Don't Touch That Dial: How We Communicate with Our Members

At this time of year there is a lot going on at the farm.

New produce items are available almost every week as the high point of our season arrives. The colors are glorious and varied. In addition, we have building projects underway, new equipment arriving (often to replace old, battered, and unrepairable items), new methods of harvesting, the annual meeting of the co-op, and yes, early sign-up for winter shares. 

To add to the breaking news, our hardworking staff functions as our crack photographers and reporters. We have pictures from the field, pictures of produce, pictures of smiles. 

How can you stay on top of all this information? We have several channels you can "watch" and we do try to put the same information across our resources, but it's a good idea to check a couple of places to be really in the know.

Week 9 Share Value

  • The big news (dates, major announcements) goes out to every member using Mail Chimp for our mass mailings. There are nearly 2000 addresses in this file so some email systems treat such messages as SPAM. If you don't hear from us approximately once a month via email (usually our newsletter Bottom Land News, check your SPAM folders. It helps to add our email to your Contacts: add  and  to be sure. 
  • You can subscribe to the notices of our Blog postings. At the bottom of our home page, look for "Receive Blog Updates" and add  your email. When a new article is posted you'll be notified. Our Blog has more details and depth about farm initiatives and news we want every member to receive but is not Mail Chimp worthy. Think of the Blog as your virtual Bottom Land News. (In fact, we've started putting links to the blog posts as the content to our newsletter. Why? We wanted news to be distributed more often than monthly. And we're reducing use of paper more every day.)
  • "Friend" us on Facebook.   The information we put on our Facebook page tends to be shorter than our blog, meant to be reminders or to generate a little excitement. You'll find pictures from the field here, candid photos, pictures of cooking efforts, etc. 
  • We often have post card size notices (paper) at the pick-up desk. Such notices would be announcing pizza nights, changes in pick-up days, annual meeting.  Also check our chalkboards at pick-up for notices. Our week 9 share value was posted on the chalk board recently. Did you catch it? 
  • Follow us on Instagram. Pictures from the field are very likely to turn up here on a regular basis. Some of the pictures make it to the Blog and to Facebook but not all.

We're pushing out information to members almost every day. Be sure to tune in to one or more of our channels and stay informed about all things ICF!

2018 first corn.jpg

It's August...It's Time to "Put Food Up"

This week we started selling canning tomatoes in bulk--did you get some yet?

This is the time of year (yes, it's August) when it's time to pickle and ferment, freeze or dehydrate extra produce to enjoy during the long winter. Our harvests are peaking so you should take advantage of the bounty in your share.

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I've been canning already because I make gift baskets of homemade items for gifts. So far I've made dill pickles, dill relish, pickled onions (just a few), and this weekend will be salsa and dilled carrots. 

It may come as no surprise to you that ICF farmers are all foodies. We all like to experiment with the large variety of vegetables we grow, and we also experiment with different methods of "putting up." I freeze, dehydrate, and preserve (can). Sarah Howe shares some of her own recent projects and experiments and general thoughts:

  • Last fall I experimented with freezing ratatouille and it was our biggest surprise delight this winter. I roasted each component separately, combined  everything in a big bowl, and then stirred in fresh chopped basil at the very end. I froze it in pint containers. The colors looked beautiful, I could taste each separate part, and the basil tasted like summer.
  • Frozen broccoli is not going to have the texture of fresh broccoli but it is a useful part of our winter food. I cut it into bite-sized pieces (both florets and stem) and blanch it before freezing it. It is good put into a soup right before serving; let it cook only long enough to be warmed through. I also mix it with rice and cheese in a shallow casserole dish to run under the broiler.
  • ICF's winter share is rich in greens, so this tip is just to give you kale or chard to tide you over on the off-week between pick-ups. Chop and steam the greens and then place small handfuls, about a cup each, separately on a cookie sheet to freeze. These green bundles can then go into a ziplock bag in the freezer and be retrieved individually to go into a stirfry, soup, or casserole.
  • I make pizza sauce in the crockpot, which I run on the porch so the smell won't keep me awake at night. I put everything into the crockpot and cook it on low with the top on for at least 24 hours, mixing in herbs only at the end. I puree it and freeze it in half-pints.
  • I keep a list on graph paper of what's in my freezer. Each food has a row, and as I add to the freezer, pint by pint, I outline a square on the graph. Over the summer I might freeze, for example,  15 pints of tomato sauce in five or six different sessions, but I can easily keep track of what I have by counting the little squares on my graph paper list. As I start taking things back out of the freezer in the winter I put a check mark in the square. I save these sheets to help me decide how much to freeze of a particular item the next year.

