Connector Series

Connector Series

Get Ready to Learn: RTB’s Food System Consultant, Laura Killingbeck has two exciting classes coming up this fall.

RTB, in collaboration with the Marion Institute’s Connector Series, presents Farm Food & Fermentation. This series will take place at Round the Bend Farm in South Dartmouth located at 92 Allen’s Neck Rd. Space is limited. Individual workshops are $30 each. As a thank you to all of you who support local farms and farmers, we are offering a special rate of $20 per class for CSA members at any area farms.

BREWING HERBAL SODAS – Saturday, October 17th, 9:00am – 11:00am

Create fizzy live culture medicinal sodas with regional sugars. 
Class Includes: Instructions, taste tests and your own Heirloom Starter Culture!

Description:  Learn how to brew your own homemade live-culture soda with local sugars, fruit juices, and herbs.  These delicious and healthy sodas are packed with vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines, and probiotics.  This class includes your own SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) to get you started with your own batches as soon as you get home.

TRANSFORMING DAIRY – Saturday, November 14th, 9:00am – 11:00am

Learn how to make kefir (yogurt) and cultured cream, butter and buttermilk.
Class Includes:  Instructions and taste tests!

Class Description:  What is milk anyway?  Learn about the composition of milk and see real cream that hasn’t been homogenized (new to most Americans!).  Learn to make kefir (yogurt), butter and buttermilk with simple ingredients and household equipment.

Need for information: Contact Liz Wiley at lizw@roundthebendfarm.org

Open Farm Day

Don’t Miss this Month’s Open Farm Day – November 14, 2015 from 11:00am – 5:00pm

RTB_cosumes-OPENFARMDAYIt’s that time of year again for fun & dress-up on the farm. Join the RTB Team by Dressing in Costume and Receive 5 Heads of Organic Garlic for FREE.

  • Geoff will be offering a volume discount on his Non-GMO, pastured pork sausages and kielbasa – Buy 8 lbs. and Get 1 lb. FREE. Limited amounts of grass-fed beef will also be available.
  • Ashley will be selling cabbage, carrots, broccoli, kale, chard and winter squash.
  • Neighboring farm, Ivory Silo, will be selling beets, celeriac, and Macomber turnips
  • Hana’s Honey
  • Harm’s Family Farm’s Maple Syrup, locally sourced in western, MA
  • An interactive and family friendly farm tour at 2:00pm
  • Meet and mingle with the RTB team, animals and much more!

Open Farm Days are held down at the Barn – follow the signs!
Need Directions?

Kicking Off 2014! A Letter of Introduction to Potential Shareholders

1/5/2014
January 2014

Greetings,

I hope the new year finds you in warm company and good spirits as we welcome the return of the light and the promise of a new year. For me, winter is a time to pour over seed catalogs, fine tune production plans and start dreaming about those first greens of spring and an abundance of summer vegetables. This year, the visioning process is especially poignant as I make the transition to Round The Bend Farm, where I will be managing the gardens and starting my own micro-business. As a farmer who was attracted to the profession for its potential to restore the health of our communities as well as our planet, I’m humbled by the opportunity to join the community of growers, educators, and social entrepreneurs charged with the task of working towards a more resilient and sustainable future at RTB.

Please look forward to future posts and information regarding Vegetable CSA memberships!

Gratefully Yours,

Ashley Brister
Produce Farmer and Social Entrepreneur
Round The Bend Farm

SPRING NOTES FROM THE FARM

4/10/2014

Greetings!

Spring is palpable here at Round the Bend (RTB). There is a slightly frantic energy this time of year as folks buzz around the farm attending to the needs of both the plants and animals. Lambing season is upon us. Six lambs were born in just the past two weeks. The grass is green and growing and RTB Farm Manager Geoff, anticipates moving the animals to pasture next week. I got a taste of what rotational pasture management is like when Geoff and I decided to move some of the pigs up to the vegetable garden to turn over a field covered in a carpet of chickweed. Farmer Glenn set up the fence; two electrified strings just a couple feet off the ground. A little zap when they touch the lines is just enough to keep them from roaming all over the farm. A pig’s snout is the perfect tillage tool. For an animal capable of clearing out the prickly understory of a forest overrun with brambles and invasive vines, this annually cultivated vegetable field was hardly a challenge. Within 5 days they had uprooted and eaten much of the chickweed in a 2500 square foot area. I think the tomatoes and melons will be happy here with the added fertility the animals have supplied. The incorporation of animals into the world of vegetable growing is new for me and I must admit, I am enjoying working up beds for peas, early roots, and greens next to the snorts of pigs who are also happily at work.

