Visiting the New Entry Farm

by danberube on August 4, 2013

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the open house at the New Entry beginning farmer incubator training site on Jones Ave in Dracut. Graduates of the New Entry farm business training course can farm at the training site for up to three years, giving them access to land while they work to find a more permanent location as well as training to help them develop their farming skills. I have already signed up for the business training course this fall, so this open house felt a bit like a college tour for me. Once I pass the business training course and develop my business plan, I will have access to 1/4 acre of land at the training site next spring, so I will be spending a lot of time there next summer. I also got to meet some of the current farmers (who were all super nice people), including Patrick from Pen and Pepper farm. Like me, Patrick has worked in the theatre, and his blog about his experiences at New Entry has been both an incredible resource for me as well as a source of inspiration for sharing my own experiences in farming.

It was raining lightly during the entire visit. Somehow, it felt appropriate that those of us touring the farm (a group of neighbors, prospective farmers, World Peas CSA members and press) had to deal with the same unpredictable weather that the farmers do, and do it without complaining. I was able to see the variety of crops grown on their small farms, and finally got a sense of how big a 1/4 acre of farmland is. My first thought was, “that’s not that bad,” which almost certainly means I am in for a world of hurt next spring.

The harvest was strong the past two weeks. I finally got my first batch of eggplant, which my wife has been waiting all season for. Our crookneck squash has also been very productive, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen in bunches. Despite the loss of all the buttercup squash plants, the butternut and spaghetti squash are doing quite well, and the watermelon are beginning to flower. I also have my sights set squarely on the fall growing season now. I have started planting cabbage crops for transplant, and this week I will direct sow root vegetables and peas into the open spots in the garden.

Planted Past 2 Weeks
Brussels Sprouts
Swiss Chard
Cabbage
Kale
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Lettuce

Harvested Last 2 Weeks – 39.5 Pounds
Kale
Peas
Lettuce
Zucchini
Crookneck Squash
Strawberries
Raspberries
Cherry Tomatoes
Early Girl Tomatoes
Bush Beans
Eggplant

Total Season Harvest – 71.09 Pounds

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