We'd love to hear about your tips and tricks for "putting food up." 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...and Upcycle, the ICF Way

Have you noticed the tubs we use to haul in the corn from the fields? We use them for many things (collecting compost materials from the wash station, hauling corn) but did you know they started out as olive barrels?

We get these olive barrels (sometimes pepperoncini barrels) from International Foods in Williston because they are a good size and shape, are flexible, and they take a beating. To upcycle, we cut them in half, add handles made from decommissioned climbing ropes from Petra Cliffs, and voila: a container we can drag along rather than carry.  They are primarily for zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, sweet corn, and head lettuce.  But they also make great compost collectors and tubs for the trimming we do at the wash station. 

We also reduce and reuse by shopping at Resource (the former Recycle North) for small tools, miscellaneous lumber for patching or small projects, even replacement doors. 

Remember, bringing your own bags and baskets to pick-ups helps with our reducing and recycling efforts. We use no packaging for our produce and we collect plastic bags in a barrel near the check-in desk. If you really want to be stylish, purchase an ICF canvas bag for your weekly vegetable collection! 

There's No Place Like Home (Cooking!)

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I like to travel, as do many ICF members, but after traveling and eating conference food or restaurant food and not following my normal eating patterns, I am always glad to get home. I tell people I need to get "back on my feed" which typically means lots of ICF produce, lean protein, clean and simple foods. 

"Institutional food" is much different from farm-to-table and locally sourced food, no matter how hard a banquet chef tries. I was in Baltimore last week and access to fresh vegetables was difficult. Oh, I had a few good spears of asparagus (source unknown), a few good strawberries, and on the last day a plentiful fresh baby spinach salad. Yes, there was crab in some form at every turn, but crab is rich and when you are used to less rich foods, havoc ensues. I did have some lovely oxymoronic Jumbo Shrimp and I tried to gravitate to those when given a choice. Yes, there was salad (of sorts) but it wasn't fresh baby lettuces. Or arugula. 

We are always hearing from members that they are grateful to have such plentiful, fresh, local produce and how well they eat as a result. If you've taken your share for granted, step away from the bounty for 5 days and check your reactions!

I did have a particularly good kale salad on the last night at the B&O American Brasserie, a restaurant housed in the former headquarters of the B&O Railroad. It was described as a Kale Chopped Salad (grilled chicken, lardons (bacon bits, I was told), roasted peppers, chick peas, ricotta salata, shaved egg, white balsamic ranch) but the new menu used green goddess dressing. It was lightly dressed, thoroughly coated, all of the flavors and textures blended perfectly. The fresh kale was delightful and I will be trying to recreate this salad very soon.

If you've been confused about some of our vegetable offerings (fennel, eggplant, napa cabbage), be sure to check our recipe board near the pick-up desk. Aly has put a lot of work into printing recipes featuring the in-season produce and giving members ideas to change up their usual menus.  Some of you have shared what you are eating on our Facebook page and it's always fun to see what you are cooking on a weekend. Keep sharing! 

Let us know: have you been traveling and experienced a particularly tasty dish that you'd like to share with others? See if you can recreate the dish and share with may find your recipe hanging on our bulletin board! Even if you are staying close to home, share your creations with us or let us know how you like the recipes hanging on the board!

