It's our Annual Plant Sale Weekend. For the first time in six years, it is predicted to rain. Thankfully, the forecast is seeming friendlier than it has all week. Looks like the heaviest rains should be over by late morning on Saturday. We also made a last minute tent purchase at Job Lot and ran over to Franklin Honey to borrow their 20 x 30 tent. There will be some cover. But come decked out in your raingear best just in case!
The final up-to-date inventory has been posted on the Plant Sale page of our website.
There should be something for everyone this weekend!
Jordan Brothers Seafood. Excellently sourced fresh fish. Lately they've had live lobsters! Order shellfish in advance. Saturday Only: 10am to 2pm
Franklin Honey. Bee-based soaps, lip balm, hand cream, and HONEY!! Saturday and Sunday.
WMR Woodworking. Lovely Kitchen-Related Wooden Treasures. Will Raymond's beautiful handcrafted cutting boards (and more) made from reclaimed hardwood scraps of the staircase shop he works at. Awesome for gifts. Saturday and Sunday.
AND OF COURSE! The White Barn Farmstand. Saturday & Sunday:
- Grown here at White Barn Farm:
- Pea tendrils, spinach, arugula, & mustard mix
- NEW this week: Lettuce Mix
- Bunches of broccoli raab, bok choy, & radishes
- Fresh Eggs from our laying hen flock (fed organic grain & on pasture)
- Sheldonville Roasters coffee beans & his new "cow cups" - freshly roasted k-cup packs with recyclable cartridges
- Iggy's Bread & Pastries
- Puddingstone Organic Eggs certified organic & humane
- High Mowing Organic Seeds ($2.75/packet) lots of seeds, including crops we don't sell at the plant sale because they can be direct seeded (cilantro, carrots, beets, dill, beans, corn, for example) or crops that it's not too late to sow now
- McEnroe Organic Potting Soil ($15 for 22QT bag)
- McEnroe Organic Compost ($10 for 40LB bag)
The excitement is building! Don't forget the Wrentham Sohoanno Garden Club has their annual Plant Sale on Saturday from 9 to 12 (mostly perennial ornamentals). It's at the Wrentham Fiske Public Library, alongside the library's annual Book Sale.
Wrentham will be alive with activity. Don't forget to bring some patience if you come early Saturday :)
We could not do this without all of you! And all of our incredibly hardworking and generous employees, family, and volunteers!
Thanks and See You this Weekend!!
Christy and Chris at White Barn Farm
First of all, thank you to everyone who came to Opening Day last Saturday. It was a beautiful day, a great turnout, and we really appreciate your patience as we try to hurdle into the modern age with an ipad Point of Sale system (don't worry we still have our ancient little metal cashbox alongside). Your appetite for greens was impressive and we are hoping it is still strong this week! We have pulled an amazing quantity of greens out of our high tunnels - time for greenhouse tomatoes and cukes to go in!
Regarding last week's technical difficulty . . . I felt so embarassed that our Farmstand CSA debit cards would not swipe last Saturday. The problem was repaired in approximately 25 seconds once I had a moment to sit down and call the ecard folks. It turns out that when we upgraded and installed the new version of the app, we selected that the swiper was in the data port not the audio port. Darn! All we had to do was click on the other bubble. Anyway, it is all set now and I've adjusted everyone's card balance and issued and mailed the cards that we received payments for by Tuesday. If you have sent your payment but don't have your card yet, we should be able to look it up by your name (just have an i.d. to corroborate) or issue your card right at the farmstand - for real this time.
Gift Cards for Mother's Day (or any occassion, really) will also be available. Not sure if we will get to the little dried flower arrangements I was fantasizing about making. Time will tell . . . .
Farmstand Goodies: Jordan Brothers Seafood will be joining us. I remembered to call in the Iggy's pastries order early so we should have plenty of croissants and sticky buns. Sheldonville Roasters brought more coffee AND . . .
We have a somewhat enormous harvest to share with you all. Hope you're in the mood for some greens!!!! and eggs.
Spinach, Arugula, Baby Romaine - red & green, baby bok choy, Radishes, Tokyo Bekana, Tatsoi & Vitamin Green Mix, and a little Swiss Chard
Our Plant Sale Poster has hit the town! The originals have a "lift the flap" feature. Heather Willey has done it again! I think she's ready to write some kids books! She made our Open flag last summer and used the images of that to create flaps that you open to reveal a drawing of a little boy (Graham?) peeking out from behind tables full of seedlings. We printed up a bunch of postcards and posters that look like the image below, but keep a lookout for the fun originals around town (I know I dropped one at Cafe Assisi, Cataldo's Hardware, the Plainville Library, the Alternative Market in downtown North Attleboro, Northworks).
