Around the farm 8/30/11

Around the farm 8/19/11

End of the day…

Around the farm 7/28/11

Phil flies the coup

For those of you following the saga of Phil, our little barn swallow, we have a happy ending!

After being reunited with his nest-mates by an intrepid crew member, Phil enjoyed a few days of family bonding. Today, he (or she) successfully left the nest of his own accord, and joined his brothers and sisters catching insects. (Hopefully doing a number on the aphids!)

Around the farm 7/2/11

BasilBroccoliSunflowersHerbs

Basil and Garlic Top (Scape) Pesto

Today we have a guest post from crew member, and blogger at afarmerinthedell.com, Andrea!

Garlic scape and basil pesto:

I nearly jumped for joy when we got to harvest garlic scapes the other day!  The only thing that made it better….we got to harvest basil for the first time this season as well.  Basil and garlic scapes are great friends you know????

The recipe is my best estimation of the measurements.  I tasted and added as I went along.  Which I encourage everyone to do.

5 garlic scapes roughly chopped
large handful of basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts (or almonds, peanuts, pine nuts ect.)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
pinch of sea salt.

In a food processor or blender, combine all the above ingredients.  If it’s too thick add a little more olive oil.  Enjoy on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, veggies, or by the spoonful!

Let me know what you think.  I still have bad breath from last night.  I should warn everyone who makes this!!!

Andrea's Pesto

Hutchins Farm Opens Saturday

Although we traditionally open when we first begin to pick strawberries, the strawberries appear to be a little tardy this year—so we’re going to open up without them.  We’ll begin our usual hours on Saturday, June 4th, opening at 11 AM and closing at 6 PM.  We will, as always, be closed on Mondays (except our market stall at Central Square).  Although strawberries won’t arrive until sometime next week, we will open with a good selection of produce:  lettuce, endive, escarole, arugula, kale, collards, radishes, cilantro, dill and spinach.  We have begun carrying eggs produced by Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds right here in Concord.  These initial offerings will be joined shortly by chard, garlic scapes, parsley, squash, basil—and of course, the berries.  Garden plants are still available, but demand has been strong, so variety may be dwindling.  Another, smaller batch of tomato plants will be ready by next weekend.

Some of you may have noticed the alarming presence of aphids on certain of our plants—most notably eggplant, okra and peppers.  This is the first season since I arrived at Hutchins that I have had any problems with aphids in the greenhouse, but I had plenty of experience with them in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where they were an annual scourge.  They are notoriously difficult to control using organic methods—soap sprays have some effect, but not enough; introducing beneficial insects can work, but they can be finicky and unreliable.  So the bad news is that my efforts, begun in April, to control the then modest aphid population failed.  The good news is aphids have a large number of natural predators, and once the plants are out of the greenhouse and in the field, plants are usually aphid free in short order.  Aphids can potentially spread viruses to plants, but this is when they move from a virus infected plant—the aphid population on our transplants started in our greenhouse and hasn’t had any opportunity to pick up virus from other sources.  In short, I apologize for the presence of aphids on our plants and understand if customers prefer to buy plants elsewhere, but in my experience springtime aphids usually clear up quickly and don’t cause any long-term problems.

So far our season has been going well, with the cool weather not too cool, the wet weather not too wet, the hot weather not too hot (so far), and we were spared yesterday’s severe weather—our sympathies to those who were not so fortunate.  Flea beetle pressure has been more intense than usual on our mustard-family crops (bad for arugula, kale, cabbage, broccoli), but I haven’t seen much cucumber beetle activity (good for squash, cucumbers, melons).  Lots of crops have been planted and are growing and thriving, lots more have yet to be planted.

We hope you all have an opportunity to stop by in the coming weeks, ideally to discover that perfect something that fires and inspires the culinary genius lurking inside, or perhaps just to pick up a box of berries whose mere aroma will exorcise the painful memories of all those washed-out, insipid berries we eat in a vain search for that intense, simple flavor that only comes in its season.

Brian Cramer

Memorial Day Farmers’ Market

A few snaps from today’s Central Square Market…

Basil in Centrallettuce plants at central

We've got eggs!

We are thrilled to be able to offer some of Pete and Jen’s fresh eggs at the farmstand. Located in Concord, Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds is a small scale local grower of  pasture-raised,  meat and layer chickens, pigs, sheep, and a few rabbits. The hens free-range on fresh pastures with access to a large mobile coop on a farm wagon which is moved around the field on a weekly basis allowing the birds consistent access to fresh grass and forage. The chickens are fed a diet of vegetarian grains from Green Mountain Feeds – a certified organic feed company located in Vermont. Occasionally Pete and Jen feed the birds alfalfa, kelp for minerals, oyster shells for hard egg shells, and grit (granite bits) to assist their digestion.  A carton of eggs contains a mixture of sizes and colors, including an occasional blue egg from their Araucana chickens, light brown and dark chocolate brown eggs. Each carton contains a “nest run” – a mixture of ungraded and unique sizes and shapes. We welcome folks to return clean cartons for reuse.

We hope you all will enjoy these tasty eggs!

Around the farm

View First Week of May

Spring is here!

Lettuce in the greenhouse in MayOpen for Self Service!Overwintered Scallions