Category Archives: Farm Notes

The Strawberry Moon brings the start of market season!

Happy summer Littlewood lovers! This Tuesday the Strawberry Moon will be full (best observed Monday night) and the harvests are here to match. It has been a delight to deliver the season’s early pints to our local co-ops and see the joy of farmer’s market shoppers digging right into them. We are grateful for the local support we and other VT farms receive that allows us to sell our berries  so quickly and directly after harvest. This allows us to choose varieties with the best flavors and the difference is unmistakable. Just another way everyone wins in a localized, organic food system.

We would like also to extend our gratitude to everyone who supported our seedling sale. We had another great year of faces familiar and new coming to the greenhouse to get a jump on their gardens. It seems the warm, dry May led to lots of you getting plants in earlier than usual and so we have decided to end full-services greenhouse hours for the season. We still have plenty of healthy tomatoes, sweet peppers, and annual flowers, which will be for sale at the farmers markets and by the honor system. Fall broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower will be available this first week in July. Feel free to call or text if you want to check on the availability of anything specific.

On that note, we are off to pick for markets. We will have Strawberries, bagged greens, bunched greens, and every more as the season goes on. We look forward to catching up with you there:

  • Waterbury Market: Thursdays 4-7
  • Plainfield Market: Fridays 4-7
  • Montpelier Market: Saturdays 9-1

Littlewood Farm Annual Seedling Sale ’22 Opens May 7th

We are thrilled to officially announce detail of the 2022 Littlewood Farm Seedling Sale! We will be opening and operating as usual, beginning Mothers’ Day weekend. Operating hours will be Saturday and Sundays from 9am-2pm, with weekday shopping 4-6pm and by appointment (need something quick? have a weekday that works best for you? Don’t hesitate to give us a quick call/text  we are usually not too far from the greenhouses).  Please note, we are respectfully asking that visitors leave pets at home – thank you in advance. We will have many of the same favorite varieties from years past and some  new additions as well.  Check out the “2022 Seedling Sale” page on this website for a full list of this years varieties.  We look forward to seeing you, hearing about your garden plans for the season, and helping you bring them to life.

Meanwhile, out in the production houses and fields, our overwintered spinach has been prolific this year. It seems the soil balancing and composting last fall has really inspired the plants to put out some great work in the form of deep green, flavorful leaves, which we have been enjoying with just about every meal. The strawberries have awoken from their winter slumber and are beginning to stretch out over the straw into nicely matted rows. Lush rye-grass and vetch are doing wonders to prepare fields for summer plantings and I find myself already tempted to plant always ‘just one more row.’

We are happy to have hired some wonderful people this year to help us keep up with those extra rows as we gear up for a busy market season. We will be vending at Waterbury Farmer’s Market every Thursday, Plainfield Farmers Market every Friday, and Montpelier Market every Saturday morning. You can start finding us at the Montpelier market towards the end of May and the other two beginning in June. Until then, look for us at Plainfield Coop, Hunger Mtn Coop, and Fox Market. Soon enough, we will see you at the plant sale.

Another season is underway and we are hiring!

Greetings and happy spring from Littlewood Farm!

Sweet overwintered spinach is headed to the Co-ops, the seedling greenhouses are filling up quickly, and the to-do list is beginning to outpace our efforts already – all sure signs the growing season is upon us. The Annual Seedling Sale is on for 2022 and we will open as usual starting  Mother’s Day weekend (May 7th this year).  Look to our “Seedling Sale 2022” page to be updated in the coming weeks with details on varieties, pricing, etc.

In other news, Littlewood Farm is hiring for the 2022 growing season! Crop production is expanding and we are looking for one part-time individual to join our team ~20-30hrs/week, May – October.  We are looking for someone who is available Fridays (our biggest harvest day), but can be flexible on which other days fit your schedule. The work  involves all aspects of vegetable production including seeding, transplanting, cultivating, and lots of harvesting. Experience working in vegetable production or other labor intensive positions is a plus. Ideal candidates would have an interest in learning about organic systems. We love to pass on our experience and knowledge to employees and encourage their passion.  Candidates must be able to work efficiently whether individually or with a team. We respect and encourage individuals of all racial identities, gender identities, and sexual orientations to apply.

Compensation starts at $15/hr + access to many vegetables of seconds quality or abundance.

