Entries tagged with “CSA”.

5/26/2017:  Quick Farm Update

Planting season is progressing very well; we have about 3 acres of veggies in the field, including:  arugula, basil, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, cucumbers, dandelion greens, dill, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, onions, pac choi, peas, potatoes, radishes, scallions, shallots, tomatoes, zucchini.

Next week eggplant and peppers will transition from the greenhouse to the fields and we’ll start seeding carrots for the late summer.  Melons and winter squash will be set out the first week of June.  We’ve enjoyed a cool and relatively wet spring, with soil temperatures warming up the crops are jumping and cultivation work is becoming a priority.  Fieldhouse cucumbers are coming along nicely and should be a feature of our June harvests…

Summertime CSA

Registration for our 2017 Summertime CSA is still open, we have a few more spots for new and returning members.  Distributions are scheduled to start Tuesday June 6th and Friday June 9th.  Don’t miss your chance to guarantee a share of a delicious harvest this summer.

Farmstand Schedule

Our Farmstand will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend (10AM ’til dusk) with a special selection of spring veggies.  On Thursday June 1st we’ll officially open for the 2017 season and thereafter we will be open daily through the fall.

Field Crew Positions

We are hiring full and part-time crew members for the 2017 season.

Please contact us (phone or email) if you are interested in applying for a field crew position.

$8-$14 per hour to start + veggies!

Part-Time Positions:  15-25 hours per week, mornings.

Full Time Positions:  40-60 hours per week

Tasks will include harvesting, seeding, transplanting, cultivation, and field projects.

celery starts


The abundance of beauty sculpted on the glass each morning is one of the true pleasures of February farmwork.  It might even be a fair trade for the fierce round of poison ivy received as we renovated the small glass greenhouse at the King Farm earlier this month.   Thought we would share them with you as we make a call for CSA Members to send in their registration forms.

We Invite You to Invest in Health, Make a Downpayment on Flavor…

Join Our 2016 Brix Bounty Summertime CSA.

As we start the seeds which will grow into this season’s bounty of vegetables, we ask for your support to help us reach our full potential as a neighborhood vegetable farm.  Sales of our CSA shares provide the farm with the necessary capital to purchase seeds, equipment, and fertilizer at the beginning of the season.  More importantly income received now helps us invest in the farm’s greatest resource – our crew members. 

Full farm update below…


The fleeting tundra of February will ease its grip after the weekend and we are set to start seeding our onions Tuesday morning February 18th, in the greenhouse of course.  We’ll be starting two rounds of onions this spring, one set will be guided by optimism while our second round will wait ’til early March as a hedge against another cool spring.  The long range forecast is also to be considered; currently, stormy and on the cool side into early April.  Along with our onions, we soon be seeding our earliest field plantings of lettuce heads, spinach, swiss chard, and kale in the greenhouse, which will be ready for transplanting around Easter.

The Weight of Potential is Buoyant, Each Seed Brings Opportunity for Health and Nourishment to Our Community and Dare We Say Pleasure

The crop plan nearly finished remains soft set, a malleable template of bounty and diversity.  Jockeying hard for acreage is the crowd favorite but temperamental sugar snap pea.  When spring comes early the Southcoast’s climate is a perfect season-scape for the sweetness of a garden pea.  If soils remain cold and your farmer shies away from irrigation, as we do, then peas provide a challenge sometimes best left in the package.  Conventional growers rely on fungicide treatment for their seeds slated for cool soils, seeds shaded unnatural colors to provide overt warning to the handler.  If May or June rains are scarce and irrigation is withheld, the pods will struggle to achieve top quality.  And then there are the deer, Odocoileus virginianus…

