It’s been a little trying in the last month with all the rain. All this soaking and cool weather has meant cooler soils and difficulty getting into sticky, muddy fields. When we have gotten transplants into the ground, they sort of just sit there and mull over why they had to leave the gloriously warm greenhouse. Now that May is almost over, the days have lengthened, the rain has held off and we have had more than three days in a row without rain. The soils are warming up and drying out, the transplants have decided that maybe the outside world isn’t so bad and are starting to grow. Jeff and I have been working long days but were definitely behind schedule until last week. Now we are catching up in leaps and droves thanks to our new crew and a devoted set of volunteers from St. Mark’s High School who decided to spend their end of year Lion Term with us.
So far these amazing 10th graders have spent 5 mornings with us in all weather–from hot, windy and sunny to cold and drizzling– and they have powered through planting thousands of onions, celery, chard, lettuce, escarole, fennel, flowers, herbs, strawberries and kohlrabi. They have cleared old plastic from the field, laid remay over newly planted seeds and provided us with a lot of laughter and enthusiasm. We depend, 100%, on volunteer help to accomplish the incredible amount of work we need to do during the season. We have volunteer positions available all the time from weeding to harvesting to planting and everything under the sun. Don’t want to get dirty with the farm crew? We have volunteer opportunities working behind the scenes with our events and education programs, festivals and so much more! https://volunteer.thetrustees.org/ We offer corporate group work days too, so if your team needs a bonding session come and spend the day with us!!!!
CSA Starts Mid-June
Despite all the great help we had from volunteers in May– the weather has both limited our ability to get food in the ground in a timely fashion and have it do little more than sit there and shiver! We were hoping to start CSA pickup the week of the 11th- but given the still cool weather (cold soil does NOT grow summer veggies well) we are moving the CSA start to the June 18th, 20th and 22nd! It is hard to be patient, but we will see you all soon. If you are really hankering for fresh farm veggies before then- our farmstand is OPEN on Saturdays from 9-2 and anytime there is an event happening on the farm.
We will be open this weekend during the Notch Biergarten event happening in the orchard. We have small amounts of greens, scallions and celery coming out of the hightunnel right now, and we have added some delicious new local products from a variety of Massachusetts businesses. Our freezers currently host Chanterelle to Go’s gorgeous soups, veggie burgers and ready-made meals. Golden Girl Granola is waiting on the shelf with Old Friends Farm Ginger Syrup to be your new favorite breakfast. We also have amazing local Alprilla Farm flours– these whole wheat flours will add depth and nuttiness to your recipes.
Our summer farm crew has ARRIVED!
We have two new apprentices living and working with us this season– Daniela Aldrich just graduated and hails from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She has been working on the school farm and abroad on different farms in Brazil as part of her dual major in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. Haley Goulet also just graduated, from UMass Amherst, and hails from Franklin Mass. She got her degree in Animal Science, so we are excited to have her hands on knowledge in herd health management, and she is wanting to learn about vegetable farming so we are the perfect place for her. She has worked at almost all the livestock farms at UMass Amherst. We are working on getting them trained in tractor and worker safety and all the essentials; they are working hard and doing a great job!
The flock is out on pasture for the season. The group is A LOT bigger than it has been in the past and they are moving through the spring grass very quickly this year. Large paddocks are only lasting a couple of days at the most, so don’t be surprised if you visit them at the island one day and only a couple of days later find them in the big field across Chestnut Hill Rd. They need to rotate constantly to keep the best grass in front of them and to keep ahead of parasites. Believe it or not we still have a few pregnant ladies out there. We are keeping a close watch on them, but the healthiest place for them is out in the field getting plenty of exercise, good grass and sun. There will be some cute baby pics (yep, more cute baby pics) as soon as they arrive.
EVENTS & PROGRAMS
May has been a busy month of fun at the farm — thank you for your support! We had another sold-out Brew Moon Hike, a packed Goat Kid Cuddle Party, and a successful Running with the Goats. Plus a sold-out Mother’s Day Brunch, lots of little “Book Bug” visitors, and an amazing Sunset Yoga session. Phew!
Here’s what’s coming up next…
June 7-9: The Notch Biergartens return! Relax at biergarten-style tables nestled under the apple trees, with beautiful views of the farm, lawn games to play, and lots of open space for children to romp. Free to attend; beer and food available for purchase.
Throughout June: Discover CHF’s first StoryWalk along our wooded trails, featuring the picture book, “Over in the Forest” by Marianne Berkes. Free for all.
Check out all our upcoming events — including Book Bugs for 1-5 year olds, Sunset Yoga, Father’s Day Bluegrass BBQ, and our new Strawberry Festival — on CHF’s website.
you have any questions, please reach out to the farm’s engagement manager,
Jessica Devine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you soon!
Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad: This assemble your own salad recipe from Smitten Kitchen is perfect for everyone in the family!
Ingredients: Marinade for steak
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Thai chili powder, red chili flakes, or thinly sliced thai chilis
1 1/4 lb flank steak
Combine all of the above and taste it to be sure that it is salty and sour first followed by sweet and heat. Add a little more fish sauce if it isn’t salty enough. Put 1/3 of the mix into a sealable Ziploc with the steak and press all the air out. Stick it in the fridge (an hour is good, up to a day makes magic happen).
With the rest of the marinade: Whisk in 3 Tbsp vegetable/neutral oil to make your salad dressing.
Other salad ingredients:
8.8oz package of thin rice noodles
1 pound trimmed green beans (regular ones, if using haricot vert, cook less)
salt and pepper to taste
8 ozs cherry tomatoes
12 ozs mini cukes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped mix of fresh cilantro and mint
Prepare salad ingredients:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook beans for 2.5 mins then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Use hot water to cook the rice noodles- remove from the heat and drop in the noodles. soak the noodles for 2 mins, drain place in the bowl and set aside. If they get sticky, run under cold water and toss with a little oil.
Grill the steak: Make the grill hot and lightly oil. Remove the steak from the marinade and cook for about 3 1/2 mins-5mins per side depending on the thickness. Season with salt and pepper as it cooks. let rest for 5 mins before slicing very thin.
To serve: place cherry tomatoes, cukes, and herbs each in their own bowl with a spoon for serving.
Everyone starts with a small pile of noodles and piles on slices of steaks, veggies and a ladle of dressing. Doctor with more sliced chilis and lots of herbs….Enjoy!