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Posted 6/22/2016 10:56am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello Everyone! Happy Summer!

We were welcomed into the season with a clap of thunder and a downpour of much needed rain. We'll take it! The last big planting of the season is going in today (Winter Squash at Upswing Farm) and then we will settle into the routine of harvest, weed, and continue with smaller succession plantings to keep a continuous supply of fresh produce coming your way!

For anyone who hasn't noticed, we are open A LOT! 
 
Summer Hours at White Barn Farmstand:
Tuesday through Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturdays & Sundays: 10am to 2pm
the Seafood Truck is at the farmstand Tuesdays & Fridays: 2pm to 6pm
closed Mondays
 
**** WE WILL BE CLOSED SUNDAY, JULY 3RD *********
so make sure to stock up for your barbecues on Saturday, July 2nd.
 
If you want to experience the fun and fanfare of a bustling farmer's market, find Brittany and Sara selling our produce at the Upswing Farm booth at the Ashland Farmer's Market on Saturdays: 9am to 1pm.
 
There are a couple of new developments at the farmstand - 
We built a mobile cooler to keep the produce even fresher. Our investment last year of getting electricity at the farmstand has given us the opportunity.
We have a new small display refrigerator for eggs and bagged greens. Don't miss them! Make sure to peek inside to see what we have.
 
EGGS
We have altered our delivery routine to restaurants in Providence so that we can rendezvous with Pat's Pastured at the farmer's market they do in Providence and bring back enough eggs to keep up with the demand. We hope to be able to keep up and no longer turn away disappointed shoppers when we are out of eggs! We will also continue to have the fabulous eggs from Birchwold Farm in Wrentham when available.
 
GREENS
The unstoppable team of Brittany with her dedicated direct seeding and our talented crew wielding our new greens harvester is keeping us supplied with salad greens. Right now we have half pound bags of Arugula and also "Tall, Dark, and Handsome Mix," Brittany's custom blend of mustard greens for salad! We are even trying new bags for better presentation. Find these tasty greens in our little fridge (so they stay at top quality). If it appears we are out of something, it is worth asking, because we likely have more to restock with in the big cooler.
 
Summer Crops are coming in! The high tunnel filled with cucumbers seems to be paying off! We added screen to exclude cucumber beetles this year and so far it is working. The plants are also trellised to maximize use of space and allow for nearly perfect fruit, as they hang straight down rather than curling on the ground where they are also more prone to insect damage.
Our earliest planting of zucchini is producing too! For our first planting, we choose varieties that can grow under row cover where pollination is not possible and still set fruit (parthenocarpic). Make sure to try our cool Lebanese variety with the pale green skin, Segev. Everyone knows tomatoes and basil go well together, but don't miss the opportunity to enjoy basil with zucchini! Zucchini and Basil Carbonara
 
HERBS
Basil is available in two forms - bags of basil tips and also plants that are ready to harvest!
Parsley is on, and look for Cilantro to return this week, too.
These herbs are excellent choices for making a delicious slaw with all of the wonderful cabbages that are ready now, too! This is one of my favorite slaw recipes: Thai Style Cabbage with Fresh Herb Dressing
Lavender bundles went out today! These can be dried by hanging upside down out of sunlight to be enjoyed all year. Fresh lavender can be used for making a simple syrup to add to lemonade or fancy cocktails, Lavender flowers have all sorts of culinary uses - butter cookies, ice cream, panna cotta - Foodies get researching!
 
COMPOST DEAL
We have 40 lb bags of McEnroe Organic Compost, $10 per bag or 2 bags for $15. Mega Deal!
Any plants going in will benefit from some compost being mixed into their planting hole. You could also hoe or scratch some compost into the surface of garden beds with perennials before putting a fresh layer of mulch down. Good soil is the key to plant health!
 
Keep Stopping in to see what is available! We appreciate your support so much! Hope to see you soon!
 
 - the "super farm" team
Posted 5/31/2016 11:18am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello Everyone,  

This hot, then wet weather has all of our vegetables growing like crazy.  The weeds are growing too!  This will be a short email, letting you know what is in the share, and a few recipes, then it’s back to the fields for your farmers!  

We were all of us (Chris, Christy and Brittany) able to take 2 days off this weekend – the first in a while.  A part of our experiment with “Super Farm” is to try and improve our productivity, increase the health of our soil and create more time for our families and ourselves.  A farm cannot be sustainable if its farmers need to sacrifice their well being to keep it running.  There is a strong stereotype that farmers should always be working (probably because they usually are). We are trying our best to work smarter, invest in tools and create systems that will make us more efficient, so we can have a successful farm without burning ourselves out.  

One of the tools we invested in was a greens harvester. Invented by a teenage boy who lives and works on a farm in Kentucky, this tool is powered by a regular drill, and increases our rate of harvest for greens about 10 fold.  We are still working out the kinks, but have been incredibly happy with it so far.   It is not a cheap tool, at $559, but we pay our crew at least $12/hour.  It would take one person about 1 hour to cut 30 pounds of greens with a knife, while the greens harvester can cut the same amount in about 7 minutes.  Over the course of the season we harvest thousands of pounds of greens mixes, and the harvest hours really add up.  

