The Weblog

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Fresh Baby Ginger!


I decided it was time to check on the ginger and it’s far enough along to begin harvesting.

If you already ordered and would like some you can order it and the site will add it to your current order.

Here’s the info that accompanies the ginger in the market section:

This BABY GINGER is grown in our hoophouse. It has a lovely aroma, excellent flavor, and is beautiful to look at (click on the photo for a close-up. The piece in the photo, minus the tops, is a 1/4 lb.). It’s great for cooking, tea, smoothies, pickling, and anything else where you want the flavor of fresh ginger.

IT FREEZES REALLY WELL, retaining it’s flavor almost indefinitely. It peels or grates easily and then the unused portion (still frozen – don’t let it thaw out!) is returned to the freezer.

It keeps fresh in a bag in the fridge for about two weeks. It’s helpful to rinse it once in a while and then return it to the fridge. This ginger is a nice addition to the diet during our long winters.

The ginger is propagated vegetatively, like potatoes. The seed ginger arrived from the Big Island of Hawaii in late March and was germinated in the house until late May when it was planted out in the hoop house. Many months of watering and weeding followed. We should be harvesting it until the end of October or so. The variety is called Bubba Blue.


Weblog Entry


We’re adding baby bok choy, some cabbage and the first few cauliflower heads that have sized up.

I thought summer was on the way out, but not yet. More temps in the 80s are on the way. This warmth and humidity does give a late season boost, but it cuts both ways, good and bad. We have more cukes and squash which is unusual for us this time of the year, and the cauliflower that seemed to be coming slowly took a jump this past week. The bad edge of the sword is that the heat and humidity brought on a rapid, late season flush of basil downy mildew that I thought we had dodged this year. So no more basil. But we had a good three month run of it. The first planting of spinach, which likes life to be cooler and less humid, hasn’t fared well, either. Hopefully, the second planting will do better.

On we go. Enjoy the last week of summer.


Summer's last hurrah?


Summer’s back for a couple of days which should give a nice little boost to the crops.

There’s more broccoli this week and we still have some squash and cukes, though they’re both on the way out. The cucumbers are half price due to being of various sizes, and the last of them.

If you want heirloom tomatoes please ask for them in the comment section. It’s getting hard to find marketable ones now. There are still plenty of regular field tomatoes. The Sakuras are finally slowing down, but they’ll enjoy this hot weather.

A number of fall crops are on the way; cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, baby bok choy, spinach, and ginger, and many others continue to carry on.

Thank you for your orders and support of the farm.




The last couple of days brought the broccoli along more than I had expected so we have about 10 pounds.

I’ve re-opened ordering until 8:00 tonight so if you would like some you can order it and the website will automatically add it to your current order if you have one.

For those who might have tried to place an order for veggies this morning and couldn’t you can now do so until this evening at 8:00.


Bull's Horn peppers, the Red Sox, and porcupines


It’s the height of the sweet red Bull’s Horn peppers so if you enjoy them now’s the time to get some. We slice them, put them in freezer bags and then in the freezer, and use them all winter for stir fry, beans and rice, pizza, and soups.

We’re in a lettuce slump at the moment. Those available are smaller than usual, but at least they’ll fit in your fridge.

We have an excellent onion and leek crop this year. As you may have noticed, the Ailsa Craigs are very large. If you’ve ordered a pound you were probably getting as much as a pound and a half or more.

Cucumbers are about over, sadly. We’ll have a few so ask for them in the comment section if you don’t see them listed and we may be able to pass some along.

All the heavy rain that’s forecast may not be kind to the tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, but we’ll hope for the best.

