Categories
Spring 2011 Spring Seedlings 2011 The Farm at Stonehill

Seeds Want To Grow

 

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some, like mint, are as fine as dust, while some, like marigolds, look like miniature magic wands.  Regardless of size and shape:

“Drop a seed in the ground and it wants to grow!”

I read this wonderful truth a few months ago in The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman, and suddenly felt much more at ease about the rapidly approaching growing season.  After all, if the seeds WANT to grow, then all we have to do is provide them with the right amount of light, warmth, nutrients, and moisture, and surely they will take root and we will be rewarded with healthy, delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers!

A tray of bell pepper seedlings beginning to grow

 

And yet, the question remains:

How much of each of these elements do different plants need to thrive?

A small tomato seed peeks out of a slot in the tray
A tomato seed on a bed of Fort Vee Potting Mix from Vermont Compost Company.

There are many answers to this question that we can find print, in conversations with friends in the farming community, or through our own careful observations.

A few marigold seedlings show off their leafy stems
Strong, little Marigold seedling (April 8, 2011).

 

We listen, we water, we transplant, we wait, and we watch quietly as the seeds do the bulk of the work and grow into strong little seedlings.

peppers photo up close
Bell pepper seedlings (April 14, 2011).

 

The marigolds in the tray now grow larger as time has passed
Marigolds (April 13, 2011).
Categories
Spring 2011 Spring Seedlings 2011 Volunteer

Many hands…

March 29, 2011

Today my first volunteers joined me to help transplant Rainbow Lacinato Kale, Red Russian Kale, and Early Wonder Beets.

Morgan and Brian were natural farmers as they prepared the trays and moved the sprouts from 128 cell trays to 50 cell trays.  The next home for these seedlings will be in the less protected field across the street in just a couple of weeks.  It is hard to picture these young plants weathering the wild weather that New England has to offer – as I write this snow falls outside my window – but I have a feeling that this Kale will be just fine.

 

brian and morgan transplanting 1 3.31 close up
Volunteers Brian and Morgan share the task of transplanting nutritious Rainbow Lacinato and Red Russian Kale!

 

It’s true what they say: “Many Hands Make Light Work!”

 

brian and morgan transplanting 3.31 picture of the volunteers
Brian Switzer and Morgan Buckley transplanting Kale as part of their Learning Community course.

 

April 7, 2011

Today Ariel, Brian, Morgan and I transplanted Red and Green Wave Mustard Greens…

photo of Morgan and Ariel Transplanting Mustard Greens
Morgan and Ariel transplanting Green Wave Mustard Greens.

 

…and Green Bib Lettuce…

Photo of Transplanting Green Bib Lettuce
Transplanting Green Bib Lettuce.

 

…before joining forces with Associate Director of Grounds, Paul Ricci, to stake out the site for…

photo of Brian, Morgan and Ariel stake out Greenhouse site
Brian, Morgan and Ariel stake out Greenhouse site.

…our 18′ x 48′ Eastpoint Rimol Greenhouse that arrived today.

Photo of Greenhouse Kit in the Truck
Rimol Greenhouse Kit arrives April 7, 2011.

 

Our seedlings are happily growing under lights put up by Carpenter John and Electrician Rick from Facilities Management…

photo of Seedlings in Basement of Holy Cross
Brian transplants Mustard Greens amidst thousands of vegetable and flower seedlings.

 

…but when the time comes they will be moved out to the greenhouse located in the site just across the street!

photo of Greenhouse Site
The site for the greenhouse prepared by Dick Murray located in our field just south of The Clock Farm on Route 138.

Come join us!

Simply Click on the “Volunteer” Tab above on this blog, fill out the form, and we’ll be in touch.

Categories
Green Cabbage: From Seed to Table Spring 2011 Spring Seedlings 2011 The Farm at Stonehill

Cabbage: From Seed to Table

Watch green cabbage grow with me!

I planted some of our first seeds on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2011.

Image of Starting seeds on 3.17.11
Day 1: Planting the seeds. (March 17, 2011)

The seeds germinated over the weekend and when I returned on Monday I found a forest of sprouts.

I repositioned them under the lights, gave them a drink, and one more day to grow before choosing the strongest seedlings and starting the thinning process.  Those that remain will continue to grow and those that were thinned will become our first “harvest” and top a salad today!

photo of cabbage sprouts on 3.22.11
Day 6: Cabbage Sprout Forest. (March 22, 2011)


Cabbage sprouts pre-thinning March 23, 2011 (Day 7)
Day 7: Cabbage Sprouts Pre-thinning. (March 23, 2011).

