Upic: The heart of the farm

Another beautiful week ahead.  Crisp, bright days, cool nights and still lots of summer food coming out of the fields.  Tomatoes are going strong as are peppers and Asian eggplant.  Look for more varieties of potatoes along with onions, shallots, carrots and sweet potatoes in the coming weeks.

With all of this food we harvest for you it may be easy to forget about the Upic field and the great food or flowers you harvest for yourselves. Looking out on sunny pick-up days and seeing the field filled with all of you finding treasures is what this place is all about.  Growing food that is eaten locally is important but sharing the farm and providing a place for everyone to watch soil transform seeds into plants trumps everything else.  Without even trying I can think of ten kids who we’ve watched grow from pre-schoolers into middle-schoolers, each one learning what lies behind the deep green leaves of the bean plants and how to explore the dark tunnels of trellised peas to find the pods the adults can’t get to. Some of these “farm kids” have grown up and visit the farm only now and then.  Some of them have done their high school service learning hours with us and some have even come back to work with us for a summer or two. All of them have been able to take away the experience of finding, picking and knowing their food which they will take with them wherever they land in life. Of everything we accomplish here in our busy lives as farmers, the work that we share with all of you in the upic field has proven to be the most important.

During our first few years here, we struggled to keep the upic field hardy and free of weeds with all the other demands in the fields.  Fortunately for the past few years the Upic field has been beautiful. The plantings are healthy, weeded and vibrant.  Many thanks for the hard work of two CSA members who log long hours out there every Tuesday and Friday.  Bob Leezer and David Houdlette are our Upic “stewards” and most likely they have helped, advised, or just chatted with just about every one of you when you have been out in the field.  Bob has been an instrumental part of this farm since our arrival in 2004.  He put up the greenhouse with us in 2005, has seeded hundreds of flats in the early spring, and is one of the kindest people we know.  A wonderful community member, Bob volunteers his time with Veterans for Peace, Literacy Volunteers, Freeport Players, among other groups, and cares for gardens and animals at his home, including two dogs rescued from the South.  Realizing that managing the upic field was a job for two, Bob recruited a mate!  He found David who for the past two years has proven to be dedicated & loves to work hard.  A retired contractor, the word around here is that he is always seen out helping his neighbors with yard and house projects.  We are all lucky.  Thank you Bob & David!

Sign up for your 2012 CSA Share

Please consider signing up now for next season’s share. Your commitment now allows us to spend our time over the winter planning and working to improve the farm instead of marketing. Pass the word on to friends as well! Talk to us at pickup for more details.

Fall Peas

We have the start of our short fall pea crop this week. The humid weather has not been kind to them and they are being slowly killed by downey mildew just as the get started. Please limit your picking to one pint per share.

Apples and Pears

We have low-spray paula red apples and pears from our friends Jill and Charlie at Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus. The world’s best cider will be coming next week!

Apple Picking

Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus on Rt. 9, just off the turnpike is the place to pick apples this fall. This rolling farm has beautiful orchards and Jill shuttles everyone out to the trees on her horse-drawn wagon on Saturdays and Sundays. Here’s the link to their location Willow Pond.

What’s in Upic?

Beans

Fall Peas (one pint please)

Flowers

Herbs

What’s in the share?

Tomatoes

Red Peppers

Arugula

Tatsoi

Chard

Kale

Chickories

Asian Eggplant

Kueka Gold Potatoes

Yellow Onions

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