In 2015, we made a long delayed decision to invest in electrical deer fencing and the results were terrific – unfortunately installation in late June was too late to positively impact our snap peas.  We set our sights on June 2016 with renewed excitement… maybe this will be the year of the pea?  We are going with a “buck-shot” approach, diversifying our seed selections in hopes of bringing in a couple robust harvests.  We’ll be sowing one bed of tall-vined Sugarsnaps, along with multiple beds of bush varieties.  We’ll include Sugar Ann which has been a staple of pea planting for me since 2004.  Additionally, we’ll bring back Cascadia, a larger podded pea which I haven’t planted in nearly 10 years but other local growers have deemed well suited for our bio-region.  Finally, we’ll trial the stocky Sugar Heart which will be entirely new to Brix Bounty Farm.  Cascadia and Sugar Heart are noted as 62 day varieties, nearly 10 days slower to produce than the speedy Sugar Ann.  We’ve steered clear of them in previous seasons because we couldn’t reliably seed early in the wet fields on Tucker Road, and the specter of late June heat is always haunting.  We are going to work to help accelerate the microclimate and conditions for early season germination by pre-warming our pea acreage with row cover and perhaps a bit of old greenhouse plastic.  We learned a hard lesson in 2014 that row cover is best avoided after seeding, less we build too much humidity in the soil and invite seed rot.  If are plans ring true, we aim to get a majority of our peas seeded by mid-April and if all goes well, we’ll feature a short lived bounty of peas for our CSA customers in early June.

If the peas don’t yield heavy or impress the critical metes of our taste buds, we’ll still have a dazzling array of veggies to satisfy from June through October.  At this year’s Soil & Nutrition conference at the Kripalu Center I was greeted by an audience member who shared the following story, which I’ll paraphrase:  “Our daughter lives in Dartmouth and a couple of years back she spoke of a nearby farm which produced amazing vegetables, vegetables her kids adored, they came from a farm on Bakerville Road… we asked her the name of the farm and she said Brix Bounty… and we said – oh yes Brix Bounty, of course we’ve heard Derek speak about soil fertility.”

Nature’s Beauty and Bounty

Soil fertility is the lens which at times threatens myopia for me as a farmer… crops not performing well?  Diseases or pests blemishing your fruit?  It must be the minerals, or more accurately their availability must be lacking.  So fully do I place our farm’s prospects on the importance of minerals and the critical need for soil biology that we will make a silent pledge, one we’ve been making since we started the farm – we will not use any chemical fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides to produce our crops.  Our focus is always to start with soil as the foundation for health, of our plants, our customers, and our environment.  When speaking with other farmers, I often share my decision to invest in “full spectrum fertility” as a humble nod to the complexity of our natural systems; our efforts our guided by a notion that nature has tremendous capacity to create health, if we only provide the right conditions for complete expression.

Just one small piece of evidence our decision is well place; last week’s Reuters article linking Cuba’s avoidance of pesticides with unmatched health in their honeybee population.  Our approach leads us to direct a significant portion of our resources toward improving our soil fertility each season.  Through application of minerals and stewardship of biology we have set our farm’s sights on top notch nutrition and a bounty of flavor in 2016.  Diversity in our intended harvest provides the seasonal notes of Summer, which we share each week with our community.

Investing Our Labor in Our Community

There are a surprising number of customers at our farmstand who don’t fully realize that every single vegetable we sell at Brix Bounty was grown and produced by us on the farm.  Quite literally dozens of folks will ask each season, where do we get these veggies, misdirected by the vista of grass which sets the backdrop for our stand.  Maybe we need one more sign, which states what we have always take for granted:  We Grow All of Our Vegetables at Brix Bounty Farm, Each Crop is Seeded, Tended and Harvested by the Brix Bounty Crew Right Here on Bakerville Road.  I reckon we might also pay a little better attention to the conditions of our South Field as the potential for showcasing our production rather than sheltering weed species.  The field has been neglected at times the past two years as we labored to bring a new field into production at the farm and directed the bulk of our efforts to land out of sight and out of mind for our customers.

The reality is reflected in agriculture as a whole, most of the work which goes into producing food in America is out of sight and out of mind.  On vegetable farms, this labor starts long before the summer or autumn harvests.  Each season’s harvest builds on collective knowledge stewarded through generations, is made possible through prior investment in infrastructure, and for some vegetables starts with the sowing of a tiny seed well ahead of spring’s arrival…

We invite you to Invest in Your Health, Make a Downpayment on Flavor…

Join our Brix Bounty Summertime CSA

As we start the seeds which will grow into this season’s bounty of vegetables, we ask for your support to help us reach our full potential as a neighborhood vegetable farm.  Sales of our CSA shares provide the farm with the necessary capital to purchase seeds, equipment, and fertilizer at the beginning of the season.  More importantly income received now help us invest in the farm’s greatest resource – our crew members.



CSA Member Work Days

This season we have decided to offer a chance for our members to gain a deeper connection with their veggies by inviting you to monthly work days on the farm.  Every month we’ll celebrate the joy of agriculture by welcoming folks onto the farm on the final Friday of the month.  Our work sessions will happen rain or shine to give you a true taste of farming.

We’ll be continuing our CSA Work Days this coming Friday, February 24th with two optional work sessions:

Friday March 30th – 2:30-4:00 and
Friday March 30th – 4:30-6:00

For folks interested in joining us for one or both sessions we kindly request that you RSVP via email or a phone call by Friday at Noon

We have decided to welcome folks of all ages to join us, but request those interested in working with their young children (5 -10 yrs.) to consider joining us for the mid-afternoon session from 2:30 to 4:00 PM. For those members who have expressed an interest in joining us in the fields; these sessions will allow for folks to gain a deeper understanding of what steps we take to grow delicious food for our community.

The afternoon’s tasks will vary throughout the season and be highly dependent on weather conditions and our field priorities; this week’s work may include seeding greens in the greenhouse, renovating beds in our new greenhouse, & continued brush work along the field edges and in the bramble patch.

We would ask folks who are joining us to come prepared to work and roll up their sleeves, get a little dirt under their fingernails.  Please dress accordingly; the springtime offers a lot of raw weather days and as the sun’s strength dies down the late afternoon can become chilly.  Layers and something to break the wind are especially valuable, as is a water bottle to help keep you hydrated, and good solid footwear.

10 Reasons Why a Brix Bounty Farm CSA Membership May Be Right For You

A Series Written and Published by Brix Bounty Farm
(“10 Reasons Why” Series Archive)

Reason #4 – Nutrient Density and High Brix – Better Flavor and Nutrition

by Derek Christianson

At Brix Bounty Farm our priority is growing high quality vegetables with an emphasis on nutrition and flavor.  This commitment to quality has put us on a journey toward high brix crops; noted for their pest and disease resistance and top notch flavor (see What is Brix for more about Brix).  What does it take to grow nutrient dense vegetables?  A deep commitment to caring for the land, the full-spectrum of trace minerals present in our soils (critical for the plants enzymatic systems), and healthy and robust soil biology which is the key to providing plants minerals in their ideal form.

The process to restore health to worn our soils doesn’t happen overnight; as we are working with natural systems we must remain patient.  Each season we strive to achieve a higher level of quality with our production.  Overtime we expect the flavor of our crops to continue to speak for themselves as more and more consumers reconnect with delicious local vegetables.  In concert with better flavor will be higher levels of “bionutrients” – minerals, proteins, fats, plant secondary metabolites, and more; all delivered through real food.

Our commitment to quality includes an emphasis on producing crops with high levels of trace minerals often lacking in conventionally grown produce.  One small example of this is our commitment to amending our soils with small amounts of selenium (in the form of sodium selenate).  Selenium is a trace mineral which has been linked to heart health; in the past century low soil selenium levels were connected to high levels of heart disease in parts of China and Finland.  In fact, the Finnish government even took the step of mandating the addition of selenium to crop fertilizers in their country.  In America farmers who work with livestock include a focus on selenium levels because selenium is considered a necessary nutrient for livestock.  It has not however been proven to be critical for plant health; as a result many growers focusing on produce don’t test their soil’s selenium levels.  We have tested our soils, and like many soils in the northeast our selenium levels are less than adequate so we have decided to take action by applying soil and foliar applications of selenium in 2012.

This is just one of the many actions we take at Brix Bounty Farm to provide our community with deep nutrition… and why we feel investing in a Brix Bounty CSA Share is a great investment in your health.

