Waltham Fields Community Farm promotes local agriculture and food access through our farming operations and educational programs, using practices that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable. We encourage healthy relationships between people, their food supply, and the land from which it grows. Check out our website for more information.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Not-Your-Mama's Zucchini Bread

The recent heatwave we experienced in the Northeast resulted in a whole lot of cucurbit growth in the garden, leaving us with several arm's length zukes to pick. While I usually cook up something savory with the smaller guys, the gigantic ones typically meet my grater and get baked up into a sweet bread or batch of muffins. Like many, I've tried boat loads of zucchini bread recipes; I usually end up doing something quite traditional with spices, raisins, and nuts, and sometimes I switch it up with a chocolate loaf, which I highly recommend trying if you've never gone that route! But I stumbled upon this unique recipe for a lemony loaf and couldn't resist trying it out, especially because it featured whole wheat flour and maple syrup instead of refined white flour and sugar. Super moist and packed with refreshing lemon flavor, this recipe is well-suited for the sunshine-filled days of summer.

Not-Your-Mama's
Zucchini Bread

makes 2 9-inch loaf pans or 24 muffins


Ingredients:
(slight alterations marked with *)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil*
  • 1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (worked nicely with 100% stone ground)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 (packed) cups shredded zucchini
  • Walnuts, chopped (optional)*

Directions:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F for bread or 375 degrees F for muffins. Beat eggs, butter, oil, syrup, zest and juice together. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, just enough to incorporate; fold in the zucchini. Pour the batter into loaf pans or muffin cups. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Bake bread for about an hour and 20-25 minutes for muffins or until a tester comes out clean.

My Two Cents (and an update):

Three cups of zucchini shredded off of a really big zuke like I had is quite moist; I suggest oh-so-gently pressing or squeezing the shredded zucchini just before you fold it into the batter in order to remove some (but certainly not all) of its water. If the zucchini you are using is small or medium-sized, you will likely want to keep all of its moisture. I love the bright citrus flavor of this bread, and hope that orange zest/juice and poppy seeds will make a delicious sister to this particular recipe. I also made this bread without butter, using all walnut oil, and the muffins are just as scrumptious. It has been suggested in my household that piping raspberry or blueberry jam into the center of the muffins would really put this recipe over the top, and I would have to agree! Sounds like an excellent hand-held dessert for a summertime party.

UPDATE on 8/7/2011: Since I suggested trying out chocolate zucchini bread if you had never done so, here are some slight adjustments to the above recipe that will give you a batch of yummy chocolate bread or muffins.
  • Nix the lemon zest and juice (though chocolate-orange bread sounds pretty good...)
  • Use 2 cups flour and 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Use 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • Add 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add 1+ cup chocolate chips if you want a double-chocolate bread
  • Sprinkle with chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)

Rebekah


Images by Rebekah Carter (2011). Recipe from Lemonbasil.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickles

My first taste of a home-preserved harvest was a jar of bread and butter pickles my grandfather had made for Christmas celebrations when I was a child. I remember thinking those crisp and sweet disks were the most delicious pickles I had ever had. Truth be told, I still prefer these pickles to their dill counterparts (no offense to them; they'll be put up before the end of summer, too, using freshly-picked dill heads and garlic from the garden).

With an abundance of cucumbers on hand, I decided to try out this tested and true Ball Blue Book recipe for bread and butter pickles, canned for shelf stability using the boiling-water bath method.

Bread and Butter Pickles
makes about 7 pints

Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 lbs onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 cups vinegar

Directions:

Combine cucumber and onion slices in a large bowl, layering with salt; cover with ice cubes and let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain; rinse; drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot; bring to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions and return to a boil. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Rebekah

Image by Rebekah Carter (2011). Recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Notes from the Field: Dog Days of Summer

When I was little, my father left every morning for work at the marina that he owns. The marina shop and store are right across the driveway from the house, but the short walk seemed like a long journey from the air conditioned comfort in which the rest of our family spent the days, away from the blazing heat and oppressive humidity of the Maryland summer. At that time, his business was relatively new. I don't remember him having a regular day off during the week when the summer boating season was underway. He complained about the heat, but there was never a morning when he did not get up as usual and go to work. I think I thought he was crazy. I know that I definitely believed that I would grow up to work in air conditioned comfort, emerging at the end of the workday to blink in the light and the heat and wonder how folks could make it through the day outside, and why they would want to.

