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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Freezing your Harvest

By Intern Brian Nichols and Kathleen Banfield

Are you suddenly finding that you have more collards than you know what to do with? Do you want to save some kale or tomatoes for a cold winter day? Try freezing your vegetables! These vegetables will taste just as fresh as the day you picked them, and it can be quite satisfying to reminisce about your garden during our long, cold winters. Freezing some types of vegetables is actually a very simple process. Just follow the instructions below to stock up on those plants that produce more than you know what to do with!

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News from the Lincoln Fields

Shareholders often ask about the kinds of methods we use to control pests around the farm. Pest management on a farm is, of course, much different than in a garden. In a garden, if one rabbit or a whole lot of insects destroy your two chard plants, tragically, your crop is gone. On the farm, farmers like us, who use sustainable methods, need to integrate losses from pests into our planning.

When you have a whole field of onions, even if some pests munch a dozen or two of them, the loss is so marginal it does not affect your crop. Having said that, we are constantly thinking of new ways to minimize the losses around the farm. Pests come in different sizes, from the tiny flea beetles that make holes in the arugula to deer and groundhogs.

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Dudley Farmers' Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Green Peppers
Eggplant
Garlic
Beets
Shell Beans
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Red Slicing Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Carrots
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Parsley
Summer Squash
Corn (Thursday only)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

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News from the Lincoln fields

This week, as we look out onto the fields our hearts are content and full of anticipation. We see lush fields of winter squash (three acres!) at the edge of the farm, round musk and water melons are popping up everywhere in the melon field, our greens are coming back from the beating they took during the heat wave, and the vines are heavy with green tomatoes. The farm is in good shape.

A note about fruit- It is often the crops most fleeting in nature that cause the greatest excitement both during and long after the season has ended. Images of strawberries, melons, or tomatoes come fastest to our minds when we think about farming, although as you well know the farming season consists more of the less showy but reliable and satisfying greens and roots. The sweetest crops stay in the spotlight long after they are gone. I’m speaking, of course, of fruit.

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Dudley Farmers' Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Green Peppers
Eggplant
Garlic
Shell Beans
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Red Slicing Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Calalloo
Cucumbers
Carrots
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Summer Squash
Corn (Thursday only)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

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News from the Lincoln Fields

Since our summer program started in June we have harvested roughly 14,000 pounds of produce and from this we have donated thousands of pounds to our shelter, soup kitchen, and pantry partners. To give you an idea of how we accomplish this task, let me introduce you to our Tuesday harvest. The day starts at 6:30am when the farm staff works hard to harvest greens and lettuce before the sun starts beating on them. As the youth arrive on the farm, crews quickly go out to the fields and the task of harvesting 2,000 lbs of produce begins. As crates upon crates of squash, carrots, and potatoes arrive at the wash station, one crew works on weighing, recording, washing, and packing for each different destination. After lunch it’s off to the city as we deliver the Cambridge, Somerville, and Arlington CSA shares, drop off produce at five hunger relief organizations, and then to our farmers’ market in Roxbury—all in two hours!

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Dudley Town Common Farmers Market News

At the Market

Garlic
Shell Beans
Potatoes
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Calalloo
Cucumbers
Carrots
Beets
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Summer Squash
Raspberries
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (on Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

Vegetable of the Week: Green Tomatoes

I have learned that green tomato lovers are hard-core. Last year, we'd hear folks, stopped at red lights, yelling from their car at us - and they most often wanted to know if we were selling green tomatoes. Others would buy 20 lbs worth, because apparently it's not always easy to find green tomatoes around town. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call on my cell from a shopper I didn't recognize by name, double-checking that we'd have them at the market that afternoon.

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Obama Cabinet Member Visits The Food Project’s Boston Farm

scenes from the Secretary's visit
scenes from the Secretary's visit
President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, stopped by our West Cottage Farm in Dorchester the other week! She took a tour of TFP’s urban agricultural oasis and visited with 35 of our teens working on the farm. The event highlighted our work under a recent grant from the Boston Public Health Commission and the Centers for Disease Control. We were held up as a national model for obesity prevention in low- income neighborhoods.

The local media did a great job of covering the Secretary’s visit. The Boston Globe captured the mood of the special morning. Check out their article and video, which include the Secretary’s comments, as well as the experiences of some of our youth.

The photos

1. Secretary Sebelius looks on and listens intently as Food Project interns Valerie and Phil speak about their work.

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Dudley Town Common Farmers Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Garlic
Raspberries
Shell Beans
Green Beans
Calalloo
Fava Beans
Cucumbers
Carrots
Cabbage
Salad Mix
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Salad Turnips
Scallions
Basil
Summer Squash
Peaches and Plums (possibly only on Tuesday)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (only on Thursday)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

News From The Field

Usually, my news from the field consist mostly of my musings about farming and what's happening on our farm sites in Roxbury and Dorchester. This week, Globe and WBZ TV reporters were sharing their news stories from the field.

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The Wonders of Weeding

Weeding is an important part of maintaining your garden. Regular weeding (at least once a week) is most beneficial because it's more manageable and they won't grow too big, which will prevent weeds from stealing too much space, water, and nutrients from the plants you actually want in your garden. Some plants eventually go to seed if not weeded right away, which will result in more weeds growing in your garden.

Sometimes the hardest part of weeding is being able to differentiate between the weeds and plants you seeded. While labeling what you plant and keeping an accurate map of your garden bed can help with plant identification of what you planted, it is even better to know a little about the weeds you are pulling up!

Check out this chart (4 MB PDF) with some of the most common weeds you'll find in your garden. Remember, not all weeds are "bad!" We distinguish between edible and nutritious ones and those you can just get rid of!

 

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