I resigned my position as Farm Manager at Moraine Farm in early January. My last day at the farm will be February 19. My mother is quite ill and needs more care than I can provide while managing a farm. When time permits, I hope to volunteer in the fields of farmer friends and continue to support this region’s Farmer Training program.
I find this leave-taking to be more difficult than I could have imagined. It seems I’ve become rooted in these fields and in this farm community. I feel like a leek or celeriac at harvest – every root fiber holding on, resisting the loss of place. I think this ending will be difficult for some of you, also. I am sorry for this. It is a bittersweet comfort for me to reminisce about the past four years at Moraine. I’ve just posted a slideshow of four years of CSA farm pictures on the Moraine Farm blog. Feel free to post your own farm pictures or memories in the comment section.
Community Supported Agriculture is about more than vegetables. It is about a partnership of trust between shareholders and farmer. For the last four years you have trusted me to grow a mix of healthy vegetables to feed you and your families. You’ve counted on me to treat the earth well and to make the farm a welcoming place. I have depended on your partnership: Your upfront payment for promised crops, your appreciation of a job well done, your camaraderie as I’ve worried about pests, disease and critters, your kindness to new apprentices, your delight at bountiful harvests and your tolerance of lost crops. It has always been especially wonderful to be cheered on during challenging weather – seemingly endless rain, freezing temps, droughts, and heat waves. Thank you!
Your partnership has been deeply appreciated.
Most of these pictures were taken by volunteer Paula Vassallo. This slideshow was created for the 2014 Fall Farm Festival at Moraine Farm. Enjoy!
The Brussels sprout harvest is always fun. Volunteer Paula V captured this year’s Brussels harvest with photos! Liz, Sarah and Kat are harvesting.
This gallery contains 7 photos.
This is the last week of the Moraine Farm CSA’s summer farm share. It’s been an interesting growing season. The weather – a chilly spring, followed by a cool summer and ending with a warm fall – kept us on our toes and challenged us.
- Danger of late blight had us (Liz mostly) wearing a 50 lb back pack sprayer to apply organic copper on our tomatoes. It was difficult, heavy work that saved our tomato crop.
- The need to warm up our crops in the cold spring found us covering our chard and beets with row cover later than usual with the unintended consequence of speeding the growth of grassy weeds. We lost two plantings of beets and one of chard to weeds this season. These were particularly hard loss for us – we love beets and chard is my favorite veggie. These losses were particularly hard to stomach because we pride ourselves on having excellent weed management practices at Moraine. (I hear my mother’s voice saying, “pride goes before a fall”).
On the bright side:
- We had our best tasting and most bountiful strawberry crop ever! The beans, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers weren’t bad either!
- We grew bumper crops of sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash and carrots.
- We discovered a new lettuce mix (called Salanova from Johnny’s) that grows well in our sandy soils and tastes and looks fantastic.
- We offered a new 25-week CSA share (almost 6 months of veggies!!!) and a new ½ share – both were well-received.
- We worked with a really fantastic crew of young farmers – Tim Hines, Hadley Piper, and Henry Mauck, and interns Sarah Visnick and Eli Ross. We all learned a lot, laughed more and grew a lot of really super food.
- Our shopkeepers, harvest worksharers and volunteers have been awesome this season.
- Our shareholders, partners in this farming endeavor, have been terrific! Words of support and appreciation, and love of Moraine veggies and this beautiful landscape beautiful mean so much to us. Thank you!
What’s next? We’ve not yet made plans for 2015, but I will be in touch once we have. As always, current year shareholders will have first dibs on next year’s shares.
We still have Fall Shares available, all four pick ups or fewer, whatever works for you. Information about the Fall share is on the farm blog. You can sign up here.
Our Food Access fundraising is going well, and later this week we will draw names to see which donors win prizes – TTOR swag including totes, umbrellas, lunch boxes. It’s not too late to donate to our work. This year we will grow, harvest and donate over $12,000 of organically-grown vegetables for Beverly Bootstraps and Cape Ann Food Pantry. Your donations help us pay for the seeds, supplies and labor needed to make these donations.
Thanks again for an excellent season!
Winter at Moraine Farm
Don’t let winter catch you by surprise and leave you hungry! Our Fall Farm Share consists of four, every-other-week distributions of cool-season vegetables. The cost is $250 and distributions are on Saturdays, noon to 3:00 on Nov 8 & 22, Dec 6 & 20. Friday afternoon pick ups are also available. More information and sign up form: Moraine Farm Fall Share.
I just posted the share over on the What’s in the Share blog page. This week we will be distributing sweet potatoes! They are not quite ready to eat yet as they need a bit more heat to sweeten up. It’s been too cloudy for our greenhouse to get warm enough for them, so we are sending them home with you. Place your sweet potatoes in a pantry, a cupboard or on your kitchen counter for a couple of weeks. They’ll be ready to eat in a couple of weeks.
Nice festival pictures in the Beverly Citizen.
Saturday was a great Fall Festival day: 80 degree weather, blue sky and lots of fun things happening at the farm. Here are pictures of Moraine Farm’s 4th Annual Fall Festival. Enjoy!
This juvenile red tail hawk has been hanging around the farm, perching on the cedar posts that are part of our deer fencing. A very patient Paula V. got these great pics.