Notes from the Field: Week 3
Notes from the Field: Know Your Farmers
Summer 2018 Week 3
Much of the draw to local produce comes from a desire for freshness, flavor, and “knowing your farmer.”
Knowing the farmer allows customers and farmers to build a relationship of trust. The customer might trust the farmer to use specific growing or conservation practices, to plant favorite varieties of vegetables, or to purchase supplies responsibly and locally. In turn, the farmer trusts that the customer will shop loyally and tell friends about the farm. This trust is the foundation of a good farm business, and is highlighted by the CSA model in which customer and farmer enter a season-long relationship of growing and eating flavorful vegetables grown with sound practices.
So, who are your farmers?
This year we have an outstanding farm crew. They bring an exceptionally hard work ethic and wonderful sense of humor to the gritty yet rewarding job of growing your vegetables. This week they will plant thousands of squash, watermelon, lettuce, and basil seedlings. They will weed our first two plantings of carrots and sugarsnap peas. They will harvest over 1000 bunches of veggies. And they will keep the whole farm irrigated as we officially enter an “Abnormally Dry” period of the summer. They are each exploring farming as a potential career track, and wanted to work at LexFarm for the variety of skills they would learn on the job.
Allow me to introduce them to you!
Assistant Grower Emmy
Emmy brings 2 years of farm experience from nearby Belmont Acres and faraway Sunrise Ranch in Colorado. She has quickly mastered driving our Kubota tractor and currently spends about 1 day each week on it prepping our fields for planting! She also coordinates our volunteer work in the fields.
Farm Stand Manager Momoko
Momoko brings 5 years of farm experience from neighboring Soluna Garden Farm in Winchester. Busy weeks of farmers markets there have prepared her to manage our farm stand and introduce you to new vendors and products, including more local fruit! She retains encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, herbs, and the best booths to check out at local markets.
She spends one day each week in the field with the farm crew, and is well-versed in how things work around the farm as a result! Find her in the farm stand if you have any questions!
Alexandra is new to farming but not new to Lexfarm! She’s been a CSA member for the past few years and is our only true “Lexington local” on staff. She has been known to complete the ultimate summer triathlon of running to work, farming for 8 hours, and then biking home. Her future competitors at Tufts track meets won’t know what hit them! She loves all the wild things on the farm and reminds us we’re just one of many animals using the land.
Allison comes to us with two seasons under her belt at Waltham Fields Community Farm. During our first harvest of the year, she held down the fort in the wash station (in which one person washes vegetables as fast as five people harvest them), and we finished in record time. She just learned how to drive our cultivating tractor…watch out weeds!
Farm Manager Elena (me!)
This is my third year at Lexfarm, and my twelfth year farming. I originally came to LexFarm excited to learn about larger scale production, having never grown for a 200 member CSA or a busy plant sale. What excites me most about LexFarm now, is the opportunity to teach our farm crew new skills and watch the farm evolve as Tim and I implement changes with the support of the community.