I remembered all of this quite vividly last week, while the farm crew struggled through a few days of 95+ degree heat. As one of our farmer friends likes to say, "vegetables don't take a vacation". Weather of any kind is really no excuse for veggie growers not to work, unless there's something in that weather that means it would damage the plants to work with them. That's usually excessive moisture, which is definitely not the conditions we've been dealing with for the last few weeks.

Last week our vegetables did not take a vacation. They kept growing, needing lots of water to counteract the very hot air and very dry soil. Andy spend the entire week moving irrigation pipe and drip irrigation from field to field and section to section, often following the weed crew to help keep the recently weeded crops from being too surprised by their abrupt exposure to the sun. The squash kept on making squash, the cucumbers kept on making cucumbers, and the okra, bless its southern soul, started making okra despite the fact that we were not remotely ready to start harvesting it. The tomatoes began to ripen. The sweet potatoes, delighted at what they apparently believed was a return to their homeland, seemed to put on a new leaf every time we walked by them -- it would not be an exaggeration to say that they doubled in size last week. In the heat, we kept harvesting the crops that rolled in. We drank gallons of water and everything else under the sun. We got tired, got cranky, snapped at each other,moved pipe, kept planting, stopped planting (too hot and dry), kept weeding, stopped weeding (too hot and dry) and finally got out into the field with hoes to take advantage of one of the benefits of hot dry weather: it can kill weeds really well, if you can keep from damaging the roots of the crop while you're at it. I came home at night clean instead of dirty, because I had sweated so much over the course of the day that the soil had washed off. And I remembered my dad, getting up, going to work, day after day.

Some things, of course, should not be endured. There is sometimes great wisdom in knowing when to walk away. But there are so many opportunities for fortitude and staying power, which we may practice at any time -- in a challenging yoga class, the daily demands of parenthood or faithfulness, all the little commitments that make up a life. Farming is a constant exercise in endurance, the odd liberation of bowing to what is asked of you, day after day, submerging yourself in the task until you sweat clean and the harvest is in. There is some grace in being responsible to things that call you daily to harvest and tend and endure. There is some grace in being able to respond.

Last week the weed crew showed up to work every morning, smiling and ready to go. They worked through the morning when the thermometer showed 106 in the sun, but paced themselves, taking breaks so that they never overdid it. Andy and Rachel, who most recently farmed in Georgia, smiled and shook their heads at our New England "heat". Kind shareholders brought coolers full of water, electrolyte drinks, bananas, ice-cold lemony golden zucchini cake. My husband Mark put up our big tent so we would have a cool place to eat lunch, and made us milkshakes on Friday. I called my father Friday evening to see how he was faring in the heat, which reached 111 degrees in Maryland. I was glad to hear that he had spent the day taking care of a sick neighbor instead of bent over in the bottom of a boat. On Saturday morning, an unexpected shower cooled the air and moistened the top layer of soil, helping the irrigation water soak in better (the term "capillary action" made its annual appearance on the farm). By Sunday the brief heat wave was over, replaced by more manageable summer temperatures. We returned to the regular day to day endurance of farm work, which looks more like commitment and less like what Dan calls "bone-headedness". There will be more hot days, and more work to do in them. For now, enjoy the harvest, everyone.

-- Amanda, for Andy, Erinn, Dan, Larisa and Lauren

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Notes from the Learning Garden: Farm Visits Galore!

