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Baby, It's COLD Outside!!

Posted 12/14/2016 4:39pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Sorry Everybody! We have to do it!
Mother Nature, Old Man Winter, and Jack Frost have conspired to keep our farmstand in the barn   . . . CLOSED ON FRIDAY, December 16th.
  • With a predicted low of 3 degrees overnight on Thursday and a high of 17 during the day on Friday - there is just no way we can keep our vegetables from freezing!!!
  • Jordan Brothers Seafood has some pre-orders to bring on Friday, so the seafood truck will be there Friday from 2pm to 4pm. There's sure to be a limited supply of seafood to buy a la carte as well. The truck will also be at the farmstand Sat & Sun 10-2, as regularly scheduled.
  • Friday was supposed to be our last Fall CSA distribution, but we are going to pre-pack all of the shares and ask members to come pick up their boxes on Saturday or Sunday, 10-2. We will be able to accommodate any CSA Members who have to pick up on Friday for whatever reason. Just send us an email so we know.
  • WE WILL BE OPEN ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, December 17 & 18, 10AM - 2PM
  • and that's all folks! Sunday, December 18th is the last farmstand of the season!

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

Now, you must be wondering, What on earth do you still have for us???

Well - we managed to get all of the sweet little Candy Carrot bunches out of the earth before the deep freeze tomorrow. Our unheated high tunnel (aka "greenhouse") along with several layers of spun fabric supported by wire hoops, protected our Lettuce Mix, Brittany's special "Tall, Dark, and Handsome" Mustard Mix, primo, hardy winter Spinach, and even some beautiful dark-green Parsley leaves!

We also have the exotic, cutting-edge chicory for salad all winter: Sugarloaf Radicchio (Pan di Zucchero, en Italiano), Napa Cabbage, Green and Savoy Cabbage, and succulent Bok Choy hearts.

The surplus Superfarm storage root vegetables for 2016 are . . . drumroll please . . .

  • Mixed Winter Radishes (all the Daikon varieties and Watermelon radish if we have any)
  • Beets
  • Purple-Top Turnips
  • Half-Bushel Boxes of any one of these are $20

We should have:

  • a plentitude of Parsnips
  • sufficient Celery Root
  • and hardly a scarcity of Scarlet Queen Turnips

Finally, in limited supply, (in early bird gets the worm fashion) we have:

  • Leeks (15 pounds to be exact)
  • Red Onions, plus a few Shallots and bulbs of Garlic
  • Small certified organic Potatoes from Atlas Farm in Deerfield, MA
  • a "handful" of our own Fingerling Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Radicchio (seriously - hardly any, for you fanatics!)
  • Dakota Black Popcorn, off the cob, and in a jelly jar with a fancy label (by our standards, anyway)
  • WBF Gift Cards for any amount over $10
  • Free Pint Glass with the purchase of a $25 or $50 Gift Card - all wrapped up in a cute package!

      gift card        pint glass

Plus from our co-conspirators:

  • Gorgeous, Gourmet Mushrooms from the lovely Elizabeth at Fat Moon Farm will be here
  • We are buying in some Sweet Potatoes from Hutchins Farm in Concord, MA
  • Phil at Sheldonville Roasters has confirmed that he is well enough to roast da beans!!!! Rejoice, coffee lovers and coffee lover lovers who want to gift the most fabulous freshly-roasted coffee beans to be found!
  • a small quantity of the most beautiful, orange-yolked Eggs from the pastured hens at Wrentham's Birchwold Farm
  • Eggs from Pat's Pastured in East Greenwich, RI. Plus, frozen Ground Beef from Pat's Grass-Fed Cows is also in stock!
  • Frozen Pork from Floyd at Burnshirt Valley Farm in Barre, MA. Plenty of Pork Chops, Cutlets, Kabobs, and Hot Italian Sausage. Limited Sweet Italian Sausage and Spareribs. 
  • We just restocked our Franklin Honey supply and got some of the 8 oz jars (great for gifts or part of a gift package or basket). I also convinced Lauren to let me sell her amazingly wonderful beeswax-based soaps with the most intoxicating scents imaginable (in a good way). No charge for the aromatherapy involved in choosing which ones to buy!
  • Massachusetts Maple Syrup from Harms Family Farm (sugarbush in Colrain, MA)

**Feel free to be in touch via email next week (12/19-12/23) if you need a last minute gift card or giant sack of purple top turnips. We can arrange a time for a rendezvous.

