Summer seems to have finally arrived, in a big bang that took us from wearing heavy coats to short pants in about 5 days. It’s been one of the weirdest three month periods for everyone in the world, and the combination of very cold weather in April and May, along with trying to adjust to social distancing, has made this spring very trying. Luckily, we have an amazing crew of folks here to help us mow the cover crops, spread compost and fertilizer, till the beds, and place tens of thousands of seedlings into the field. Rebecca has been shouldering most of the coronavirus protocols, including putting some of our marketing online, which made it very clear to us how much we are NOT amazon.com. It made us very happy to open the farmstand!
The good news is that most of our crops weathered the ultra-cold spring, and we have some great lettuce and other salad fixings, along with a very good crop of strawberries. They are here for just the next few weeks, carpe diem! You never know when a string of wet weather will wreck the party. Pick your own details below or look for them at one of our markets.
Who’s who at the farm
There’s nothing like a pandemic to really make you appreciate your farm crew!
Our field manager Lauren Henderson has been keeping everyone on task this spring, juggling the field prep, planting, watering and weeding tasks like a pro. We got a huge boost from our returning growers. You’ll see Connor Whitehouse at the New Milford Farmers’ Market. He took time off from cultivating the crops to put his training as a web designer to use and took on much of the work to get the online store going this spring; Dana Scott is back helping take care of our greenhouse crops and luring various pests to undisclosed locations; James Gilbert took on planting the spring cover crops, and is at Chappaqua each Saturday.
We’ve got some new folks as well. Selenna Strother, while not new to the farm, took on new responsibilities as an apprentice, keeping in touch with our wholesale customers, and taking care of drip irrigating all those strawberries. New Milford native Michele Pitcher came “back east” from Idaho and jumped right into running our transplanter and tilling beds for the spring crops. Emma Homans moved down south and jumped right into spreading compost and seeding greens.
These folks make up our season-long crew, but no less important are the folks we hire to help us plant, weed, bunch, and pick our summer crops. Adam Quattro bid us farewell after 6 seasons last year but became a corona virus labor refuge this spring and returns for a record 7th season in a row on our farm crew! Veteran farm workers Justin Bock and Olivia Binzen are back for another season, and we welcomed Kady Hoffman, Kayla Van Name, Allyson Norkowski, and Katie Pacheco. Kathy Scott did the lion’s share of the greenhouse work again this spring and is in our farmstand each week to help everyone out. She gets a big hand from former apprentice Faye Barry, who is also back in the field for a few days each week.
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul, Rebecca, and Lauren for the Fort Hill Farm crew
Featured this week:
Strawberries! They are looking good and tasting even better!
salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, head lettuce, curly green kale, rainbow chard, spinach, fresh basil, French Breakfast and red radishes, escarole, scallions
hints of: cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, kohlrabi, fennel, salad turnips, lacinato kale, fits and starts of carrots and cucumbers as they sporadically ripen in our little greenhouse trials, snap peas
Pick Your Own:
PYO begins 30 minutes before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.
Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database
Quarantine Strawberry Pick-Me-Up
one pint fresh strawberries
one pint your favorite vanilla bean ice cream
Remove the tops from the strawberries and slice berries. Spoon the ice cream into your favorite bowl. Top with the berries. Stir around until you see your favorite shade of pink. Indulge yourself, this time comes around but once a year.