July has been a busy month in the Learning Garden. We decided to try something new this year by leaving the whole month open for Farm Visits (our 2-hour program for groups of children preschool through 8th grade) and we have been thrilled with the response from a variety of schools, camps, and other youth groups!

Farm Visits at Waltham Fields Community Farm vary a bit depending on the learning objectives of the group and the number of children attending, but will always include the following three things:

GARDEN WORK

We want to make sure that all of the children coming for a Farm Visit have a chance to get their hands dirty!

This morning, with the help of a group of campers from Education Francaise Greater Boston, Learning Garden educators Aleta and Kristin hilled potatoes. Yesterday, eight and nine year olds from Cambridge Adventure Day Camp finished preparing and planting a melon patch! Check out the CADC blog for some fabulous pictures of their time at the farm!

Freshly-hilled potatoes (left)



LEARNING ACTIVITY

Our new melon patch (below)
Another portion of our program time is spent doing an activity that involves interactive discussion about a topic pertinent to the learning objectives of the group visiting the farm. For a group that is learning about soil, we often take a walk out to the compost pile and do an activity called Earth Apple to illustrate the percentage of Earth's surface made up of soil on which we can grow food; or Compost Cake to illustrate how food scraps, lawn clippings, and leaves are turned into fabulous soil for the garden! For a group interested in learning more about farming in general, we will often do our very favorite activity: From A Farm/Not From A Farm Relay! Participants are always amazed to discover that most of the objects and products they use every day come from farms!

Mystic Learning Center group discussing whether or not band-aids come from a farm

SNACK PREPARATION

A trip to the farm just wouldn't be complete without a snack made from fresh fruits and veggies! Our favorite healthy snacks to make with Farm Visit groups are Hummus and Plant Parts Salad. Here are the basic recipes, but feel free to embellish depending on your own taste buds!

Harvesting zucchini for dipping in hummus (below)

Hummus

Ingredients:

16-oz can of chickpeas
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Other herbs/spices you like



Directions:


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy with cucumber and zucchini slices or your other favorite veggies!

Plant Parts Salad

Ingredients:

Leaves: lettuce, spinach, or other greens
Stem: fennel, scallions, or kohlrabi
Root: beet, carrot, or radish
Seed: peas or beans
Fruit: zucchini, cucumber, or tomato
Flower: broccoli or nasturtiums

Salad Dressing

2 tbsp fresh herbs (such as basil, cilantro, oregano, parley, etc.)
or 1/2 tsp dried herbs
1 tbsp vinegar (red wine, white wine, or balsamic)
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Chopping broccoli for plant parts salad (above)
Directions:

Mix well and serve on salad!

As I read over this post I can't help but think that I am not doing it justice, but there is really no way to describe how amazing it is when a child is gobbling up zucchini slices and hummus as if they were an ice cream sundae and exclaiming that he "could eat it all day long;" or after planting and weeding in the garden when another participant says, "I am going to be a farmer when I grow up!" Those are the moments when we really know that we are doing something right.

Happy gardening!

- Jericho, for Kristin, Rebekah, Aleta, and Paula

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Notes from the Field: Bringing a Moment of Beauty to the World

I was talking with the radiant Reverend Molly at the end of the CSA pickup on Saturday and she mentioned that the cycle of Biblical texts read at church services repeats itself every three years. favaShe was preparing a sermon on a text that she had preached on three years earlier and was looking back through her notes from that time for reminders, inspiration, or words she could use as seeds for a new relationship with the text and her parishioners.