Thank You for Investing in Health and Local Agriculture!

Joining Us Along Our Journey

2012 marks our 3rd season offering Community Supported Agriculture Shares and we couldn’t be more excited.  Our farm is in many ways still in its infancy, although we have plenty of successes to celebrate from our first few seasons we are well aware that we have a long road ahead toward one of our primary goals of producing the best quality produce in our region.  Similar to a new pair of sneakers, we have laced up another winter season (however mild it was) of knowledge and are prepared to make terrific bounds along our path.

Each spring we begin our season from a new place, both metaphorically and physically.  Last February we had just begun a series of field sprays which included our renewed focus on bringing silica forces from Equiseteum (the horsetail plant) to our fields.  Cobalt and Molybdenum, two important trace minerals which test low on our soils had yet to be procured.  This February we are 12 months deeper in our focused efforts stewarding health and vitality within our soils.  This season’s focus on fertility includes the application of nearly 50 tons of rock dust to our soils which will provide a broad base of minerals to vitalize our soil biology and in turn crop health.

Our commitment to quality doesn’t stop when we pull out of the driveway.  This wintertime has been a particularly fruitful season for sharing knowledge and learning from others.  In early February we joined more than 130 farmers and gardeners at the First Churches in Northampton for the inaugural Soil & Nutrition event.  The crowd included the next generation of growers who are still seeking land to start their farm to respected elders like Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm (who produces some of the best yogurt money can buy).  In addition, Steve and I offered workshops at the NOFAMass Winter Conference and we are halfway into a 2 session course I’m teaching for the Bionutrient Food Association at Skip Paul’s Farm in Little Compton.

Our success is judged not solely by the quality of our production, but also by the quality of our neighbors and colleagues.

Throughout this winter I’ve started using a phrase to describe our production techniques here at the farm…caring, honoring, and dignifying our biological systems. The work we undertaker as farmers today is built upon a sense of duty.  A mandate brought to us from future generations, which asks us to care for the land as the precious resource providing us life, to honor the complexity within the soil through full spectrum remineralization, and to dignify our natural environment through the abstention of chemical abuses.

The natural yield of this approach is bountiful harvests which continue to impress with flavor and quality and ultimately provide the nourishment at the core of a healthy diet.  As always, it is with tremendous gratitude that we share our thanks for investing in our farm, becoming part of the Brix Bounty CSA community, and providing us with opportunity to embrace work which we love.

10 Reasons Why a Brix Bounty Farm CSA Membership May Be Right For You

A Series Written and Published by Brix Bounty Farm – Winter & Spring 2010/2011
(“10 Reasons Why” Series Archive)

Reason #2 – Convenience – Farmer’s Markets Aren’t Always Convenient

by Derek Christianson

When we established our CSA in 2010 we set out to expand the opportunity for our community to access fresh produce.  We decided on hosting CSA distributions on Monday and Friday to serve two slightly different populations:  the folks who like to do their grocery shopping at the beginning of the week and cook throughout the workweek and the folks who find more time to focus on fresh vegetables and home prepared meals on the weekend.

By offering a window from 2PM-7PM for share pickup we aim to make CSA pickup convenient for a wide variety of community members and lifestyles, from the mom who picks their kids up from school in the afternoon and want to share the CSA experience with their children to the commuter who may work in Providence but live in Dartmouth and arrives just before 7 to collect their share.

One of the greatest advantages of CSA membership is that is provides you with access to the best quality produce no matter what time of day you pick up your share.  On distribution day we harvest extra shares; so even if you are the last person to pickup you get to choose from a selection of veggies.  In contrast some customers with busy schedules often find arriving at a farmers’ market just before it closes doesn’t provide access to the best variety.

Picking up your veggies each week can be a joyous task.  We invite you to experience the farm; spend time in our new pick your own patch, visit with other members, and help build a community centered around nutritious food.  Whether you live or work in our community; we hope you’ll consider adding a stop at Brix Bounty Farm to pick up your CSA share to your weekly schedule.

