Spring Rains

Jared catching chickens last Spring

Jared catching chickens last Spring

The spring rains continue to fall as we head into May. The grass is loving the moisture, and the rich green of the fields along Codman road paints a vivid contrast against the gray skies we’ve been having. While the weather is suited to curling up inside with a mug of something hot, things have been humming along at the farm. Our first flock of meat chickens moved out to the fields at Mt. Misery this past week, and they are thrilled to be out on fresh grass! We’re moving them every day in their mobile chicken coops to spread fertility evenly across the field, and give them fresh tasty grass to eat. Adding their nitrogen-rich manure to these pastures regenerates the fertility of land that has been farmed by European descendents for over 300 years in some cases, often without proper care taken to restore vital nutrients to the soil. The brooder-barn is bursting with younger chicks who are growing rapidly, and will soon be joining their older compatriots out on the pasture.

With the flock flourishing, our first fresh chicken of the season will be available at the farm store from the evening of Friday 5/31 to the evening of Monday 6/2, so stop in and pick some up! Our first flock are Freedom Rangers, a French breed with a lovely robust chicken taste. We’ll be catching the birds that Wednesday, May 29th before bringing them to slaughter, and we could use your help! If you’re interested in being part of our volunteer chicken catching crew, email Jon (me) at jon@codmanfarm.org.

We’ll be catching chickens throughout the summer, and we depend on your help each time to bring in the flock, so come once or come every time! I personally believe that there’s nothing like the joy of shared work (other than perhaps the joy of shared music or food), and that working out in the fields together, as the sun sets and the twilight fades, is a deep and meaningful way to spend an evening. For more info about this event, email me at the address above, or visit the events page here.

Planting continues on the farm, despite the wet weather. The rain isn’t ideal for working in the soil, as it can compact the earth, depriving roots and soil microbes of necessary oxygen. However, with the help of the Massachusetts Bay Waldorf High School class that’s been joining us on Fridays, we managed to plant out a few rows of spinach before the rain set in on Friday.

Soon to follow are broccoli starts and scallions, as well as tomatoes for the greenhouse. Speaking of which, Kari’s been working away in the greenhouse, sowing pumpkins and winter squash starts, Zinnia’s for the PYO garden, and more. And in the orchard, it’s been a joy to watch the perennials come to life, from the rhubarb which is bursting up with huge leaves, to the hops Pete and Jen rescued, which have just emerged.

Finally, I want to thank all of the hard-working volunteers who came out for our Spring Cleanup! Thanks to your help, we weeded a significant chunk of the orchard, prepped a garden bed by the barn, cleared out the leaves by the stone wall along Codman road, continued work on the new PYO garden, stripped a fence for painting, and completed several other significant projects. We are a community organization, and are made up of the people who interact with and care for this place, whether by shopping in our store or spending a day working on the farm. We are lucky to have such a supportive community. And of course, thanks to our Farmer’s Helper class - these energetic kids learned how to prime a fence on Wednesday, and I’ve got to say it’s looking pretty spiffy!

Until next time,