Another exciting season is underway here at the Hampshire College Farm! This summer we have a terrific group of interns helping with everything from growing turmeric to breeding pigs to changing the oil in a tractor. One rainy morning over a hot cup of coffee and some doughnuts we asked them about their experiences so far and their future plans. April Nugent, Ben Matcho, Lee Graves, Owen Aptekar-Cassels, Fiona Helen
Congratulations to the Farm’s own Nancy Hanson, CSA Manager and 2017 winner of the Carol and Blair Brown Award for Staff Excellence!! This prestigious, community-based award recognizes a staff member’s exceptional contribution to the College. As one letter of support says, “At Hampshire College, Nancy has provided exceptional service, created cross-campus connections, fostered diversity and i
by Eve Allen, F14 On a warm Wednesday afternoon in early March, botanical explorer and ethnobotanist, Joseph Simcox, paid a visit to the Hampshire College Farm to distribute seeds in promotion of his Gardens Across America project. Joseph has spent decades circling the globe documenting, tasting, and collecting the seeds of thousands of rare and underutilized edibles. Visiting over 100 countries and collecting the se
Monthly updates from the farm recorded by Owen Aptekar-Cassels F14 with input from Farmers Nancy Hanson and Jason Dragon. The shift in weather patterns that made this an amazing growing season also affects the lives of insects. This year’s experimental Brussels sprouts crop, the first on the farm in 10 years, was covered in gray aphids that do well in warm weather. Next season the farm plans to adapt by introducing l
This ginger is known as baby ginger–it has a crisper/fresher texture and flavor than what we normally buy in the store because it’s harvested earlier –and it is gorgeous too. Think ginger tea, ginger scones, carrot ginger soup, ginger and greens, ginger and sweet potatoes, gingerbread… well you get the picture. In addition to being really tasty, ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and digestiv
Students, Staff, and Faculty – enter your BEST BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPE for a chance to win a Hampshire College Farm totebag stuffed with squashes! Fall is here and so it’s time to double down on the dutch oven and get creative with the crockpot! We invite you to submit your best butternut squash recipe and prepare the dish for judging at the Hampshire College Fall Festival on October 24th. Who: You! Stude
Owen Aptekar-Cassels is a third-year student at Hampshire College and one of 4 Hampshire students who worked as a vegetable farm intern this summer. I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for months, but I’m only now, when popcorn and pumpkin plants that started off so small and strong are now fruiting and dying back, getting the chance to write it. Farming can make other things slip to the side, I’m learning. My
As a farmer during this time of year, I often get the question “what do you do all winter?” I usually smile, shrug and reply, “I go down to a forty-hour week.” Admittedly this response has not led to very many follow-up questions over the years so I thought that I would finally sit down and let you in on the mysterious life of a farmer in winter. Just like everyone else this year, Jason, Pete and I are spending a lot
Over the next few months, we will be featuring a series of interviews here on the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Blog that focus on the people behind Hampshire’s Healthy Food Transition. From local farmers in the field to seasoned chefs in the campus kitchen, we will explore the faces behind our food. Today we feature Pete Solis, Livestock and Pasture Manager at the Hampshire College Farm. To read our first feature w
In a few weeks, our campus will be repopulated with students, signalling a shift on the farm from planting and weeding to harvesting. The CSA barn will be all hustle and bustle starting on August 26th when our first crop of vegetables will be picked and washed and promptly packed away in member’s tote bags at the first share distribution. The campus CSA has been an essential facet of Hampshire College for over
The academic buildings tend to be quiet at Hampshire College during the summer. But down at the Hampshire College Farm, our 15 acres of vegetable fields and 65 acres of pasture serve as a living classroom and laboratory for the students of our 6 week Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute. Brian Schultz, Professor of Entomology and Ecology, is currently leading students in a hands-on experiment at the farm. With th
Our fertile valley is just starting to burst with early summer produce. Farm stands are laden with plump red strawberries and farmers market stalls are stuffed with glorious greens, pea shoots, and the last of spring asparagus. With this bountiful backdrop, the relaunch of the beloved publication Edible Pioneer Valley could not come at a better time! We are thrilled that there will be a chronicle of the exciting agri
It may be a dreary, rainy day at the Hampshire College Farm, but our spirits are bright because we get to spend the day with 75 baby chickens! This mix of Black Giants, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and New Hampshire Reds is just the first shipment of a total of 300 chickens that will become the new laying flock for the college. The chicks hatched yesterday and were immediately shipped out from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohi
It has been a busy few weeks here at the Hampshire College Farm. The student workers have been hard at work for over a week and there are muddy boots to show for it! Our vegetable crew has transplanted thousands of starts (with thousands more to go still!) into the fields including tomatoes, leeks, popcorn, and a variety of flowers for our pick-your-own fields. Those flowers will be happily pollinated by our new heal
The verdant beauty of the Hampshire College Farm has been translated into a new map by artist Nate Padavick of Studio SSS. An interactive version of the map will soon be posted to the farm website which will include descriptions of the structures, fields, and activities around the farm. Copies are available at the Farm Center for self guided tours, or you can schedule an educational tour with the farm staff HERE. We
It may not be officially winter yet, but it certainly feels that way. It’s cold and snowy out, and Christmas is fast approaching. Since there are no more fresh CSA vegetables to write about, we’ve decided to spend a bit of time focusing on holiday baking.
I am probably not the only one who is sad that there are no new CSA vegetables this week. I will miss my weekly trips to the CSA barn, not to mention all the lovely vegetables in my kitchen. I suspect that I'm also not the only one, though, whose CSA share will last at least a few weeks into the future.
Butternut squash has been a staple in my kitchen for years, decades, even, I’ve used butternut squash into soup and risotto. I’ve roasted it and steamed it and pureed it. I’ve added it to pasta and salad. I’ve used it in lieu of pumpkin in bread and pie both. It is, as you probably know, extraordinarily versatile.
One group that has a yearly share in the Hampshire CSA is Hampshire's Early Learning Center. Each week, children come to collect the share--if you've ever wondered why there are tiny shopping carts in residence at the CSA barn, here's your answer! Casie Smith, the Early Learning Center's director, sent along some photos of her charges enjoying their share. Here's what she has to say.
Carrots are another stalwart of the CSA share--there at the beginning and there at the end, there to be weighed out weekly in 2 pound increments. Unless you keep on top of them, the carrots have a way of multiplying in your refrigerator, and when you go to look for something, you find three or four identical bags, each holding 2 pounds of carrots of varying degrees of freshness.