ICF Food Donations: Feeding the Community

As the farm membership has grown over the past decade so has the quantity of food we have been able to donate.  This time of year is particularly exciting because the amount of gleaning and donating is increasing with the bountiful harvest.  This month the Vermont FoodBank has come out to harvest extra head lettuce and spinach. We are excited that the Intervale Center is beginning their free CSA in July so they will be starting to glean and pick up extra produce next week.  

We have been working with Tim and Linda Looney who coordinate a free Sunday night dinner at the First United Methodist Church.  Tim picks up a selection of extra veggies from us every Friday to incorporate into their meals.

This winter a group of medical students from UVM reached out to us for their Here to Help Clinic.  They work with community members and the UVM Larner College of Medicine to provide free haircuts, showers, food and help access other resources for the homeless population.  They run this clinic once a month and have been stopping by the farm to get fresh produce.

In addition we have been continuing to work with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.  It’s really great this time of year when we are super busy they are able to come to the farm and pick up produce directly from us.  At the end of Winter Share we donated our last couple hundred pounds of sweet potatoes and onions to the Food Shelf. Lately we’ve been having them come by the farm most Tuesdays so that we can clear out any leftovers from pick-up that won’t keep for long and they can distribute to people in need or incorporate into meals right away.

For the last couple of years we've relied on members to help with the ICF gleaning for our donation efforts.   Generally we are gleaning on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. If you want to volunteer, contact  Aly Martelle. You can also sign up to be notified of gleaning events and news by subscribing to our Gleaning List here.

It's Always Time for Pizza

If you were to be stranded on a desert island and could have just one food, what would you pick? I usually select pizza because it's so versatile and honestly, pizza makes me happy.

ICF members are always in for a treat and always excited when we announce our summer pizza nights. What's not to like? We have wood-fired pizza crafted by the NOFA team using ICF vegetables in all kinds of creative ways, along with our own tomatoes, salad, and sometimes corn and melon, all served in our pick-up area. 

July 13, 5:00-7:30 will be the first of two pizza nights this summer.  The second will be August 31, same time and place.

The details: we will have plates, flatware, and cups but feel free to bring your own. Bring your chairs or blankets to make it a picnic. 

All ICF members and families are welcome. We suggest a contribution of $5 per person or $20 per family, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. 

There is no need to tell us you are coming...just mark the date on your calendar and come hungry!


Tunnel Cukes at ICF Started Week 2 of Summer Pick-ups!

In 2015, we planted about 25 greenhouse cucumber plants in our high tunnels at the end of our tomato beds.  We were extremely surprised and pleased with the fruit (thin-skinned and delicately flavored), first harvest date (approaching the first week of summer share pick-up) and overall yield (an incredible bounty from so few plants).  


The following year, we took the next step and planted half of one of the high tunnels in cucumbers.  Unfortunately, we did not predict the level of infestation and damage from the cucumber beetle that plagues our field production of the cucurbit family.  The delicate skin of the greenhouse cucumber is easily scarred from the feeding damage, leaving a portion of them unsalable.  But, we saw the potential.  

In 2017, we decided to up our game.  Before we planted, we installed a fine mesh insect netting to prevent the cucumber beetle from finding our plants, which worked flawlessly.  We also increased our planting from one half to an entire house because our membership loved the thin-skinned cucumbers from the previous year.  Overall, the yields from the house were substantial and provided the membership with an early and consistent supply of delicious cucumbers which is often lacking because the quality of the first planting of field cucumbers can vary tremendously based on conditions.  

However, the downfall of this house was a complete infestation from the Two-Spotted Spider Mite which is a known pest to greenhouse cucumbers.  Ultimately, we had to abandon this planting because the damage to plants and fruits was too severe.  Fortunately, we had two field plantings in full production so we did not miss a week of cucumber distribution at pick-up.  

