Hutchins Farm May Newsletter

Warm weather and timely rains have collaborated to rush our season, and as our strawberries have therefore begun to ripen at an unprecedentedly early date, we must comply by opening our doors beginning tomorrow, Friday, May 25th. Unfortunately, certain other factors, most notably a bad batch of soil mix, have conspired to delay certain crops, so our usual (slender) early selection of products will be missing a few key components, like lettuce. We will, however, have—in addition to strawberries—beautiful spinach, radishes, cilantro, chervil and dill, and the lettuce should be ready by next week. Vegetable and herb plants are still abundant, with new varieties appearing all the time. We also have plenty of bagged compost and potting soil.

In my last message, I referred to a new fearsome beast of the farm and garden known as the Spotted Wing Drosophila (or SWD, which makes it sound like a WMD). This unwelcome new neighbor has the potential to wreak havoc with berry crops nationwide unless controlled. We have set out traps in the strawberries but have not yet caught any trespassing in our fields.

The clement, if unnerving weather this spring has allowed us to keep abreast of all our scheduled field preparations and plantings, without having to contend with unplanned events like floods, tornados etc. The warm weather has also, we suspect, been easy on certain pests—so we have seen unusually intense flea beetle pressure on our brassica (cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc.) crops, (arugula in particular) which may be delayed. The weather has pushed some of our crops ahead by as much as two weeks, which left certain ones vulnerable to the last frost we experienced—we lost some of our strawberry blooms, and certain varieties of apples were damaged as well.

In any case, the Farm Stand will be open beginning May 25th and 26th, but will be closed Sunday and Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. From then on, our hours will revert to the usual: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 to 6. You can also find us at Central Square in Cambridge this (and every) Monday from 12-6, Belmont Center on Thursdays starting June 14th, from 2-6:30, and Union Square in Somerville Saturdays starting June 2nd, 9-1. Product availability will grow rapidly—look for lettuce, garlic tops, squash, basil, kale and more in the next week or two. Liza Bemis will be regularly updating our webpage and facebook page, so check there or call for more a more precise idea of what we have. Hope to see you all soon,

Brian Cramer
Farm Manager
Hutchins Farm

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