Check out this YouTube video from the website: Greens Harvester  

Special Notes This Week: Eat your lettuce mix first, your head lettuce will last longer. The best way to store vegetables is in a plastic bag at the bottom of your fridge, preferably in the crisper drawers.  Take off twist ties and shake or pat dry with a towel for extended storage.  

Week 2 Share  

Radishes – 19 delicious radish recipes.

Sweet Turnips – Great sliced fresh in a salad, these sweet spring turnips are also great sautéed, roasted and even grilled!  Check out this 101 recipe for Sweet Turnips.

Bok Choy – Bok Choy and Salmon Recipe.  Don’t forget to stop by Jordan Brother’s Seafood truck for some fresh fish to go with your vegetables!

Kohlrabi – We’re going to rely on good ol’ Martha Stewart for a Kohlrabi 101 lesson. What to do with Kohlrabi.  At the bottom of the page there are a few recipes.  Yesterday the crew here at the farm just ate it peeled and sliced with nothing else! It’s tender and sweet.

Swiss Chard – Check out these 21 Recipes for Spring Greens from the Huffington Post. There is one for swiss chard fritters and Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Bean Soup.  I love my chard sautéed in oil with garlic and salt.

Spinach – Want to get fancy with your spinach this week?  You could even combine your spinach and swiss chard to make these awesome Spinach and Cheese Triangles.  

Romaine Lettuce – Caesar Salad.  Sandwiches and burgers, this is some delicious stuff!  Make sure to rinse well.

Bergman’s Green Lettuce – Salad! 

Lettuce Mix – Salad!

Dill – Herbs are one of the greatest joys of a vegetable farm.  Fresh, fragrant and fun, they can liven up any meal. Farmer Brittany made a quick dill dip with last night with 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 TBSP sour cream, ½ bunch of dill, salt, pepper, finely chopped green garlic, and a tiny bit of hot sauce. Or you can peruse this LONG list of dill recipes: Dill Recipes

Broccoli – 10 Family Friendly Broccoli Recipes

Green Garlic

Don't forget that the farm stand is open!  There will be lots of great products to supplement your share, like locally roasted coffee, honey, maple syrup, fresh fish and if you need them, some extra vegetables!!

Enjoy!

Brittany

Posted 5/12/2016 3:55pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Nothing like a solid week of rain to make you truly rejoice when the sun finally comes out! No moderation for us New Englanders - straight from cold, wet rain and mist to bright, cloudless sunburn weather! 

The plants are rejoicing, too!! The seedlings and seeds we planted in our fields in early April are beginning to come to fruition! (or whatever word you would use for harvestable greens, roots, and stems)

The crops you can really build a meal around* are coming in!
And the salad ingredients still abound, of course!
 
*Kale, Broccoli Raab, Green Garlic, Spinach, Baby Bok Choy,  
and for you Main Course Salad Enthusiasts:
Lettuce Mix, Spring Mix, Arugula, Sunflower Shoots, & Radishes
 
Jordan Brothers Seafood is at the Stand Saturday 10-2.
Iggy's Bread is Back this Week!!!
Sheldonville Roasters Coffee Beans, Franklin Honey, & Maple Syrup, too!

The first two weekends of the farmstand we had lettuce mix, spring mix (aka tender, baby mustard greens - arugula's cousins), arugula, baby spinach, baby bok choy, baby kale, and radishes. Those were all coming out of our high tunnels (that's what we call the unheated greenhouses in which we grow in the ground). Brittany is a master of precision and care when direct seeding and the time she puts into calibrating the seeders for different seeds and recording her work truly pays off with beautiful stands of cutting greens and perfectly formed radishes or baby bok choy (without thinning)!

     Brittany direct seedingfuture carrots

Now we are transitioning our high tunnels into early fruiting crops - cucumbers and tomatoes. Now there are some veggies everyone can relate to!! So the early crops are out of the tunnels and cuke and tomato seedlings are already growing in their places! That means what you are going to see this weekend was grown in our fields, under the cover of Remay. What is Remay? Remay is a name-brand for a spun fabric that allows water and light to go through, but excludes insects and holds field heat in during the cold nights of early spring. This fabric can provide several degrees of frost protection, more or less depending on its thickness.

Crops under RemayCukes in the high tunnel

Because New England weather is so erratic and unpredictable, perhaps even more so as the global temperature rises - introducing more energy to the system, techniques that allow us a little more resilience are what keep us able to produce crops more consistently. Simple, passive technology such as unheated high tunnels and wire hoops with Remay, allow us to push the seasons even earlier and later. (Wait! I thought farming was a seasonal job - our winter break is shrinking!!!)

Please plan your week's meals around some of these wonderful spring vegetables! Search our Recipes page for some great ideas!

Is your garden ready yet? Or are you going to put a few patio containers out this year? Our seedlings are ready to go! Keep in mind the full inventory is not available until next weekend, during our annual Plant Sale. Our working inventory is online. I do not promise it is completely accurate until Plant Sale Eve at Midnight!!

This weekend will be the last weekend for the mini-6 packs of: Sugarsnap Peas

Also last chance for the earliest planting of Broccoli, Mixed Kale, & Lettuce Mix in the less expensive mini 6-pack size ($3)

We have plenty of early cold-hardy flowers in mini 6-packs ($3) to cheer up your yard: Calendula, Bachelor's Buttons, Marigolds, and Alyssum - in white or a purple/white mix.

