Community Supported Agriculture
Hand digging a wet field of potatoes in the snow last Wednesday before the deep freeze

Farm Notes:

Yes, every year is different. While I love farming, this is one growing season I never want to repeat. While it is beautiful watching things grow, the truth is that this was a tough season, a season seemingly with everything against us. The season began with a cold wet April. Normally we plant the first crops in April. This year little was planted before May, a month late. By the time the peas were ready, the first beans were not farm behind them. But it did not matter much because the deer took a liking to the beans and peas. Most evenings a herd of 8 deer could be seen grazing down the tops of the five acre bean and pea field. (I always liked the film "The Milagro Bean Field War". My bean field war was against the deer, and they won.) We planted the mid and late-season plantings of beans in another field about a mile away. They found those too; until some other food must have been more attractive leaving us with an early fall harvest of a couple of weeks of beans. The deer also did a lot of damage this year to the early carrots, winter squash, lettuce, celery, celeriac and more. The brassicas had a tough time this year also. The earlier crop of cool weather loving Romanesco, broccoli, and cauliflower succumbed to a long spell of excessive heat in August and never produced a viable crop even though we put all the effort into it. Besides a little broccoli, the late season brassicas never quite made it to maturity even though we planted it at the same time as we always have. The average daily temperature in October was 9 degrees lower than last October and I assume November will be recorded as even colder. So, we have nice fields of unripe brassicas this fall. Other crops had a tough time this year for various reasons of deer, early and late cold and a very very wet fall which lead to more post-harvest spoilage than normal.

On a positive note, the healthy potatoes and sweet potatoes produced wonderfully this season. The sweet potatoes were planted after the cold of the spring, they loved the hot spell in the summer and they were matured before the fall turned cold. The Irish potatoes had a similar experience, but since they were planted on wetter soils the challenge has been getting them harvested. It has been too wet in November to use the tractor drawn digger, so we are back to the labor intensive method of digging/ pawing by hand with a large hoe. Last Wednesday afternoon once the day had warmed to around freezing we went out in the snow to dig all we could before the frigid weather of Thanksgiving. We will have ample potatoes in the coming weeks.

The variety in this year's shares has not been as we planned thanks to Mother Nature. Yet, in spite of Mother Nature, we are still able to put together a decent variety. All of those greenhouses that we constructed last winter are providing us with some nice greens that we would not have if we relied on only the fields. The spinach in the field was late due to the cold fall and is now frost bitten from the frigid Thanksgiving temperatures. Yet, in the greenhouse the spinach is looking perfect. The late lettuce that never made it in the field due to the cold is matched with lettuce growing in the greenhouses. This week we are harvesting what will probably be the end of the field kale. This was the coldest Thanksgiving in more than 100 years and as I write this I am questioning if the kale will be too battered by the extra ordinary 8 degree night temperatures. This kale might be good only for cooking, not to replace Romaine in a salad!! In the next two weeks we will begin harvesting the first of the greenhouse kale. After the late fall share has ended, we will turn off the greenhouse heaters and all of these greenhouse greens will then be overwintered and start growing anew in February and ready in time for the spring share in March. Our recent investments in the farm infrastructure have helped to prevent this late fall share from becoming the bust some farms have endured. While some have noticed that certain items are less abundant in the share this fall, most that understand the art of growing are amazed at all that IS in the share this Fall. We have given it our best, thank you for appreciating all that we do.

Committed to Growing the Best We Can for You.

Farmer Dave 
What's In My Share

Don't forget to use the swap box! It's not just for trading for your favorite vegetables. If you won't use something in the share, have a busy week and won't be able to cook everything, or just feel overwhelmed leave your extras in the swap box and they'll be donated to one of our many hunger relief partners.
  • Spinach (harvest dependent)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Empire Apples
  • Macoun Apples
  • and more!

This is what we are planning and hoping to harvest this week.  Ultimately Mother Nature has the last word so the actual contents of your share will vary.

2019 CSA Registration is Open!

Early Bird Special

Shares registered and paid for by 1/4/2019 will receive 2018 pricing.

All shares now available in Andover & Jamaica Plain!

Vegisode of the Week
VEGISODE: Turning on the Spuds!
VEGISODE: Turning on the Spuds!

In this Vegisode, Stacey and Denise show us how to roast sweet potatoes (whole and chopped), and give us some serving ideas for both.

Check out all our Vegisodes and subscribe to be notified when timely new videos are added.
These videos are designed to help you make the most of your CSA share with tips on storing, preparing and preserving your veggies.  

Order Your Farmer Dave's Holiday Gift Boxes

Share a Taste of the Farm

Collections of pickled produce, tomatoes, jams, hot sauce, and raw honey. All products are made from produce grown on the farm, and our wonderful bees.

Choose from:
  • Sweet & Spicy on the Farm (pictured)
  • A Taste of the Farm
  • Farm Jam Session


Check out all of the collections & ordering information here.

Add-on Order Deadlines

All orders must be placed online before your order deadline listed below. If you are even a minute late CSAware (our ordering system) will attach the order to the next week's share. Please double-check the time before completing your order.

Pick-up Day
Add-on Order Cut-off
Sunday - Noon
Sunday - Noon
Monday - Noon
Tuesday - Noon
Wednesday - Noon

If you are having trouble placing an order online, make sure you are logged into your account. If you don't know your log-in information, send us an email, and we will send you an invitation to reset your password or create your account. Creating an account on the spot won't help; it needs to be the same account that is connected to your CSA shares.

CSAware will ask that you attach your order to a share. If you don't have a current share, you cannot purchase add-ons. If you attach your order to a share that is not activate it will not be sent to you.

If you do not pick up your add-on order, it will be donated or distributed, we do not offer
refunds for missed add-ons.

Groundwork Share-a-Share
Thanks to generous donations by you (our CSA Members) to the Groundwork Share-a-Share fund, we were able to subsidize the cost of shares in 2017 for over 30 individuals and families, as well as shares for local food pantries.  
Please consider helping us in our efforts to make the CSA accessible to more families by donating to Groundwork Share-a-Share.