Photo of cabbage sprouts that were thinned
Day 7: First Harvest: Cabbage Sprouts. (March 23, 2011)
Day 7: Thinned Cabbage Sprouts
Day 7: Thinned Cabbage Sprouts: Grow, Grow, Grow! (March 23, 2011)
photo of cabbage sprout on 3-24
Day 8 (March 24, 2011)
Photo of cabbage sprout on day 9 (3-25-11)
Day 9 (March 25, 2011)

… And then the sprouts were transplanted

photo of cabbage on 3-29-11
Day 13 (March 29, 2011)
cabbage 3-29 3 leaf
Day 13 (March 29, 2011)

 

photo of cabbage on 3-30-11
Day 14 (March 30, 2011)
photo of cabbage on 3-31-11
Day 15 (March 31, 2011)
Cabbage photo on april 4, 2011
Day 19 (April 4, 2011)
Photo of Cabbage on April 8, 2011
Day 23 (April 8, 2011)
photo fo cabbage on April 13
Day 28 (April 13, 2011)
Photo fo Green cabbage 4.18.11
Day 33 (April 18, 2011)

 

photo of Cabbage on 5.6.11
May 6, 2011
photo of cabbage on June 5th
June 5, 2011

 

Cabbage on July 7, 2011

 

July 31, 2011

 

August 3, 2011

To be continued…

 

 

Categories
Spring 2011 Spring Seedlings 2011 The Farm at Stonehill

Digging the Well & Starting Seeds During the Ides of March

After a long and very snowy winter the earth below emerged and everywhere brown fields started to turn green!

Farm Location Post Snow melt
No more snow!

On March 21, Farmer Kevin O’Dwyer of Langwater Farm tilled the field to prep the area for spring plantings which will commence in April.

Photo of the field tilled on 3.21.11
First pass with a plow reveals rich looking soils.

 

The danger of heavy frost will linger for another month (as demonstrated by the snow that fell later that day), but we are starting seeds now in the Holy Cross Center so that we will have strong seedling ready for the fields when temperatures warm. So far we have planted bunching onions, chives, leeks, mint, basil, lettuce, red and green cabbage, sweet bell peppers, beets, 3 different kinds of kale, marigolds and zinnias.

Seed Starting set up in the basement of Holy Cross Center.
The Seed Starting Set-up

 

All plants require sunlight, water, and healthy soils to grow, and water for our crops will come from the rain that falls and from drip irrigation sourced from a new well at the farm.  This well is being dug this week, and I am told that a rate of 30 gallons per minute can be expected.

This will provide plenty of water to grow our vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers!

Day 1 of well digging at the farm (3.21.11)
Digging the well (March 21, 2011)
Photo of the top of the well and the snow covered field
The Well is in! (March 24, 2011)
photo of the cap on the well
The cap on the well. (March 24, 2011)
Categories
Welcome

Welcome to The Farm at Stonehill!

Ariel photo of The Farm at Stonehill
Ariel photo of The Farm at Stonehill

The Farm at Stonehill is an initiative of The Mission Division at Stonehill College and is being created to enrich students’ academic endeavors and provide them with the opportunity to actively engage in social justice issues pertaining to food in neighboring communities. Please visit this blog regularly to watch us grow and learn about volunteer opportunities!

Where is The Farm at Stonehill?

The Farm at Stonehill is located next to The Clock Farm on Rt. 138 adjacent to The Natural Resources Trust of Easton.  We will be utilizing sustainable and organic agriculture methods to ensure production of nutritious produce and healthy soils for years to come for local food pantries and community meal producers.

What is a “Food Desert?”

We have recently learned that “food desert” conditions exist in areas very close to Stonehill’s campus.  According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, a food desert is “a place where there is not easy access, affordable access, reasonable access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”  The Farm at Stonehill aims to increase access to affordable and nutritious produce by connecting with food pantries and community kitchens in Brockton and Easton. We work with these partners to educate about the many and diverse health benefits of fresh produce.

You are invited…

We welcome members of the Stonehill campus and neighboring communities to join us on the land where we will be working to encourage wellness and sustainability.  It is our hope that this farm will provide a local and sustainable community-based solution to challenges faced by our neighbors.

Contact:

Bridget Meigs, Farm Manager
Email: mission@stonehill.edu, bmeigs@stonehill.edu

Categories
Our Vision

Our Vision for The Farm at Stonehill

Our Vision for The Farm at Stonehill