The regular, larger 6-packs ($5) of a few other cold-hardy flowers are available too: Snapdragons, Chamomile, and Yarrow-Colorado Mix. Plus we will put out 4-packs ($5) of Feverfew-Magic Single, Nasturtiums (lily-pad looking edible leaves and colorful edible flowers) and Borage - a nice blue, star-shaped, edible flower that also attracts pollinators.

Perennial Herbs in 4-inch pots ($4.50) will also be for sale: Beergarten Sage, Lemon Verbena, Greek Oregano, English Thyme, and Mint (spearmint a.k.a. Mojito Magic). 

We will have 4-inch pots ($3) of Basil for sale (even though it is probably not safe to  plant it outdoors yet). and 6-inch pots of extra early, very productive Slicing Tomatoes - bred for intensive greenhouse production but sure to do great in a garden as well. It may be a good idea to let these grow in their pots for another week before planting - just in case of a late frost.

We continue to offer:

  • High Mowing Organic Seeds
  • McEnroe Organic Compost & Potting Soil
  • Neptune's Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 

Wrentham's Sohoanno Garden Club is holding their annual Plant Sale this weekend - Saturday from 9-12 in the center of Wrentham. They have all sorts of perennial plants from divisions.

Brittany will be representing her new project in Holliston, Upswing Farm, at the Holliston Business Association's Spring Festival this Saturday, May 14th, from 11am to 5pm. It is on the town green in the center of Holliston. Meet the superest super farmer there is, talk farming, talk veggies, and if you bring a check and sign up for an Upswing CSA Share - free bag of salad greens!! Veggies & Seedlings for Sale at this Spring Festival, too. Tell your friends in that neck of the woods!

We greatly appreciate your support! Thank you for shopping at our farmstand and spread the word - we are now open on Sundays! 10-2.

Posted 5/4/2016 9:12am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

The Farmstand is Officially Open!

Sunday Farmstand has made its debut and is here to stay for the season.

  • The stand is open every weekend in May: Saturdays & Sundays, 10am to 2pm
  • Jordan Brothers Seafood at the stand is on Saturdays in May, 10am to 2pm
  • We still have the farmstand (10-2) amidst our plant sale, May 21 & 22 (10 - 4)
  • Summer Hours begin Tuesday, May 31st: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am to 6pm, and still Saturdays & Sundays, 10am to 2pm
  • With the start of summer hours, May 31st, Jordan Brothers Seafood at the stand switches to Tuesdays & Fridays, 2pm to 6pm

What's for Sale this Weekend?

Lettuce Mix, Spring Mix, Radishes,Baby Bok Choy, Pea Shoots

Baby Bok Choy Brittany harvesting French Breakfast Radishes

 

seeds, seedlings, compost, fish fertilizer, and potting soil (see Plant Sale description below)

additions from our local community: eggs, honey, maple syrup, coffee beans

Our First Non-Perishable Crop! Grown Seed to Seed: Popcorn!!

 popped popcorn jar of popcorn

This Weekend we are selling Edible Ornamental Planters - the kind that could be a great mother's day gift (Mother's Day is Sunday!!)or just a lovely addition to your patio

Quantities are Limited so Email to Reserve your planter, to be picked up at the farm Saturday or Sunday during farmstand hours, 10am to 2pm. Orders will be confirmed by Friday at midnight (but hopefully earlier!). Email info@whitebarnfarm.org and include your name, phone number, which planter(s) you want to reserve and how many of each. If you choose the single herb planter, specify which herb you prefer.

  • We are offering a round terra cotta pot with a Single Perennial Herb that can grow in there all season for $10 (Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, LemonVerbena, or Sage)                  
    single herb planter
  • We have an Oval Herb Planter (plastic with the terra cotta look) with 3 perennial herbs for $20 (Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme) - I wish it didn't look too crowded with the parsley - it could've been the Simon & Garfunkel Planter!
  • And the Salad Bowl Planter: with Cut-and-Come-Again salad greens, edible flowers, and direct seeded Nasturtiums for $15. These are designed so that when the greens peter out, the edible flowers and herbs will march on and keep looking great.
  •  salad bowl planter    3 herb planter

  plant sale poster

 Plant Sale!

Well, we do already have cold-hardy seedlings for your garden for the next two weekends, but the super-duper Eighth Annual Plant Sale fiesta is going to be held May 21st & 22nd. 10-4 both days, rain or shine. (Hint: we always hold the sale the weekend before Memorial Day weekend - it happens to be later than usual this year). 