That's it for farm news! Now on to more personal tidbits . . .

We know lots of you are wondering - now what? what are you going to do? are you taking one of your fabulous winter trips? what do you do with all of those leftover roots and cabbages?

Well, our Superfarm experiment was an awesome success this year. Having Brittany as the third farmer this year helped White Barn Farm in so many ways. We experimented with low-till systems, the Paper Pot Transplanter, lots of direct seeded crops, and a collaborative business model. Up against unforgiving drought and heat, Chris and Brittany farmed like heck this year, doing an amazing job of producing vegetables and managing a large crew across two different farm sites. (yours truly, Christy, was mostly making bouquets in the cool barn cellar/"flower dungeon"). Several terrific results of this growing season: Upswing Farm has lift-off! Ashland's newest farm is going to be really taking off in 2017 - Brittany's husband, Kevin, will be joining Brittany and investing in the infrastructure for a burgeoning farm business at the Upswing site (28 South St., Ashland, MA). White Barn and Upswing will have more of a "sister farm" relationship in 2017. We will probably have them grow some of the larger crops so we can focus on our more intensive crops and our farmstand.  Another wonderful piece of news - Brittany also managed to grow a baby this year!! She is one badass mama farmer, complaining never, and staying completely on top of crucial timing of seedings, efficient management of the crew, both CSA programs (including the emails this year!), our budget, and big-picture goals. So anyway, Kevin and Brittany are not going to find out if it's a boy or a girl, but their little sprout is due January 19th! They will be spending most of their time before the baby is born trying to get their planning and ordering for the upcoming season done!

Speaking of planning and ordering, that is what farmers do in the winter. Excel spreadsheets are the crop rows of wintertime! Have you noticed how many different crops we grow? and how many different varieties within that crop category? and how many different plantings must be done to keep the harvest cranking? and that insane mid-May Plant Sale we throw? and that fabulous farm crew? That is what we are up to. Planning, planning, ordering, budgeting, marketing, hiring, and more planning.

What is difficult for my personality type, however, is that the time pressure is less obvious than in the summer (that lettuce will bolt if we don't harvest it NOW!). Time tends to sneak away from me - the blur of the holidays, the shoveling of snow, seizing the day (emergency ice skating party if the lake freezes over), living in the moment (cross-country skiing if the snow is just right), enjoying our break (making pancakes for breakfast and browsing seed catalogs by the wood stove), visiting the friends we don't see all farm season, and voila - it's March 1st, time to turn on the greenhouse and begin seeding onions!!  So if you see me lingering at the YMCA sauna or trying on jeans at the outlets - just remind me that I have time-sensitive work to get done! What if they sell out of gnome cabbage seeds before I have a chance to place my order?!

As far as our fabulous winter trip - Yes! Chris and Graham and I are going on a South by Southwest Friends and Family Visiting Extravaganza. The day after Christmas we fly to Houston, rent a car and drive to Austin. My mom, who lives in Arizona, will pick us up and bring us to nearby Dripping Springs, where her parents live with her sister and sister's husband. My brother who lives in Florida will be visiting for the holidays, too, along with his wife and my niece and nephew. Hurray - Graham gets to visit with his cousins (and aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, grandma, and great-grandparents)! We plan on eating great BBQ and visiting San Antonio one day - we even got tickets to go see the Spurs basketball game! My best friend Maggie, who lives in Montana, and her boyfriend, Taylor, whose family is from the Houston area, will be in Austin for New Year's Eve where we will be ringing in the new year with Willie Nelson! Next, we will rent a car again and head up through Lubbock, TX, Santa Fe, NM, and then visit Mesa Verde and Arches National Parks. Last stop is Salt Lake City, where my auntie Ann lives with her husband John. Her son, Max, is out there, too. We've rented out a hoot of a place, the "Mangy Moose" and have Chris' best hometown buddies coming in from Colorado and California so we can all ski together for a couple days. We will be back to Boston January 10th and then we can start assessing the greens in the high tunnels and roots in storage to decide whether we can reach out to all of you again for a Deep Winter CSA Box or perhaps a random pop-up farmstand.

As always, stay tuned! Join our Mailing List if you haven't already!

Thank you so incredibly much for your support! Stay sane and be good to each other during the all of the holiday hubbub!!

Happy Winter Solstice one week from today!!! the days will slowly but surely grow longer  . . . I promise