Homegrown News Blog
I know we say this every year, but 2020 certainly was "the year" to remember in so many ways. It had its challenges for sure, but so many great things as well. Here are some of our favorite moments!
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!
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!
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