  • At the big sale, we unleash all of the frost-sensitive crops. May 21st is the full moon in May, so according to folklore, that should be the end of killing frosts for the season (no guarantees, of course, so keep your eye on the weather report and have your bedsheets ready to protect your plants!).
  • We will have all sorts of tomatoes, including a crazy selection of heirloom varieties, plus eggplants, peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, flowers, herbs (yes! Basil will be unleashed at this sale!), as well as more lettuce, kale, broccoli, etc. Emphasis on the etcetera!!!
  • For your plant-sale-shopping enticement and garden planning pleasure, we always post the inventory on our website. I think it is going to be a "google doc" this year so that we can sort and adjust it more efficiently than on the old dinosaur table available to us on Small Farm Central's website (Yes, SFC, that is a challenge to your tech peeps!!)
  • We sell High Mowing Organic Seeds for direct seeding in the earth or starting in your own cell packs. Available now.
  • Avoid the blue juice! No need for miracle grow when you can use Neptune's Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer. Neptune's uses the scraps of Gloucester's fishing industry to create a stable fish fertilizer concentrate, now available in pint or quart bottles at the farmstand. Dilute according to the instructions - in a watering can is great - and feed your garden and containers that way. We feed our seedlings with "fish juice" every 7-10 days in the greenhouse (using a backpack sprayer) and always water in our potted up seedlings with fish sauce. A word to the wise: only make the amount you will use. You cannot store diluted fish juice. It is pH balanced until you add water to it - then it will go wicked, wicked stinky if you let it sit. If you have extra at the end of your "fishing" session, find something to dump it out on - perennials in your garden beds or even your grass is fine. Then rinse your watering can so it doesn't get gunked up. This fertilizer is just as immediately available to plants as the blue juice and contains the actual miracle growth properties lent to plants by micronutrients found in the sea. Available now.
  • We carry McEnroe Organic Compost (40lb bag, $10) to amend your soil with. We carry McEnroe Organic Compost-Based Potting Soil (22Qt bag for $15) for seed-starting, filling containers, or using as growing medium in a small raised bed. Available now.

Community Supported Agriculture

 

There are still a few openings in the CSA program at Upswing Farm (pick up at 28 South St., Ashland, MA). You can choose the spring, summer, or fall share, or all three! This is the location where our superfarm collaborator, Brittany Overshiner, is getting Upswing Farm off the ground this year. It is where all the melons, sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplants, and others will be grown for the collaboration this year. Upswing Farm and White Barn Farm are working together to grow and market all of our crops together this year. We like to call it superfarm!

 

 Farmstand CSA Cards  

  Farmstand CSA Card

You can still join our Farmstand Community Supported Agriculture program by loading a debit card to spend at the farmstand whenever you want!

(Exceptions: not for plants at our plant sale and not for seafood).

After May 1st, we still add a 5% bonus to your card to thank you for your early commitment to buy our veggies all season long! (Something to keep in mind: the bonus is 10% from January 1st to May 1st each year).

How to sign up: Fill out the online form, then mail a check to White Barn Farm, P.O. Box 207, Wrentham, MA 02093. (We do not accept credit card payments for the Farmstand CSA cards). Make sure the name entered on the online form is written in the memo if it's not printed on the check. We will send you your card as soon as we process your payment. If you already have a card we can reload it remotely using your name or the last 4 digits of the card number. You can check your balance anytime using the widget found on our website, www.whitebarnfarm.org.

 

Posted 4/27/2016 1:01pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello Best Customers in the World!!!

Everything feels urgent right now and sitting indoors typing an email seems like it is not the most important thing. but maybe it is . . .  so find the urgent information below and stay tuned for a follow up with all the tempting details . . .

Here is the important info:

Opening Weekend at White Barn Farm!

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, April 30 & May 1,  10am to 2pm, both days @ White Barn Farmstand

Look for the white tent across the road from 458 South St., Wrentham MA 02093 (this is 1A)

French Breakfast Radishes    Baby Red Russian Kale

The Farmstand will be open all Saturdays & Sundays in May! summer hours begin in June.

*****also happening Sunday, May 1st, 10am to 2pm:

Find Brittany and Christy at the Bookstore Sale, while Sarah holds down the fort at the White Barn Farmstand in Wrentham.

Food & Craft Market at An Unlikely Story bookstore in Plainville
Poster Artwork by the multi-talented farmer/artist, Katy Riley.

may 1st market poster

Our talented Plant Sale Poster Artist, who also happens to be my best friend, Heather Willey, has finished her creation for this year's sale.

SAVE THE DATE: May 21 & 22, 10am to 4pm, both days.

Look for the posters and postcard versions around town!

2016 Plant Sale Poster

 

Posted 3/16/2016 3:46pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
In our usual last-minute fashion . . .
 
Spontaneous Farmstand: This Saturday. 3/19. 10am to 2pm
Come on Down!
 
potting soil, vegetables, seafood, honey, syrup, eggs, CSA signups
 
- on 1A in Wrentham, where our summer farmstand tent usually is - 
458 South St. Wrentham, MA 02093
 
 
 
radish logo
 
******
 
ATTENTION SEED STARTERS AND CONTAINER GARDENERS!!!
We have organic, compost-based potting soil ($15 for 22Qt bag) from McEnroe Organic Compost. I remember how hard it was back in my gardening days to locate worthy potting soil. This pop-up market is for you!
 
*We also have bagged organic compost ($10 for a 40lb bag) if you want to mix a shovelful of black gold into your planting holes for any planting you may be up to - or - if you are just ready to prepare your garden for the season ahead. (Believe it or not it is actually still technically Winter!)
 
ATTENTION EATERS!!!  
in case you are the type that likes more instant gratification than compost and potting soil to grow your own food with - we also have some edible products for sale this Saturday . . .
  • Spinach and Kale (planted in the fall and overwintered in our unheated greenhouses)
  • Butternut Squash (the stellar cellar survivors)
  • Pirate Popcorn - a buck an ear! (get it?) - on the cob - with instructions -
  • Leeks - the lone field warriors
  • things in such small quantities I probably should not mention them but I can't help myself: pints of garlic, quarts of small onions, watermelon radishes, different kinds of daikon radishes, kohlrabi, celery root. Limited Quantities! While Supplies Last . . . 
  • Franklin Honey - that beautiful, dark, fall honey - yes! you may still take daily doses of fall honey as a tonic for your spring allergies - it can't hurt!
  • Sheldonville Roasters Coffee Beans. shove that bag of store-bought beans to the back! Tally-Ho, Quality Quoffee Tuhwalk!
  • JORDAN BROTHERS SEAFOOD TRUCK. YIPPEE! Saturday Night Dinner should be spectacular!
  • Massachusetts Maple Syrup from Harms Family Farm. I received a notice from the MDAR: It's Official - March is Maple Month in Massachusetts!
  • Birchwold Farm Eggs . . .  from hens that live right down the road in Wrentham - across from Joe's Rock. They free range a ton and eat GMO free grain. while supplies last, of course.

 

 ***********               CSA SIGN UPS!              ************

Bring your Checkbook and Get it Done!

  • There are plenty of Boxed CSA Shares available for pickup at the Upswing Farm site on the Ashland/Holliston line. 28 South St. Ashland, MA. Pick-ups will be on Thursdays 1pm to 7pm. There are three seasons of CSA at Upswing - Spring, Summer, and Fall. Do one or do 'em all!  Do you have any contacts in that area? Spread the Word!
  • The 10% Bonus on your Farmstand CSA Card Ends May 1st: If you are opting to participate in Community Supported Agriculture by loading a debit card to spend at White Barn Farmstand in Wrentham anytime we are open on anything we sell (except for plants at the plant sale and seafood), fill out the online form and mail your check - or save a stamp and deliver your check straight to Chris at the pop-up farmstand this Saturday, March 19th, 10am to 2pm. (Sorry US Postal Service! I do love you so . . .)
  • There are a few openings in the Boxed CSA program for pickup at White Barn Farm in Wrentham at our farmstand on Tuesdays 10am to 2pm. We offer one "option" - a full share late May to late October (22 weeks, $625, payment plan available). Sign up for our Waiting List and we should get to you shortly!

 

****************

Grassroots Marketing

and you can help!!!

Brittany Sidway Overshiner is amazing for many reasons. But you should see that girl whip up a beautiful, informative postcard on Illustrator. What a Whiz!!! and here it is . . .

Find a picture of the front of the postcard on Instagram

If you feel like supporting agriculture in your community as you buzz around town visiting friends, attending social activities, kids activities, libraries, churches, your favorite local businesses, or at your workplace, then . . .

pick up some postcards at this Saturday's Pop-up Market

Spread the Word!

and thank you! you are great!

 

 

 
Posted 2/23/2016 11:57am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello White Barn Farm Supporters!

We have exciting news for the future of the farm! Our close friend, Brittany Overshiner, who happens to be one of the most competent farmers in the region, is going to join us in a novel collaboration effort.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE SHORT VERSION:

Warning: I have a notoriously rambling writing style - for those of you with less than 10 minutes to spend reading my version - check out the beautifully succinct press release that Brittany penned instead. Just follow the link below.

Innovative Farm Collaboration

   Brittany packing CSA shares at WBF in 2010     Brittany doing flowers in 2010

     Brittany actually worked with us briefly in the fall of 2010, just as she was getting Medway Community Farm started and meeting her future husband, Kevin Overshiner. She introduced him to the world of farming and he went on to work with another great farmer of eastern Mass, Chris Yoder, who supplies the fabulous sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips at our fall farmstand in the barn. Kevin went on to help grow Medway Community Farm with Brittany and is the current Farm Manager there.

    Brittany has a passion for preserving farmland and growing great food without exploitation (of people or the environment). Her dedication has lead her to do such things as live in “the cougar” (a trailer from Kevin’s mom that they parked at the farm) while the house on-site was ever so gradually remodeled by tri-county students. She slept on the floor in the greenhouse next to the woodstove, the sole source of heat for her tender spring seedlings, in order to stoke the fire every few hours in the middle of the night. She can harvest faster than anyone I’ve ever seen, is a crop planning whiz, and has an inspiring love for a properly cultivated farm. Watching her work in the fields or on the tractor, her joy is tangible. We share so many values and the desire to constantly improve our farming practices, building soil and growing better crops. When we heard she was leaving Medway, we (and many others in the eastern Mass farm network) jumped at the chance to find a way to work with her!

      Meanwhile, Chris and I found ourselves moved by a presenter at the New England Fruit and Veg. Conference this December. Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener and farmer of a 1.5 acre plot in Quebec that grosses $100,000 a year, offers some truly promising techniques for transitioning to a no-till system.

     Perhaps most interesting is the use of occultation, covering the soil with heavy black tarps to create a stale seedbed. Stale seedbedding is any technique that encourages germination of weed seeds in the soil and then kills them so you are left with a weed-free bed to plant your crops into. Other methods include flaming – going over weed seedlings with a propane torch, solarization – covering the soil with clear plastic, or shallow mechanical cultivation. This allows you to plant without churning up the soil (like with a rototiller) and the benefits of this are two-fold (at least): dormant weed seeds deeper than their ideal germination zone are not brought to the surface to sprout and the soil biology and associated soil structure is not disturbed. Rototilling sure makes a great looking bed, but the fluffiness quickly compacts, even after a single rainfall. If soil aggregates are allowed to persist, held together by soil fungi or the product of earthworms, soil air space is preserved and colonies of beneficial microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, can colonize crop roots to benefit from plant root exudates and in turn make soil nutrients available to the crops.