New life abounds in the vegetable world as well as the animal one. In spite of a cold spring making propagation in an unheated hoop house a bit of a challenge, beds have been formed for broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants, ready and waiting for this latest cold snap to pass. Potatoes arrived this week and I anticipate getting them in the ground as soon as the soil dries down enough to allow me back into the fields.

-Ashley

First CSA Shares June 3rd and June 6th!

5/19/2014

Greetings,

It’s hard to believe that after this long cold spring that the first vegetable pick-up at RTB is right around the corner. The last few weeks of sunny days and night time temperatures staying in the 50’s has really helped speed along the plant growth on the farm. Unfortunately, the weeds are growing too! Sun up to sun down workdays are becoming a necessity as greenhouse propagation, planting, weeding and now harvesting chores are all priorities that need to be strategically juggled. But the rewards are plentiful, especially as the first week of CSA pick up approaches and the bounty is shared with all of you who have so generously supported our efforts at RTB.

Tuesday June 3rd and Friday June 6th are the first two days of the vegetable share distribution. If you have not filled out the pledge form or chosen a pick up day, please do so by downloading the form on my website at www.ashleysproduce.com/csa-membership.html. You can email it back to me or bring it with you to our next Open Market Day on May 31st from noon to 5pm. We’ll be firing up the grill again and a tour of the farm will begin at 2pm. For those of you who can make it on the 31st, I will be giving a quick overview of how the CSA distribution will work and will be joining the tour to answer any questions about what’s happening in the gardens.

In the future I encourage all of you to sign up for the newsletter on my website where I will be writing weekly updates about what’s happening in the gardens, what to expect in the share, and recipes to make the most of your farm fresh veggies.

See you all at the farm very soon!

Ashley

Food is Medicine – Garlic

July demarks garlic season at Round the Bend Farm (RTB). This is a time for the fall-planted crop to be harvested, hung to dry, and garlic scapes enjoyed until the bulbs themselves harden off.

Food is Medicine – Elderberry

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been my go-to immune booster ever since I had children and learned about its amazing health benefits.  It has a long history of uses and is revered for its antioxidant and antiviral qualities.  In Old World tradition, an elder bush was planted at the edge of a garden as the “protector” […]

Summer Solstice

6/22/2014

June 22, 2014
Week 4

In the Box:
kale
cabbage
carrots
lettuce
salad mix
peas
squash
garlic scapes

This weekend marked the Summer Solstice and signs of summer abound here at RTB- birdsong waking us at dawn, a nightly ritual of fireflies rising, lights flickering in the garden and surrounding pasture, and an explosion of plant growth fed by the energy of the sun on this, the longest day of the year.

The diverse explosion of plant life has attracted an equally diverse population of insect life, both problematic and beneficial. The usual suspects are all here, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, and cabbage moth. In addition, this season we have seen an unusual amount of aphid pressure. I typically don’t see much of this pest in the summer and associate aphids as a management challenge that comes along with winter growing in a hoop house. During the colder months biological activity is slowed by cold and dry soil conditions when watering is kept to a minimum to control the increased risk of bacterial and fungal diseases like damping off and downy mildew. However, the resulting decrease in biological activity affects the plants ability to access important nutrients for plant health like magnesium, calcium and phosphorous just to name a few. However, nitrates are highly mobile in the soil and more readily available to the plants. Aphids love nitrogen. My theory is that with the cool dry spring we have been having, biological activity in the soil has been slow and the plants are having difficulty accessing the rich profile of nutrients they need to ward off insect pressure. Fortunately, most of the cultivated crops that have aphid pressure, tomatoes and lettuce, are not yet showing any ill effects. And better yet, the weeds that are hosting the majority of the aphids, lambsquarters, are now also covered with ladybug larvae, a voracious beneficial predator. This week I have given everyone a big drink hoping that some of those excess nitrates will be leached out and the ladybug larvae on the lambsquarters will move over to feast on the aphids living on the tomatoes. A foliar feeding will happen soon to introduce some of those nutrients they aren’t now accessing from the soil. I also hope to get to mulching much of the crops to help retain soil moisture in what’s looking to be a dry season.

Your Farmer,
Ashley

Food is Medicine – Lambs Quarters

This month we have been enjoying a daily dose of the wild edible weed known as Lambs Quarters (Chenopodium album).  Yes, I said weed.  However, once upon a time, this annual weed received more respect.  Prior to the introduction of spinach from Southeast Asia, lambs quarters were the go-to-greens.  They are a genuine super-food high […]