These greenhouse plants are bred to be parthenocarpic which means that they do not need pollinators for fruit production and are well suited to be trellised and pruned in the same way that we manage our tunnel tomatoes. 

This year, when we planted our cucumber house in the middle of May, we put out pots of bush beans which are particularly attractive to spider mites.  Less than one week later, we found our first spider mite and promptly ordered our first round of predatory mites to control the population.   This past week, we ordered another round to control some localized outbreaks.  We will continue to monitor their progress.

So far, the harvests have been bountiful and the production is picking up.  We are looking forward to a long harvest window and many summer dishes with these delicious, delicate cucumbers.

Meet the Summer Staff: Dorothy Kinney-Landis

Dorothy Kinney-Landis joins the ICF crew after graduating from UVM this past spring. Farming has been a passion of Dorothy’s that has grown over the years since her first experiences visiting neighboring farms in her hometown of Guilford, VT, and helping in her home garden. At UVM Dorothy majored in Environmental Studies with a concentration in sustainable agriculture and food systems. During her time at UVM she has gained farming experience working in the Market Gardens at Shelburne Farms and at the Farm at South Village, in South Burlington. Outside of farming, Dorothy enjoys cooking, hiking, creating pottery, and recreating outdoors throughout all of Vermont’s seasons. This summer she is excited to be part of the ICF crew, working to bring organic and nutritious food to the Burlington community.

Dorothy Kinney-Landis

Comment on Pedestrian & Cycling Access On Intervale Road


Monday, June 18, 4:00-6:00pm, please stop by the open house and discussion on improving pedestrian and cycling access and safety on Intervale Road at the Intervale Center's Community Barn, 180 Intervale Road (aka the Summervale barn).  The Chittenden County Regional Planning Committee, the City of Burlington, and Intervale Road stakeholders have met throughout the winter to assess several approaches to improving Intervale Road for walkers and bikers and want to know your thoughts on the importance and the design of this project. 

ICF has long advocated for a sidewalk, improved signage, shared use lane markings and so forth to make Intervale Road safer and more pleasant for all.  If you share this concern, this is a great opportunity to voice that opinion!  Public comments will be critical to keep building on the good work to date done by CCRPC, the City of Burlington, stakeholders, and the consulting engineers.  For more information, please visit the CCRPC page on the project, where you can find an outline of the process to date, as well as several reconfiguration options under consideration.

ICF Co-op Member Loan Campaign Nearing Successful Completion

In April, ICF embarked on a co-op member loan campaign to help finance our portion of a shared wash-pack-storage building in the Intervale.  As of now, 20 members of ICF Cooperative have agreed to loan ICF $110,000 of our $120,000 campaign goal.  ICF is thrilled with the participation and support of our co-op member lenders, and we would love to find that last $10,000 before our member loan campaign officially closes out on June 15th.  If you have been considering a member loan, please contact Farm Manager Andy Jones at a pickup or  email Andy (  For more information on the loan program and the construction project, visit our member loan page here.

If you haven't had the opportunity, you can see the building construction site across the road from our summer pickup area.  Things are about to get very dramatic in the next few weeks.  ICF staff and Board are excited with the new storage and workspace the building will provide, especially the climate controlled areas designed for washing produce throughout the winter months.  We appreciate your support for this project!

Meet the Summer Staff: Angela deBettencourt

Angela deBettencourt is starting her first season at the Intervale Community Farm (ICF). She graduated in 2015 from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Environmental Studies with focuses in alternative agriculture and farmer livelihoods. All together she has had five years of farming experience working on organic and biodynamic vegetable farms in Colorado and on Martha’s Vineyard. She is happy to be become a part of the Burlington farm community by expanding her farm career with ICF and as her career progresses, hopes to gain more experience in crop production research and nonprofits that focus on food access and farmer livelihoods.  

Please welcome Angela when you see her around the farm!