    There is endless complexity and mystery to all of this process, but the health of soil and crops in minimal till systems is very clear. There are theories and perhaps even science supporting the idea that healthier plants with complete proteins and all of their micronutrient and mineral needs met are resistant to pest pressure. I liken it to humans taking vitamins to support immunity. Insect pests are one of the biggest challenges to growing organically and since we are not willing to spray poisons on our food, this alternative - growing extremely healthy crops by maintaining a vibrant soil biology and structure - is very appealing.

          

 

     How does this relate to Brittany? Well, many of the most promising no-till techniques are very labor intensive. After seeing JM talk, I began to wonder how a 5 acre farm with an established tractor-based and conventional tillage system could model the systems outlined in JM’s book. My first idea was - we can fit 2 of these intensive plots on our farm if we had another farm couple helping us. I asked Brittany if she was interested and, to my surprise, she agreed to brainstorm with us. Almost simultaneously, another opportunity arose for Brittany - a 10 acre piece of farmland in Holliston, MA, including an orchard of 100 apple trees. It is owned by an elderly gentleman, “Mr. Nick” who is very interested in seeing the land farmed. One of the strongest driving forces behind the desire of Kevin and Brittany to live the farming life is to preserve productive farmland - especially in a region so densely populated and in which open land is under a very real threat of development. It is an opportunity they do not want to turn down.

    Ideas of a cooperative enterprise started to form. The Holliston plot, named Upswing Farm, will be a kind of sister farm to White Barn Farm. Brittany will manage that field and grow the crops that take up lots of space and can be grown in long, single rows (manageable with the Farmall Cub cultivation tractor she owns). This will free up space and provide meaningful crop rotation at White Barn Farm. She will be at White Barn Farm at least three times a week managing the CSA, all direct seeding, and assisting in seedling production, cut flowers (yes - we are bringing them back!), and many more aspects of managing the farm. By pooling all of our complementary farming and management skills, we hope that in addition to completing the tasks that are urgent, we can work on the projects that are important to the future of both pieces of farmland. We can also pool our physical resources - greenhouses and other infrastructure, tractors and implements, all sorts of random tools and equipment.

christy and meg transplanting     chris adjusting the cultivators

     Even our existing markets will be maintained and enhanced by the collaboration. We plan to keep the Roadside Stand and Boxed CSA program at White Barn Farm and also provide for a Spring, Summer and Fall CSA program with pickup at the Upswing site, and maintain Brittany’s presence at the Saturday Ashland Farmer’s Market. The Roadside Stand at White Barn is going to open one additional day - on Sundays from 10am to 2pm.

    We are hoping that one of the greatest benefits of this collaboration will be the opportunity for us to experiment with some of these minimal tillage techniques. At this ambitious stage, sitting by the wood stove and dreaming, we are even planning to conduct somewhat scientific research comparing minimal till, medium till, and conventional tillage practices. Our goal is to optimize our farming practices for soil and crop health given our larger plot and existing tractor-based system. Very Exciting! Just the burst of energy White Barn Farm needed! Chris and I are so enthused about this collaboration and the ensuing possibilites.

Community support at the outset of this project is crucial for its future! Your payment in advance, through one of our CSA programs, helps us purchase the many tools and supplies we need to get this season off on the right foot. We would also be so grateful if you would spread the word to anyone who may be interested in supporting our collaboration at either site. If you know anyone in the Holliston/Ashland area - let them know about this new opportunity! 

Thank you so much for reading! As I like to say, we literally could not do this without you!

Save the Date: White Barn Farm's Plant Sale: May 21 & 22

How to get involved:

 

Contact Information:White Barn Farm

whitebarnfarm.org

458 South St

Wrentham, MA 02093
774-210-0359
info@whitebarnfarm.org

Upswing Farm
Upswingfarm.com
28 South St
Ashland, MA 01721
857-383-7020
farmer@upswingfarm.com

 

Posted 2/1/2016 3:20pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello CSA Faithfuls!!!

  I mentioned in my email to the general mailing list back in early January that I would follow up with a separate email to the Boxed CSA members detailing renewals and cancellations for 2016.  Alas, it is February 1st, the deadline I had set for deposits to be in, and I am just now writing the email. I apologize - my brain has been experiencing some down time since we saw you all last. 

  Winter has been just fine. Chris' badly sprained ankle is healing well - he is now walking without a boot and driving. It is ever so much more convenient! We took a family trip to Martinique to brush up on our French and remember what summer feels like. I wasn't sure if we could afford a winter getaway this year but then by some crazy luck Norwegian Air has an insane deal on direct flights from Boston to Martinique (seriously, look into it). We stayed at a groovy deluxe camping setup called Airstream Paradise and were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go - to buy baguettes and French rose and play and swim at the beach across the street. It was absolutely lovely and we feel renewed and refreshed. We are deep into our crop planning and gearing up for some changes in 2016. More about that later . . .

IF YOU HAVE NOT GOTTEN BACK TO US ABOUT RENEWING OR CANCELING - PLEASE REPLY!
All we need is a simple yea or nay
so we can offer fresh CSA openings to our waiting list.
 
