Market Locations and Hours
Jim's Notes 6/6/19
Hello loyal customers,
Hope you’re enjoying this perfect spring weather. Here at the farm it’s been beautiful and cool and dry, but only for a few days so far. We have had a great time taking advantage of this brief dry spell, getting lots planted and transplanted. Now we’re hoping for at least another couple of days before the next rain.
It’s been so beautiful here that our crew has been inspired to put some gorgeous pictures on Instagram. I know many of you are not on Instagram, and I was not either until recently, but it’s a great place to see very recent pictures of what’s going on at the farm. I discovered that it’s easy to get on Instagram and there’s no need to have many contacts there. You only need to see pictures of people you care about. In my case that’s only the farm, and my family members, and I never do any posting myself, so I’m just a spectator. It’s great.
We’ve now had two Saturdays and two Tuesday markets, along with five Sundays, and they’ve almost all been great days for us. Thanks a lot for coming back to us for our new season, our 48th! We are very aware of how many newer farmers markets you have near you nowadays, so that makes us appreciate your loyalty more!
I’ve heard lots of kind reports about how good the strawberries and tomatoes, etc. have been. Those tomatoes are such a treat! Grown in a greenhouse by our friends and neighbors near Greencastle, PA, who really know how to enrich the soil to make those tomato plants happy. It’s so complex! We’ve been trying ourselves for almost 50 years to create that special kind of fertility. It’s elusive, but worth the effort if you love tomato flavor as much as I do.
June is a great month for the markets. More delicious new stuff appears each week. Snap peas this next time, then cherries, then apricots then peaches then blueberries—on and on! Enjoy them all, and keep giving us feedback! Let us know what you love (or not!).
See you Saturday!
Jim's Notes 5/30/19
From this point on I will stop writing notes every week, but will do it only every two weeks. My notes will be included in our newsletter, which you can have emailed to you every two weeks just by sending us your email address.
We will still, in addition, publish my notes here on the website, so you can still see them here every two weeks if you’d rather not get an email from us. Thanks for reading about New Morning Farm!
Jim's Notes 5/23/19
Summer’s almost here and markets are getting underway! We are all excited about seeing you and showing you all the good stuff we’ve been growing indoors and out for the past two months.
The greens look fantastic: all kinds of lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, herbs, and yes, brand new kohlrabi! Also, those very tasty tomatoes that we always have in June are ready this week, grown by our neighbor, Andrew Mack, in his greenhouse. Plenty of organic asparagus is coming, and strawberries, but not our own organic ones yet. They aren’t ready, but our nearby grower, Chad Andrews, has some good ones.
So I hope I’ve got your mouth watering, and if it isn’t yet, then imagine some sticky buns or a rhubarb pie. Janie’s 350 Bakery is cranking!
Spring weather so far has been a little too wet, but not as bad as last year, and our highly skilled field manager, Adam, is using all his tricks to keep planting on schedule. Looking ok right now, but we’re glued to the weather radar, tracking the next threatening thunder storm. Wish us luck.
See you Saturday, and remember that you can get this news emailed directly to you every two weeks or so just by emailing us (email@example.com) at least one word, then we’ll have YOUR address. Why not make that this week’s secret word, “SUMMER”?
Jim's Notes 4/11/19
Good to talk to you again. I (and we) miss seeing you every week at market. On the other hand, it’s really nice to have a break to focus on other things without interruption.
By “other things” I mean plowing and planting and transplanting, etc, etc. Lots of strenuous activity! And so far, things are going very well! It’s only the third week of our spring season, so it’s a little early to be overly optimistic, but the weather has been very cooperative: peas are planted and up, lots of spring crops are transplanted, like beets and lettuce and parsley.
In my personal case, since I’m halfway retired, I’m leaving a lot of the work to my Sterling crew and our new Operator and big boss, Jenni Glenister. And they’re doing a great job!
Meanwhile, Moie and I have been working a few days a week, then traveling to DC and Pittsburgh, and Key West, and soon to San Fran. Good times, and relaxing.
Our succession plans are moving forward smoothly. Jenni is taking the reins skillfully and enthusiastically, with the morale-enhancing help of some of you who have invested (see blog about “Turnip Notes”) and with the support of USDA, which has supplied Jenni with a generous, low-interest operating loan. She is leasing all the equipment and real estate from me and Moie, so she’s kind of on her own, while I’m around for guidance when (seldom) needed. I’m loving it!
So thanks for reading this and for putting your email address on our newsletter list, and we’ll be sending the next edition soon. But not TOO soon—we aren’t going to harass you every day the way so many businesses do these days. Just every couple weeks.
Warm wishes, and see you at market in a few weeks!
JIM'S NOTES 3/21/19
As you already know, our marketing season at Sheridan and Chevy Chase ended last weekend (Sundays at Dupont continue to March 31), so you won’t see us for a little while, and I’ll stop writing this blog, “Jim’s Notes”, every week, until we reopen markets in June.