On the farm, our cycles repeat as well, though in ways that aren't always predictable -- while summer always follows spring, and fall summer, one growing season might carry echoes of another, or things might seem to repeat themselves from week to week or day to day. This week, for example, we had some flat tires, first on our "Mini-K" tractor, then on our big Massey-Ferguson. We had some finger injuries: Dan hurt his moving irrigation pipe, and I seem to have injected mine with a tiny cucumber spine that makes it swell up and difficult to bend. Everyone has Band-Aids on at least one finger at this time of year. And this week we had some potent reminders of 2009: the cool, rainy day on Friday when the weeds seemed to grow six inches between morning and noon, the warnings from UMass about late blight making its way up the coast to Connecticut, a group of amazing weeders who saved our sweet potatoes in memory of our dear work share Cary, who left us two years ago last week.

tomatoesI've been thinking often, too, of longer cycles -- for example, the cycle of rest for the land and farmers that, in the Old Testament, is required every seventh year. Coincidentally, the "sabbaticals" that I have taken from farming because of the birth of my children were seven years apart, in 2003 and 2010. During that 2003 season, one of our most thoughtful and skilled colleagues here in the Boston area wrote an essay called "Why Farm?" I revisit it as a canonical text during the cycles when I am thinking about the big picture instead of the sore finger or the flat tires: why do we do what we do? Why even bother with this seemingly quixotic effort to grow food on land that is so high value that it is nearly impossible to make the enterprise cover its costs? Why continue to do a job that is backbreaking, heartbreaking, infinitely changeable and ultimately leaves us with very little in the way of equity for all the sweat we put in? When something as uncontrollable as late blight can wipe out the entirety of a beautiful, healthy tomato crop in under a week, why not throw in the organic and local towel and go back to eating predictable, processed food from the grocery store?

In his essay, Chris argues that the reasons to farm need to go beyond the personal rewards reaped by the farmer. He suggests that the economic, social and environmental good that is served by local agriculture as part of a larger movement towards justice in our society is what gives farmers their real staying power in the profession -- and is also what moves consumers to support them, even when the bok choy is full of holes or the tomatoes don't come in at all. It is, he says, "an understanding of the role this work plays in the great issues of our time that sustains us in the long run."

raspberriesDepending on my place in the cycle of the growing season or my approach to farming, I have remarkably different responses to Chris's essay. This week, in the heart of this growing season, with all its echoes of seasons before and foreshadowing of seasons to come, I think he's got it backwards. Don't get me wrong -- I firmly believe in the connection of local organic farming, with all its contradictions and complexities, to the great issues of our time. This is what got me into the work in the first place, and what brought me to a farm that addresses many of those issues, both directly and indirectly, every day. But what sustains me, as privileged and personal as it might seem, is the fact that when I let go of the intellectual and physical challenges that we wrestle with both on a daily basis and in the big picture, farming is something that I can help do to bring a moment of beauty to the world. It is clear in a moment like Saturday morning, when the farm, full of healthy food and happy people and flowers and memories, was something a little greater than the sum of its social, economic and environmental parts.

There is nothing about a farm that will stand the test of time --the beauty of a farm in July is fleeting, giving way to the senescence of the fall and the beauty of those other cycles we were talking about earlier -- winter into spring, spring into summer, rest and renewal into mud and hard work again. Anything built of soil and water and light is both eternal and gone in the blink of an eye. And I'm no artist -- I can't capture this beauty in a painting or a song or a sculpture that both represents it and connects it to the great issues. All I can do is honor the cycles of plant, cultivate, harvest, sore finger, flat tire, late blight, and try to stay awake enough to hear the echoes of the larger cycles when they come around again.

Enjoy the harvest,

Amanda, for Andy, Erinn, Dan, Larisa and Lauren

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Notes from the Field: Chisel Plows and Tomato Stakes

All of a sudden we turned around and it was July. The vigorous, weedy growth in our fields could have told us this, as could the newly disked and fertilized beds waiting for fall broccoli and cauliflower to be planted this week, or the tall, gangly tomatoes that need to be staked and twined. We get a little infusion of additional labor in the fields this week from our new field crew members, Rachel and Andy, recently back from their travels, and our fully staffed weed crew; we are at full strength now in the fields and will stay that way through August.

