Around the farm 7/19/13

It’s pretty hot out, but Ramon sure looks happy to be harvesting garlic! It’s drying now, but look for some fresh garlic at the farmstand, and dried garlic in a few weeks!

Around the farm 7/12/13

Morning harvest…

Green beans on their way to the farmstand!

Around the farm 7/2/13

Sunflowers to brighten the day!

Around the farm 6/27/13

Summer Squash is coming in!

Beets too!

Around the Farm 6/25/13

Awesome picture from Andy’s phone -taken two weeks ago after a rain storm


Opening Day!

Opening Weekend!

We’re open today and Sunday 11am-4pm, but closed on Monday. Then we are back to our regular schedule of  Tuesday-Sunday (11am-6pm). Come on over and say hello!

Hutchins Farm is opening on Saturday May 25th

We usually use the first ripening strawberries as our cue to open the farmstand, but the relatively cool spring weather has delayed them this year. We’re ready to open, strawberries or no, so if you visit us this weekend, you’ll find our doors open with limited hours (11-4), with an admittedly slim selection of produce, including spinach, lettuce, arugula, radishes, asparagus, and possibly some rhubarb and Swiss chard. Much more diverse will be our offering of garden plants-primarily herbs and vegetables, but also a few flowering plants. Our vegetable varieties are tried and true for our climate, and unlike garden centers who are in the business of selling plants, and therefore prioritize growing varieties with low cost seed, we’re in the business of selling produce, so we spend more for the best, most productive, most flavorful, most reliable varieties, and we grow some extra plants for our customers who garden. The eagerly anticipated strawberries haven’t yet begun to blush, but may make an appearance by the beginning of June-check our website or Facebook page for the most up to date information.

       For this first weekend-both Saturday and Sunday-our hours will be 11 to 4. We’ll be closed the following Monday-although we will be attending the Central Square Farmer’s Market from 12-6 on that day-but on Tuesday will revert to our usual farmstand hours: 11-6 each day except Mondays, when we’re closed. We’ve been laying the groundwork for this season since February, with five plantings of lettuce already in the ground, along with two seedings of carrots and beets, three of spinach, our first tomatoes (with the second, larger planting ready to go in at any moment), and lots of other crops in a loosely choreographed and largely improvised ballet of field preparation, greenhouse work and planting that won’t let up for a couple months yet. A scruffier ballet troupe you’re unlikely to find, but we hope you find the time to come by frequently enough to sample our ever-changing repertoire-attendance is free, but you’ve got to pay if you want to take home some vegetables.

We hope to see you soon!

Brian Cramer
Farm Manager

Around the farm 5/16/13

One of our cover crops of crimson clover is blooming. The bees will be happy! The white apple orchard in the background is covered in kaolin clay that John puts on early in the season to discourage insects.

Lots could happen, but so far we are optimistic!

Hutchins Farm April 2013 Newsletter

From last spring to this, two more different seasons you could hardly find (unless they were summer and winter).  Of the two, we decidedly prefer the measured pace of this year’s warm up over last year’s headlong rush into summer.  We are pleased to report that over the last several weeks we entered into a ‘licensing agreement’ (basically a lease) with the Town of Concord to rent 12 acres at the McGrath Farm on Barrett’s Hill Rd.  We don’t plan to dramatically increase our cultivated acreage, but are very pleased to be able to execute longer and more meaningful rotations for our crops—having three large centers of cultivation far enough from one another to preclude the exchange of many pests could have a very positive effect on our success with certain crops, most notably winter squash and potatoes.  Similar to our approach at the field we currently rent from the town off Bedford St., we will likely use about a third of the acreage for cash crops each year, growing soil improving cover crops and ‘green manures’ on the remaining two thirds to keep the soil productive and healthy.

One item of note regarding the new field is that there is currently a planting of asparagus located on some of the acreage.  Although the asparagus can’t be considered ‘certified organic’ until we have managed it accordingly for three years, we’re still thrilled to have asparagus to offer again after many years without.  Our first crop this year is parsnips, which were left in the field over the winter to develop their characteristic sweetness, and dug this past weekend.  They are available on the porch, self-serve, along with the usual bagged compost and potting soil.

Plants of the hardier sort (6-packs of lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage and chard; peat pots of chervil, cilantro, arugula, dill and claytonia) will begin to appear around mid-month, presumably accompanied by the aforementioned asparagus.  Plant offerings will expand through April and May (though a few types might drop out) and will continue almost through July, by which time we will be thoroughly tired of watering and otherwise caring for them.  Lettuce and other greens will begin to appear on the porch sometime during May, and by the time June comes, the first berries should have arrived and our doors will open.

Last fall, our stalwart managers Taylor and Andrea Bemis decided to strike out on their own, and are currently farming in Oregon.  They and their considerable contributions will be missed, but we have brought on board two new management trainees—Andy Friedberg and Rachel Kaplan—whose experience, enthusiasm, intelligence and work ethic will be an example to the crew.  Ward Cheney remains a key player on our team, keeping our field operations on schedule and our machinery in good shape.  Liza Bemis is with us again, magically making order from the daily chaos of a diversified vegetable farm, and making sure that the essence of our mission—providing our customers with the finest, freshest produce possible—is always foremost in our minds.  And John and Gordon continue to play important roles in the orchard, the farm infrastructure, and charting a secure and sustainable future for the farm

Another growing season begins, very much the same as the others, yet very different.  With eyes and mind open, each go round provides some lesson, some insight and, yes, a fair amount of puzzlement. With an open heart, each season provides some elation, some sadness, some frustration, some satisfaction.  Looking back, they begin to blend together, the details of each season combining with the others like looking at a map with a series of overlays superimposed.  Although I begin to have difficulty combing out the details of one year from another, I hope that the loss of specificity will be accompanied by a gain, perhaps the blending images will weave themselves into some fabric, a pattern with implications greater that those to be gotten from the distinct strands of successive seasons.  In any case, here we go again—now that spring is here, we hope your footsteps lead you back to join us in our fruitful endeavor.

Brian Cramer
Farm Manager

Around the farm 4/1/13

prop house is filling up – look at those babies grow!