This Week at the Farm: Summer and Strawberry Picking!
Summer is officially here—just in time for us to open the pick-your-own patch! Produce Plus CSA members kicked off the picking season on Thursday and, weather permitting, the patch will be open to the public starting at 8 o’clock this morning.
It looks like it’ll be a short first day of picking; as of right now we’re planning to close the patch around noon. We will adjust hours based on weather and picking conditions, so please call to confirm that we’re open before driving a long distance to the farm to pick.
Call For Summer Camp Counselors!
Our day camp is starting soon, and we need just a few more junior counselors to help (especially the first week of July). If you know of a high schooler who enjoys working with kids and is looking for something to do to fill their time this summer, this is a great volunteer opportunity!
Veggie Start Plant Sale
Pepper and tomato plants (all sizes) are 30% off through Sunday! We have tons of different varieties, from cherry tomatoes to heirlooms and from sweet peppers to hot. Keep reading to find out how to prune tomatoes, and why.
Update from the Fields
Although most of the crew has been focused on picking berries in the mornings (they got 350 quarts on Thursday!), they’re also harvesting and processing fresh produce for the farmstand every day. Fennel, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, celery, green garlic, and slicer tomatoes are some of this week’s highlights.
Coming soon: garlic scapes! They’ve started to pigtail in the field, which means they’ll be ready to harvest in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned.
From Field to Kitchen to Farmstand and Cafe
As strawberry season ramps up, our kitchen crew has been whipping up more and more strawberry products! Strawberry muffins, parfaits, yogurts, etc. We even have shortcakes to go with your strawberries and Strafford Organic whipping cream. In the Hello Café, we’re offering our signature granola, topped with fresh strawberries and served with organic milk from Strafford Creamery!
On the savory side, we have sweet pickled radish, quiche, and green salads—including one of our favorites, Hail the Kale. Now that we’re further into the season, we’re excited to have more produce to make a wider variety of salads!
Keep an eye out for samples of new products like spreads and pestos in the farmstand and specialty items (think: tea cakes and coffee cakes) in the cafe in the afternoons.
Local Producers in the Farmstand
In the farmstand, we do our best to source local, organic food products to supplement our produce and the food we make here at the farm. This season, we’ve added two new sources of protein to our frozen selection, brought to you by Lyme residents: Copper River sockeye salmon from Fisherman’s Fin and pork from Metz Meats.
Roller Crimping Cover Crops
In the last week or so, our Research and Development (R&D) team roller crimped two fields of rye. In one field, the roller crimping was the next step in transitioning the field to no-till. In the other, the roller crimping was part of another process: no-till planting 6 different varieties of no-till dry beans. We used a no-till grain planter, which our mechanic Dave had adapted for planting beans.
Gardening Tips: How to Prune Tomatoes
We recommend pruning your tomatoes, to direct the plant’s energy toward fruit production rather than unnecessary foliage growth. It will ultimately increase your yields, provide disease resistance, and yield a better flavored fruit. (Side note: stake your tomatoes right away to avoid damaging the roots and shocking the plants.)
There is a fine line between taking off too much foliage and not enough; it’s important for the tomato plant to be able to shade its fruit. Start by pruning the suckers, or junctions between the stem branch and a leaf (it juts out at about a 45 degree angle in this joint). You can prune them almost right away, and continue throughout the entire season.
With more sun and less rain in the forecast, it looks like we have some great strawberry picking (and eating) weather ahead of us. This is arguably one of the best times of the year to visit the farm. We hope you can make it out for a visit!
–From all of us at Cedar Circle
June 22: Norwich Farmers Market, 9–1.
June 23: Knife sharpening at the farmstand, 10–2.
June 25: Little Farmers drop in class for children ages 2–5, 10–11 am.
June 27: Lebanon Farmers Market, 4–7 pm.
July 1: Cut Flower Garden opens to the public!
July 4: Farmstand & Hello Café close at 4pm.