|Despite some temperature spikes, some gale force winds, and some seed shortages, spring in Concord has been remarkably benign. A slow warm up meant that daffodils, tulips, lilacs and fruit trees put on an extended show, finally brought to an end by a couple unseasonably hot days—but now we’re back to glorious spring weather. And last year’s endless rains haven’t returned—we’re running a bit of a water deficit, but that’s preferable to the regular, multi-inch deluges that characterized most of last year.|
Most crops are enjoying the slow start, with cool season crops like lettuce, spinach and peas glorying in the warm, sunny days and cool nights, while the warmer season crops are tolerating the chill and biding their time until the heat settles in. Our crew has an unusually large proportion of veterans of previous seasons, which means that greenhouse, field preparation, planting and weeding operations have been executed with efficiency and accuracy.
Although the weather has been cooperative, and the crops compliant, there are always some hiccups: Machinery problems are rife, our new irrigation system still has a number of bugs to work out, and we have experienced some inexplicable setbacks in our plant production—in particular, our eggplant and pepper plants have exhibited symptoms of an as yet unexplained problem. We had samples sent in to be tested for the most likely suspects, but no answer has been forthcoming. Luckily, they seem to be growing out of the symptoms and new growth generally appears normal. One of many small mysteries we encounter every year as we labor at our curious enterprise.
As May nears its end, as always, we prepare to open our doors, hopefully coinciding with the arrival of those very first fruits of summer: strawberries (I refuse to consider rhubarb a fruit). Likely in evidence will also be: lettuce, endive, spinach, radishes, kale, cilantro, dill, and a few other veggies, to be joined in short order (we hope) by a plethora of peas. Basil, squash and cucumbers aren’t far off, and garlic scapes likewise usually begin to appear in early June. We will continue to sell garden plants, compost and soil throughout June, and by the end of the month our produce offerings should begin to really expand.
Farmers Market season is already underway – we have been attending our Saturday Union Square (Somerville) and Monday Central Square (Cambridge) markets for a couple weeks now, and the first Belmont Center market of the season is Thursday, June 2nd. Hours for all these markets are on our website.
Which of course brings us to the reason for emailing you all, the Farmstand in Concord will open this Tuesday May 31st for the season! Our hours this year will be Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm, and Sundays 11am-5pm. The farmstand crew has been hard at work cleaning the stand in preparation, and we hope to see you all soon, ready to enjoy another season of growing in New England!
With optimism for a good year,
-Brian Cramer, Liza Bemis, and the rest of the Hutchins Farm Crew
May 2022 Newsletter: Opening Day for the Farmstand!