Tuesday, June 9, 2015

News from the Big Red Farm, June 10

These did eventually turn into rain clouds!
photo by Emily Bramhall
Hello friends,

The weather has changed, school is out, and we're ready to shove it on down into overdrive (anyone?) over at the farm.  We have been harvesting a few things for some weeks now, including strawberries (see below) and lettuce mix for Tuesday's faculty banquet.  For those who are interested, we plan to start Farm Share distribution next week (details below).   This is the part of the year when, while we have a nearly overwhelming to-do list, we still feel like great things are possible!

STRAWBERRIES FOR SALE -- This is the end!

This is our last week picking strawberries, and we have several quarts available for $7 each, first come first served, while supplies last.  Please email me at if you would like to reserve a quart.  We are limiting this to one quart per customer in hopes that our limited supply will stretch a little further -- thanks for your understanding!


Well, we finally got that rain I was carrying on about, along with some very cool, un-June-like temperatures!  Please don't think I'm complaining; this is excellent lettuce weather.  However, it does bring a different set of challenges to our work on the farm.

Farm kid, chard, lettuce, summer squash, leeks, potatoes...
Fortunately, we have a wonderful crew of part-time farm interns this summer, and their presence is making all the difference to our ability to catch up on work.  As we find ourselves saying all too often, 90% of organic vegetable production is weed control, and our interns are learning that in a very concrete, experiential-education kind of way.  Hoeing, while it can be physically demanding (especially with the big, long-neglected weeds we're dealing with right now), is one of the most rewarding jobs on the farm, because everything looks so good when it's done!  We can almost see the plants giving a sigh of relief and stretching out their leaves a little wider when the competing grass, dandelions, woodsorrel, thistle, etc. have been ruthlessly slain.

In addition to weed control, our big job in the coming days is to plant out all the seedlings (now biggish plants) that have been waiting around in the hoophouse for the formerly too dry (now too wet) fields to be prepped.  As soon as suitable planting conditions are achieved, we have hundreds of lettuce, tomato, summer squash, winter squash, pepper, eggplant, and basil plants ready to go into the ground.

Sugar snaps

Yes, it's finally time!  A little later than we'd planned, but the very dry month of May slowed things down a bit.  From now on, communications about the Farm Share program will be sent only to folks who have expressed an interest in participating this season, to hopefully cut down on the unwanted emails that fill our inboxes!  If you would like to receive information about the Farm Share program, please let me know (if you haven't already) and I'll add you to the list.  Otherwise, you'll still receive periodic updates about what's happening at the farm throughout the year, but we won't burden you with a weekly harvest/weather report!

This is a new system of distribution we're trying out, so please bear with us as we find our footing.  I'm sure there will be some changes as the season progresses, but what follow are the particulars of the Farm Share program as it currently stands.  Thanks for your patience as we figure things out!
  • Shares will be offered through a form emailed weekly only to those who have expressed an interest in participating in the farm share program this season.  The weekly email will also tell you which veggies that week's share will contain.
  • You will have a choice of either a full share ($22-$25 worth of produce for a cost of  $20) or a half share ($11-$12.50 worth of produce for a cost of $10).  We figure that a full share will work for a family, or a couple that eats a lot of vegetables.  A half share will feed a single person, or a couple that doesn't eat too many vegetables.  
  • Pre-packed shares will be available for pick-up every Tuesday between 3:00 and 6:00 pm.  We're still figuring out the best location.  If you aren't free during that time frame but would still like to participate in the Farm Share program, please send me an email at to discuss an alternative arrangement. 
  • In order to reserve a share, you must submit the form for that week by 9:00pm Monday night.  We will be packing shares each week based on the list of responses, so if you don't submit the form we won't pack a share for you.  Thus, if you're going out of town, or don't need veggies in a particular week, the only arrangement you have to make for your farm share is: do nothing! 

THE BIG RED FARM is a diversified farm raising vegetables and meat for the Lawrenceville School community, and educating Lawrenceville students about sustainable agriculture.

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