Call Kagen at 802-881-3240 if you are interested

 

Fall Harvests and Bulk Sales

We are rapidly passing into late September and yet it feels like their is so much season left.  The summery sun and temperatures almost have me fooled before I am reminded that this week last year ended in a three night series of hard freezes.  While the forecasters have not called for any such threats in our immediate future, the ever shorter day length and mature pumpkins put the writing on the wall – the growing season is going to wind down.

Another season of climate records, this time in the category of heat, provided lots of opportunity for the eggplant, peppers, squash, corn and other heat loving crops to flourish this year.  We are beginning to bring in the winter squash, the potatoes are setting skins in the field and the time is now to start thinking about storing away produce for the colder months.

Right now we have a few bulk deals:

Red and Yellow Sweet Pepper 2nds – $40/bushel (20lbs) – the peppers are thick walled, and abundant this season, allowing us to offer the *barely* blemished as 2nds and at a significant discount.  We recommend roasting and canning, or simply chopping and freezing for winter chilis, stir fry, and sauces

Sweet Corn – half sized, fully sweet and juicy, much of our crop has put out secondary ears that are perfect for late season corn on the cob as well freezing/canning.  Call for details on pricing

Coming up in October we expect to have:

Potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash (butternut, buttercup, kabocha, delicata), storage carrots, beets,  rutabagas, watermelon radish, and various cabbages.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support both at the Plainfield Farmers Market  and the Coop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Update

As our dear friend and regular helping hand on the farm, Ellen often says during weeks with weather like this: “if we stand still for just a second, we might just hear the plants growing.”  Temperatures have been high, sunshine has been plentiful, and while we are busied with the Sisyphean task of irrigating the plants, it does seem like they double in size every time they get a good drink of water.

Combining that with enormous enthusiasm for the 2021 Seedling Sale it is no wonder June has flown by in instant.  We hope that your gardens are getting everything they need and are taking off as we begin to enjoy a diversity of produce that grows more bountiful every week.  We want to express our gratitude for everyone that came out to buy some seedlings this year:  you not only provide early season support to our farm, but when planting a garden (however small), you are joining us in being a part of our  incredible, robust, localized food system.  There is richness and great community strength in the web of farms, neighbors, co-ops, and chefs that keep us all well fed.  Thank you.

We had a wonderful strawberry crop this year.  A heavy fruit set and minimal pressure from disease and pests led to an abundance of berry pints at the co-ops and markets, which has been cause for much excitement.  It seems that some deep part of our psychology is activated by these first red fruits of the season, coded into an old part of our visual perception that our nomadic ancestors developed for this very purpose of noticing the ripest fruits. Evolutionary theory aside, we are excitedly following the path of our more recent ancestors and cultivating another crop for next season.

Its not yet July, but the season has hit its stride and the sweet corn is definitely past knee high.  We are grateful every time another variety of produce hits our table and are looking forward to an increasingly crowded table of offerings at the Farmers Market.  The Plainfield Farmers Market runs every Friday from 4pm-7pm – hope to see you there.

Happy Summer – stay cool out there!

Announcing the 2021 Littlewood Farm Seedling Sale

Greetings and happy spring from Littlewood Farm!

April has kicked us off to a roaring start this season with a streak of beautiful days for getting outside and getting plants going.  Our greenhouse is filling up quickly as plants take full advantage of the long sunny days.  While we were more than happy to do the same, we are grateful to finally have some overdue rain and a chance to put the word out about our upcoming plant sale!

We are excited to announce that we plan to allow in person shopping once again this year.  We will ask that visitors wear a face covering when shopping and respect each other’s space.  For those interested, we will continue to offer a pre-order option – simply reach out by phone, text, or email if you prefer shopping that way.   Opening day will be May 9th with hours from 9-2 every weekend and by appointment or chance during the week (we are never too far from the greenhouses this time of year!).   Check out the 2021  Seedling Sale page for more information on what varieties we are growing this year and please reach out with any questions as you start your garden planning!

Spring planting season is among the most hopeful times of year and it seems to go without saying that we are all ready for a fresh start.  With sunshine, a new year, and renewed optimism,  we find ourselves somewhere between ‘let plant just a little bit more’ and ‘are we biting off more than we can chew?’  This is nothing new for the vegetable grower and so we hope you will join us again this year in embracing the excitement, uncertainty, and love of growing your garden.

