NEW FOR 2016. We are developing a state-of-the-art COMPOST FACILITY. Composting is vital for organic farming because it uses on-site, clean materials to enrich the soil and reduces required supplements. With the support of grants from the CT Department of Agriculture and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, we will be joining the national trend of building cutting-edge techniques for production of “green” compost for use on the Farm, in our Community Gardens and ultimately for sale to our neighboring families.
Other priorities for this coming year are described below. Please contact us with comments or ideas for other activities and improvements.
MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. Please see the HOME page for offer and details.
COMPOSTING FACILITY. In addition to creating our own compost programs, we will be offering workshops on how to turn your kitchen scraps into enriched soil for your home gardens in ways that contribute to a cleaner planet.
TRACTOR. We’re getting a tractor and will be expanding our working fields to better serve our CSA members and to produce a surplus for contributing to local food banks.
CSA. Last year was a great year but we want “more, better.” With expanded fields, adding earlier greens and new crops and varieties chosen from 2016 seed catalogs, our mission is to increase the success of each crop and bring a greater variety and more quantity to each of our CSA members. Our 2016 offering will be posted in early March.
ORGANICALLY-GROWN VEGETABLE SEEDLINGS. We’re expanding our spring heirloom tomato seedling sale to include sales of a variety of organically-grown garden-ready vegetable seedlings not available in this area.
FACEBOOK PAGE. We’re building a Members’ Facebook page which will enhance our communications, providing up-to-date suggestions on gardening techniques and recipes for our freshest, recently-harvested crops. We will post information on work parties, special projects and volunteer opportunities each week of the season.
CHEF DINNERS. We will post a season-long schedule of chef dinners, with prepaid reservations and on-line shared information on offerings and special events.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING. We are proud of the educational programming that we offered in our Farm Fresh Kids Programs at Buttonball and Nayaug Elementary Schools in 2015, and which we will expand in 2016. We will also be continuing and expanding a summer organic gardening program for kids at the Town community garden. Please see the March, 2016 Glastonbury Parks & Recreation catalog for details. Volunteers for teaching aides are welcome.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES FOR 2016
BLACK PRINCE TOMATO
70 days. An heirloom from Irkutsk, Siberia. Considered the absolute favorite with the richest flavor by many. The 5-oz. tomatoes are round and very uniform; the color is a wonderful deep blackish-chocolate brown. The flavor is as deep, sweet and rich as the color. A unique salad tomato; the plants produce a large crop and early; a good tomato for fine markets.
This famous tomato has almost a cult following among seed collectors and tomato connoisseurs. They simply cannot get enough of this variety’s amazing flavor that is so distinctive, sweet and smokey. 7-10 oz. fruit are a black-brick color. Named in honor of the famous opera singer star of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, 1937. Paul Robeson was an equal rights advocate who stood up the the infamous McCarthy committee in the 1950’s and had his career nearly destroyed as a result. He was idolized in Russia as well as all around the world. This Russian heirloom was lovingly named in his honor. We are proud to offer such a wonderful variety. Due to our seed saving from last year we have a bountiful crop of Paul Robeson seedlings, of significant value as a 10-packet seed can cost $3.50 or more.<
Loads of round, 2-3-inch, red to slightly orange fruit are produced on compact, potato-leafed plants to 3 feet tall. Use in salads or in colorful tomato salads! Excellent flavor for an early-season type. Reliable in cooler-season climates, setting fruit all summer long.
The Ashlock family settled in Kentucky shortly after fighting in the Revolutionary War, and this variety was developed in Kentucky in the 1920’s by Carl Ashlock’s Grandfather. It was passed down in the family, and now passed to others. Soft, delicious pink beefsteak fruit don’t keep well, but they won’t last long enough to spoil once you discover the flavorful flesh of this big beauty.
This hefty variety (each fruit can weigh up to a pound and a half!) earns its place in the garden with exceptional flavor and rich Tomato taste. An heirloom dating back to 1889, ‘Brandywine Pink’ produces a thin skinned, pink fruit with a meaty body, perfect for slicing, canning as a crushed Tomato, or as meal unto itself on a hot summer’s day. Being a beefsteak variety, you won’t get a large yield, but you will be rewarded with nicely matured and tasty Tomatoes. Fruits ripen 80-90 days from transplant. Indeterminate.
Some Tomato varieties are known as “Potato Leaf.” All this means is that their leaves look more like those of Potatoes (with few or no notches on the leaf edges). The leaves are thicker as well, which may help resist disease. ‘Brandywine Pink’ is a Potato Leaf variety.
There seems to be a lack of distinction between some orange and yellow brandywines, if you check out the catalogs. We have a very distinct number of yellow brandywines which we felt were not quite as good as the orange brandywines. The orange brandywines got rave reports for their firmness and flavor. We are pleased to say that we saved seeds from our orange brandywines from last year and have a healthy crop of seedlings available this year.
PRUDEN’S PURPLE BEEKSTEAK
Pruden’s Beeksteak is an organic, heirloom tomato which riivals Brandywine as the best-flavored heirloom tomato and boasts a devoted fan club. Pruden’s is not really purple, but rather a deep pink with slight shoulder ribbing. Fruits are large, often close to 1 lb. each, but smaller than brandywine. Indeterminate, 72 days from transplant. (approx. 30 seeds/pkt)
The rich-tasting, juicy cherries of hybrid ‘Sungold’ are an intense golden orange, almost tangerine, that absolutely glows on the vines. Fruits are borne on long trusses all season so you’ll have hundreds of these little jewel-toned fruits with a rich, but not too sweet, taste. ‘Sungold’ consistently earns a place on lists of best-tasting Tomatoes and remains a favorite even after the main-crop Tomatoes ripen.