The current plant sale inventory is not complete, but we have a start, so I'll try to get that posted on the Plant Sale page ASAP.
It's supposed to be a little drizzly tomorrow so don those adorable rubber boots you've been waiting to show off and come on down!
Thanks to each and every one of you for your dedication to our farm!
Chris and Christy at WBF
P.S. Boxed CSA Members! Although we have tons of greens right now, we begin the CSA distributions the last week in May or first week in June. We want to have the critical mass to make a well-rounded share with a value between $20 - $35. You are welcome, of course, to shop at the farmstand in the meantime. We are hoping we are on point for the first pick-up to be Tuesday, May 28th. Pick-ups are at the farmstand on Tuesdays from 2pm to 7pm. We will send an official email a week in advance of the first pick up.
Hello Farm Lovers!!! Happy Beltane, May Day, May 1st!
Save Space in your Fridge for FRESH WBF GREENS!!!!
This Saturday, May 3rd is our Official Opening Day.
We'll be open from 10am to 2pm every Saturday in May. (We'll even have produce during that time while our Plant Sale is going on - more on that further down).
This Saturday we expect to have:
- Bunches of Broccoli Raab, Bok Choy, Radishes, and Swiss Chard
- Bags of Fresh Cut Arugula, Mustard Mix, Spinach and Pea Tendrils
- plus Dozens of EGGS from our own White Barn Farm Hens!
Gardeners Take Note!! Don't get stuck buying "organic" Miracle-Gro Potting Soil at a big box store. Let's do this:
McEnroe Organic Compost ($10/bag) and Organic Potting Soil ($15/bag)
High Mowing Organic Seeds, plus seed potatoes and a few early veggie starts (peas & little pots of basil)
- - - - - - - - - - -
Jordan Brothers Seafood will be back!!!!!! 10 to 2 on Saturdays.
We'll also have Iggy's Bread - those delicious French Rolls and artisan breads baked daily.
and the freshest roasted coffee beans around from Sheldonville Roasters
Ahoy Farmstand Hearties!
The Swiss Chard has taken off. The pea tendrils are aspiring toward the top of the high tunnel.
We've got "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme"
Glorious spring-dug parsnips from Vanguarden CSA in Dover (organic methods, like us)
plus spinach and a sampling of microgreens we've grown in the greenhouse.
These tasty tidbits will be the perfect flourish to add to that dish you are preparing for something special this weekend!
more and more of the ladies in our new laying hen flock seem to be laying eggs every day!
If the gardening bug took hold of you last Saturday, we've got your compost to enrich your gardens and planters and Your organic potting soil for seed starting or container gardening. And we have a selection of High Mowing organic seeds to begin sowing! Actually we have some little sugarsnap pea seedlings and tiny basil seedlings too.
We are still setting up on a random basis. We're just Farmstand Ninjas briefly setting up for a few hours on Saturday morning. Saturday, April 19th, 10am to 12pm.
Come by for something fresh!!
There's a picture of me in 2008 showing my cousin's kids how to pick peas. Just to get you moms out there pumped to grow food with your kids!!!
See you soon!!
the White Barneys
chris & christy & graham
Yikes! I just hate to bother you all with another email! I put down the wrong date for our Meet Your Farmer talk at the Wrentham Library. It is this Tuesday, April 15th, 7pm - 8pm.
Also, people have been asking us when Jordan Brothers Seafood will be back. Bobby will be back with us beginning on our opening day, Saturday, May 3rd.
Thanks to all of you who ventured to the Lions Club Fair yesterday! Great to see you! Hope your greens were delicious :)
Christy at White Barn Farm
Things are moving and shaking at White Barn Farm. Peas got planted April 4th to christen the soil with seeds for 2014! We've also got carrots, radishes, salad turnips, arugula, and mustard mix in the ground. Yesterday we had our first transplanting session and got spinach, broccoli raab, and bok choy seedlings planted. Today lettuce seedlings will go into our high tunnel. Our seed starting greenhouse is getting full and fat for the Plant Sale! The season is underway and it feels good. Last night before I went to bed, I noted from the color of my face that it is now time to start putting on sunblock. It's hard to believe, but spring is finally here.
Here are some last minute notices, as usual!!