If you are canceling your Boxed CSA share this year, consider signing up for the Farmstand CSA card - put money on it before May 1st and you get an extra 10% to spend on whatever we sell at the farmstand whenever you feel like shopping. The process is easy: Fill out the online form (no need to print), Then mail the farm a check (make sure the check has the same name as the form on it somewhere).
 
  CSA share     
 
If you are renewing, just send a quick reply letting us know and fill out the online Boxed CSA Sign-up Form - it automatically adds you to the CSA email list and gives me your contact info. No need to print it. Then send your payment in full* or your deposit ASAP.
*if payment in full is feasible for you, it helps the farm tremendously! Most of our expenses come early in the season.
 
The payment plan dates are:
Deposit of $125 by February 1st (obviously extended to asap)
Payment of $250 by March 1st
Payment of $250 by April 1st
 
We are really looking forward to fresh vegetables again, as I'm sure you all are too. We ventured to the Pawtucket Farmer's Market at the Hope Artiste Village on Saturday in search of farm fresh eggs and organic carrots. This freaky warm weather makes me want to seed lettuce and cold hardy greens. Maybe i will. But I do see cold temps and snow in the 15 day forecast. The groundhog should weigh in on the issue tomorrow.
 
Looking forward to the 2016 growing season!!
Your farmers,
Christy and Chris at White Barn Farm
Posted 1/4/2016 10:17pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Happy New Year! 2016???!!! What sounds like a futuristic year is now the present!

We hope you all had warm and happy times! Even if you are eating grocery store veggies these days. Yes, even I bought a California-grown organic romaine 3-pack this week. I was, however, really pleased with my rag-tag Christmas salad mix that I mananged to come up with for the family party. It was thinly sliced bok choy, tuscan kale, and red cabbage, a few handfuls of fresh growth on the arugula, the last few tiny red lettuces left in the high tunnel, chopped sprigs of parsley, and lots of chopped sugarloaf chicory. That was topped with shredded raw daikon and watermelon radish and it was a great hit. The perfect foil for the rich dishes traditional for the holidays.

Christmas Salad Mix

Chris, Graham, and I had wonderful holidays with lots of family, food, and festivities. We managed to have a great time despite the fact that Chris got an avulsion fracture on his ankle (wicked bad sprain) on Christmas Eve playing pick up soccer. Christmas Day we went to Sturdy for an x-ray and he has spent every holiday gathering elevating his foot and hobbling around on crutches. He is truly a trooper, going through with our annual Holiday Hootenanny when we celebrate his birthday. We moved our Christmas tree onto the porch to make way for the Moonshine family band - a great group made of good friends and family. On his actual birthday, which happens to be his "Larry Bird" birthday - 33 - a friend took us to see the Celtics at the Garden! We finally borrowed this awesome scooter thing so he can place his knee on a rest while pushing himself along with the other foot. Graham and I find him zooming around in this fashion quite amusing. This kind of injury is very difficult for Chris who thrives on being active all the time. It is his right foot so he also cannot drive. Poor guy! All in all, couldn't have happened at a better time in terms of type of work to be done at this time of year. This injury could have really affected the local veggie supply if it had happened in July!

Farmer Chris

Well, that's enough about us! There are a few announcements to make:
 
Farmstand CSA Cards are Now Available for Purchase or Recharge
 
If you get your check in by May 1st, we add 10% value to your card*
From May 2nd - December 31st, you can still purchase or reload a card,
but with an additional value of 5% instead of 10%
If you get your check in by January 15th, you get a complimentary WBF pint glass :)
 
Farmstand CSA Shares start at $200.
*For example, you would write us a check for $200 and we would put $220 on your card.
Four levels are available: $200, $300, $400, and $600
 
Other details:
There is no expiration date (your balance will roll over if you don't use it all in one season)
That said, it is best for the farm if you do use it up the same year you put money on the card
You may use your card for anything we sell at our farmstand, with the exception of seafood
 
Fill out the Farmstand CSA Sign-Up Form Online (no need to print it out)
  then, mail your check to:
White Barn Farm, P.O. Box 207, Wrentham, MA 02093
 
 If you are reloading a card, we just need your name or card number to look up your account and recharge your card remotely.
 
***********
 
2015 Boxed CSA Members:
It is Time to Renew or Cancel your Membership
We need to know, via email, if you are renewing or not by February 1st.
You will receive a separate email reiterating this, just in case you miss this note.
Complete the online Boxed CSA Sign-Up Form and send your check to the address above.
 
If you are interested in Joining the Boxed CSA Program:
Add your name and email to the Waiting List and we will send you an email with sign-up info,  as soon as we have a spot available for you.
It is quite likely we will be able to accommodate you this year.
 
**********
 
Community Supported Agriculture
 
If you have no idea what CSA is - or what the difference between the Boxed CSA and the Farmstand CSA is - explore the "White Barn Farm CSA" Menu on our website, www.whitebarnfarm.org
 
Briefly, the Boxed CSA is a mystery box of veggies that you pick up weekly for 22 weeks. The best candidates for this option love to cook, thrive on novelty and seasonal abundance, and have three or more people in their household. The Farmstand CSA is a good choice for those who want to make their own selections, want to visit the farmstand more than once a week, are away several weeks during the growing season (summer), or feel a Boxed CSA share is too much for their family.
 
