Fall is a wonderful time of transition at Massaro Community Farm. Cool weather-loving crops sown by farm staff in August are being harvested in abundance in October and November. At a time when most backyard gardens have been put to bed, the farm continues to harvest lettuce, kale, spinach, beets, turnips, potatoes, carrots, radishes and even a few lingering tomatoes from the farm’s high tunnels.
In addition to our continuing harvest, these months offer up beautiful colors, birds in migration to warmer places, and preparations for winter. As the days get shorter, farm staffers plant and cover crops that will over-winter in the fields (think strawberries!), remove field irrigation hoses, pack away trellises, and clean and sharpen equipment. Honey is harvested and the beehives are tested for health and fed extra to get them through the colder months. Chicken and rabbit housing are prepared for wintry weather.
In spite of cooler days, these activities present continuing opportunities for learning and engagement. Group field trips will continue to visit the farm until mid- November. And the fall harvest has been so robust that we’ve been able to extend our CSA subscription by an additional three weeks, making produce for sale on the farm each Friday afternoon through November 22.
Once we turn the clocks back and revert to observing Eastern Standard Time, the field harvest at Massaro Community Farm will slow even further. Thanks to six high tunnels on the farm (the structures often thought to be greenhouses), the weekly harvest of cold-hardy greens will continue on a smaller scale through the colder and shorter days of winter. Temperatures under the plastic enclosure of the high tunnels – often misunderstood to be greenhouses – can reach into the mid-60s in January and February! Winter harvested produce is sold primarily to area restaurants or used for nutrition education.
Tickets on sale for Decade Dinners in area homes
To culminate the celebration of our tenth season of farming, we hope you’ll join us for one of our Decade Dinners, Saturday, November 16. Choose from a series of intimate dinners hosted by friends of the farm. Each of the nine dinner hosts will have a unique guest speaker who will present a topic related to sustainability, food and/or farming. All guests are invited to an opening reception beginning at 6:00pm at Parish Hall, First Church of Christ on Meetinghouse Lane in Woodbridge center. Each location will offer a series of farm-themed dishes; vegetarian and vegan options available. Once you purchase tickets, directions to the exact address of your host will be provided. Help us celebrate this milestone year by joining us for one of these dinners. $80/pp. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.com.
New Winter Ranger program for children
Massaro Community Farm will host a new Winter Ranger program for children in grades K-5. Children will be able to connect with a winter landscape during a time when they are usually inclined to stay indoors. Every Sunday from January 12 through March 1, 2020, children will spend three hours learning wilderness survival skills and forest ecology. They’ll learn how to build a fire by hand, how to build a shelter from nearby materials, how to tap maple trees to make maple syrup, and how to track winter animals. Registration forms and details will be posted to the farm’s website November 1, 2019.
Screening of the Christmas comedy “Elf” and photos with Santa, Friday, Dec. 20, from 5 to 9 pm.
Massaro Farm invites families to attend a free screening of the PG Christmas comedy “Elf” in the farm’s dairy barn on Friday, December 20 at 5:00pm and again at 7:00pm. Dress warmly, as the barn is not heated, and enjoy hot chocolate and sugar cookies. The 2003 movie about a human raised by elves stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Ed Asner and Bob Newhart.
Children or families can also pose for photos with Santa, at $8/digital image. Sign up for a photo timeslot on our website at MassaroFarm.org.
Other farm news
Goats are coming to Massaro Community Farm! After several years of planning, we’ll shortly be introducing goats to our farm operation. These goats will be instrumental in keeping periphery zones of the farm from becoming overgrown and will be integral to our farm education programming. We are very excited and hope you will visit the farm and our new goats in the coming months.
Sign up to receive our newsletter on our website to receive details about Massaro Community Farm’s winter gatherings and winter ranger program for children. At the winter gatherings, we will share in a potluck, screen a film and share some skills with you. And keep an eye out for our 2019 Annual Report, coming to your inbox or mailbox by Thanksgiving.
Massaro Community Farm is a nonprofit, certified-organic farm on the border of Woodbridge and Ansonia, CT. It is committed to supporting the legacy of farming, feeding neighbors in need, and building community through events and hands-on education for all ages. More information can be found by calling the farm office at (203) 736-8618 or visiting the farm’s website at www.MassaroFarm.org.