Now that we’re well in to July, our season is truly in full swing. Our team has plenty of updates to share; read on to learn about our summer so far!
The Grafton Farm
Things on the Grafton farm are going well, despite the cold, wet, and slow start to the season. After our broccoli and cabbage suffered through standing water and chilly temperatures, we have been surprised by a healthy and large harvest in both of those crops. The blueberries are steadily coming out of the field as a sweet treat to our recipients, and the summer squash and zucchini are strong contenders as always. Our heat loving crops are finally getting the temperatures they love, so hopefully the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers will start producing soon. We have been using our cultivation tractors to keep up with the weed pressure between the crop rows, and the fields have never looked so clean. Come drop by to see the difference!
– Annie Stegink, Farm Coordinator
The Harvard Orchard
We have been busy this summer at Prospect Hill Orchard caring for the newly planted apple and peach trees and finishing construction on our high density apple orchard. We won’t have any fruit from the young apple trees until next year but they require much care in the establishment years. Fertilization, trellising, painting, pest, weed and water management are some of the tasks we do to ensure they have a healthy foundation and can support their first crop of apples next year. The apples on our established trees have been growing rapidly this summer with warm days and a sufficient supply of water, which we did not have last year. It appears we will have a decent crop and will begin harvesting the first apples at the end of August.
– Susan Conant, Orchard Manager
Our Summer Interns
We are more than halfway through our Summer Sustainable Internship Program and when they are not out working with volunteers or doing farm tasks like weeding they have had plenty of extracurricular activities to round out the summer. They are regularly meeting with staff members to learn about each individual role within our organization, participating in healthy eating modules and learning to prepare healthy snacks. Several of them expressed an interest in learning more about funding which has led to the entire group learning how to write a grant request as a project under Cordie’s direction. They have visited the Worcester County Food Bank for a tour and more in depth understanding of the hunger relief network. They are working on a special project to research the best method that we should implement for composting on the farm. They visited the Clark University Freight Farm to learn about growing hydroponically and visited Compare Grocery to get an understanding of produce needs in a diverse community. They have also spent time working with the YouthGrow Team from the Regional Environmental Council on their urban farm and will reciprocate by teaching their team all about CHP when they visit our farm. With several more weeks and quite a few more visits planned this team is surely getting a full view of all of the issues involved in supporting hunger relief efforts in our community.
– Wayne McAuliffe, Volunteer Manager