The Weblog

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The home stretch and the future of the farm.

Happy Autumnal Equinox and Full Moon,


For those who are out of money in their account, or almost, and want to continue to order:

IF YOU PICK UP AT UNION MILL: YOU CAN MAIL A CHECK AFTER YOU PICK UP TO PO BOX 143 TEMPLE 03084. (checks should be made out to me)

We’re in our 16th week of harvest and with the cooler weather and shortening days the season is beginning to wind down. The deer know this and are starting to scavenge more aggressively. There were nine in the field the other day and last night when I was out looking for a marauding porcupine one gave a warning huff and I heard several take off into the woods. I even chased some turkeys out of the hoop house recently and found their tracks in the greenhouse. In the greenhouse?! I don’t think this has to do with the changing seasons, but instead a surprising boldness on their part. They seem to know what might really threaten them and recognize that going into our greenhouses doesn’t. They like to scratch in the hay mulch.

We’ve added baby bok choy, some spinach, and a little broccoli *this week. Beans, tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes have pretty much called it quits. There’s only a little *salad mix this week, with three more plantings on the way, weather permitting.

The other news is that THIS IS OUR LAST SEASON. After farming for most of the last 43 years, 32 of those years here in Temple, and with Julie now retired from teaching and both of us coming up on our mid-sixties, the time has come. As much as I love the work I don’t think I still have the physical stamina or psychic resilience needed to run this seven-day-a-week seasonal marathon anymore. The last two years were an experiment in cutting out our big farmer’s market down in Mass. and running the online market as a CSA, but the work was still non-stop and it became clear that it’s time to hang up the hoe.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT !!! whether for just this last season or since we began the online market in 2007. I’ll miss growing food for everyone. We’ll probably continue with the blueberries and will let people know about that.

Meanwhile, we still have up to five weeks to go this season so it’s not over yet!


Of Cabbages and Copra onions


We’ve added red and green cabbage this week, as well as Copra onions, a strong cooking onion that stores well.

The scallions are from the fourth and last planting so they’re much smaller than the recent large ones from the third planting.

We have a little arugula from a small planting that went into some extra space in the hoophouse. More plantings are on the way.

Potatoes have come down in price a bit this week. If you’ve gotten red potatoes recently you might wonder why some of them aren’t so red. The variety Dark Red Norlands has always done that as the harvest season progresses. I’m not sure why. It affects appearance, but not the quality of the potato.

Lacinato kale will probably come and go in availability. It’s generally slow-growing and, like all the other brassicas (cabbage, broccoli etc.), is planted in the lowest section of the field which means that this year it’s roots have been wet for much of the season. This contributes to slow growth. Today’s heavy rains aren’t helping! If I could have predicted the weather I would have planted them higher up (useless thought number 20 million and 2).

Thank you as ever for your orders.


If you ordered an orange pepper please respond


If you get this before 4:00 and ordered an orange pepper please let me know.

The site had a technical glitch and didn’t enter the orange pepper orders on the invoices.


Fresh ginger and more lettuce


We’ll be doing the first harvest of the baby ginger this week. We don’t know what we’ll find until we start digging, but the plants look healthy so that’s a good sign. We sell it in 1/4 pound amounts. There’s more information in the market section.

The cooler weather has slowed some things down, but the lettuce is happy! Cucumbers not so much.

The basil has gotten the basil downy mildew, even though the variety was supposed to be resistant. So that’s it for basil.

We’ll harvest a few beets. They’ll be on the small side because they sat in wet soil for so long that their growth was held up.

Speaking of wet soil, I had to run up to Maine on Sunday for a family matter and stopped at the farm where I worked over 40 years ago (!!). They had hardly any rain all season and they’re probably only about 100 miles from here as the crow flies.

Thank you for your orders.


Leeks, Kennebecs, a little lettuce and mix


Happy September and best wishes to returning students and teachers. Being married to a now-retired teacher I know first hand of at least one job that’s harder than farming.

