Tag Archives: food

Crops Update: Week 15

We got lucky on Saturday: it only started pouring after the end of the farmers’ market. With that, customers were able to come out and bought up every last watermelon and cantaloupe! Thanks to the crew and volunteers who pitched in during Friday’s hot and humid market harvest. We would have been out there until dark had we not had extra help picking beans, peppers, tomatoes, and flowers.

But oh, that Saturday rain! We were determined to stay dry, and had both trucks parked close to where we were weeding so we could take shelter in a storm. When the skies opened up, I was already sitting in the driver’s seat expecting volunteers and crew to run for cover, as we had discussed. But no! Some casually put on rain jackets, and all worked on as the field turned white with the splash back from the pelting drops. The petulant words of replicant Pris in the movie Bladerunner crossed my mind—“Then we’re stupid and we’ll die!”—as I flopped into a puddle and started working alongside these determined and unstoppable humans. Instantly soaked through and accepting that fact, I noticed the warmth of the ground and how it heated the water pooling there. Then, when the rain stopped falling, I heard it continue to pour nearby. At first I thought the storm was slowly moving away; then I realized that the roaring sound was water filtering and falling through the leaves and pine needles of the trees in the woods at the edge of the field. I wish I had timed how long that lasted, but it was minutes not seconds, and I was reminded of the value of woods and unpaved ground, and how it wasn’t a love of food that brought me to farming, but a sense of alignment with what Thoreau wrote in his great essay “Walking”: “In Wildness is the preservation of the world.”

The possibility of preservation can arise through the communities that form around open spaces, farms, rivers and beaches. It was volunteering on a family farm in Iowa that changed my direction. And thankfully, Louise Hatheway foresaw the need to preserve Drumlin Farm as a gathering place for those drawn to agriculture and nature.

Weeding Sweet Potatoes.

On Saturday, despite our soggy selves, six community volunteers and three farmers together harvested 800 pounds of spaghetti squash! And on Thursday, teacher-naturalist Sally Farrow once again welcomed Lowell high schoolers in the Spindle City Corps to the farm (pictured). These teens have spent the summer working for the park service. While here, they helped us weed, and they also spent time with the Wildlife Care and Livestock staff. Thanks, all, for making Drumlin Farm a magical meeting place where lives cross and are transformed.

See you in the field,

Your Farmers

Our Fall CSA begins in just 3 weeks! Register today to secure your share of fresh local produce throughout fall.

 

 

Marvelous March

There’s no better feeling than the sun on your skin and fresh air in your lungs on one of the first warm days of spring. Don’t blink though – before you know it the season will be over! Live March to the fullest by celebrating all it has to offer, including sheep shearing and lamb season, Saint Patrick’s Day, wildlife observation and care, and all things maple.

  1. Maple Magic – Friday, March 2 / 3:30 pm-5:00 pm (families with children ages 0-12). It’s maple sugaring time! Visit the relaxing maple grove to check the taps and taste some sap. Learn how we’ve made maple syrup from past to present and delight your taste buds with a sweet maple treat.
  2.  Homeschool Maple Science and History – Wednesday, March 7 / 1:30 pm-4:30 pm (children ages 5-12). Especially designed for homeschooled children, you’ll learn about the structure and seasonal adaptations of maple trees as we visit the sugar shack and experiment with sap, syrup and sugar. We’ll venture out to the sugar bush, collect sap, learn about sugaring equipment of today and yesteryear, and enjoy a maple treat.
  3. Sip Some Sap Thursday, March 8 / 10:00 am – 11:30 am (families with children 3-12 years old). Listen to a story about maple sugaring and take a walk out to our sugar bush. We’ll check out the evaporator to see how sap is turned into syrup, and get to try some ourselves.

    Vacation Week Programs captivated by what sap looks like before it becomes syrup.

