The day starts early

Great first week….

Hope all of you enjoyed your first share this past week. The greens will keep coming and we have a few other great things on the horizon like beets, kohlrabi and scallions.  Please let us know if you need tips for using your greens in the kitchen.  Next week we’ll send out some favorite and easy recipes for greens!

How do we get your share to you each harvest day?

IMG_6484The night before harvest day, we stack empty barrels high on our flat bed trucks, and sharpen the knives.  The trucks are ready to head down to the field.   In the morning, our seven person crew piles in the trucks one by one and we’re rolling at 6:00 am.  Even on the warmest days our coastal farm is cool this time of day. We usually start with greens, lush and crisp with evening moisture.  Cutting spinach, kale, lettuce, and asian greens into barrels pulled along rows we harvest quickly and load up the trucks with 70, 80 and 90 pound totals of each crop.  If we are fast and the weather cooperates we can get these first tender crops into the barn and start washing before they are warmed by the sun.  We double wash the greens in water tanks, spin excess water out in our spinner, and place on the scale.  One person is in charge of keeping track of total numbers of pounds for each crop.  Finally we stack the bins onto our awesome cargo bikes and head into the cooler, ensuring the produce will chill quickly and keep well in your fridge.  On an average harvest day we will cut 300-400 pounds of just greens.  As we add in root crops, fruiting crops (squash, peppers, tomatoes) and heavier leaves (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) things really get busy and we make several trips between the fields and the washing barn each Tuesday and Friday.   The 2:00 deadline can certainly come fast some days, and feels well worth it when you arrive!


Egg Shares Start next week…still time

We have another week before the egg share begins so there is still time to add eggs to your pick-up each week.  Shares are $110 and run next week through the last week in October.  You can sign up online by clicking the link on our home page.   We will also have eggs for sale this week and every week at CSA pick up.

Mushroom Shares

What could be better that fresh local mushrooms along with your share this summer?   Portobellos, oysters, morels and many more varieties, cultivated and foraged make up your share each week. The share is $207 and runs for 18 weeks starting next week.   For more information on the producer, see their website  To sign up, see the link on our homepage.

Upic Rising

Peas, beans and flowers are thriving in the upic field and we hope to be able to let all of you loose out there around the first week of July. Look to the newsletter from more updates…

IMG_6561Pigs are in their element

Our dozen pigs went onto pasture this week and have already started conditioning what will be next year’s Upic field expansion. Experts at excavation and perennial weed removal these guys are serious workers. Come by and watch their work ethic next time you’re at the farm.

Email list

Please make sure everyone who is part of your family/CSA share is receiving our emails. This is our primary mode of getting info about the CSA to all of you. We are happy to add whomever you would like and they always have the option to unsubscribe…

What’s in the Share this week…


Lettuce Mix




Asian Greens



harvest begins…

Welcome to the 2014 Season!

Its been a slow but steady kind of spring this year. The farm apprentices started out on March 31 and we had 2 week sod cold and even a bit of snow and we waited to get into the fields. The days have been warming gradually and have allowed us to have some pretty nice greens and radishes that can sometime bolt this imd of year due to hot days and frosty night -neither of which we have seen since May began. All of us on the farm excited to begin harvesting these plants we have been caring for these past couple months.

We will start harvest this week and you can begin your summer of fresh organic produce this Tuesday or Friday. Here’s the nuts and bolts you need to know…IMG_6476

  • Pick up on Tuesday or Friday from 2-7pm.
  • Please bring bags for your produce. A few bags to separate different items works best. We will have bags here if you arrive without…
  • We will have a spreadsheet for those of you unsure of your balance.
  • In addition to produce we will have cheese, gelato, lamb and maple syrup for sale.

What’s in the share…

We expect glorious greens to dominate the share these first few weeks of June. Coming along quickly are our scallions, beets, broccoli, napa cabbage and strawberries. Soon we will be picking peas and cherry tomatoes in the upic field.

Organic Egg Shares

There is still time to sign up for an egg share! Fresh organic eggs from pastured hens raised by Sparrow Farm in Pittston Maine. The share starts June 16th and runs until October 27th (20 weeks) for $110. Your share guarantees you a dozen eggs when you come each week(big family? buy 2 shares). If you buy organic eggs regularly you know this is a great price for deep orange yolks and white that stand tall and proud. Click here or look for the button on our home page to sign up.

Fish Shares still available

If you have been on the fence about buying a fish share this is the last chance. We are close to having enough members but if we don’t get a few more by Tuesday we will not be able to host this share this year. Check out this awesome selection of ground ands shellfish all coming out of the Gulf of Maine. Here’s the link to the salt and sea website.

Mushroom share

Miane raised and gathered mushrooms for 18 weeks starting next week. Morels, black trumpets, hen of the woods and oysters are just a few of the varieties Oyster creek mushroom will deliver. The price is $207 for 18 weeks. The share begins next week so don’t delay. Here’s the link or find the button on our website.


