Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet Morning Farm - Work Bee - May 5, 2012

April 30, 2012

Hello friends,

I would like to invite you to come to the farm this Saturday, May 5, anytime between 9 and 5, for a Work Bee!
There are many things that need doing around the farm, especially in the spring, and Robin and I would enjoy seeing you and sharing some of the spring chores with you.

There is a wide variety of jobs to be done.  You can pick what suits you best.

Examples of possible tasks:
Weeding, both standing with a hoe or spading fork, or sitting and using a hand tool and doing delicate sorting.
Stacking firewood.
Planting corn seedlings.
Setting dahlia tubers in the earth.
Playing music/singing to the farm workers.
Planting seeds.
Clearing brush.Securing the pea fence.
The chick house may be ready for the young chicks that day so  - helping to set up their fence and moving them to their new quarters.
Taking pictures - of farmers, helpers, plants, chickens, etc.

I'll have a big pot of homemade chicken soup and some fresh Sweet Morning salad ready for our lunch break.

Bring gloves and favorite tools, sunscreen and water.

This will be a very casual, light hearted affair.  If you are able to come over, to help or to encourage, that's great!  If you are busy elsewhere, that's fine too.  This is mostly a way for friends and farm members to see what is happening here on the farm and to help plant the seeds for a wonderful harvest.  Come and go as you please.  Bring a friend.

The next Farm Work Bee will be Saturday, June 2.
RSVP if you feel like it, or just show up.  We'll be here!

Your happy farmers,
Laura and Rob
Call or email to RSAP or for more information.413-773-8325

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Welcome, friends!

I am sending this email to 2012 farm members, farm members from previous years, family and friends.  If you want to continue getting emails about the farm, (about weekly during the growing season), let me know.  Email me at

Partly I want to share what I have been doing and partly I want to invite you become part of the farm, in whatever way feels right to you.  Farm shares are on sale now and I look forward to growing food and flowers for all of us.

Lots of news lately.  Too much to go into all the details but here's a list to get started:

1 - The Farm Has A New Name!  I finally settled on the name Sweet Morning Farm for my little farm.  Farm facebook page
2 - The Harvest Has Started!  The new hoophouse (built last December by Robin with help from Dan) is already producing mesclun, radishes, greens and arugula.  Every Wednesday I email a list of what is available and interested people make their requests.  I plan on continuing this practice all season, although once the farm shares start, the Shares will always get priority over the Extras.
3 - Baby Chicks Are Here!  So cute and all are doing well.  Soon they will be moved to the garage from their current home in the kitchen.
4 - Ducklings Will Be Arriving In May!  Robin is building a secure and comfy house for them.
5 - Busy Busy Busy With Planting!  It's so much fun!  Already there are salad greens, head lettuces, snap peas, beets, scallions, radishes, spinach, kale, and chard coming up in the garden.  I am hoping for some great tomatoes, peppers (hot and sweet), onions, corn, squash (summer and winter), beans, shell beans, carrots, and more!  It's that time of year when I start getting really excited about vegetables...  Oh!  And of course, flowers.  I am looking forward to their bright sweetness.  
I am sorry about the headline organization of this email.  There is just so much happening and I've been trying to finish this message since January.  Here it is mid April and I am finally sending it out.  I am determined to send this before anything new happens around here!  Some people have already signed up for shares this year,  (Thank You!), but there are plenty left at the moment so now is the time to claim yours.  I sure hope lots of people want shares because I'm going to have a lot of vegetables around here. 

Shares are on sale!  Sign up SOON for yours!  I'd love to have you as a farm member!
Full Shares:  $600.00 to $675.00  (20 - 24 weeks, weather dependant, starting May 17)
Half Shares:  $300.00 to $350.00  (20 - 24 weeks, weather dependant, starting May 17)
Mini Shares:  $100.00 (16 weeks - starting June 7)
Extended Mini Shares:  $125.00 (20 weeks - starting June 7)  (I am just offering a few of these.)
Pick up at the Farm on Thursday afternoons.