We put up the fabric fence to keep the porcupines out of the brassicas, but they just shrugged and climbed over to do more damage. I caught one in the middle of the night last week and took it far away. Then we raised the height of the fence. Another porcupine just decided that it was the cost of doing business – they’re tree climbers after all- and climbed over it as well. We got back at 1:30 last night from our once-in-a-blue moon ritual of going to Fenway for a Red Sox game and I caught a second porcupine, the fourth of the season. We’ll raise the fence one more time and see what happens (I don’t seem to get the obvious). At least it slows them down and makes them a little easier to catch. I’ve been told that fisher cats, their main predator, are declining so the porcupines are increasing. This damage to broccoli, cauliflower, etc. never happened to us before 2015. At least they haven’t gotten most of it like they did that season, so cauliflower, red and green cabbage, and more broccoli *are on the way. And there’s still plenty of *kale, so far.

I hope you’re enjoying all the produce and thanks as ever for your orders.


The big chill

Good morning,

This cool weather has slowed some crops down, especially cukes, squash, and beans. You should ask for beans in the comment section again because I don’t want to guess how many I’ll find.

Arugula is back this week, and yellow onions and leeks have been added.

There’s a little broccoli again. A porcupine helped itself to a number of heads. I’m going to put up a fabric wall around all the brassicas like we did for the Brussels Sprouts earlier in the season. (And the porcupines are going to pay for it.)

Regarding the ordering deadline, to avoid the complications of late orders I’m going to close ordering on the site after 8:00 Thursday morning.

Thank you for your orders.


More potatoes, a little broccoli


After today’s heat and humidity it looks like we’ll be slipping into cooler and – dare I say it? – more fall-like weather towards the end of the week. It’ll be welcome, at least for awhile.

We’re adding Kennebec and Yellow Finn potatoes and the first token amount of broccoli this week. A good range of other crops are still available, though some are slowing down a bit. The cherry tomatoes in the field are reluctant to crank out the way they usually do so we don’t have as many of those as I would like.

The cucumbers are very nice now, coming from the second planting (actually the third – the second planting rotted in the field in the cold and wet of late May/ early June). They should keep bearing into early September, I hope. They’re prone to various diseases, one of which is making the rounds in the region now, so we hope for the best.

The garlic is planted in the fall and this year, come spring, they grew in a soil that ranged from mud to wet into July. This was a challenge for them and a lot didn’t make it. We try to pass along good bulbs, but if you get one that’s bad let us know and we’ll replace it or refund you. Sometimes there’s just a bad spot here or there, but sometimes it’s worse than that.

On a brighter note, it’s still summer and there’s plenty of fresh food!


Kale, fingerlings, and more

Greetings again,

We’re adding Russian Banana fingerling potatoes and kale this week. The kale is both regular curly and lacinato (aka dinosaur kale). I think of kale as a fall crop, but it’s nice now so off we go.

The basil in the greenhouse is finally slowing down, but we still have some, and more is on the way in the hoophouse.

There are more tomatoes from the field, both regular and heirloom, as well as a lot more Ailsa Craig onions this week.

If you want beans, ask for them in the comment section like last week. We were able to give some to everyone who asked and can hopefully do the same again.

Please order by 8:00 AM Thursday.


Refilling accounts and other thoughts

Greetings on a beautiful summer day,

It’s not time to order for this week, but I’ve been meaning to write for a long time about why the online market works the way it does this year. So for the curious, read on.

But first, the question has started to come up about what to do if the money in your account is getting low and you want to continue to be an active member. The harvest has been going on now for 9 weeks; we have another 10 or 11 to go. We’re less than half way!

If and when you want to add to your account you can do so in $50 increments. If you’ve been ordering an average of $20 or so dollars a week and foresee continuing at that level you might want to add another $100 dollars if there’s still a couple of months to go and your account is almost empty. Or just add $50 dollars at a time when needed. As with your initial payments, money that you add now isn’t refunded or rolled over to another year so you don’t want to overdo it.

It may make sense to start a pay as you go approach when we get to the last few weeks. We’ll see how it goes.