  4. March Into Spring SeriesFridays, March 9, 16, & 23 / 3:30-5:00 pm (families with children ages 3-6). Learn about sugar and syruping, spring chickens, and wool in this fun family series that covers everything great about March. Play together while exploring the farm and meeting the animals that call it home.
  5. Sap-to-Syrup Farmer’s BreakfastSaturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11 / 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (adults and families with children of all ages). This annual celebration is the tastiest of them all! Learn about the maple sugaring process while enjoying a delicious breakfast of pancakes, real maple syrup, and Drumlin Farm’s own sausage and roasted potatoes. Drumlin Farm made syrup will also be available for purchase.

    Visit our sugar bush to check the sap buckets and enjoy this calm stand of trees.

  6. St. Paddy’s Party – Thursday, March 15 / 10:00-11:30 am (families with children ages 0-8). Did you know that ‘drumlin’ is a Gaelic word for “littlest ridge?” We’ll plant shamrocks, greet a snake, and enjoy some boxty, a traditional Irish potato treat. We might even dance a jig or two to celebrate this greenest of holidays.
  7. Afternoon Chores & More – Saturday, March 17 / 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (families with children ages 4-12). Get ready for chore time! Walk the site in a farmer’s shoes, helping us care for livestock. We will feed chickens and collect eggs, and bring hay to the sheep, goats, and cows. After finishing, we’ll treat ourselves to a farm snack.
  8. Spring Wildlife CaretakersSundays, March 18, April 15, & May 20 / 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (teens ages 13-17 years old). The first class of our ever-popular teen wildlife group starts in March – perfect for anyone thinking about a career in wildlife care, or that has a passion for animals. Join other like-minded teens to learn about wildlife health, animal enrichment, diet requirements, food preparation, and other related topics. Go behind the scenes and get a close-up experience under the guidance of our wildlife care staff.
  9. Bread & Bunnies – Thursday, March 22 / 10:00-11:30 am (families with children ages 0-7). Hop on down to the kitchen for some hare-raising fun. We’ll visit a rabbit on the farmyard then head into the kitchen to bake bunny’s favorite treat: carrot bread!
  10. WoolapaloozaSaturday, March 24 / 10:00am-4:00 pm (adults and families with children of all ages). Visit our newborn lambs, see live sheep shearing and herding demonstrations, shop local fiber artisan crafts, and more! Woolapalooza is our annual celebration of all things wool, and a fabulously fun time to visit the farm and participate in our mission to connect people with nature.

    Welcome our new baby lambs to the farm at Woolapalooza!

  11. Birding Great Bay and the New Hampshire Coast – Sunday, March 25 / 7:00 am-5:00 pm (adults). Explore an area few Massachusetts birders visit. We’ll start at Great Bay, 5000 acres of tidal water in New Hampshire, then follow the coastline to Salisbury, Massachusetts, stopping at vantage points to look for sea ducks, loons, grebes, snow bunting, horned lark, bald eagle, snowy owl, and wintering shorebirds.
  12. Simple Cheesemaking – Saturday, March 31, 2018 12:00-4:00 pm (adults). Cheesemaking is delicious, fun, and surprisingly simple! During this workshop, you’ll make and sample several different cheeses, learning about their makeup and history. You’ll leave with more samples, recipes, resources, and the skills you need to pursue cheesemaking, one of the oldest forms of food preservation, on your own.

    Learn the skills to enjoy fresh homemade cheese whenever you want!

 

Planting the Seeds for CSA 2018

Drumlin Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is the heart of our farm operation and how we most closely connect our customers to the food they enjoy and the land where it’s grown.The CSA model was introduced as way to provide consumers direct access to farms, while insulating farmers against unpredictable growing conditions. Customers could make an up-front investment in a “share” of the harvest, and then come to the farm each week to collect their “return”, with abundant quantities in a favorable growing year, less in a difficult one. With the recent proliferation of farmers’ markets, farm stands, and grocery home-delivery options, one may reasonably ask, “Given all my options, why would I still choose to join a farm-based CSA?” The answer is: “For the same reasons you choose to take a walk outside as opposed to on a treadmill–you like what you experience out there!”