July may be the busiest time of year on our farm. We have quite a bit of seeding and transplanting of fall crops to do, and while it's not as many beds as the huge planting push of April and May, it's combined with ever-increasing harvests and other tasks, like cultivating, weeding, dealing with insects and diseases, and tying tomatoes, that make these weeks feel like the very peak of the roller-coaster ride of the season. Before July, it's plant, plant, plant. After July, it's harvest, harvest, harvest. For these brief four weeks in July,it's try to get it all done at once, hang in there and enjoy the ride. Ice cream helps with this.

Farm machineryIt is interesting for me, after a year of being mostly away from the farm after the birth of my daughter Sadie, to notice which of our farm's large collection of tools feel particularly useful during this peak season. Some are old friends: the shade cloth that covers our greenhouse in the heat of the summer is the only reason we are able to germinate and grow lettuce transplants for our summer successions. Some are new purchases: our Schaper Brothers fertilizer spreader, built for us by hand in Pennsylvania this spring, has helped us eliminate the "hate labor" of pushing a heavy hand spreader over uneven field surfaces for hours at a time, one of my least favorite jobs when I was pregnant (or, really, at any time on the farm). Some are incidental purchases that turn out to be incredibly useful: our new cultivating tractor, which we've affectionately named "Li'l K", since it's the smaller of our farm's two Kubotas, happened to come with a three-point-hitch mounted rear cultivator that turns out to be almost the perfect tool for cultivating plastic pathways, though it's not for the faint of heart. Some are unexpectedly valuable far beyond their cost in dollars: a six-hundred-dollar mini-chisel plow, which can fit in the back of our pickup truck, has reshaped our tillage regimen, helping us make beds more quickly while minimizing compaction and soil layer inversion in our fields. Our tractor-mounted boom sprayer, despite its idiosyncracies, saves us hours and hours of time with a backpack sprayer applying fish emulsion or organic pesticides when we need to. And the funny little fertilizer injector that sends fish, kelp and micronutrients directly through the drip irrigation lines to the roots of the plants, which cost us less than $200 a couple of years ago, may be one of the most effective and important tools on the farm, though you may miss it if you walk around the fields.

Farm machineryBecause labor is by far the biggest cost on our farm, when tools that are supposed to save us labor work the way they should, we feel it acutely -- we're able to direct our precious person-hours to tasks that no equipment can do as well as human hands. Hand weeding carrots and parsnips can't be avoided, despite our best efforts with the cultivating tractors and the flame weeder. Harvesting is highly skilled work that takes training and practice to perfect. And we haven't been able to find any machine that can pound posts or tie tomatoes.

Our farm is a funny size -- at eleven acres, we're big enough that wise purchases of equipment can have a big impact on our productivity, but we still require a large crew of people to make it all happen. Being able to afford all this -- both the ongoing development of our fleet of tools and the development of an efficient and manageable staffing model -- is something that is on our minds every day, even during this peak season. After seven years at Waltham Fields, I feel like these complex interactions between equipment and people are still one of the fascinating puzzles that make farming a constant learning process.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining, the weeds are growing, and it's time to get back to work. Enough chatter. Stay cool, everyone.

-- Amanda, for Andy, Erinn, Dan, Larisa and Lauren

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Roasted Kohlrabi with Romesco Sauce

While picking up my CSA share both this week and the week prior, I couldn't help overhearing multiple people reach the kohlrabi bin and wonder out loud, "what should I do with THAT vegetable?" From its alien-like appearance, those new to kohlrabi may feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking this starchy Brassica.


Rest assured, you will not be disappointed by the variety of ways in which you can utilize the crop: shredded raw for slaw or sliced for crudit├ęs (uncooked, it tastes very much like broccoli stems), thickly-chopped for roasting, sliced thin for casseroles, boiled, baked, mashed... you can even blanch and saute the leaves with oil or butter. Rich in vitamin C and potassium, expand your dietary boundaries and let kohlrabi become a regular in your summer vegetable lineup.

The following recipe is a simple and delicious Mediterranean side dish, featuring oven-roasted kohlrabi with a chunky (faux) Romesco sauce of red bell pepper, almonds, garlic (scapes), and smoked paprika.

