Homegrown News Blog
Year in Review: The Best of 2017
First smiles of the 2017 season getting one of our first products out. It was a happy day to officially start the new season!
We might be a dysfunctional group sometimes but I couldn't think of a better way to spend some of my days this year working with some close Stockbridge friends!
Rebranding my business really made this season fun and exciting! Big thanks to my marketing guy and his business Rocket Strategies for making all this happen!
Being out on the tractor in the fresh summer air is my happy place. Turning over the field for the new season, planting the seeds, and watching the plants thrive, there's nothing better!
Hard work really paid off this year. Seeing all of the beautiful vegetables harvested, one after another coming out of the fields brought endless smiles to my face!
"Trevor who are you calling?"..."the gourd goblin, hehe!"... shenanigans were a must on a weekly basis, many many laughs out in the field!
Famers help farmers. Friends help friends. Couldn't ask for better! Love making memories with the people who have your back no matter what.
Having Congressman Jim McGovern, along with many state agriculture and local farming representatives come tour my farm this past summer was a huge milestone for me. It gave me enormous satisfaction that they were excited to see what I was doing and offer resources to help our farm grow. It was an awesome day and I felt thankful we were chosen. Thank you again!
We took some big steps this year and ventured off the farm. Fun times at the Hatfield Harvest Festival and UMASS Farmers Market and they were a big success!
So many great connections, conversations, and memories. On top of it all our displays were kick-ass! Can't thank Rick and Kaitlyn for all their help with these events.
Watching all of our produce going out on daily basis made me feel like I'm giving back, doing something for my community and helping others. I Wouldn't trade it for the world!
A biggggg shout out to my number one employee this season! I Wouldn't be where I am today without you. Countless hours out in the field with me. Countless hours of cleaning up after me and making this farm shine is all a big thanks to you. Your ideas, knowledge, and enthusiastic energy every day sure made working on the farm much more fun. You haven't been recognized nearly as much as you should have.
Also, a big thanks to my behind the scenes guy. I can't thank Rick enough for all the website editing, photo taking, and endless days of hard work to make our social media side of the farm shine! Not to mention all the hot days in the field and help with the farmstand when I couldn't be there. The days where you were ready to rip my head off because I was difficult... you're the best. You made this season that much better and was glad to share a piece of Bardwell Farm with you.
Dad, your knowledge and experience when I was in a bind was always helpful! The times you came out to help without me even asking you were always appreciated even though I may not have shown it. I know you were super busy this past year and how much farming means to you. I cannot wait to get you more involved in the seasons to come. I love you.
I cant explain how awesome it is to wake up and go to sleep to the best sunrises and sunsets in the valley right here on the farm!
Its been a busy end of the year but we are glad to have so much progress on the new high tunnel. The snowfall has stumped work for the winter but we will be right back at it once the weather warms up. It'll be fully operational for the 2018 season!
Thank you everyone for sharing this amazing season with me. I couldn't have done it without the love, help and support from all my friends, family, and loyal customers.
Wishing you all a safe and happy new year!
Christmas at the farm...
Christmas at Bardwell Farm is a time for thanks, family and some much needed relaxation. We look back on the year and the success of the farming season and feel blessed we are together as a family.
We are especially thankful for the family we don’t get to see too often. We laugh, share memories and it’s a special time. As my family grows in age I cherish this most.
I take this time to remember my grandparents who were two very big influences in my life. As we celebrate the holidays in their old home, now our new home, it’s hard not to reflect and be thankful for all the traditions we were brought up with and that homey feeling it brings. I think of them often.
Christmas is also a brief time away from the farm to relax with friends, act like a young adult and have a little bit of fun before the next season comes. Sometimes I need this more than you know.
Thank you to my family, friends and loyal customers who support me and the farm year after year. I feel blessed and thankful. You are all in my thoughts through the holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Time to plant garlic!
Garlic is a bulb crop that is planted into the ground in late fall to overwinter, then is harvested in mid July of the next year. The reason for this is because garlic requires two months of temperatures below 40F degrees to induce bulbing, which is growth of a new bulb. This process is called a cold treatment. On the farm we plant hard-neck garlic, verses a soft neck garlic.
Garlic seed comes from the years garlic harvest usually if seed is viable and healthy. The very cloves that we eat are the next seasons seed. Every year at harvest we set aside the nicest and largest bulbs for planting. We select bulbs like this because here the size is a very important factor, the bigger the cloves the bigger the bulb we are potentially able to produce in the next season. Bulbs are broken up into the individual cloves right before planting.
The next steps to garlic planting is bed and field prep, just as we would normally do with cover crops. We plow, fertilize and harrow the land to prep the field. Next we use a bed shaper to make a raised bed for planting; this is a new tactic we are trying this year to see if this will improve bulb size, growth and water penetration. We are hoping the end result will be a better quality product when it's time to harvest. The final steps for planting prep is marking out the spacings to plant. We use our plastic transplanter and set up a system of three rows with 6" between seeds. This gives us a good template to have a uniform planting.
Next we plant! One clove facing right side up in each hole, one at a time. We use a soil knife to create a hole, then plant the garlic clove in about an inch into the soil.
After garlic is placed into their holes/slots in the raised beds we go over the top with a rack to brush soil into the garlic holes.
The last and final step in the garlic planting process is to cover the beds with straw. It protects the seed and soil from winds, very cold temperatures (in case the cloves start to sprout), and weed suppression in the spring/summer.
Now we wait until spring to watch the garlic sprout up out of the straw.
Many thanks Trevor and Kaitlyn for your generous help!
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