The Halfingers’ at Sunrise Gardens help all they can, leasing us ground, lending their greenhouse and sharing more info than you can shake a tomato stake at.
Tim and Glen Braddock keep the strawberries, peaches, plums and apples coming.
Jill and her flock at Tattle Street Farm keep us in eggs and we stop to see Heidi at Summer Gardens for blackberries, grapes and armloads of flowers.
Lynn and Pete at Billingsgate Farm and Scott at Sauchuk’s grow some of the best corn around and we try to keep it on the menu in its season.
Carl DeMatteo of Northeast Family Farms sees that we get the best beef and pork.
Our goats need to eat too, Rick at Reunion Farm makes their favorite hay.
I would never think to take a farm, or farmer for granted.
Some years there is too much rain, there may be a hot spell, a cold snap, then some years there is all three. Then the sun shines, the tomatoes ripen and all is well with the world… well let’s focus on the positive here.
For farmers to work with nature, it takes an ability to adapt, turn on a dime. It means selling pounds of tomatoes as “canners” instead of “perfects” because of a few spots or making more peach butter than you ever wanted because every orchard in the area had a bumper crop, too.
Some years (this one) the butternut squash is ripe before the watermelons and the customers at the farm stand are ready for a picnic not Thanksgiving.
But just as often there are surprises that please us…it is a great eggplant and potato year, that last rain washed the flea beetles off the swiss chard, and the last few weeks have been perfect for getting fall crops going and for us the cool evenings in the screen house have been welcome.
All this to say that the men and women who grow your food are hard working people who take what is given and make the best of it and around here they more often than not keep the farm stands, the CSA boxes and your plate full.
For me “what I stand for I’m standing on” is more than a quote…it’s a declaration of dedication to raising food, shared by farmers, in good years and bad.
Elaine, Marilynn, Sydney and me filling up the rows. Not just farmers, you’ll see these ladies in the kitchen and on the wait staff at dinner, too.
It’s the mainstay of our garden amendments. We are using what we made last year to nourish this year’s plants.
Freezing, thawing and big boots have a way of messing up our water lines. Using drip irrigation that we run ourselves is best for our plants and our well. It’s easy to use if you remember Tinker Toys from childhood.
Our team is back from college, the crops are coming in and the energy is up.
We entertained the Wild Lands Trust’s Board of Directors with a brunch, a meditation group from Nishmat Hayyim for a retreat, and held a benefit dinner for Fairy Dog Parents earlier this month (look for photos in the next South Shore Living Magazine). Wire sculptures by Carole Whalen, Birds & Bees Farm, Hope ME. She is an amazing talent we were privileged to showcase her work.
All our early planting paid off, we were able to serve broccoli, spinach, lettuces, bok choy, kohlrabi, arugula, fennel, basil, and tot soi to our first farm visitors. For our first farm-to-table dinner on June 14th, we have beets, chard and baby squash to add to that list.
We are planning for these Sundays,
July 14th, July 28th, August 18th,
September 1, and September 15th.
Call us to reserve.
Every year as the seasons change I declare the new one “the best.” After 10 years at the farm I am recognizing….they are all my favorite.
This spring is no different, it’s my favorite for now. We planted the garden of course but there were other spring pursuits to follow. I spent hours following the orioles, trying to find their new nest, for a while there I was afraid that the female was just going to live on my truck mirror all summer. She finally got the family thing and went back to her mate.
I spent evenings watching the first fireflies. My yearly peony watch felt a little like the adage “a watched pot never boils” but, after constant checking for color, we have huge blossoms this year. Summer Gardens, here in Plympton shares their haul with us to use in the screen house. One guest at the benefit said it smelled like a peony factory in there.
The kitchen is as busy as any other part of the farm now.
This morning there are 2 gallons of Tim Braddock’s strawberries (the old fashioned kind, small and dark red) for jam, a bushel of chard for pickling (we use the stems) and the weekend menu that needs planning.
As I declare that “I love spring the best” all the while looking forward to summer, I know in my heart that “what I stand for I’m standing on” says it best.
Hope to see you at our table…
Finding just enough winter left for a quick trip, Elaine and I traveled to NYC for inspiration, some new sources and to be honest…to eat in the big leagues.
We sampled enough food for six at Craft, and that along with taking copious notes got us an invitation to the kitchen…Tom Colicchio’s kitchen.
A lunch at Jean-George Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen, a pork bun at Momofuku Ssam Bar and a taste trip through the cities best Lebanese restaurant found us talking to chefs, staff and other diners to find that Mission Chinese was all the buzz, and not to be missed. We trekked from Mid-town to the Lower East side for our last tasting frenzy of the trip.
No doubt some of this inspiration will find it’s way onto our plates this summer.
A couple of grey days in the city is still…in the city.
We take reservations by phone. At the goat house this can be entertaining. I want to talk to you and they just want to nibble the reservation book. (Yes, I have it with me all the time.) Just give us a call and we will handle it on this end no matter where we are.