Roasted Kohlrabi
with Romesco Sauce


makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (or scapes), minced
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped (pine nuts or hazelnuts work, too)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, mint, or fennel fronds for garnishing

Directions:


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof pan on the stove; when hot, carefully add the kohlrabi, stir to coat, and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Occasionally stir the kohlrabi for even browning.

While roasting the bulbs, heat the other 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat; add the garlic (or scapes) and paprika and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, almonds, tomato paste (if using), and vinegar; cook until the peppers soften, again stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat; blend until desired consistency is reached (you could use either an immersion blender or food processor; I suggest the latter because of the nuts). If you would like a thinner sauce, you may need to add a splash of water and blend again. Serve with the kohlrabi and garnish with either fresh basil or mint chiffonade or fennel fronds. Enjoy!

Rebekah

Images by Rebekah Carter (2011). Recipe adapted from Six Course Dinner.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Notes from the Field: Our 2011 Assistant Growers

I... am... not... going... to... talk... about... the... weather. OK, yes I am, a little. We did need the rain. I admit it, I did say that. And when the forecast called for a quarter to a half an inch, I thought that would be pretty good. But we got almost 2 inches last Wednesday, then another inch and a quarter over the next three days. Well, you know that -- you were there. But really, it was a lot of water. So much water, combined with those cool temperatures, puts us uncomfortably in mind of 2009, when a wet, cool early summer led to some devastating disease pressure later in the season. We're hoping that history will not repeat itself so soon, and that this water and cool temperatures will only lead to slightly delayed squash and cucumbers and beautiful greens for another week.

But enough about that -- more about our farm crew.

Larisa and Lauren

Each year, we are fortunate to work with a few people who are passionate about becoming farmers and are at a point in their careers where our operation can be useful to them. Our assistant growers, who work the entire growing season with Waltham Fields, are a critical part of our farm team. They drive tractors, pound stakes, pull weeds, transplant and seed crops, harvest and harvest and harvest, and manage CSA distributions. Many of our past assistant growers are now farmers in their own right (check out our "where are they now?" page for some stories). This year's AGs, Lauren Weinberg and Larisa Jacobson, are as fine a pair as we have had on our farm.

Lauren comes to us from her recent work at Adamah, a farm and fellowship program at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Connecticut. She had many roles at Adamah, including the Sap Queen, Pickle Apprentice, and Field Apprentice, all of which have contributed to her wide knowledge about food production and preservation. While she had never driven a manual transmission vehicle, let alone a tractor, before she came to WFCF, she had made more kim chee and sauerkraut than many of us have ever seen -- in a kosher kitchen where goat yogurt and chevre shared space (but never utensils) with 50 gallon barrels of pickling crops. We appreciate Lauren's thoughtfulness and thoroughness on the farm, along with her appreciation of the beauty and the spiritual side of the work that we do.

Larisa was most recently at UC Davis, where she completed a master's degree in International Agricultural Development and spent time working on biodigester projects in Guatemala, along with teaching and working on the student farm at Davis. She has tons of "secret" skills and knowledge, including welding, fiddle playing, assembling cultivators from miscellaneous parts, and community organizing, among others. She won us over in her application with her vivid description of hitting an irrigation upright with the loader bucket of her tractor -- and fixing it, possibly the only time when a farm equipment accident has led directly to someone getting an interview on our farm. Despite this story, Larisa is a skilled equipment operator who is getting the hang of all the big and little pieces that help our farm go. Her sense of humor and intense work ethic also come in handy.

In addition to our assistant growers, our farm team is rounded out by our field crew, who start next week (more about them later) and a group of work sharers who staff our CSA pickups, make sure our CSA newsletter is legible and functional, take care of our perennial herb and flower garden, and help us in the fields. They each have fascinating stories as well, and histories with the farm -- some long, some short, but all wonderful. We could not do this without them.


-- Amanda, for Andy, Erinn, Dan, Larisa and Lauren