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Town Farm Talks in the Fields

Posted 6/18/2012 4:25pm by OONA COY & BEN JAMES.

Hello Friends & Shareholders –

Conversations in the field are a lively affair. Ever since I was a 17-year-old farm-hand in Virgina, one of my favorite things about this job are the roving, hilarious, lazy, inspired, confrontative, and just-plain-silly conversations that take place among the crew while our hands are busy pulling weeds. Recently there were nine or ten of us (thanks to some help from the Hampshire College Farm Crew), and I personally was involved in conversations about:weeding beets

  • the cut-off between early middle-age and full-on middle-age
  • poverty in Mumbai as the caste system is replaced by economic competition among the poor
  • mixed martial arts
  • differences between Northampton's two community gardens
  • the uses and failings of the state cooperative extension services
  • men who are douche-bags and men who are transitioning out of being douche-bags
  • threshold numbers of thrips (an insect pest) in onions

We were weeding beets, leap-frogging along the rows to at least make it feel like we were moving quickly across the field. Leap-frogging means you're never next to the same person for long, but instead stepping in and out of one conversation or another as the talk splits in multiple directions, turns around on itself, ends abruptly and is taken up again by someone else. Sometimes I found myself listening to a conversation that I'd just been part of while starting a new one I was less interested in (and vice versa). It was like sitting at the Thanksgiving table with a very large family of talkers, except that every three or four minutes a couple of the people changed seats!

And then there are those long moments when everyone is just busy with their hands and their thoughts, nothing else to say, the residues of conversations playing themselves out in our tired and sweaty privacies – a clear bed of beets behind us.

beets & carrots

So we never in our wildest imaginations thought the people of Northampton needed carrots & beets so badly, but we are more than happy to provide them for you. We'll have a ton of them at market this week in all their fresh, sweet, early-season glory. Also, strawberries are done, but we're pleased to say that the raspberries have ripened just in time to take their place!

Here's everything we'll have at market:raspberries

RED RASPBERRIES! (Not a ton, so come early)

SUGARSNAP PEAS! (By the pint! Crisp, delicious, perfect. This is their moment.)

RIPE, RED TOMATOES (From our high tunnel. Lots of them this week.)

SQUASH  & ZUCCHINI (Little ones- the first pick of the season)








BOK CHOI (here's a great recipe from the market)


CARROTS (Here's how we got them.)

BEETS (perfect, perfect beets)

KALE (here's a great recipe for Massaged Kale Salad.)


BABY KALE (Every week I say it's the last, but so far it's just not true.)

RADISHES (Probably the last of the spring)



red poppy

On the farm, we're very excited about the early poppies (as well as the other PYO flowers) just coming in. Click here to see what'll be available in the CSA shed this week.

A couple reminders to shareholders:

Please park in the designated parking area (which I've recently extended by several spaces) or further back along the right side of the driveway. Please do not park on the left side of the driveway, as it makes turning around and everything else more complicated.

Make sure to email us ahead of time if you plan to use one of your two opportunities to pick up your share at market on Tuesday instead of at the farm.

OK, that's all. Hope to see you all somewhere this week. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the HEAT!





in the CSA shed


let us know if you plan to come to market