got promoted on April 1st and left to become the Livestock Manager at Moose Hill Farm! We are so excited for his opportunity even though we are sad to see him go. He will be around, especially in late July/August when the Moose Hill cattle come here to graze our fields.
We are very lucky in that Cole’s replacement, Jeff Hoodlet, is ready to step in at the end of April! Jeff has actually been living here at the farm all winter and has been helping with livestock chores, so he has gotten to know the flock very well and they already trust him. He has also been an apprentice at Powisset Farm for a couple of seasons and has been the livestock manager of the pig operation at Powisset (they just had the first of the piglet birthing happen last weekend and Jeff stayed up all night to assist the new momma in getting adjusted to her babies!)
Our other two apprentices (still looking for a third!!!) will be here at the end of May when they finish up their last semester of college. They will have a crash course when they get here since CSA starts just a couple of weeks later, but both of them have the experience and work ethic to hit the ground running. It is going to be a fun season! If you haven’t already- sign up for CSA soon!!!!
EVENTS & PROGRAMS
We are ramping up our programming at the farm this year and we have so many exciting events planned! This spring we’ve already had our annual Maple Tap-a-Thon, two sold-out Brew Moon Hikes, an April Vacation “Farmer for a Day” program, and our first “Book Bugs” for toddlers and preschoolers. Please check out our April-June programs on our website!
Do you have Mother’s Day plans yet? Please join us on Sunday, May 12, for a memorable event as we celebrate all moms. We’ll have a delicious buffet-style farm brunch, live music, lawn games, and a visit with our farm animals. Plus optional photography sessions! Get the details and register here.
If you have any questions, please reach out to the farm’s engagement manager, Jessica Devine, at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon!