-- Oakes Plimpton
Over the last couple of days we have been gleaning Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. First turnips, a lot of perfect turnips, but then too many imperfect ones, not worth keeping. Then the next day we were offered carrots and parsnips and rutabagas. This was more like classic gleaning as the root veggies had already been picked, and these were the rejects, mostly for being too small or too imperfect. It took quite a while to sort through and pick the carrots and parsnips, almost all too small, and then to twist the tops off. The rutabagas were a different story, many huge roots, but often scarred by wire worms, but more importantly a lot rotten within. Yuk! You had to cut off the tops, and if they were clean, the root was good, but many proved rotten. Didn't take too long to fill up two boxes, and to make room for the other gleanings, just put all the great roots separately onto the back seat. Meanwhile the Drumlin Farm farmers Greg and Matt with some volunteers or interns were there harvesting the new row of parsnips, occasional conversation back and forth. In two and a half hours work, your Presidente gleaned a veggie box of each root, plus the whole middle seat loaded with large rutabagas. See the photos of what was gleaned and of the washing of the very dirty parsnips at 67 Coolidge Road driveway! We will probably deliver same to the Medford Food Pantry along with apples from Nicewicz Orchard.
-- Oakes Plimpton
BAG receives a substantial amount of funding through various grants we apply for throughout the year. This time, we were fortunate enough to have someone else write a grant for us. We would like to thank Toni Peters for thinking of us when her company offered a $600 grant for community spirit. This grant money will be used to pay a stipend for our two fall interns, Natalie and Chris who have been hard at work this season. Toni was nice enough to come out and visit Oakes and Chris while they were on a gleaning trip at Dick's Market Garden in Lunenburg.
Worried about where to get your veggies this winter? Well, Cambridge is opening a winter market near Central Square at 5 Callender Street Cambridge, MA 02139. It will open January 7th, 2011 and run every Saturday until April 28th, 2012. For more information: http://centermarket.weebly.com/
Somerville is also hosting a Winter Farmer's Market, which so far only seems to be located on facebook. It will be Saturdays 9:30a.m.-2:30p.m November 12, 2011 - May 26, 2012 and will be held inside the Armory at 191 Highland Ave, in Somerville, MA. For more information: http://www.facebook.com/SomervilleWinterFarmersMarket?sk=info
Do you know of other winter farmer's markets in the area? Please comment below! We'd love to know where to get some local produce!
Gore Place today was so eventful I unfortunately took no pictures! We picked 7 boxes (I think) of Waltham butternut squash out of the greenhouse into boxes, and 3 boxes of sugar pumpkins.
Out in the fields we wrestled all the collard plants into boxes, 16. Meaning we picked the whole plant, not the individual leaves. Duck is taking them into FFF tomorrow along with the winter squash.
Two volunteers helped -- Kathleen and Mary-Ann. First we had to persuade a tractor operator (volunteer he told us!) to turn off an exceptionally load composting machine, but he still operated his loud tractor despite my entreaties. At the end, though, he was very helpful for we got the BAG Van stuck! His tractor pushed the Van out, but at one point the tractor slid off contact point and messed up the right light frame. We fixed it with Duck Tape!
-- Oakes Plimpton
Apples: We gleaned beautiful apples today! The four Nicewitz brothers manage a beautiful orchard in Bolton, on a hill, once upon a time a subsistence farm, but now a diversified farm and orchard; they attend 5 farmers markets a week, and have a small stand and also wholesale. They had sorted the apples into three's -- apples that were excellent, apples not quite as good, and cider apples (worse). But all are better than the apples from our front lawn apple tree here in town (Arlington). Our job was to transfer the Mac and Courtland apples from their wooden boxes to our (used) banana boxes. And then David Nicewitz carried almost all our boxes weighing 40 to 50 pounds to put them into our Caravan. As mentioned David and Alan (who comes to the Market in Arlington) had already sorted the apples from bins to smaller wooden boxes.I called David Lesley, Director of Food For Free when I reached home, and he was glad to accept the apples to be delivered at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Tomorrow we are also going to Concord to glean lettuce from Brigham Farm -- farmer Chip Poutasse offered. The lettuce has recovered pretty well from the frosts and snow. Not too much lettuce left out there, 6 or 7 boxes he told us, but we do not want to let anything go to waste if practically possible.