April 12th - 10am to 3pm - Norfolk Lions Club Health & Wellness Fair - Freeman Kennedy School in Norfolk. Blood Drive, Eye Screenings, tons of booths with interesting vendors/organizations dedicated to wellness, including White Barn Farm. We will have a small sampling of early spring greens (spinach, kale, parsley), black radishes, popcorn, cookbooks, pint glasses (for two delicious servings of water, of course!). We'll also bring along organic seeds, compost and potting soil for your garden or containers. Bring a check and we can do Farmstand CSA Sign-Ups, too! Hope to see you there. Yes! It's tomorrow!
April 15th - 7pm to 8pm - Meet Your Farmer Night - Fiske Public Library in Wrentham. Come meet Chris and Christy, check out a slideshow, ask questions, find out why and how we do what we do. We can take Farmstand CSA Sign-Ups at the end. Yes! That is this Tuesday!
May 1st - Farmstand CSA Sign-Up Deadline to get an extra 10% added to your debit card. You commit to shop at the farmstand at the $200, $400, or $600 level and we will issue you a debit card with an extra 10%. You can use it anytime the farmstand is open to buy just what you want. This is a great option for people who would like to be CSA members at the farm, but think the Boxed share could be too much, or go on vacation for a few weeks, or want to choose exactly what to buy rather than pick up a "mystery box." Also, we have a Waiting List for the Boxed CSA right now, so this is a way to still commit yourself to a season of healthy, fresh produce. Just pick a day to come to the farmstand each week! You can buy or reload a card after May 1st and still get 5% extra value added.
May 3rd - 10am to 2pm - Official Opening Day at White Barn Farm. We will be open every Saturday in May, 10 to 2. We will even have produce available during the Plant Sale, amid all the excitement.
May 17th and 18th - 10am to 4pm - 6th Annual Plant Sale! Vegetable, Herb, and Flower Starts for your garden. Plus we have bags of McEnroe Organic Potting Soil and Compost and High Mowing Organic Seeds for your direct seeded crops. Always an energizing and fun event!
June 3rd - 12pm to 7pm - Summer Hours Begin at the Farmstand. Tuesday to Friday 12 to 7. Saturdays 10 to 2.
September 2nd - 12pm to 6pm - Back-to-School Hours Begin at the Farmstand. Tuesday to Friday 12 to 6. Saturdays 10 to 2.
October 25th - 10am to 2pm - Harvestween - Final Farmstand of the Regular Season
November 1st - Fall Hours Begin at the Farmstand. Saturdays 10 to 2. We move into the barn and hope to be open every Saturday until December 20th!
Take Care, Everybody!!! See you Soon!
Chris and Christy at WBF
We also got our delivery of McEnroe Organic Potting Soil in. We always order some of the organic compost-based soil we use to provide to the local gardeners at our Plant Sale (May 17 & 18, by the way). I remember in my gardening days how impossible it was to find a good organic potting mix. Since we are open this early, all you die-hard seed starting gardeners should come pick some up, too!
Unfortunately, NO JORDAN BROTHERS SEAFOOD this week and maybe until we are open for the season.
It was the vernal equinox yesterday. Today the day will be slightly longer than the night. Now if we can get snowflakes and below freezing temperatures out of the ten day forecasts, I would feel a little more spring-y. But the sun is definitely intense when it's shining, warming our greenhouses, and making plants grow! The first day of spring was actually pretty lovely. Our son Graham has been loving being outside, "driving" the trucks and tractors, discovering puddles, and visiting the chickens.
We picked up our order of 100 laying hens yesterday. Red Star chickens from Moyers Hatchery in Pennsylvania. We shared an order with Pat's Pastured Poultry and some other farmers. Chris took the van to pick them up, making a stop at Lowe's for giant pieces of cardboard to line the floor and make a barrier between birds and driver. We still have 25 birds from previous years so they will all be integrating with eachother and Cider, our beautiful livestock guardian dog, for the next few days. Let's hope it's a success! We are hoping to provide more of our own eggs this season . . . the pullets we just got should be laying in 6 weeks.
That reminds me! We will probably have eggs for sale at the farmstand on Saturday. Michelle, at New Heritage Farm in Wrentham, said she'd like to sell her eggs. I haven't received a definite confirmation, but I feel pretty confident we'll have 'em.
Thanks to everyone for your support! Hope to see you Saturday!
Christy, Chris, and Graham
ITS VEGGIE TIME AGIAN!!!
We have been threatening to join the Jordan Brothers Seafood Truck for weeks and finally we are doing it! This Saturday from 10am to 1pm, we will be out at our farmstand with some fresh greens and some roots for you to enjoy as well!l
We've been working diligently in the greenhouse, picking, washing, spinning, and packing greens to fill the veggie void in your life, and we would love to see all your familiar faces. We have been missing you! To speed up the transactions during this chilly spell, everything will be pre-weighed and bagged for your convenience. In addition to our own produce, we have conjured up some staples from our friendly farmers in Dover (they use organic methods, too).
