Drumlin Farm Crops Update: When Things Go Wrong

by Crops Manager Matt Celona

When it Rains, it Pours

Some days it seems that the earth, in churning around its perpetual corner, loses its grip on the lane and slides down into the gutter. This past Saturday was one of those days. Sarah called in from the Union Square Farmers Market to report that car’s brake line ruptured and sprayed an oily mess all over the veggie displays of several farms. C’mon, Somerville, hydraulic fluid is not a substitute for salad dressing! Health inspectors arrived and sent some vendors home, and the market was crisscrossed with police tape. Luckily, our display was unaffected, but customer turnout was low and we had lots of leftovers. Sarah contacted a bunch of restaurants and sold all the extras. Way to improvise, Sarah!

Back at the farm, a bolt broke on our seedbed maker just as we were preparing to plant 1,100 tomato plants. It’s an Austrian implement, and none of the hardware on any of our other implements could be swapped into place. Thankfully, I had made enough beds for the eggplant transplants, so Josh, Avril, and Will planted those while I got the seedbed maker operational again. Then everyone stayed late to get all those tomatoes in the ground. Thanks everyone for staying patient and focused when things seemed to be juddering down in the gutter.

Volunteers Helping With Farm Favorites

Volunteers from Dassault Systemes of Waltham helped us thin beets, plant peppers and weed peas and fava beans. Several people from this group had harvested beets and planted garlic with us last October. The volunteers seemed delighted to see the cloves they had planted were thigh high and vibrant green. Thanks so much, Dassault, for your good work!

Farmers Meeting Success

Thirty new farmers came to Drumlin Farm to attend a meeting on crop planning led by me and Lise Holdorf of Barrett’s Mill Farm in Concord. Attendees represented farms from neighboring towns, the North Shore, Needham and Dover. Thanks to the entire Crops Team for helping me present a picture of how we organize our year on paper. And a a special thank you to Avril who used Drumlin arugula, rosemary, hakurei turnips, spinach, and pullet eggs to make ten pizzas to feed all attendees. The pizzas were delicious!

See you in the field,

Your Farmers

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