Our Summer Crew

Each year the entire ICF staff gathers for a photo shoot so we have at least one photo with everyone in it each summer season. Unless it's the appointed time, teams are scattered about the farm irrigating, planting, weeding, plowing, repairing equipment,or plowing!

ICF Farm Team 2018

 Back Row (L to R):  Andy Jones, Brian Shevrin, Samantha DuPont, Maya Bower, Samuel Thomas, Nieva Schemm, Angela deBettencourt

 Front Row (L to R):  Kathie Sullivan, Jill Rotondo, Silas Branson, Fae Blackmer,  Aly Martelle, Dorothy Kinney-Landis, Sarah Howe, Erik Rehman


Yesterday we gathered at high noon so Abby Portman could work her magic. Abby works at the Intervale Center and has become our official portrait photographer.  There were many shots taken as we moved from sun to shade, from fence to barn, from apple tree to truck. Someone thinks we look like a soccer team when this photo is staged each year, but how else can we show our large crew in one place except by lining up?!  So it boils down to the backdrop...this year a truck.

We are pleased to add 3 new faces to our group this year: Nieva Schemm, Angela deBettencourt, and Dorothy Kinney-Landis. Everyone else is a returning member, from 2 years to over 20.  You can learn about Nieva here, and watch our blog for Angela's and Dorothy's introductions soon. 

You'll notice the smiles on all the faces. They are not staged smiles but rather a result of laughter. Our crew gets along well with each other, works well as a team, and truly enjoys being part of this hardworking team.

Be sure to say "hello" when you run into one of us at a pick-up!

Summer Share Pick-ups Begin June 4 and June 7

Finally, the long winter wait is over. The snow is gone (crossing fingers) and the fields are planted. The greenhouse is booming. The hoop houses are receiving transplants. Our summer crew is back, hard at work.  

All the pieces are coming together which means our summer share pick-ups will be starting!

We'll start June 4 and June 7. Remember summer is different from winter: members come every week, once per week, for 21 weeks. You should make sure you have picked either Monday or Thursday for your regular pick-up day. Why do we ask you to select a day? We have 600 shares in the summer...and many shares are split into two or more families. We try to control car and people traffic as much as possible so the experience remains pleasant for everyone. Also knowing how many people we expect helps with harvesting.

To make the pick-up experience pleasant for all, please keep dogs on leashes. Please observe parking and driving signs. Please drive slowly over the dirt road (the dust!!) Please check in at the desk each week and tell us if you carpooled, biked, or walked.

Kathie will be on site for the first week of pick-ups if you have questions about your account, need to make a payment, or need to order your supplemental products. (But why wait! Order your bread/eggs/cheese shares here.)

We are happy to welcome back all returning members, but we also have many new members. Please be sure to meet our farmers during a pick-up and ask questions. 

We're excited to be starting the season soon!

Flowers for Everyone: Tell Your Friends and Neighbors

An example of a first-week share from 2017

Again this year we are pleased to offer a pick-your-own flower share for non-CSA community members. (NOTE: If you are a member of the CSA and have signed up for your summer share, you will have flowers included in your weekly pick-ups.)

Many people grow what they need for vegetables at home or are members of other CSAs or simply shop farmers' markets for their produce. But fresh flowers are not always available or may not grow well at home. Some home gardeners are better at vegetables than flowers, or we may have too much shade for robust cutting gardens, or it's just nicer to have a wider variety of colorful stems to select from ICF!

We will offer a 10 week flower share which starts July 8. The flower fields are always accessible for picking 20 stems once weekly. Once you have signed up we'll contact you for a brief orientation to the fields and process.

Prepayment of $107 is required ($100 plus 7% sales tax) and may be mailed to ICF, 128 Intervale Rd, Burlington, VT  05401.

Sign up here for your blooms and please feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. You do not have to be a CSA member to sign up for flowers.



