Dear Neighbors and Friends of Brook’s Bend,
Happy Spring! I hope you are well.
We have lots of news to share as we begin the 2010 season with renewed vigor thanks to two wonderful housemates. Mira Nussbaum and Joshua Freund have enmeshed their lives beautifully into the farm with a fun creativity and respect for life. We know them through circles at the Peace Pagoda and VT Wilderness School. You may know them through Sirius Community, Lady Killigrew or Leverett Crafts and Arts. In true Brook’s Bend spirit, they travel in a lot of circles. May you meet them soon if you haven’t already.
Mid-week Pickup resumes on June 2nd. Let us know if you want to receive emails about this way of buying produce from the farm. For those of you who don’t know about it yet, Mid-week Pickup is our version of a CSA where you pick up weekly, but you only buy what you want, and you pay as you go. You will receive weekly emails from May 31st to October 25th . We’ll tell you what vegetables are for sale and, if you want some, you’ll place an order by email reply. We harvest Wednesday mornings and your order will be ready to pick up on Wednesday after 2pm. You pay when you pick it up. We’re looking for about 20 people who think they’ll order from us most weeks, and a few more who think they'll order sometimes. Let us know if you want to be on this list.
We are planning to grow a good range of standard veggies including peas, lettuce, greens, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes. Al's shitake and oyster mushrooms will also be on the list, along with our eggs and lamb. We are looking for other producers in the neighborhood to see if we can add goat cheese, bread and fruit for a full selection of local produce.
We have Wool for sale! The beautiful Shetland sheep we love so well produced over 200lbs of wool in the last three years. We sent it all to Still River Mill in Connecticut in November and it’s back now for sale to knitters, spinners, felters and crafters. Yarns, roving and batting in 6 natural colors are available at the farm. Check out our samples at the first Mid-week pickup June 2nd or call to come by sooner. Shetland sheep have a diversity of wool types, so we have something for everyone from soft and fine to robust and strong - baby blankets to rugs! Thank you sheep.
Lambing starts in May. We are increasing the flock size as part of a plan to improve the soils on the farm. This year we expect as many as 40 lambs! Stop by to see them “pronking” about the field. Wow is this cheering.
Shearing Day is June 19 from 9am - 5pm. This is a great day for for children and families to watch, and we need volunteers to help clean the fleece, move sheep, prepare lunch, and generally help out on one of the busiest days of our year. Our shearer is Kevin Ford, one of the premier hand shearers in North America. We love this guy. He can shear a sheep in less than 10 minutes and the beautiful fleece comes off in one piece! Please call or email if you want to help!
Summer camp will run again this year with Neill Bovaird as mentor and guide. Check out his website for more information: http://www.wolftreema
. com/summer-camp/. Classes for homeschool children are run through the school year through Neill’s Roots program and also through Full Moon Girls http://vermontwildernessschool
. org/school/?q=node/13, both of these are exceptional programs of nature connection and skills building for children and families. Summer camp still has a few spaces so let Neill know if you're interested.
Al's connection with the girls of a S. Hadley lock-up facility is brining a group of 10 girls back this spring for afternoons of outdoor exploration. We look forward to being with these young women who inspire us with their appreciation of the freedom to be on the farm, and courage to share our stories in all their complexity and dignity.
Chris Marano continues to grow his medicinal herbs on the farm for his practice, Clearpath Herbals http://www.clearpathherbals
. com/, and Jen Audley and Jay Lord continue their trials of greens on the upper garden.
Our vision of the farm at Brook's Bend is to be a place for many people to work and learn together. We are excited to share the 2010 season with you and look forward to seeing you on the farm sometime this year. Thank you for being part of the farm community!
With Much Love,
Al Miller and Suzanne Webber
Mira Nussbaum and Joshua Freund
Brook's Bend Farm
119 Old Sunderland Road
Montague, MA 01351