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Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Notes From the Field - Cheers to the Farm Team

We had a great week on the farm last week and for the most part, things are moving along as they should this time of year. Days are hot, nights are warm and we even got a good soaking rain overnight on Thursday. We even had a pizza truck on the farm! Thanks to those of you who came out for our first ever Pizza on the Farm night. It was a great event and Posto churned out some delicious pizzas.

Erinn giving an evening tour on the farm last Thursday.

Out in the fields, the unflappable weed crew has been working hard to stay apace with the weeds. But with the rapid growth of weeds like amaranth and galinsoga in the heat of July, we're moving into fire-fighting mode, with new urgency bursting from the shoulders of tomato beds and rows of leeks and pick your own crops like parsley and chiles. We're on the downslope in the weed crew's tenure with us, with last week marking the halfway point, and we've only got the pleasure of their company and hard work for another six weeks. They have pulled, hoed, clipped and tweezed out countless weeds.
With our stellar field crew of Evan, Jack, Anna, Roy and Claire, along with honorary members/Forest Foundation interns Cassie, Alisa and Ali, we got our first round of fall brassicas in the ground and watered, a second line of tying on all of our slicing & cherry tomatoes, caught up on field seeding and gave more love to our Lyman Fields with some fertilizing and weed management than I can ever remember having the time to do. Harvests came in quickly and efficiently, with assistant grower Anna Kelchlin and Naomi Shea expertly leading teams out in the fields. Field crew learned how to harvest cucumbers and carrots this week, and once again impressed me with their care and attention to detail, aesthetics and standards. Farming is always full of mental exercises, but if I'm not really on my toes, it can be hard to keep up with these guys. They rip through transplanting, doing it efficiently, cooperatively and thoughtfully, but with pace and speed. We need to have a roster of tasks each day in order to stay ahead of them. 
Individually, each member of the field crew comes with unique talents and points of view. Collectively, they share a strong and ingrained work ethic, a commitment to the organization and to co-workers, positive dispositions, a depth of strength, endurance and competency and a desire to get better at and improve upon newly learned skills. What amazes me most is that this describes every single one of them. All of them can be the engine, the cheerleader, the wing(wo)man, the roadie when needed-they look for gaps and fill them, which is one the best things a farm can ask for.
Farming is full of risks and rewards. It can be easy to get caught up in constantly calculating the risks to each day's successes, and gratitude is a practice that is at times difficult but always valuable to hold in farming. But this year, Zannah, Dan, Anna K., Naomi, Tim, Lauren, Leo, Annie, Anna B., Gina, Evan, Jack, Anna H.S., Roy, Claire, Cassie, Alisa and Ali have made practicing gratitude easy. Thanks, guys.

Erinn Roberts, Farm Manager
For the farm crews

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