Dover, MA | A Trustees Property

Early May on the farm

Hello again,

First off, happy belated Mother’s Day (love you, Mom!) I hope that you were able to enjoy the day with your children and moms. I was very fortunate to have a social distance lunch with my family. We ate sandwiches outdoors, six feet apart, and watched the dogs run around the yard, totally oblivious to the wild human world they found themselves a part of. Later that night, we were able to get my 94-year-old grandma on Zoom to share some laughs, wish her a happy day, and say “thank you” for the many years of work that she has put into caring for our family.

In farm news, the biggest item to address is that our both our veggie and meat CSA programs have sold out for the 2020 season. Thank you to our many supporters! We look forward to seeing your families again and getting to know some new ones. I understand that some of you may still be looking to sign up, and we have created a veggie CSA waiting list and a meat CSA waiting list for this purpose. As soon as a spot becomes available, we will contact you. As always, we will do our best to keep a fully-stocked farm stand for walk-in customers throughout the summer. At the moment, we are not sure what this will look like on a month-by-month basis, but our online ordering platform will be the way to go for at least through June.

When shopping, remember that you are likely to get the best item availability earlier in the week. As we approach the Thursday deadline, you will see many item sell out. When you come to pick up your orders on Saturday, please pay attention to the traffic pattern, as it may look different. With the increased demand in our store, we have needed to make a bigger line for cars to prevent a back-up into the main road. Thank you for your patience as we get your items together and do our best to ensure accuracy. If you have boxes in good condition from past weeks, please bring them back with you! We are able to re-use boxes that are in good shape by letting lie fallow for a period of time and using a liner bag for any fresh items. This will help us keep our footprint as small as possible.

Many of you are probably wondering what the CSA distribution will look like during a COVID-19 summer. Well, we hope that the global situation improves enough to give you an experience you are accustomed to, but we will be kicking off the season with something a little different.

Firstly, the season will run as planned, with a 20-week period beginning in early to mid-June. At least for the month of June, we will be packing a grab-and-go box share for you. We will put together a freshly harvested variety of vegetables and likely work out a staggered pick-up system that will allow everyone to stay socially distanced and contact-free. In addition, we will be following government requirements that anyone picking up a share wear a face covering of some kind. Of course, this pre-boxed system will inherently take away a little bit of buyers choice, but our team has packed many box shares for off-farm distribution and we are confident that you’ll be happy with the product.

Most importantly, we know that this is the safest method possible and you will still be able to know exactly where your food came from, who grew it, and the nourishment that it will provide for your family. If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out.

Leah & Liz rockin’ it on the transplanter

More veggies have gone in the ground since the last newsletter. There is a beautiful field of onions toughing out the unpredictable spring weather. These little guys are pretty resilient, but more fragile crops have a hard time with the cold, wind, and snow that we experienced on Saturday morning. Even with row covers (that white fabric you sometimes see covering plants or flapping in the wind), a storm with strong winds is no match. Many of our broccoli, kale, lettuce, and spinach seedling are still in the hardening off area (the place near the greenhouse where our plants get acclimated to outdoor conditions with a little extra care), but they are starting to grow out of their little trays and will need to go in the soil this week. After that, we cross our fingers and do our best to keep them covered if an unexpected weather event blows in. It’s amazing how garlic can be planted in October, break the surface in March, and be totally fine for harvest during the hottest day of the year, while other varieties croak at the very thought of a chilly day or too much sun. I’d love to see under a microscope how their cellular structure differs.

I have loved hearing about some of your garden plans and favorite new farm stand items over the past couple weeks. It is so encouraging to see people thinking about growing some of their own vegetables for the first time. I hope that some of you were able to enjoy the bounty from our first arugula and stir fry greens harvest. The second cutting is already coming on quick, after the good work of the Boston Area Gleaners helped us ensure that the remainder of the beds went to good use. It was a small harvest for our store and for a donation, but we are looking forward to following it up with much more in coming months. Please remember to help those around you, however you can.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Your friend and farmer,
Jeff Hoodlet

Learning from some of the best problem solvers in the biz

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