We're More than Just Farmers: Welding on the Farm

Sam Thomas inspecting worn spade

As many of the farmers in the US become more and more specialized the tendency, as in other industries, has been to outsource more and more repair jobs to contractors. Here at ICF we still do the majority of our own repairs in house and maintain the “Jack & Jill of All” mentality that American agriculture was built on. One of the trades that we are learning and gaining from is dabbling with farm welding and metal work. This year, Sam Thomas (returning crew member) designed an independent study for his UVM coursework and had the opportunity to tackle some of the odds and ends welding projects around the farm and hone some of his own welding skills.

Welding is a group of processes by which metal components can be repaired and manipulated by applying high heat to extremely localized areas. While blacksmiths of yore would heat entire components in their forges in order to pound them back together or back into shape, today farmers can use welding techniques to create a small pool of liquefied metal on the piece they are making or repairing. This ‘weld puddle,’ as it is called, ranges in size from the tip of a pen to the size of a dime. As a result, workers can quickly fill in cracks with additional steel, replace a damaged part by fusing on a new one, or even apply coating of a more durable alloy to a piece.

Worn (rounded) and repaired (rectangular) spades

This spring Sam did a number of repair and modification projects on the farm including fabricating special hooks for our irrigation pipes, replacing a jack stand on the IFEC disk harrow, and making the baskets on our cultivator narrower.

One project we are particularly excited about this year is hardfacing the spades off of our spader. The spader is finicky piece of Italian tillage equipment that takes a serious beating. As a result we have put a lot of thought into improving its durability and lowering its cost of maintenance. Hardfacing is a really useful method by which layers of new more durable steel are laid down across a surface that is prone to abrasive wear. This is key in the Intervale as our sandy soils wear metal away pretty quick. For this project Sam added strips of steel alloy that is high in chromium, manganese and carbon to the edges of our spades. These three elements, when added to steel, make it significantly more durable; the draw back is that pieces made with such alloys are really brittle and prone to cracking (just as a cast iron skillet is high in carbon and would crack easily when dropped.) However, when we use such an alloy as a coating we can take advantage of its durability without risking large cracks forming in the implement.

Repaired spade

The end result is rows of what look like stacks of dimes pushed over and arranged across the vulnerable surfaces of our spades. It may not be the slickest looking tool in the yard but we’re hoping it’ll make for a longer lasting spade.

One final note of intrigue and farm safety: If you’re around the farm and see welding signs posted on our shop doors, please be sure to knock before you poke your head in. The electrical arc that is most used to melt metal reaches temperatures of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit:  the same temperature range found on the surface of our sun! As a result looking at a welding arc can be just as damaging to your eyes as staring at the sun.

Meet the Summer Staff: Nieva Schemm

Nieva Schemm is beginning her first season at the Intervale Community Farm this 2018. She is currently enrolled at UVM as an English major and will graduate in 2020. She gained her first experience with farming in the summer of 2015 when she travelled to the California Bay Area to work with the nonprofit organization First Generation Farmers. Upon finishing her time there she went on to complete an internship with Sleeping Frog Farms in Cascabel, Arizona in the fall of 2015. After this she started working summers at Harlow Farm near her home in Southern Vermont. She has a deep love of farm work and is passionate about bringing people quality produce in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. Nieva is thrilled to become a part of Burlington’s organic farming community and to see what the season at ICF has in store for her.

Nieva will begin work at the end of May.

Nieva Schemm

Construction Continues on Our New Produce Pack Shed

Pouring concrete for the pack shed  foundation.

We're excited to see some construction action on our new building for washing and storing produce, located near the ICF greenhouse complex by our winter share distribution.

The packhouse building is a joint effort of the Intervale Center and ICF to house ICF and the Intervale Conservation Nursery, as well as providing other Intervale farms access to additional washing and storage space.

Want to do more than watch the progress through photos? You can help to build the pack shed through our 2018 Co-op Member Loan Program. Through the commitment and generosity of our co-op members we erected 4 greenhouses in 2013 to support our summer production as well as for growing greens in the winter. Summer tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers have all increased in abundance as well as winter baby lettuce and spinach as a result of our members' investment in their local food source.

