Dear Share-Members,

Hello, everyone, and Happy Spring! We write to you this afternoon from the rainy and greening fields of Hadley. As April was a relatively dry month here in Western MA, we are ever so grateful for the rain this week, and our newly transplanted crops are as well!

If you remember back to our last newsletter in early March, we expressed our hope that March wouldn’t go out like a lion, given that it came in like such a lamb…

Well, as you remember, our hopes were denied: what a lion the end of March, and early April for that matter, turned out to be! While we were concerned about some of our early spring crops after the April snowstorm, we are happy to report that all is well at the farm, and that we are on schedule to begin our first share distribution during the first week of June. We will be in touch later this month with an official confirmation of our first share day. We hope you’re as excited as we are!

As you might expect, the last two months have been incredibly busy here at the farm. We spent many days cleaning up our share barn for the 2016 season: we dusted, scrubbed, and organized. We are particularly excited about our new tool closet that holds a variety of essential items that we use to maintain and fix our tractors and other farm equipment. Everything is organized, labeled, and well-oiled for the ever-busying summer months ahead. Huzzah!

Along with cleaning and organizing, we’ve also been busy at work in the greenhouse over the last two months. Tending to germinating plants is tricky and sensitive business, but as many of our staff are returning again, (some for their sixth season with us!), our crops are in incredibly capable hands both inside the greenhouse and out in the fields.

Over the last couple of weeks we have begun transplanting crops into the rich Hadley loam at our Cemetery Road location. So far we have transplanted the first successions of onions, cabbage, fennel, kale, lettuce, scallions, collards, chard, leeks and kohlrabi, and we have seeded the first carrots, sugar snap peas, herbs, beets, spring turnips, radishes, flowers, arugula, bok choi, and other salad greens.

Over the next couple of weeks our tomatoes will get transplanted, along with cucumbers, peppers, watermelons, and a variety of other crops. As many of our crops are cold-sensitive, we have to be patient and not rush into planting too early, even when it really feels like spring in early March ;-)

We will close by reminding you that none of this is possible without your support; indeed, through your membership with us, you ensure that we can continue stewarding the land sustainably, and that we can continue growing healthy, organic food for our local community. As always, thank you for your continued support!

All of this said, if you have not already signed up for your 2016 share, please do so today! As a reminder, simply print out the sign-up form and send it in along with your deposit to reserve a spot for this season.

And finally, we thought we’d share some recent photos to show you what we’ve been up to here around the farm in the last month or so.  If you’d like to keep a closer eye on us, and our see what we are up to each week, you can find us on Facebook and on Instagram at@nextbarnoverfarm

We wish you all a wonderful May, and so look forward to seeing you around the share barn in just four short weeks. Keep an eye out for a note from us at the end of this month with the official announcement regarding our first share pick up day.

Until then, we wish you all very well.

Warmly and with gratitude,
Your farmer,

Ray