 

 

Fall Update

Between the maturing winter squash, the sowing of cover crops, and mornings that tempt the rekindling of our wood stove, it is beginning to feel a lot like fall on the farm.

While there is still a little bit of summer left on the calendar, we have certainly had a summer’s worth of heat and many of the crops are are showing it.  The Virtual Farmers Market page is beginning to fill out with fall offerings and we are saving the summer’s bounty in jars as much as possible.  We are taking orders now for sauce tomatoes ($20 for a 10lb flat) and bulk cherry tomatoes ($36 for a 12pint flat), which can be made into sauce or dried with olive oil and salt into an incredible ingredient for your kitchen.  We are also prepared for another wave of pesto making with bulk basil boxes available at $25/bushel or $15/half bushel.  We hope to offer bulk winter squash, potatoes, onions, beets and carrots as well this year a little later on.

Oven-dried cherry tomatoes
Oven-dried cherry tomatoes

 

 

The Approach of Peak Harvest

With the first full day of rain in recent memory, we find ourselves catching up on indoor work and bracing for the incoming storm.   We hope you all can stay safe and that the hazards of heavy rain on a very dry landscape are minimal.  These weather extremes remind us of the importance of regenerating soils and, in our very fortunate case, maintaining them.  Healthy land is resilient and one of our primary goals as a farm.

On a more exciting note, we are approaching peak harvest season! While this year has required a tremendous amount of irrigation and gratitude to the Winooski River, the heat loving crops are loving life and we are hopeful that we will have equally tremendous harvests.  Kicking off the freezer stocking effort this year, we have made a full winter’s supply of pesto and are ready now selling bulk boxes of basil for you to do the same!

$15/ Half Bushel Box and $25/Full Bushel

Call/Text or email us to arrange an order (802) 881 3240

Finally, we would like to extend a big thank you to those who have supported our friday produce delivery over the past few weeks.  While we really hope to get back to our Plainfield Farmers Market next year, it is very nice to know that we can provide this substitute service in the meantime.  If you haven’t yet tried buying direct, take a look at our Virtual Farmers Market page and consider jumping in on this week’s orders!

Until next time, be well and stay safe.

 

The Seedling Sale Continues

First of all we want to thank everyone who supported our seedling sale this year.  We know it wasn’t quite the same this year to grab-n-go with your orders, but we are so happy to have helped you with your gardens and hope they are starting to take off with this warm weather.

The seedling sale will continue so long as there are healthy plants in need of a good home and there are plenty in that category! Successive rounds of eager looking tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, flowers, herbs and hanging baskets overflowing with blooms are waiting for you still.  We will be taking down the webstore temporarily as we make some changes, so please call us to place an order or arrange a time to come browse our selection.

‘Changes to the webstore’ you ask?  With the Plainfield Farmers’ Market taking a temporary hiatus, we will be making our fresh produce available for pre-order and pickup through our website.  Much like the seedling sale, we plan to post an availability of produce to fill up your bag with as little or as much as you would like.  We will then pick your items fresh for a market pickup in town. Details to come soon…

We are also very happy to be working this season with our friends at Tamarack Hollow Farm! They are offering weekly produce boxes – $25 for an assortment of local, organic vegetables.  We have been contributing our early season greens and are really excited about the cooperation within our community to feed itself.  Check it out at TamarackHollowFarm.com

 

Suddenly Summer

Its Memorial Day weekend and somehow it feels like it snuck up on us!  After an extended cool period and some mid-may blizzards, we suddenly find ourselves in full blown summer weather with full weeks of sun and highs in the 80s (90s??)  The to-do list on the farm begins to quickly outpace our ability to check things off and the plants are beginning to grow before our eyes.

A huge thank you to everybody that has bought plants from our seedling sale so far.  We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we manage pickups and helping everyone get the right varieties for their garden.   We miss talking with everyone in the greenhouse about gardening techniques and our favorite varieties, but we look forward to catching up with it all next year and appreciate your continued support in the meantime.

Seedlings will continue to be available until they sell out. Cucumbers , melons and squash will become available starting next week.   An up to date availability can be found at our webstore at any time: https://my-site-108817-109115.square.site/

Happy gardening everybody.  Enjoy the well deserved sunshine and hope for a little rain.