BUT—we are planning our new “news letter” to go out by email probably once a week or so during the spring and on. The big difference from the blog is that the news letter will come to your inbox, and you won’t have to remember to go to our website. (And we promise not to harass you with much-too-frequent emails, as so many businesses do these days.).
But what this means, of course, is that if you want to get our news letter we’ll need your email address. Many of you gave us your addresses on those clipboards at market, but if you missed that chance, and you want to hear from us, please send your address, or just email one word (make it a good one!), to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll automatically have your address! And then you’ll be one of our first subscribers! In the club!
One more subject: if you’ve been reading my Notes you know about the changes at the farm, with ten-year NMFer Jenni Glenister becoming the “operator”, while Jim and Moie stay on as Senior Kibitzers (semi-retired).
But you may or may not have heard about our “Turnip Note” program, a great opportunity to become an investor in the farm, and help Jenni with the financial transition. If you’d like to hear more about this chance to be in on the ground floor of the next phase of your favorite family farm, just email or call and we’ll gladly send out the info packet, or give you a verbal explanation in person.
Our last-day-of-the-season market was a huge success, and we hope you’ve put a few of our things in your fridge or freezer to remember us by.
See you on June 1 with organic strawberries and rhubarb (in or out of a pie.). Also: asparagus, snap peas, spinach and much more, as you know.
Thanks, as always, for your devoted and valued patronage!
Jim's Notes - 3/8/19
Ok, the end is near! Not of the world—that’s near too, but relatively not as near as our last day of market for the season, which is this week.
In view of this, my advice (a bit self-serving, admittedly) is: stock up! You need to postpone as far as possible the inevitable, dreaded, first trip back to Whole Foods since last spring. Right?
Fortunately, many items we have will keep—without losing quality!—for weeks. For instance, eggs as fresh as ours will be 100% as good in 6 weeks as they are today, as long as you keep them in the fridge. Same with apples—in the fridge AND in a plastic bag. That’s very important. Keeps the moisture in, keeps them hard and juicy. We hate plastic as much as you do but this is one time when it’s very important and effective.
In general, look at the posters we will have at market this week on many items, that will guide you on shelf life.
And don’t forget to put some pies and sticky buns in the freezer, wrapped tight in plastic wrap. You’re gonna want brunch next month sometime, and, by law, you must have sticky buns at brunch, as you well know.
But don’t despair. We will return on June 1, as we have done 46 times, every year since 1973. Then, June 1, you can resume eating normally, and catching up on all the weight you will have lost in our absence.
Be sure to get your email address onto our list (on clipboard at market, or just send it to us), so we can keep in touch—no more than once a week, we promise. We’ll alert you to our reappearances at our 3 locations.
And keep in mind that our Sunday Dupont market runs to March 31, and restarts on May 5. No baked goods there, but plenty of eggs, greens from our high tunnels, and storage crops, etc.
One last important note: our new “farm operator”, (the USDA has awarded her this exalted title), Jenni Glenister, will make a big splash appearance at Sheridan this Saturday! So come shake her hand and congratulate her on bearing the NMF torch forward as the old folks slow down. (NOT STOP). She’s a great farmer now, having studied dutifully at NMF all these years.
See you Saturday.
To learn much more about our farm's present difficult situation, please read our blog. (Just click on "blog" at the top of this website) for many previous weeks of Jim's Notes.
We’ve had dry weather this week. Due to frequent rains, we were really getting desperate, able to work the ground only four days in the last six weeks! Despite the excellent progress, opportunities and preparation available the first part of April, we had worked through all our available ground, and were out of options to keep planting. Many of you know last year was difficult, and our veggies suffered. This May was worse. The weather patterns are similar to last year, stalled front after stalled front, never giving the soil a chance to dry enough for planting. We had hoped that last year was the anomaly, but we’re forced to understand that this is climate change. We will need to learn to grow vegetables all over again, and the risks of production are only going to increase.
But we’ve had dry weather this week! Thanks to heroic efforts by the crew, we’ve made huge strides to catch up on missed plantings, manage our cover crops, and prepare as much ground as possible for the summer plantings. Corn, beans, squash, lettuce, basil, celeriac, are all out in the fields. Cover crops have been mowed, and are starting to break down, the first step to prepare for planting in a month or so. Harvests, especially strawberries and beans, are demanding more effort, and everyone is rising to the challenge. Woohoo!
Last week was our first full week of markets. They were fantastic! Thank you! We are thrilled to see you again and to share enthusiasm for local organic produce, fruits, baked goods, and all the other good food.