We host 5 course prix fixe dinners Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings
from June 14th through September 2013.
Reservations required. All reservations taken by phone.
2013 Seed List
Peepers, I heard them! It’s officially window opening time and bird chirping weather.
Hopeful…that is what sums up spring for me.
The first green, even if it is the garden weeds (and it usually is) inspires hope. When the first sun on my back is a comfort and the worms in the just turned soil seem glad to see me…this is hopeful. When I look at seedlings and think of tomatoes rather than the time it will take to transplant…this is hopeful. Even when it occurs to me that the storm windows need to be taken off, the tractor needs work, the raspberries should have been cut back weeks ago, I realize that that light in the sky is actually the sun and…I am hopeful.
This morning, remembering again that “what I stand for I’m standing on” I’m up with the birds, spade and coffee in hand on my way to the garden and I am hopeful.
I hope to see you at our table.
At Just Right Farm and other local farms, planting and planning the food for dinner starts now.
We are ready to take your reservations for the 2013 season. We suggest you reserve as early as possible especially for specific celebration dates and large groups, as our first season of “Evenings at Just Right Farm” was sold out by mid-July. Dinners begin June 14 and continue every weekend through the month of September.
Our five course dinners are $120.00 plus tax (does not include gratuity) All reservations are taken by phone and prepaid with Visa or MasterCard.
Call for reservations 781 936 5330 www.justrightfarm.com
Biontrient Rich Crop Production Workshop
Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm
Just Right Farm is hosting Derek Christianson’s Brix Bounty Farm Bionutrient Rich Crop Production workshop this spring. I have learned a lot from Derek and am pleased to have him here at the farm.
It is a 2 day workshop, to be held on March 9th & April 6th from 9:30-4:30. Learn about Bionutrient Rich Crop Production and how to apply innovative and reliable principles and practices to produce more nutritious food crops. These techniques are invaluable for home gardeners as well as production farmers.
Class focus; soil biology, mineralogy and energy dynamics.
Course description on the Bionutrient Food Association Website.
Fee $150.00 (farmer scholarships are available)
Registration available online
Every December I look forward to the annual gatherings of friends and our community celebrations, both being a time to visit and share a little cheer. An exquisite gingerbread model of our farm at the home of friends made this season extra special for Mark and me.
Holidays are a mix of old traditions and new surprises. The rural tradition of helping a neighbor when the need arises was shown to us (and appreciated) over and over this past summer as we started our new business and expanded our farming. The happy surprise is the interest folks are expressing in being a part of Just Right Farm in the coming year. The offers of land to lease, greenhouses to use, the gift certificates given and the many “I would just like to be a part” notes and calls have been more than heartwarming.
And more heartwarming still… knowing that above all else there is community in our community.
Last year in May, I promised to take three heart-stoppingly beautiful baby dairy goats from Schoolhouse Farm. It is February and they have just settled in. Building their shed was a project. Hard work aside it was satisfying to see a shelter take shape from a pile of left over house timbers and even more fun to work with friends to construct it. Now I’m just happy that they are home and am awed by how a shed full of hay smells just like summer.
You know that business about hibernating and long winter naps?
It was fun while it lasted but it’s almost spring.
Dick Harlfinger, my gardening guru tells me its time to fire up the greenhouse. I’m waiting for a good hard freeze so we can get a truck load of cow manure out to the field. Trying not to spend every minute looking through seed catalogs is taking discipline. But all that will come soon enough.
Thing is, this is really a special time, time for getting ready to get ready. Remembering last year’s exuberant summer of gardening, and sharing the farm with our guests makes me thankful and hopeful for the 2013 season. Remembering the tomato blight has me losing some sleep but reading about better defense and better crop maintenance. Thinking of cooking with our gorgeous produce and all the food that came out of this kitchen puts our farming in perspective. We, after all, do it so that there is good food to eat.
So I’m taking time to consider the benefits of the “Rural Renaissance” not only for Mark and me but for you as well. I’m remembering how living and working on this farm brings to mind Wendell Berry’s words… “what I stand for, I’m standing on”
Our farm to table dinners will begin June 14th. Each weekend through the end of September we will host evenings at the farm.
We will begin taking reservations on March 1st. 781-936-5330
Reserving early for special celebration dates and large groups is advised.
Friday and Saturday dinners are at 7. You may arrive any time after 6 p.m. for farm tours.
Our five course prix fixe dinner is $120.00 plus tax (not including a gratuity).
Dinners include local fish and seafood, meat and organic dairy from New England farms, most of the produce we use in the kitchen is grown here but we buy from any local farms as well.
We take all reservations by phone. Please call Kimberly at 781-936-5330
All reservations are pre-paid. Visa & MasterCard accepted.
$120.00 plus tax (does not include a gratuity)
I hope to see you at our table,