To add to your account please make out a check to Tim Winship and send to PO Box 143 Temple NH 03084

As for how the market works, I imagine that some people wonder why they see only a few bunches of arugula, seven pounds of cousa squash, 3 heads of romaine and other small amounts on any given week. When deciding how much to grow I used the records from 2015 to tell me how many heads of lettuce were ordered that season, or pounds of peas, or bunches of arugula, etc. These were totals for the season, not week by week. So for example, if members ordered 200 pints of Sakura cherry tomatoes in 2015 I had to figure out how many plants would provide that amount (and more) over the course of their harvest period. While this should satisfy overall demand the amount available each week would inevitably vary. Some weeks I could get 25 pints, other only 15. So sometimes the Sakuras have sold out and not everyone who wanted some could get them. This situation applies to a lot of the crops. There may be enough for the season, but some weeks a crop will come up short. I’m sure it’s frustrating sometimes to go online to order and find that one or more items that you wanted are sold out. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that without growing way too much.

I know that a lot of people like our CSA because they can choose what and how much they want (if it’s available!) and not just be given a set amount of produce each week. As one member said, she likes choosing her vegetables, instead of her vegetables choosing her. The challenge for me is to figure out how much to grow when I don’t know how much people are going to order. If this were a typical CSA I would have a better sense about how much to grow because the amounts given out would be a relatively known quantity. To avoid too much waste I have to try to grow only so much. The result is that for members there can a be shortage of certain items at times and for us a certain amount of produce gets composted or tilled under. It’s the usual trick of trying to find the right balance. There’s inevitably a lot of squash in the compost pile since it has to get picked at least every other day to keep it producing. Things were a little easier when we we’re growing for our big farmer’s market, but that’s not happening anymore so here we are.

There are other reasons that we might not have much of something. Nature rules on the farm and weather, insects, and disease can alter the yield of a crop in a short amount of time. Or else the farmer forgets to plant lettuce one week and makes other errors that create a problem.

The last thing I want to mention is about pricing. Many of you have seen an adjustment on your invoice which is then carried over to your account. I had a fantasy that we could avoid that this season, but that was just magical thinking. Ideally, all the produce would be priced by the each and not by the pound, but the plants do what they do. Some tomatoes weigh a pound so no adjustment is needed, but most of the time after weighing various combinations of sizes we give up and have to adjust accordingly. Because I don’t feel that we can debit your account without permission we err on the side of choosing a tomato or onion that’s underweight and credit your account. The squash is almost always over weight, but it’s relatively abundant so we don’t worry about that. The garlic is a dollar each based on their size being equivalent to between $9-10 dollars a pound.

I don’t know if this answers any questions people might have about the workings of the CSA, but I wanted to pass the information along. If you have any questions or comments let me know.


Ailsa Craig onions and order deadline


A note about the ordering deadline:


We all forget stuff and I like to give people some leeway, but things get complicated for us if the orders aren’t in on time. Here’s why:

At 8:00 Thursday morning I print out the list of what to harvest and we head out to the field. We harvest all morning and sometimes for part of the afternoon. If there’s time, we do field work. I finish up harvesting Friday morning and put the orders together in the afternoon. If orders come in late and we don’t see them until lunchtime or later on Thursday then keeping track of what and how much to harvest gets complicated and more time-consuming.

So, if your order comes in late it will likely be cancelled. Circumstances may allow us to fill it, but that can’t be counted on.

Meanwhile, Ailsa Craig onions are starting to size up and field tomatoes are beginning to ripen. We have an heirloom variety you can read about in the market section. We have a few cherry tomatoes from the field as well.

The price of greenhouse tomatoes are now $3/lb., same as the field-grown ones.

We’re kind of limping along with the first planting of cucumbers. A new planting is on the way!

If you would like some beans ask for them in the comment section. We have a 100 foot row of pole beans, but I think production will be too erratic
to list them on the website. If we have some they’ll be $3.00/lb. and I’ll debit your account.
They’re a long, slender variety called Fortex.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know.