We picked the first strawberries today! In typical strawberry harvest fashion, we started picking in bright sunshine, checking each berry for a white tip (meaning it is not yet ripe) before plucking it off the stem. Then the clouds starting moving in. We kept picking and the sky darkened. Just as we finished the last twenty feet, it began to sprinkle, and we whisked the berries down to the packing shed and into the cooler safe and dry.
Strawberry harvest season is about three and a half weeks here at NMF. The brevity is balanced by the intensity. For these three weeks, we will schedule almost every other activity on the farm around strawberry harvest, which is itself scheduled around the weather. It's a lot of work, but the results are delicious.
This past week we've been busy pulling together the last of the details to start our sheridan market this Saturday. Our first year apprentices are getting their first taste of the routine of Sheridan market. The first years have been involved in almost every detail of preparation. We've been carefully harvesting crops, prepping supplies, checking equipment and coordinating with all our wonderful neighbor growers, cheese makers, and bakers. We are excited to have a great selection for Sheridan market this Saturday!
Harvests are building strength. Our new apprentices are getting their first experience of managing their crops. We’ve spent every morning this week harvesting at least two crops from our tunnels and fields. The cooler is full of produce! Boxes are stacked nearly to the ceiling. It’s been too long. Our coolers haven’t looked this good since last summer. The struggles with the weather last fall, and resulting crop failures, left our coolers half full at best. It’s wonderful to step into the cooler and see the spring crops stacked higher than my head. So much good food!
For those of you who love our eggs, great news! We had one chicken, out of 400, laying eggs for almost two weeks. This week the rest of the flock started laying and we’ll have a few pullet eggs for sale this Sunday. In just a few weeks they’ll be at full production, and we will have plenty of the eggs you rely on.
At Market: kohlrabi will make its market debut this Sunday. We will have mountains of Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Radishes, Spinach, Arugula, and Rhubarb. It all tastes spectacular, I’ve been enjoying big salads for breakfast and dinner every chance I get. The herbs have also outdone themselves, cilantro, dill, chives, oregano, mint, sage, parsley, and basil will all be available at market on Sunday.
Here we are, looking at the end of April already! As some of you know, April is our month were we forego markets and completely focus on preparing the fields, crops, equipment, buildings, and people for the season ahead. We've made big strides this last week in all of these areas. Our field manager Adam has continued to prepare the fields, in between rain showers, for summer squash, tomatoes, corn, and beans. The whole crew has helped to transplant over 7000 corn plants and 5000 green bean plants this week alone. Seth and Jen, who have experience in irrigation, worked hard to get water to all of these crops promptly. Tractors and implements are receiving spring maintenance, and buildings are also being deep cleaned and repaired.
We welcomed two more apprentices this week, Burch and Jonathan started work on Tuesday. Our apprentice team for the season is complete, and we've been taking time nearly every day to orient and train all our new team mates. It feels great to have everyone here.
Our new flock of chickens arrived last week. They are settling in
beautifully, getting a bit more confident in their house, and starting
to expect tasty treats when they see us. Jared made a farm wide
announcement this week when he found the first egg! We hope to have enough to sell pullet eggs in a couple weeks.
We head back to the Dupont Circle Market next week! The crops have been growing really well! We will have: red and green head lettuce, it looks and tastes spectacular, basil, arugula, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, spinach, cilantro, and kale for certain. I look forward to seeing you again!
From little vegetable transplants to the woodland shrubs and flowers,
everything has grown this past week. We've enough hours of sunlight, and the continued fair weather, that this growth is noticeable every few days. The first snap peas have pushed their way up, with little leaves open. The rhubarb is the most dramatic, going from little red knobs at the soil surface to leaves bigger than spread fingers in a week. Our cover crops have also jumped ahead, adding a couple inches of growth above the ground, and at least as much root mass below the surface feeding the soil.
We are welcoming two new apprentices. Victoria and Judith are getting settled, and will join the crew in all our activities. As they begin work, they'll be asking about different jobs and crops, thinking about what areas of responsibility they'd like to take on. Late in April we all sit down as a team and figure out how we'll divide responsibility for all the jobs and crops. Apprentices take on ownership of these responsibilities for the whole season, with support from a mentor and all the experience we have present on the farm.
With the beautiful weather, and some drying winds, the whole team has jumped into spring work on the farm. Peas are in the ground and have little roots reaching down through the soil. The tunnels are filling up with lettuce, kale, parsley, arugula, radishes, and beets. We've even put beet, kohlrabi, and fennel transplants out in the field. Our field crops are all carefully covered with white fabric row cover supported by wire hoops. This creates a micro-climate that is about four degrees Fahrenheit warmer around the plants, protecting them from frosts and supporting quicker growth.
All hands were needed yesterday to put new plastic on the greenhouse. Ropes are thrown over, tied to the new sheets of plastic, and heave ho, pulled up and over. Then we pull it tight in all directions and fasten in place. It looks fantastic, and should serve us well for the next 6-8 years.