IMG_6473Some of you who travel our road may have noticed a group of 11 cows in the pasture where we usually have ewes for the summer. These are heifers (young females that have not had calves) that we are grazing for a farmer friend from New Hampshire who is moving (himself and his animals) to Maine this summer. Its been great getting to know a new group of animals. Walking amongst these gentle giants is really satisfying as they work their way though our green landscape.

Late May Updates…

Much to do here at the farm! It’s been a strange spring. Early in some ways, late in others. We have tomatoes and squash in the ground earlier than ever but our first round of greens are moving slowly with less sun and cooler soils than usual. For now some basic announcements:IMG_6395

CSA Shares and How to Make Payments…

We have officially sold out of shares for 2014. Many thanks to all of you who have thrown your hats in for another exciting season.  If you would like to make a payment towards your share please follow this link or mail us a check.  If you are not sure what you owe please check your records & that fails send us an email & we’ll check for you.

Wait List

If you missed out and would like to be first on the list for possible share openings this season (or to sign up for next year) follow this link to our wait list.

When will the CSA start?

We have not picked a start date for the CSA yet as we are waiting to see how our greens do this week. The ice and snow in April kept us out of the fields later than usual and the cool spring has slowed many things we have planned for the first harvest. When we make a decision as to a start date we will send out an email to let everyone know so watch your inboxes.

Pick up Times

When we do start harvesting, the veggies will be here for pick up on Tuesday or Friday from 2-7pm each week.   Bring bags!

New Member Orientation: Saturday May 31 or Sunday June 1, Both at 4:00 pm

For members that are new to the farm, you are welcome to come meet us and learn the lay of the land.  If you cannot make those time, do not worry, we will be here at the distribution times to show you the ropes and answer any questions you have about the farm.


IMG_6394Fish Shares

We are again hosting a fish share at Crystal Spring CSA. Local fish and shellfish delivered each week on Fridays (available for Brunswick members only) during June and July. The first pick-up will be on Friday June 6, same hours as CSA pick-up.  Visit their website Salt and Sea for more details and to pay online.

Egg Shares

Egg shares will be available again this year. These are the same fresh organic eggs from our friends Karen and Ted at Sparrow Farm. Bright yellow yolks and stand tall whites -grocery store store eggs can’t even compare.  The egg share will run from the week of June 16th through the week of October 27th (20 weeks) for $110. This is the best way to make sure you always have a dozen eggs when you come for your produce. To sign up and pay click here.


Our upic field is shaping up nicely. Peas are up and we were able to transplant many flower varieties this week. Look for peas, beans and edamame along with herbs to be our first crops out here.


Thanks Everyone! We will see you at the farm soon!

May to Summer

Winter has left the building and we are busy! It’s been a while since we updated you on the comings and goings at the farm…read all the way down for payment info, new member orientation and other offerings at CSA pick up.

IMG_5923Its May and we are now caught up on our planting schedule. The first two weeks of April were quite February-like but then overnight the snow left, the fields dried out and we were able to get some seeds and plants in the ground.  I’m brimming with optimism as late springs have generally turned in to mild, temperate summers with fewer long stretches of cold rain, heat or drought. This time of year brings to the forefront the great wager we have with the weather. Starting plants in greenhouses covered in snow and feeding animals the last bales of hay seamlessly transitions into the ground thawing and first blades of grass appearing. Every year it always renews my trust in the calendar.

We have a great looking crop of tomatoes this year. They are still in the greenhouse but will be heading out into our field tunnels in about a week. The past few years we have been experimenting with a new process for this crop called grafting. When we graft plants we take a strong rootstock and put it together with a fruiting top from a variety we like. The root stock is IMG_5966IMG_5925specially bred for resistance to many common diseases but doesn’t make good fruit (in this case tomatoes). The fruiting top or scions come from several tomato varieties we have grown for years and think have great flavor. The problem we have found recently is that we are having a harder and harder time keeping these varieties we love healthy (especially the heirlooms),  which is why we are grafting to the disease hardy rootstock. To make this happen we start seed for both the rootstock and the scion and once they are a few inches tall we cut the tops off the rootstock and attach the tops from the scion. Nothing is more unsettling than taking your beautiful tomato seedlings, cutting them in half and hoping the will live stuck onto another plant. After a couple years of trials we have figured out the pitfalls and have been able to do this successfully.

Fish, Egg and Mushroom Shares…

We will have Fish and Mushrooms shares available again this year. Next week’s newsletter will have all the details!

Spring CSA payments and Shares

We have just a handful of Brunswick Shares left for the year and Portland shares are getting close. If you have been putting off signing up please don’t wait. Many thanks to those of you who have signed up.

  • If you put a deposit down and have made your payments (due February and April) you last payment is due June 1.
  • If you are unsure what you owe and cannot locate your own records, let us know.
  • The total for a 2014 Brunswick share is $525.
  • The total for a Portland area delivered share is $315.

Make a payment by clicking here

  • If you would like to make another payment by electronic check or credit card please follow this link.
  • If you have fallen behind in your payments you can still make a April/May payment here online or mail us a check for the balance.