To find out more about the 2018 loan program, check out the details here or contact Andy Jones directly (by email or call 658-2919 ext 4).

Summer Shares: Update

Some of you may have noticed we are now starting a wait list for our summer shares. This is great news for ICF but may be a disappointment to you.

We are fortunate that by May 1 we are usually sold out of our over 600 shares for the summer season. It's been a busy late winter-early spring as we sign up members. We announce early share sign-up in January and offer a small discount to members who pay in full in the first month. We don't advertise but rather rely on word-of-mouth for member referrals. This buzz is also good for ICF. 

Co-op members may ask to be automatically renewed and those members are signed up first in January. Even at this late date, we would do our very best to squeeze in every co-op member possible. 

All this said, we do reach a limit in terms of how many members we can support with produce for the summer. Waiting until May to sign up increases the possibility of being added to a waiting list. Sometimes we have people drop out after we get started in June and we can reach to our list. Sometimes folks on the waiting list can't join until the winter share season. 

Please do sign up to be on the waiting list at this point. We need to know how many people we're working with going forward.  If you've already signed up, thank you!  Thinking ahead, if you are a co-op member, make sure you are on automatic renewal. Not a co-op member? Join anytime here. 

We'll be announcing the first pick-up date very soon! Watch this space.

Preview of May: It's a Busy Time at the Farm

Despite some of you witnessing snow on April 30, today is May 1 and the sun is out. The farm vibe is one of excitement and anticipation. We have a lot of stuff going on in preparation for the start of our summer shares (likely very early June.)

For starters, our annual plant sale is this Saturday, May 5, from 9-12:00. It continues May 12, May 19 at the same time. In addition, the final two winter pick-ups will be opportunities to grab plants for your home gardens (May 10 and May 17.) We'll have flowers, herbs, and vegetables for selections.

We continue to make daily progress on the new packhouse project near the winter share parking area. Foundation concrete has been poured and wall/roof materials have been delivered. Our Co-Op Member Loan Campaign is over 50% funded and we are grateful to all of you. 

It's not too late to order your bread, egg, and cheese shares for the summer. You can sign up online here.

Our summer crew has started, the fields are warming up, tractors are running. We'll see you very soon!

From the Fields: April Update

First transplanting


  • We were able to get into the field and do the first tractor work at the beginning of April.  We did primary tillage and prep in the potato field, seeded some early cover crop, and killed some weeds and smoothed beds with the field cultivator. Later in the month we did more preparation for planting, more cover crop seeding, discing, and plastic mulch laying for upcoming onion planting.

  • We have been busy in the Propagation Greenhouse, seeding, watering and potting up everything that we are expecting to plant in the next couple of months.  We also set up one of the hoop houses as a coldframe to harden plants off this month. We keep the sides down, but cracked to let the plants acclimate to the outdoor temperatures.  

  • In April we start flipping our Greenhouses from winter to summer production.  We did a big last round of harvest in two of our large greenhouses, then took out the hoops and row cover that we used to protect the spinach, baby lettuce, and bok choy from the cold temperatures.  We filled soil in low spots in the houses, and added compost, peat, and fertilizer to the beds. The two eastern houses will have tomatoes this season, which we will planting in the next couple of weeks.   Next up we will till the beds, put drip irrigation in, and cover the beds with black plastic and the pathways with landscape fabric. We have also started prepping the smaller houses across the street for tomatoes and peppers, basically the same routine: clean-up, amend, till, and irrigate.  

  • We are also working on installing a rail system in the Harnois so that we can have a cart to push around the houses for tomato harvest.  During the season we spend a lot of time harvesting tomatoes and are looking for ways to improve the ergonomics and efficiency.

  • Two highlights of April: the first plants and seeds are in the ground; and most of the crew is back at the farm!