Greetings from the farm,

I am very often asked why I came to farm. I love working outside, I love teamwork, I love working in relationship with plants, animals, sun, earth, water and wind. I really love the act of coming together and sharing a meal with people. Here are highlights of the Summer and Fall of 2022 in a few meals: 

Summer internship crew lunch of fried rice, smashed cucumbers, zucchini, tofu. 
I think there were nine of us that day squashed around two picnic tables under the tent at the coresite. Very little bare space on the tables between our plates and water bottles and all the different dishes of food that were passed back and forth from one end to the other. The spontaneous sunflower that grew up through the woodchips under the tent was flowering and leaning over by the weight of it's seeded head, eavesdropping. Probably we're looking at some memes or reporting on the bugs or birds we saw out in the field weeding carrots or planting kale and swiss chard. Kaylee and Isaac made the lunch that afternoon... Food so good does make me want to stretch the lunch break longer on a hot day. We would have eased back into the afternoon work of building the field house. 

CSA Potluck of Frittata, spanakopita, lentils, apples and pears, honey, eggplant and tvp, muffins, carrot soup, farm crew favorite turtle puffs from Mom's house and more. This was an amazing meal enjoyed by a handful each of CSA members and student farmers. We were eating together in the greenhouse. I am really thinking that potlucks are the way of the future. What a great way to connect with people. I want late-summer staff potlucks full of tomato salad and grilled veggies and mid-fall CSA potlucks with soups and slaws. I want potlucks with students and staff and faculty all together. I already anticipate breaking bread with everyone over next year's harvest. 

Squash Soup for Family Weekend. A sunny day for soup in fact, but at least 75 people moved through the farm space last Saturday. Amherst College catering presented a creamy butternut squash soup made with coconut milk. The red-tailed hawk that has set up territory at the core site was in view in the treeline next to the train tracks. We were set up facing "Core 2", a 1/3 acre plot that is currently in oats and peas cover crop. Next year we'll plant our pick-your-own zone there: flowers, cherry tomatoes, herbs, hot peppers and such. Student farmers brought their parents and while other students who had visited with classes or the STEM incubator mixer brought family members up. I heard about small ornamental chili peppers, potatoes, herbs and flowers that people were growing at their homes. 

Crew meal of miscellaneous takeout from Miss Saigon or La Veracruzana.  It was warmer that night than the chilly September CSA potluck. Seventeen out of twenty three of the students were there. We each took our turn with the good-old-fashioned Book & Plow go-around (names, stuff that you're into, pronouns, shift time, favorite and least favorite jobs of the season, and the question for all of us--this time what were your childhood home videos like). We made the early decision to applaud each other after each introduction and to hoot for each other's team mates. 

Feeling full!
For Book & Plow Farm,
Maida Ives
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Book & Plow Farm · 301 E Hadley Rd · Amherst, MA 01002 · USA

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