Opening Day 2019 - Saturday June 1st!

May 2019 Newsletter

The farmer plies his trade under changeable skies in the spring, noting with approval the phenomena that run smoothly in the furrows plowed by previous cycles, and with alarm any phenomena that seem to confound the assumptions and expectations that experience has provided. With age and experience, the unvarying annual patterns incorporate themselves in a very literal and visceral way, so that the unfolding leaves, the heady aroma of pollen, the spreading, deepening green, and the riot of frogs on a spring evening become almost internal experiences, in conversation and communion with all the previous iterations of the same phenomena experienced in previous springs.

 

But there are also hidden cycles, cycles within cycles, countercurrents and eddies, erratic cycles, eccentric cycles, even singular events disguising themselves as cycles. These cycles are harder to discern and make sense of, and only when we finally notice them and their connections with more familiar patterns do they begin to inform our experience. When faced with variations in the more obvious patterns, we are content with blithe alibis and simplistic causality. But anomalies and variations in the more subtle and complicated patterns baffle our ill-informed attempts to synthesize them into our model of the world and how it works. A shrug of the shoulders is often the unsatisfactory but only possible response to events that challenge our sense of cosmic propriety-to name a few of very local significance: in 2009, an unusual early outbreak of late blight in July, causing a region-wide extinction of unprotected tomato crops; in 2016, an unprecedented (and thankfully as yet unrepeated) outbreak of aphids in all of our cucurbit crops, a very localized occurrence apparently limited to Hutchins Farm; in 2018 and 2019, record breaking rainfall in the fall followed by an unheard of number of rainy days in the spring. We grasp at explanations, and accept even the dubious and specious among them gratefully.

 

Spring, however wet and gray, is spring nonetheless, and the natural world is irrepressible in its celebration of the sun’s renewed warmth and the long hours of light. Impertinent asparagus is poking out of the ground, spinach is luxuriating in the cool weather it favors, fat seeds are imbibing water and sending out their first tentative roots and shoots into the world, trusting they have found themselves in a friendly world of sun and water, humus and soils teeming with life. Another season begins, patiently trying to teach its lessons to the thick-headed farmer who, having lost count of how many times he has repeated this class, hopes this time to manage a passing grade.

 

As always, we have begun our season with self-service on the front porch: we like to share our enthusiasm for cultivation by offering a variety of plants, the siblings of those that we plant in our own fields, for those fortunate enough to have access to a garden plot, or even just a porch or a balcony. We have been harvesting the aforementioned asparagus for several weeks now, and it is at the peak of its season, but the cool weather has definitely slowed production-look for it for several more weeks. Crops sown in the safety and comfort of the greenhouse, and those sown between rain squalls during the bleak days of early April have begun to mature, with rhubarb, spinach, cilantro, dill, arugula, radishes, and lettuce the earliest to arrive, and kale, collards, chard, parsley, endive and escarole soon to make an appearance.

 

And so we will open the farmstand for the season on Saturday June 1st – our regular hours going forward will be Tuesday – Sunday 11am-6pm. Most eagerly awaited, strawberries will likely not yet be in evidence when we finally open for the season on Saturday, but it won’t be long before they blush and sweeten under the sun’s warm gaze-expect them to appear sometime during the following week.
Our Cambridge Central Square and Somerville Union Square Farmers Markets have already started up for the season, and next week on June 6th the Belmont Center Farmers Market opens for the season as well. Please check our website for our current offerings of both produce and seedlings – as always, we try and keep it as accurate as possible, but please call if you are making a special trip over – while we can’t set aside anything, we can tell you if we picked it and how much there is.

 

Among the consolations of living in a place like New England with four distinct seasons is a heightened appreciation for the miraculous cycle of stirring, birth, growth, procreation, decline, death, decay and rebirth. We hope you come celebrate the seasons with us, partaking of the seasonal sacraments the soil provides.

 

Welcome to another season!
-Brian Cramer and the Hutchins Farm crew

Central Square Farmers Market, Apple Blossoms, Tomato Seedlings

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