Brunswick Share New-Member Orientation

If you are a new Brunswick on-farm pick-up member we will have orientations days Saturday May 31st and Sunday June 1st at 4pm. This is not a mandatory event but it is a great time to see the farm, meet the farmers and get the inside scoop on how to pick up your share this summer. We will have a upic field orientation for Portland members in July. Look for more info and a date soon. Hope to see you…

Lambs and Piglets

IMG_6265We are overflowing with small animals these days. We have a litter of 12 piglets and spring group of over thirty lambs to add to our winter group of 75. As the grass greens up everyone will be heading outside to enjoy the bright and start working on the grass that is growing fast.IMG_5950



Winter Rest…Dreaming of Spring

High of twelve today, but the sun is warm and the sky, blue. It seems never to be able to get so blue during any of the other seasons. We’ve been busy since our last newsletter in November. Busy in the winter is relative as our work is bookended by a later sunrise and an earlier sunset (and this winter by sub-low morning temps and a cold afternoon wind). My enthusiasm for sitting in front of a keyboard and making phone calls goes way up this time of year. Proof of this is our complete seed order, 2013 taxes and a barn full of supplies for the coming summer. Now if I had only cut more wood for the stove last summer!

What’s New for Next Summer…IMG_5172

IMG_0369Between holiday preparations, making lunches, feeding sheep, and youth basketball games, I spent December looking at seed catalogs and rereading your surveys, searching for new ideas to improve what we grow. This last year we had 43 different crops and over 140 different varieties of vegetables flowers and fruit (wow). During each year we are putting seeds into soil in the greenhouse or in the field every week between the beginning of March and the end of August- so there are many places to make changes. Sometimes we like a particular variety but feel like to came too soon on too late so we’ll adjust its planting time forward of back a week. Other times we find a variety just didn’t perform on this farm and we look to replace it entirely. What’s more complicated, but ultimately the most satisfying, is when we find crops and varieties that go well together like greens in our mix and match, or different tomatoes that ripen at the same time, giving us a good supply to please everyone, whether they like them firm and acidic or soft and meaty.

  • We’re trying a few new greens varieties to keep everyone interested in their weekly salads and stir fries. There are a host of new Asian varieties that offer new color and texture that we think you’ll like.
  • Eggplant and peppers will both have new varieties with varied color and size this year and we’re trying some new planting dates to allow us to mix and match them instead of flooding you with one or the other for weeks in a row.
  • After a couple years of trials we are jumping into the latest craze and grafting all of our tomato varieties. This is the process where you take perfectly healthy tomato plants and cut them off at the stem and stick them onto rootstock that you have cut the tops off of. The rootstock is bred for vigor and disease resistance, the tops (scions) take this vigor and produce more fruit that stand up to disease longer. This technique has been used in fruit trees for centuries but is now spilling into annual vegetables in a big way to improve yield and disease resistance in our increasingly variable climate.


Ewes are big and healthy these days as we are due to start lambing in about a week. Those of you that drive by the farm may have noticed the white plastic round bales arranged in several fields. These wrapped bales are ensiled (fermented) grasses cut green in the summer and IMG_0391preserved for use by the flock in the winter. Unlike hay which is dried, the bales are lush and green. The high nutritional value of this feed has allowed us to transition our ewes and lambs off of grain supplements completely which is great for these animals that were made to digest grass and great for us as it disconnects our flock from the increasing variability of the global commodities markets.

CSA Lamb Day March 16 from 11-1

Come join us at the farm for our lamb open house for CSA members and friends of the farm. We’ll open the barns and show off the new arrivals, which should number between 85-100. Dress warm and wear shoes that will serve you well on the farms slippery and muddy tracks.  Bring your friends and family.

Farm Camp

We’ll have Farm Camp dates and registration open on March 1st.  This will be posted on our webpage.   All the dates will be in July this year.   No camp will be offered in June.

We will be looking for junior counselors again this year as well!

Lamb Sausage and Maple Syrup Available at the Farm

We have our own Lamb Sausage available for pick-up at the farm. This spicy natural cased sausage is packaged in 1 lb packs for $11. We also have qts. of grade B dark Maple Syrup for $16 each. This is the same great stuff we have in the summer. Pancake, lambs sausage and eggs sounds like a powerful Maine lumberjack breakfast to keep you warm on a cold day in the woods… Send us an email with your order and when you’d like to come by.

February Payments Due

Those of you who are on our payment plan, your February payment is due next week ($150 for Brunswick shares/$80 for delivered shares). Here’s a link to our online payment form that will allow you to use a credit card of e-check to pay. This link is also on the website. Look for the green “make a payment” button. You can also mail us a paper check but we would prefer payment via the web as it cuts down on our administration time.  As always please let us know if you would like to make other arrangements for payment.

2014 Farm Shares Still Available…

If you haven’t signed up yet or if you have a friend, neighbor or relative who would like to be a part of the farm go to our website and click the orange “Join” button or follow this link. Its quick, easy and then its done.