Note:  These are the same prices as the last 2 years.
PAYMENT:  If this email were being sent in January as planned I would be asking you to pay a deposit by April 1. Ah well.  New plan, pay as soon as you can and be paid in full by July 15.  You must pay a deposit to hold a share.  Make checks out to Laura Timmerman.  

Start your fresh eating early with EGGS & EXTRAS*

Each week I am sending out an email with a list of extra items that can be purchased.  If you don't want to sign up for a weekly share, this might suit you.  Or you can extend your mini yourself by buying in weekly early or late in the season.  Or increase the size of your share when you want more vegetables.

*This is a separate weekly email on Wednesdays, so if you want to hear about extras, let me know.  I am hoping this will continue next winter with salad greens, microgreens, kale, and leeks.*  I post what is extra at the blog and update as needed.

There will be a section of the garden devoted to pick-your-own crops this year.  They will include snap peas, cherry and plum tomatoes, and flowers, maybe more.  So if you have some extra time, and want extra vegetables and flowers, be my guest.  Free to farm members.  Open to all.

Speaking of FLOWERS, I always feel like I just want to share the flowers.  Sometimes there is such an abundance and cut flowers are something that people don't always include in their lives.  Please, if you know someone who might be cheered by colorful bouquet, come by and pick some.  Bouquets for the sick or homebound or the bereaved are always free.

Buy a farm share.
Become a working member, or recommend this idea to someone who likes to garden.  I would be happy to trade 1 day a week working for a full share.  
Come to work bee - Saturday, May 5 and Saturday, June 2 - weed, chat, plant, look at chickens, mulch, have fun.
Help at the farm when you can and go home with extra vegies.
(I'll be here full time April 21 to April 28 and May 26 to June 2 so those are good times to come visit too.)
Tell people about the farm.
Stuff the farm needs but can't afford: 2 working refrigerators, 2 long folding tables, compost, manure, cattle panels, big scale, frost free pump/faucet, picnic table, saw horses, massage
Come to the farm picnic! - Saturday, August 18 - Farm Tours, pot luck cookout, visit with your fellow farm members.  The harvest should be in full swing by then!

The farm has several interconnected blogs where I try to keep you informed about on-going activities.  You can also read about and see pictures of the shares and get some recipe ideas for using all that fresh produce!  (See the links at the right hand side for CSA news, Farmstand news and Recipes.)

My little farm is what is called a "CSA", which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  The main feature of a CSA is that we share the adventure and the benefits of farming.  At this time of year, your farmer (me) is deeply involved in fine tuning the layout and planting schedule, planting and transplanting every week, tending my little seedlings every day, madly planting outside, picking from the hoophouse each week, caring for 30 baby chicks, watering, etc.  Every year the garden expands and the soil improves; I learn a few things and the flow of crops gets smoother.  This year's expansion includes the HOOPHOUSE, or unheated greenhouse, where I am growing kale, mesclun, carrots and pak choy in early spring, tomatoes, peppers, collards and more in the summer, tomatoes, raspberries and more in the fall, and kale, spinach, leeks and salad greens next winter.  It's a whole new way of gardening with many new possibilities!  A new crop for the shares this year will be sweet corn.  Keep your fingers crossed for some lovely corn on the cob. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this long email.  Future emails will be shorter and I'll try to put more of the chattiness and news (and pictures) at the blog and facebook page.  (You don't need to sign up for facebook to see the page.  You do need to be on facebook to "Like" the page.  I am not sure what exact good that does for me if anything, but it does help to know that people are interested in the farm.)

This is my once-a-year big email to a lot of friends and family.  You won't get the weekly ones unless you ask to be on the list or sign up for a share. 

Remember, some things are the SAME:
PRICES - Same as 2010 & 2011
And some things are NEW:
EGGS & EXTRAS LIST - more vegetables for longer with more choice

It's a new season, and a new start to the cycle of growth here at Sweet Morning Farm.  For those of you who may not know it, this is my sixth year as a farmer and it is still a thrill.  The earth is so amazing and generous that I feel grateful every day.  
Thank you for all your interest and support for the farm.

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337