That's a lot of forking work!
This week on the farm we are gearing up for our second outdoor market on Saturday at the North Adams Farmers Market. Between the market season starting and having the threat of frost officially behind us, it’s really starting to feel like summer around the farm!
Laura and I are working on finishing the last of our permanent beds that need to be established. As a no-till farm, all of our bed prep is done by hand. For each bed we mark out the borders of the bed and then use garden forks to remove the clumps of grass. Once the bed no longer looks like a hay field, we rake in compost, alfalfa meal, and crab shell to provide the plants with essential nutrients and to build the soil.
Establishing more than 60 beds by hand is one of the biggest hurdles of this season (we already have a countdown going, only 16 left!), but knowing that the beds are permanent makes the work feel more important. We aren’t just prepping this bed for this years tomato plants, we are prepping this bed to be a home for many seasons worth of different vegetables. Starting from a hay field feels like a huge task, but I know that we are establishing the foundation of our farm for years to come.
It also helps that the spring crops from our first block of beds and our hoophouse are rolling in now, so we get to enjoy the fruits, ahem, vegetables of our labor. We are bringing a bunch of new crops to market this week including the first of our scallions and head lettuce! After a day of forking new beds, it’s so encouraging to eat a salad with lettuce and hakurei turnips and know that we can grow beautiful, tasty crops.
This week my grandmother Jane Burnett tried eating our rainbow chard for the first time! I wanted to share a recipe for other folks who might be new to this beautiful cooking green.
Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil and garlic in a saute pan over medium heat. Chop or rip a bunch of chard into the pan (stems and all!). Season with salt and pepper and toss until the greens are wilted. Finish off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy!
We are in North Adams at the farmers market on Saturday from 9 a.m.- 1p.m. The farm stand is open on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9 a.m.- 1p.m and Saturday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.