Warm, humid weather continues and we’re back to irrigating. The last rain we had was 12 days ago. August is said to have been one of the hottest on record.

We’ve added leeks, as well as Kennebec potatoes, which many of you are familiar with from past years.

The greenhouse peppers are taking a break, but still setting fruit so we’ll see if more ripen red or orange.

We have a few more plantings of lettuce and continue to sow salad mix. Two sowings of mix went in the hoophouse, following the cucumbers that grew there, to avoid what had been so much torrential rain and they look well. We keep trying!

We’re picking from the third planting of field-grown cukes. So far so good. It’s rare to get any after mid-September and sometimes not even that long, so we shall see.

Next week may be the first ginger harvest. It’s been growing since late March, first very slowly in the house and then very slowly in the hoophouse, but hopefully there will be something to show for all that time.

Lastly, I know the broccoli you got last week didn’t look like the usual rounded heads. This was a result of the heat. We lost most of the first planting to the weather. If you had a problem with the quality other than appearance let me know and I can credit your account.

Thank you for your orders.


Clarification on beans and broccoli

Hi again,

When I said “If you asked for…” regarding beans and broccoli it means that you asked for them in the comment section because there was no more available to order. As mentioned, I set some aside of those items if people asked.

If you already ordered those items then you’re all set, unless you want more.

I hope that helps more than confuses.


More beans and broccoli



IF YOU DIDN’T ASK, but want some you can place another order from what’s available and the site will add that to your first order.


This and that.


New this week are cherry tomatoes and regular broccoli. The heat may change availability of these, but hopefully not.

We await the third planting of cucumbers which are just starting to size up. You can ask for cukes and we may find some.

You can also ask for squash. I may pick and post some on the site tomorrow.

I put 10 1/2 lb. of beans on the site, but picking should be better than last week so you could ask for some and may have better luck than last week.

Sadly, no lettuce and only a little mix again this week. There’s more of both planted and when this hot weather IS FINALLY OVER maybe we can get back on track.

I’m sorry there’s not more abundance of certain things, but it’s a tough season for some crops. Thank you for your orders, in any case.


Kale, Banana potatoes, and a slow down


We’re adding Winterbor kale, Banana Fingerling potatoes, and a few beans this week.

Lettuce and mix are still in short supply and will continue to be for a couple of weeks.

The first planting of beets are picked out and the second is waiting to dry out so they can grow!

The second planting of cukes are slowing down, with another on the way. Squash, too, so ask for squash this week.

Sakuras are also finally slowing down. We should be able to find a few more before we pull out the plants.

We’re not out of the woods yet, weather-wise, with 2 more inches of rain since last Tuesday and more tomorrow. Maybe we’ll have a beautiful September!? At least I was able to plant some late broccoli yesterday, as well as more spinach, bok choy, and a planting of lettuce up where the soil isn’t saturated.

Thank you for your orders.


Rain, rain, go away.!


As you can probably guess, these are challenging conditions for all the crops, not to mention for anyone trying to enjoy the summer. Or anyone trying to sow, plant, hoe, or even mow. I keep a rain/irrigation chart and it shows 16 days (and nights) of rain (about 12 inches) out of the last 23 days when this latest extended period of wet weather began. With more on the way! Add in heat, humidity, fog, and then a day when it felt good to take a hot shower and, well, we’ll see how the rest of the season goes. Having a well-drained sandy loam soil is very helpful in this situation, but we need the air to dry out, too.

So far, the vegetables are hanging in there, but production has slowed down in many cases. As ever, if an item you want is sold out please ask for it and we’ll do what we can.

We try to pick the best looking field tomatoes, but the heavy rain we’ve had can cause some marks and cracking, as you may have noticed. This shouldn’t affect the quality too much, but you may have to eat them sooner than later, especially with this humidity.

In any case, on we go.