We're working hard to be ready for Dupont Market on May 5th. We look forward to seeing you then!
The robins have returned in a flock, the bluebird and kingfisher have
been sighted. We have a dawn chorus again, all our birds that
overwinter are testing their spring melodies. The first spring peepers
gave their first few calls this morning! The streams are burbling with
snow melt. Even the farmers are singing!
This past week is the first time since last August that we enjoyed more than 2 days of sun in a row. It has given a much needed boost to the tunnel greens, the cover crops out in the fields which are feeding the soil, and to the farmers. We're looking forward to next week, optimistic that we can plant the first sugar snap peas, radishes, and arugula of the 2019 season! Life is so much easier when the sun is shining.
We're at Dupont Circle on Sunday. The spinach is still spectacular, but this week Lettuce is in the spotlight. We've amazing red butterheads this week, ready for your salad, sandwich, or wrapping your favorite tabbouleh, bean salad, or egg salad.
It's week two of Kohlrabi watch 2019. A quick recap: week zero saw the kohlrabi seeds treated to a hot water bath, and seeded into flats. Week one the baby kohlrabi emerged from the potting soil, each with two tiny heart shaped leaves. Week two, we can now see the very beginning of the first true leaf and each plant is at least 1/4 inch tall.
Even though it's been toe numbing cold, the bright sunny days have
warmed our high tunnels to almost 70F. Our high tunnels rely solely the sun for heat and energy, and regularly reach good growing temperatures even with partial clouds. And our greens are growing fast! The lettuce and the spinach in particular are visibly bigger from one day to the next. We're working hard to keep up with the spinach, it's regrowing almost as fast as we can harvest!
At markets: Spinach! This is the best time of year to enjoy spinach,
it's dark green, sweet, tender, and abundant! Perfect leafy green raw or cooked that we're craving after the dark winter. I'll be at Sheridan Market this Saturday, and look for Seth at Dupont on Sunday.
See you there!
It's March! Here on the farm we're in full preparation mode for the
growing season. We've been buying seeds, creating field plans,
identifying challenges and brainstorming solutions. We've been taking stock of supplies, and making plans to have everything needed on hand for planting.
Caitlan has already seeded baby beets, fennel, parsley, chard, and
lettuce transplants in the Greenhouse. In just a week, Adam will be
watching for an opportunity to seed the first peas of the spring out in
the field. We don't always get good windows of opportunity in March. Our goal is to stay flexible and taking advantage of any good working weather we are offered.
The tunnel greens are already telling us that spring is on the way. The spinach, sweet and spicy greens mix, and parsley are all growing faster and faster. We respond with smiles, longer harvests, and more strategic management. The great news is, we should have plenty of these at markets all through March.
Red Beets emerging in the greenhouse
Winter is planning and meeting season for farmers. I think I've had at least two meetings or events a week in January. Last week Caitlan and I spent an afternoon at the Pennsylvania Farm Show with the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association. We had a great time serving soup and strawberry surprise to raise funds for vegetable research. The stand is full of other vegetable growers, and any spare time is taken up with sharing vegetable and business experience.
The last week of January and the first week of February, are the big conferences. We send delegations every year, and I'll be speaking at PASA on cover crops, and on sweet corn. PASA, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, is an incredible group. Their conference is the highlight of the winter, bringing together just about everyone interested in sustainable agriculture. I never fail to come away from the conference energized and ready to tackle the season ahead.
At markets this week we'll continue to have soil grown lettuce from our high tunnels, more spinach and winter greens, and all your favorite storage crops.
We're just about set for the final markets of the year! Despite a really tough fall, this weekend we'll have a great selection of produce for your holiday feasts. I'm most excited about the return of lettuce! We'll have a beautiful selection of our own soil grown lettuce at markets this weekend. Our high tunnels have protected the lettuce from the heavy rains and sudden cold spells. With the few days of sun these past two weeks, the lettuce is ready to harvest!
Happy Holidays! Jennifer
Recipe of the Week
Garlic Parmesan Sugar Snap Peas
3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed, rinsed, dried
3 Tab olive oil
2 Tab minced garlic
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tab finely chopped fresh parsley
salt & fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper & set aside.
Combine snap peas, olive oil & garlic in a mixing bowl, tossing to coat.
In a separate bowl mix together panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt & pepper. Add panko mixture to the snap peas & toss to combine.
Arrange on sheet pan in a single layer.
Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy, turning once during cooking.
Remove from oven & serve immediately.
Our Latest Instagram Posts
Everything Starts as a Seed
Jim and Moie Crawford started organic farming in 1972, on rented land, with a little experience, and practically no money. Over the course of 40 years, New Morning Farm grew from a small operation, selling vegetables out of the back of a pick-up truck, to a farm of over 95 acres with several thriving markets in Washington, D.C.