Some times in our lives test our optimism. For all the farmers I know, this spring (and the three months preceding) fall into this category. I could go on at length but all of you have lived through it as well, so I’ll just say we are ready for a change. Leila suggested we keep singing this spring anthem and continue to keep hope alive (click here)
Here’s what’s ahead in this posting…
- Thawing and Growing: Our farm update
- Improvements at Crystal Spring
- Green Power at the Farm
- Shares and Payments
- Farm Camp
- New-member Orientation Dates
Thawing and Growing
The farm is cranking along, running full speed towards a glorious season. Our new apprentice crew has been here for the past two weeks, helping to fill the greenhouse with seedlings and care for all of the animals. Ben, Chrystina and Tyler all come to us from Maine (a first) and the culinary world. All three are eager to get their hands dirty producing food this summer instead of cooking it (Maura, Kristin and I are looking forward to some great crew lunches!) Kristin, our star apprentice of the past two years is back as our first full-time, year round field manager. We are very lucky to have her considerable skill and energy this year.
To date we have a little over 60,000 plants thriving in the greenhouse. Walking into that seventy degree space of lush green is about the most therapeutic activity imaginable. Hopefully this coming week of weather comes as forecasted and we can try to get some of these seedlings in the ground soon. The past few days we have been grafting tomatoes which is a process of cutting the fruiting tops off our our favorite varieties and sticking them onto more vigorous and disease resistant roots. The plants heal together after about ten days and then we have super tomatoes to plant out in May.
This past fall we signed a lease with a local family for seventy acres of wild blueberries. We are in the process of certifying these acres and hope to be able to offer year-round organic berries grown right here in Brunswick!
While I clocked an exceptional number of hours moving snow this winter, the remaining time available to me has been consumed with our walk-in cooler/freezer project. Over the past eleven seasons we have gradually outgrown our beautiful old walk-in cooler in the CSA barn. This fact, along with the need for frozen blueberry storage, led me to make some major changes in our washing and packing barn. This barn had a dairy parlor that was cutting edge in 1955, but of little use on a farm that hasn’t milked cows for over forty years. After a week of demolition, the dairy parlor and about forty-five yards of concrete are gone, and the new insulated floor is ready to be poured. Some auction hunting turned up a cooler/freezer combo and with any luck we will have the electrical and refrigeration ready to turn on but June 1. All very exciting but I can’t wait for the project to be complete and start filling the space with fresh produce!
The Farm Powers Up Green
This year we have been one of a growing number of Maine businesses and households to sign on with Maine Green Power and use 100% sustainable electricity produced here in Maine. Just like the food we produce, all of the power we use here on the farm is local! By pledging to buy power though this program we buy our share of power coming only from sustainable hydro, tidal, and wood waste power plants here in Maine.
Brunswick Shares Sold Out…Portland-area delivered shares still available
Thank you to all of you for signing on for another year. The Brunswick on-farm shares are now full! We do have availability for our delivered shares to the Portland area.
For those of you who would like to make a payment, click here. To make online payments, the form will ask for a member number. You can find this in an emailed receipt from when you initially signed up. If you cannot find that email, and need to know your number, just send us an email and we’ll get it to you. The payment link will now also be posted on the home page of our website.
Farm Camp 2015 Still has Spaces
Farm Camp has a few more spaces for five and six year olds during the week of July 13th. The program runs from 9-noon, and there is more information on the website. The other two weeks are now full. We do have some availability for junior counselors…email Maura for more info.
New Member Orientation
We invite new members to visit the farm for an informal orientation, to meet us and learn the ropes of the CSA pick up here at the farm. Please come if you can either Saturday May 30 at 4:00 pm or Sunday May 31 at 4:00. If you’re not able to come, we will show you around when you do come to pick up your vegetables. This orientation is geared for Brunswick on-farm members, but people who are receiving a delivered share are welcome to come. We will hold farm visits in July more specifically for our delivered share members, dates to be determined.