Enjoy the fresh air, warm sun, and a little dirt under your nails dirt under your nails at Boycle Field.

At Drumlin Farm, our fields are open to the public, maintained so that our work is legible even if we’re not there to explain what’s happening. We want you to be able to track the development of your carrots from seed to harvestable root and your peas from shoots to pods hanging from the trellis. And beyond the fields, there’s even more to engage with at Drumlin: cooking classes for kids and adults, yoga classes, summer concerts and summer camp, guided hikes, daily drop-in activities, wooded trails, ponds, hilltop views, livestock barns, and wildlife displays, including our most recent additions, a young red fox and a reclusive porcupine.

The CSA is just one of the many paths that leads into our vibrant community farm and wildlife sanctuary. Through this path, shareholders can truly connect  to the seasons and to the health of Drumlin’s land and surrounding ecosystems. Historically, that CSA path has also been something of a yellow brick road with returns on initial investment averaging 20%!

Some improvements we’ve made to our CSA programs for 2018 include the availability of half shares and a reconfiguration of the distributions to better align with members’ schedules. Our Spring, Summer, and Fall CSA registration is now open, with many options for work shares, pick-your-own shares, half shares, flower, and fruit shares. We look forward to meeting you in the fields!

 

Drumlin Farm Friday to Friday: September 9–23

Fall is fast approaching. We’re already noticing some leaves turning, and baby snapping turtles are making their way to our ponds. With the end of summer comes the start of school, and the urge to get outdoors and enjoy the cooler air and brilliant fall hues.

Here’s how you can soak up the new season:

Wednesday, September 14

Parents Outdoors! | Adult+Backpack Baby | 9:30 am
Get outside with your child and connect with other like-minded parents. We will walk and talk and learn about the world we live in and how truly fascinating it is.

Thursday, September 15

Fall Hawk Migration: Lecture| Adult | 7 pm
Hawks provide a number of identification challenges. Luckily, we can use general shape and behavior to categorize types of hawks. Field trip to follow on Saturday, September 17.

Friday, September 16

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Kimchi at Home | Ages 12+ | 7 pm
Learn how Asian communities preserve their food using salt, garlic, and spices, sample our Drumlin Farm kimchi, and take home your own fermented project to carry you through the winter months.

Saturday, September 17

Fall Hawk Migration: Field Trip | Adult | 8 am
We’ll travel to the hawk watch on 2290-ft Pack Monadnock in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Thursday lecture recommended.

Teen Birders: Hawk Watch Birding Weekend | Teens | 9 am
We’ll head to Mt. Watatic in New Hampshire for a hike and hawk watch, then head to Wildwood for a canoe trip, birding, dinner, and smore’s. On Sunday, we’ll drive to Pack Monadnock for a hawk watch with New Hampshire Audubon.

Naturalist Walk | Adult | 1 pm
These excursions will focus on observing, exploring, and appreciating the world around us. Email tpinney@massaudubon.org to be added to the mailing list and receive details on each walk!

Sunday, September 18

Sunday Morning Birds at Drumlin | Adult | 8 am
Drumlin Farm has a great variety of habitats and gets a mix of migrants and residents every fall. These walks are ideal for beginning birders.

Thursday, September 22

Thursday Morning Bird Walk | Adult | 7:30 am
Join us as we explore Drumlin Farm and other local hotspots in search of fall migrants.

Friday, September 23

Apple Honey Harvest | Family | 3:30 pm
Visit the bees and taste delicious honey-and-apple combinations! We’ll share stories and songs, then finish the afternoon with apple crafts.

Teen Night at Drumlin Farm | Teen | 7 pm
Explore Drumlin Farm’s trails by moonlight, stargaze at the top of the drumlin, and listen for owls and night creatures. Learn about natural history, play games, listen to music, and bring a snack to share by the fireside.

For all of our upcoming programs, visit massaudubon.org/drumlinprograms.