Autumnal Bounty

1 09 2008

Despite the coolness of what is usually known as the ‘dog days’ of summer, we’re still having an abundant harvest. The tomatoes are pouring in and taste fabulous, and the CSA and farm-stand is packed to overflowing with gorgeous vegetables. A little more heat would be welcome to keep the eggplant happy and redden the peppers, but then the farmers, plants and animals would wilt so we are careful for what we wish for. The cool, wet days have led to an overabundance of weeds and little time to keep them under control, but the grass has grown like mad, making for beautiful second cut hay (when we can get it baled and in the barn).

Our dear friend and professional photographer, Leigh Van Duzer, visited in the beginning of last month and took lots of stunning pictures of the farm and the various activities that are happening here and we would like to share them with you all this month. All the pictures in this month’s newsletter were taken by Leigh. Now the farm is a beautiful place and Leigh’s pictures just make it shine, but she really specializes in pictures that find the beauty in the everyday and most often in things that the rest of us have given up for lost, ugly or falling down decrepit. We think she has a real gift for making you start to look for beauty in the world around you and most especially  where you don’t expect to. You can see more of her work at www.leighvanduzer.com.

 Animal news: We are expecting more piglets by the end of the month. Penelope and Portia are both due with the earliest possible birthdate of the 27th. We are pretty sure that Penny will be first, as she has been getting very round. Our new boar, Jake, the Gloucester Old Spot, is the sire. They will be born out on pasture, so it will probably be a similar situation as when Lucy gave birth- it was a surprise that we woke up to one morning. At 27 pigs in the pasture, we are moving them a lot and they are really turning over the field. Meanwhile, back at the beginning of the field, where they first started out at the start of the summer, the grass grew back thick and lush and the cattle have been loving it.

Our little calf, now almost two months old, is growing fast- still cute as anything, but getting much more adventurous. He doesn’t spend as much time glued to his momma as he used to and has been caught a couple of times exploring outside of the fence. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, the cattle are now on the hillside to the left just after you go over the bridge at the farm entrance and will be there for the next couple of days, at least. They will be followed through that pasture by the chickens, who will finally be able to fulfill their ‘pest control’ duties by scratching up the cow pies left by the cattle.

Speaking of the chickens most of the new hens are finally laying, but we’re still behind on eggs. The CSA goes on until the middle of October, and then we will again have retail eggs available at the farm and also through the Old Creamery in Cummington.

Farm news: Getting the hay in. After weeks and weeks of not being able to get much hay in the barn due to the seemingly endless rain (during which time we pushed a couple of times and just barely made it only to gamble on a 1000 bales and lose one afternoon), the end of the month has proven to be wonderful for haying weather. Our second cut looks beautiful (thanks to all the rain) and we just keep putting more and more bales in the barn or sending it off by the wagonload to other barns.

We are sold out of all types of our link sausage and boneless small roasts, but we still have other great cuts available. However, many of our more popular cuts are going fast. If you have wanted to try our bacon, get some soon or you’ll have to wait until we have a harvest date for the two Old Spots that are ready to go. Our hams will go quickly once the holidays arrive- we suggest that you get your ham now before they are gone. These are not huge hams but are instead the small ‘half’ hams. We also have smoked hocks for pea soup.

Veggie and CSA news: CSA veggies are looking fabulous. New items this year including sweet corn and edamame (edible soybean) have met with great success. We will also have some new winter squashes that we are excited for folks to try. Summer veggies such as summer squash, green beans, basil and cucumbers are quickly fading, but we will have tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and many other delicious offerings around until frost does them in. We’ve started some salad mixes, broccoli, kohlrabi, fennel and spinach for fall offerings and plan on adding cilantro to the mix. We’re hoping to go until at least the second week of October this season but would like to go longer if the frost and disease holds off.

The farmstand is picking up- I think that we cut a little into our customer market by growing the CSA, but we are getting more and more folks every week. If you know of anyone who is looking for fresh local veggies, let them know where we are and when we are open.

 Thank you again to Leigh van Duzer for all the wonderful pictures.

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2 responses

2 09 2008
Bob Bunt Burke

Good to share in the wonderful world of Holiday Farm.
Margaret and I miss you all but we have meories and video tapes Bob took over the years.
Bless the Berkshires.
Bob and Margaret Burke

15 04 2010
amy cotler

Every week in my blog I post a recipe using local food, and at the end of last week’s blog post I talk about CSAs. Im hoping you’ll post a link to my site and/or blog (you can sign up in the upper left corner of my homepage) for your members. It will be a nice tool for them. My book also helps them answer all kinds of questions from sustainable food terms to how to cook celery roots.
Spring has sprung!

Last week’s blog has CSAs at the end of the post: http://www.amycotler.com/indian-pudding/ To sign up for the blog on upper lefthand corner: http://www.amycotler.com/ BUT YOU CAN SIGN UP ON THE UPPER LEFT CORNER OF ANY PAGE The blog: http://www.amycotler.com/blog/ (This week it’s wild watercress)

Over the season if you have any anecdotes you’d like to share, feel free to contact me. Cheers and enjoy the early spring, which I hope is great for most of you. Love your email!

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