AT THE FARMSTAND THIS SATURDAY:
Swiss Chard and Kale
Potatoes (Vanguarden CSA)
Carrots (Vanguarden CSA)
Purple Top Turnips
Garlic (Powisset Farm)
One more thing: WE NEED YOUR HELP. We are trying to spread the word about our Farmstand CSA, grass roots style. So its time to enlist our "WBF street team." When you're at the farmstand this weekend, pick up a stack of advertising posters and postcards to distribute at your local business, to coworkers, friends and family. If you have a book club, or play group, or yoga class, or a group of parents you see at youth sports - those would be great places to hand out a few postcards to some interested folks. Everyone who takes some posters or postcards will be entered to win a $25 gift card at White Barn Farm.
Thanks again for keeping this little veggie farm trucking through the winter, spring is coming soon. I swear we had a Carolina Wren on the birdfeeder even as the snow squall took over the skies this afternoon. Before you know it, plants will be planted and food will be growing. For now, lets enjoy the gifts of winter and what it has to offer us: hearty roots and tasty greens.
see you all saturday!
the farmers at white barn farm
chris, christy, and graham
Another week passes. a very mild and muddy one here at the farm.
Jordan Brothers Seafood will be at the farmstand again this Saturday and every Saturday this winter: 10am to 1pm
And since we are here this weekend, White Barn Farm will have a little table out, too. Chris is feeling motivated to harvest a sampling of greens from our winter growing project in the high tunnels - and we'll have some storage crops from the root cellar, too. Namely, watermelon radishes, black radishes, gilfeather turnips, purple top turnips, and perhaps others I'm forgetting.We will also be on hand to say hello, catch up, and discuss the new Farmstand CSA option in person. A few questions generated some new info about the program. Someone asked if you could reload the card. We decided that if you purchase the card before May 1st you will receive 10% added value. If you purchase or reload the card after May 1st, you will receive 5% added value. The cards may only be purchased or reloaded at the three levels offered: Snap Pea for $200, Tomato for $400, or Watermelon for $600. This year's purchase is intended to be spent this growing season, but we legally have to carry over any balance left on the card - so really there is no risk of losing your investment. You may keep your card to reload for the next growing season (the 10% added value will begin again January 1st). Anyone can sign up for the Farmstand CSA by submitting the Sign-up Form online and then mailing your payment to the farm.
REMINDER TO 2013 CSA MEMBERS: Please let us know by the end of the day today (1/17) if you would like to:
- Renew or Cancel your Boxed CSA membership (Tuesday pick-up only this year). We are asking that your payment in full OR first payment be in by January 31st. The form may be submitted online anytime before you send your check.
- You may sign up for the Farmstand CSA debit card with 10% added value anytime before May 1st.
- We will open the Boxed CSA option to the waiting list tomorrow (1/18). If for some reason you didn't get back to us, but still want to do the Boxed CSA, just send us an email and ask if we still have space for you. We are limiting the Boxed CSA to 50 members.
A "little" news about us:
Baby Graham is now Toddler Graham who is 15 months, walking, almost running, saying lots of words and picking up new ones everyday. He is a really happy, friendly guy who loves hats, music and dancing, food, trucks and tractors. He has the good fortune of living in a house that is the family's grand central station. He is entertained by a constant stream of adoring aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, family friends, and his great-grandmother, of course. Actually, we have two new housemates - my brother, Will, and his wife, Jess, have moved in while they look for a new place. The family meals just got kicked up one more notch with two more foodies at the table (and at the stove).
Chris has been doing lots of online research, making phone calls, doing the outdoor chores, and moonlighting as a local soccer star. Around 7pm every other night (it seems), he springs the news that he has another soccer game at Fore Kicks at 8 or 9 or 10pm. He returns after midnight telling me that they won and he scored some goals. crazy. He has also been making superb meals, being a super daddy, and reminding me that we also need to have fun and recreate.