*******
 
That's All! Thank you all for reading and we hope you stay cozy during this suddenly very chilly winter. We look forward to seeing you in the spring!
 
 
 
 
Posted 12/17/2015 1:57pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
This Friday and Saturday, December 18th and 19th, are the final farmstands of the season!
 
Hours are as usual: 10am to 6pm Friday, 10am to 2pm Saturday
Seafood: 2pm to 6pm Friday, 10am to 2pm Saturday.
 
It has been a standout year, in great part to the dedication of you, our customers! Thank You!
 
One last hurrah for 2015!
 
~ freshly picked superfoods ~
 
Spinach ~ Tuscan Kale & Curly Kale ~ Looseleaf Swiss Chard ~ Mustard Mix ~ Bok Choyswiss chard   winter mustard mix

A new vegetable to add to your culinary vocab - Sugarloaf - it is kind of a white radicchio from the chicory family that tends to be very cold hardy and is lovely as a bitter green in salads, or grilled or roasted. I first met these pointy little guys in Switzerland, where they're called zuckerhut (sugarloaf). The teenage daughter at the farm I was staying at always sliced it into thin ribbons, soaked it in warm water for a few minutes to mild the bitterness, then served it with shredded carrots, canned corn (of all things), and a garlicky apple cider vinaigrette. I kept wondering where this family kept getting the iceberg lettuce. Finally Lejsa showed me their garden patch and harvested this little conehead right out of a light dusting of snow. I was very impressed and have been meaning to/trying to grow it ever since. Ours went in a little late so really you just have the hearts - but all the flavor is there. Enjoy!!

More Leeks fresh from the field! Plus their cousins Garlic & Shallots

Winter Radishes - Daikon, Purple Daikon, and Watermelon Radishes store very well in a plastic bag in the fridge and are excellent for peeling and shredding with a box grater on a salad. You can't ask for a more vibrant colormix than a salad topped with hot pink watermelon radishes, purple dakion, white daikon, and orange carrots.

Red Cabbage from White Barn Farm and Green Cabbage from Vanguarden CSA in Dover

Popcorn!! Here is your chance to be clever and crafty a la Martha Stewart: Popcorn Gift Idea

~ the Roasting and Mashing Wonderland section ~

Celery Root from right here at White Barn Farm

Yukon Gold Potatoes from Langwater Farm in Easton

Sweet Potatoes ~ Carrots ~ Parsnips from Vanguarden CSA in Dover

~ the BULK SALE section ~

Yellow Onions & Red Onions - 10lbs or more for $1/Lb if you want to stock up. Onions should keep well for quite a while in a cold, dry, dark spot (but not freezing).

Kohlrabi - also 10lbs or more for $1/Lb if you want to keep on hand a vegetable that you can have raw all winter. A welcome crunch to break up the comfort food routine. Chef/Owner at Chez Pascal, Matt Gennuso, has kohlrabi noodles on his New Year's Eve menu. Anyone got a spiralizer? The julienne blade on a mandoline also makes kohlrabi into a perfect form for slaw. The easiest is just to slice it into sticks for dipping. I always tell people, in reference to the enormous storage Kohlrabi variety, Kossack, treat it like a wheel of cheese - just cut off what you want to use at one time and go back to it later. Don't feel like you have to finish one of those bohemoths in one sitting!

Winter Squash - 10lbs or more for $1/Lb. Another very easy to store veggie. Ideal storage conditions are 50 degrees and dry. Maybe just in a basket in a cool part of your house.

~ Local, Sustainable Sources of Sugar ~

Massachusetts Maple Syrup. From Harms Family Farm in Brookfield, Mass. Their sugarbush is in Colrain, MA. (Did you know that sugarbush is the name of a maple syrup "farm"?) Taste it and your heart will swell with Massachusetts Maple Pride!!

Franklin Honey's beautiful, amber, fall Honey. Local, raw, and delicious with peanut butter on an english muffin (don't tell my diabetes educator!).

Plus

Eggs from Pat's Pastured, Bread from Iggy's, Coffee Beans from Sheldonville Roasters

~ White Barn Farm's Shameless Commerce Division ~

Gift Cards - for any amount over $10. Do you have school teachers, bus drivers, yoga instructors, personal trainers, massage therapists, landscapers, hair stylists, etc. that are extra special in your life? Show your gratitude with a little gift card from WBF :)

WBF Pint Glasses - 2 for $10 (normally $6 each), $5 w/ purchase of a $20 gift card, or get one free w/ purchase of a $50 gift card. We even packaged the last two deals in a little gift pack - complete with tissue paper and ribbons!

pint glass gift pack  gift card

Cookbooks - From Asparagus to Zucchini and Farm Fresh and Fast, both put out by Fairshare CSA Coalition and an excellent guide for the procession of season vegetables produced by small mixed vegetable growers.

 Come and Visit! We'd love to thank you in person for your season-long support!

Hey! That reminds me! Last weekend's Holiday Bazaar at An Unlikely Story bookstore in Plainville was great! The aesthetic was fantastic, the vendors were top quality, and the spirit was festive! Each of the vendors donated an item to be raffled for the Christmas is for Kids charity in Attleboro. Th raffle raised $500!!! I was so proud to put the money order in the mail on Monday! If you were a winner, don't forget to come to the farmstand to claim your prize!

Happy Holidays Everybody!!