Homegrown News Blog
We decided to make a seperate blog about all of the projects that were completed and continue to go on here at the farm. I really can't believe all of the work we have done. A BIG thank you to my father, friends and others who have made these improvements possible.
We arranged all of pictures below in chronological order from the start of the season to the present.
Scroll down to see how far we have come!
To be continued...
It has been a year to remember!
As we settle down after a very long and eventful season we took a moment to reflect on all the fun and good times we had.
Here are some of our favorite moments of 2019!
March started with a decent snow cover and our high tunnel was all about growth. We focused on getting seeds organized to begin planting and we filled the high tunnel with early starts. We also received new tools like harvest crates and bins. Senator Jo Comerford stopped by for a short visit and discuss farm issues we were facing and how she may be able to help. We hope to see her more next season!
April was a wet one! We were still recovering from last year and we were well underway with high tunnel crops and even had plows in the soil. We were busy burning the asparagus field and getting the first seeded crops in. We also played with our custom built germination chamber and the farmstand opened early with flowers!
May was a busy month! The harvest began while we were in full planting mode! In between the madness we were busy cultivating the first plantings of brassicas and laying plastic for long season crops. The soil was finally workable after the wet spring we had and we were bustling now. We really started to get our feet wet with our new MaterMacc planter as well!
We participated in our first event of the year, the Asparagus Fest in Hadley! This was also the first month of the CSA farm share 2019 program. We continued planting away by hand and testing the new no-till planter. We had plenty of field work staking tomatoes and pulling garlic scapes.
July was garlic month! Harvest, cure, harvest, cure! Our high tunnel tomatoes were growing as tall as Navi and we were super busy trellising. We had the first field tomatoes in the area and the winter squash was looking fantastic. We had a fun farm visit with the Hatfield Recreation Camp too!
August sure threw us a curveball, we started the month with the biggest storm of the season. Heavy rains, wind, and hail destroyed acres of tobacco, leafy greens and other crops. It was also one of the busiest harvest months of the year. Sweetcorn, cucumbers and tomatoes were abundant! We said goodbye to our amazing summer crew as they prepared for a new school year. We tried new exciting things like cover crop no-till drilling, planting our first round of spinach and having our first ever tomato tasting. There were many late nights in the moonlight washing tomatoes and some of the crew went "tomato blind", long story :)
September sure felt like fall! The overwintering onions started to pop in the high tunnel and our first setting of spinach looked absolutely amazing. The stand was packed to the gills and the new greenhouse frame started to emerge. We were still full steam ahead harvesting tomatoes and squash by the truckloads. The month flew by, with lots to do! 14 hours a day, 7 days a week!
October blessed us with more pumpkins than we could imagine! The harvest was in full swing and we kept the stand stocked and overflowing. We introduced many fall greens that people had been looking forward to. We had a visit from the second grade class and preschoolers from the Hatfield Elementary School. They learned lots about farming, planting seeds, and the value of a dollar. We finished our last week of CSA farm share and it felt bittersweet. Navi and I attended the CISA fall gathering to have some fun with local farmers and celebrate the amazing season we had. The Malanowski boys helped us donate and decorate Smith Academy for Homecoming.
November was another busy month, when we are usually slowing down, we were full steam ahead! We started the month off with planting the overwintering onions along with the 2020 garlic crop. We had the largest spinach harvest of the season right before the cold snap. We helped out Malanowski Farm with their tobacco and in return they helped us install plastic on the new greenhouse. We rounded out the month with a mini vacation to celebrate the incredible season we had!
We want to thank you for another amazing season, we feel blessed with the support you show us year after year. Without you, it wouldn't have been possible.
Season 2020 will be bigger and better than the last, stay tuned for all things Bardwell Farm :)
From myself and the crew, Happy Holidays!
Many thanks to Jacob Wycoff and Western Mass News for giving our farm a voice!
Video Western Mass News | Ryan Trowbridge, Jacob Wycoff
HATFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The global population is expected to hit 10 billion people by 2050 and securing enough food to feed that number is a growing concern for policymakers... read more
We were honored to host Field Day for the kiddos of the Summer Hatfield Rec Program! They toured our farm, asked questions, and we showed them how to plant sunflower seeds :)
By Noah Baustin - Daily Hampshire Gazette - June 14, 2019
The Swiss Chard harvest recently began on Bardwell Farm in Hatfield. It was nearly three weeks later than usual. “Last year, we had a nice warm start to the season where crops were on-time or early. This season, we’re coming in with conditions that have been colder and wetter,” said Harrison Bardwell, who owns the farm.
“Being a beginning farmer, I’m still learning a lot of the aspects of how to deal with different weather conditions year to year,” Bardwell explained... read more
When we grow herbs sometimes we have so much we just can't use it all. You're all ready using rosemary in your soups and roasted potatoes, why not enjoy it in your popcorn too!
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We are thrilled to partner with Luke Longstreeth of Mountainside Maple, Hatfield's first sugaring operation. Luke is a dedicated farmer and really is making a name for himself here in Western, Massachusetts!
Check out Harry's Farm Vlog on YouTube to see how we used his handcrafted syrup... ice cream for breakfast anyone?
All products above are available at our online farm store!
Luke shared the "sugaring" process with us...
We are proud to work with a local farmer in right here in Hatfield to supply our customers with a super delicious locally made product.
Luke's Mountainside Maple products are available at our online farm store. You can arrange for pickup, delivery or ship anywhere in the United States!
Please call (413) 800-5583 or message us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
As many of you may know cover cropping is a major part of soil health. It builds organic matter and creates food for the microbes, earthworms, and other living organisms in the soil.
Season 2018 sure took a tole on both farmers and the farmland on which they grow on. We shared how difficult last season was with you but never really talked much about the late season monsoons and what it did to the farmland here in the Pioneer Valley.
The picture below might be hard to see, but I was driving the other day and saw a brown wind storm in the distance and wanted to stop and grab a quick photo to illustrate.
Due to the excessive rain and the over saturated fields late in the season many farmers had to abandon the use of cover cropping because it was just too wet to get into the fields without creating more damage. Fields were either left bare, or if lucky, the remnants of the crop remained.
Soil is most happy when it has something living on it. It keeps the soil fed and healthy throughout the winter months, but it was too difficult to seed down fields or even germinate seed before it just rotted away from too much moisture.
This led to bare fields over the winter months. When we didn't have any snow cover, on windy days you could see top soil blowing away because there was nothing to hold it in place. Or the opposite, where there was too much snow melt or excessive rain made erosion a big issue. It basically washed away the top soil.
Farms have to start getting creative in years such as these. It's a tough battle. In some cases there's not much that can be done. We have to take care of our land just as much as we take care of ourselves. If the soil we grow our food on isn't healthy it will not perform well. Farmers constantly have to find the balance between profit and environmental sustainability.
The take home message here is that we are at the mercy of mother nature, but we have to try our hardest to make sure we are implementing the best agricultural practices as we can.
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