I am doing lots of office work and dealing with my new diagnosis of being a type 1 diabetic. I feel like "Mrs. Syringe" but honestly as my blood sugar levels become more controlled I do feel better about myself. Certainly the extreme thirst, blurry vision, and fatigue have abated, but I think it is the psychological relief that is the greatest. Previously I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was taking a pill and trying to maintain my blood sugar through diet. Everyone thinks since I grow organic vegetables that I have a perfectly healthy diet - but I love carbs and sweets and was definitely not eating the perfect diabetic diet. The constant feedback of failure from my glucose meter was really wearing on my spirit. I felt extra guilty about every moment of weakness, imagining my regret as I lost my vision and limbs in the future, all because I just had to eat that oreo cookie. Now that I have better control of my sugars, I have shed a tremendous weight I wasn't even aware I was bearing. And speaking of weight - anyone who commented that it seemed i had lost weight - you were right. Type 1 diabetics with out-of-control blood sugar often lose weight (basically the sugar just roams around your bloodstream instead of being used for energy or storage in your body). I assume my normal weight will be back soon - so no more comments or I'll get a complex.
Everyone always asks, "what do you do in the winter?" We have a much more relaxed schedule, but perhaps not really less to do. Planning a vegetable farm that grows as many crops as we do takes a lot of time. It is not hard, just complex. We grow so many different crops and then so many different varieties within each crop and often do many plantings throughout the season. We are trying to rotate crops onto new fields, manage our fertility, plan cover crops, weed management strategies, pest management strategies, and figure out how we will do it all within a certain labor budget. We have to create a greenhouse planting schedule, a schedule for the crops we seed directly in the field, and a plan for how many plants to grow for the plant sale. We need to replace the plastic on our first greenhouse - and make new endwalls while we're at it. We need to order all of our seeds, potting soil, row cover, and other supplies. We need to assess successes and failures of the past growing season and develop strategies for improved efficiency of farm operations. We are exploring whether we can afford a farm truck, a better farmstand, a storage shed for the tractors and equipment, a golf cart, solar panels, a refrigerated display case at the farmstand, etc. Time will tell . . . (I'm imagining at the very least we can afford a couple rolls of white duct tape to spruce up the old farmstand tent!) Anyway, enough blabbering. We'll let you know as developments come through!
Thank you, as always, for being such a supportive community. Perhaps we will see you tomorrow!
Christy, Chris, and toddler Graham at White Barn Farm
Winter Treat! The Jordan Brothers Seafood Truck will be at the site of our summer Farmstand on Saturdays for the rest of the winter, beginning Saturday, January 11th: 10am to 1pm. To reiterate, the truck will be parked on the side of the road where our big white tent is usually set up. Roll in for some delicious fresh seafood for a quick and easy supper or to stock your freezer.
Chris and I will be attending the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Winter Conference in Worcester tomorrow, but we'll let you know if we decide to join in the fun one of these Saturdays.
We have changed the format of our Community Supported Agriculture program, and will now offer two options:
- The Boxed CSA that we have always offered (currently there is a Waiting List) OR
- The Farmstand CSA in which you prepay a set balance and have a debit card to spend on White Barn produce anytime the farmstand is open.
*The Boxed CSA will be on Tuesday only.
- Pickup will still be from 2pm to 7pm at the farmstand. A box will be packed for you every week for 22 weeks from late May to late October.
- The cost is still $625 and you usually receive a value of $25-$35/week with a total value at the end of the year usually around $725.
- IMPORTANT: We are curriently offering this option to renewing CSA members only. They have until January 17, 2014 to get back to us. Beginning January 18th, we'll begin contacting the waiting list to offer any available shares. To be added to the Waiting List, sign up here.
*The Farmstand CSA cards can be purchased at three different levels, and we will add 10% value to each one:
Snap Pea. $200 (your card will be issued for $220)
Tomato. $400 (your card will be issued for $440)
Watermelon. $600 (your card will be issued for $660)
- You have complete choice and flexibility this way: you get the veggies you love when you want them.
- You are still committing to eating healthy, locally grown vegetables, and supporting the farm so that we are able to buy seeds and supplies early on.
- You are in effect getting a 10% return on your investment, which is hard to find nowadays.
- The card will be available for purchase until May 1, 2014 and is good for the 2014 growing season only. We expect the farmstand to be open from approximately May 3rd to December 20th, 2014. We will not roll over any value on the card.
- This is a good choice for anyone who feels the full share may be too much for their household, someone who would miss a few pick-ups every summer, or a household of picky eaters.
- You can use the card for anything at the farmstand (including bread, eggs, honey, coffee, etc.). The only thing you can't use the card for is plants at our Plant Sale.
- Anyone can sign up for the Farmstand CSA using the Farmstand CSA Sign-Up Form. Follow through by sending your payment by mail, making sure your check has the name used on the sign-up form on there. We will mail you back your debit card (be sure to use your mailing address on the sign-up form).