10 Reasons Why a Brix Bounty Farm CSA Membership May Be Right For You

A Series Written and Published by Brix Bounty Farm Throughout the Winter 2010/2011
(“10 Reasons Why” Series Archive)

Reason #1 – Value:  More For Your Money Reducing Transportation Costs
by Steve Murray

One of the most talked about parts of CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) is the amount of vegetables shareholders (also known as members) get each season. Most people find that they receive more produce and of better quality then they could possibly buy for an equal exchange of money at a market. Essentially what this boils down to is Value – more for your money. A closer inspection of CSA programs, and more specific CSA programs run by biological farmers, bring about the reasons for this great Value.

We live in a world where the average piece of produce travels over a fifteen hundred miles from farm to grocery store. Just like anything else, it cost money for food to travel such distances, frequently called food miles. Generally speaking, CSA shareholders are located much closer to the source of produce, therefore drastically or totally eliminating transportation cost. Another added benefit of not having your produce shipped long distances is that they can be picked at peak quality and nutrition, last longer and taste much fresher. Most of the produce that you will be receiving through the Brix Bounty CSA will be picked the day of your pick-up, that’s fresh.

Another aspect that lowers the cost of our produce is the stability of our market. By joining our CSA you are providing us a stable market for our produce, reducing the need to find markets and ensuring that our financial well being. Having a home for our produce lets us focus on growing quality produce, increasing yields and passing the bounty on to the shareholders.

Yet another aspect that lowers the cost and increases the Value is that we are biological farmers. We focus on feeding the soil, correcting nutrient imbalances and applying sustainable soil nutrition. By focusing on creating a healthy environment we can reduce our long term fertilizer inputs and totally abstain from using herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. Those elements reduce our production costs, grow higher quality produce and increase the health of our environment.

For those focused on getting more for their money, CSA’s can really pay off. Not only do they provide fresh nutritious vegetables, they can typically provide them at very competitive prices.

As we prepare to give thanks for a terrific 2010 harvest, we are set to open registration for our 2011 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  Exciting News for the 2011 season:  includes 2 share sizes, more vibrant soil life, another vegetable grower on the team, and a wintertime CSA offering:

  • In the weeks ahead we will continue our late fall fieldwork in the fields; applying biodynamic preparations (specialized versions of compost teas) and field fertility sprays.  Each day brings new growth to our soils as we continue to build the vibrant soil life necessary to produce nutritious, nutrient dense crops.
  • Steve Murray, formerly of Kettle Pond Farm, has joined the Brix Bounty Farm team for the 2011 season.  Steve has been growing organic veggies on the Southcoast for the past 4 seasons and brings tremendous knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to our crew.
  • We are just putting the finishing touches on next year’s crop plans and are looking forward to our 2nd season offering a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program.  NEW FOR 2011 – Full & Partial Size CSA Shares Available. In addition to the CSA, we’ll once again join other growers at the Wing’s Court Market in downtown New Bedford, and our popular roadside stand will return in May 2011 and will be open through Thanksgiving.  For more information on our 2011 CSA please visit our website.

We plan on offering a limited number of Wintertime CSA Shares beginning Nov 2011 through Feb 2012.  Please note, wintertime shares will initially be limited to 2011 CSA members.

Brix Bounty Farm 2010 CSA Press Release – March 01 2010

We are growing in 2010, figuratively and literally…

Katie and I are looking forward to the arrival of our first child in early May.

We are also excited to announce that we are expanding our production in 2010, by leasing additional acreage down the road at the King Farm.  In anticipation of the earlier start to our transplanting season, we have already started a few of our spring crops in the greenhouse.  And the next round of our mini-apprenticeships start today!

This increased acreage, which is much better drained than our home farm, will allow us to start a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program this June.  The Sign-up period for the CSA program is now underway.  You can find more information by visiting our CSA page.

Red Ace Beets, in the GH, Feb. 2010

Alliums in the GH, Brix Bounty Farm Feb. 2010

Alliums in the GH, Brix Bounty Farm Feb. 2010

Our 2010 growing season is officially underway, with an early seeding of onions and scallions, having germinated and started their growth…