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Garden Projects!

CSA!

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a brilliant way of getting a community invested in their local farms. Weekly visits to pick up food brings excited shareholders IMG_4828right to the farm where it’s grown, where they can talk with the people who grow it.

It was hard to imagine in May, when we were busy planting seedlings and getting the farm up and running to think that we would have enough food to harvest 100 shares a week all through the summer.

But June came around and our CSA started and every Tuesday and Thursday we set up harvest bins overflowing with veggies and write up the big chalkboard with what’s in the share. We have lovely volunteers that come Tuesday and Thursday to help with share distribution by checking people off when they come in and helping them with their questions and cooking idIMG_4833eas.

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We started the summer under a small yellow circus tent, which we’ve since upgraded to two white fold up tents. A barn is in the works so that hopefully before the last share pick up we can treat our shareholders to a luxurious indoor pickup! We’ve come a long way since I started in May and it’s been incredible to watch the transformation. Its so important to have the community right there with you, the people that are willing to take the risk and support our first year farm.
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Backyard Garden

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Throughout this summer my family and I have had a lot of excitement in our own backyard as well. We planted our raised bed with heirloom seeds in the hopes to put some of my seed saving excitement to use. We also expanded our garden into various nooks and crannies around our house. Our windowsills are full of herbs, our porch is full of potted plants. We grew beets and carrots, which we can’t wait to eat. Blueberry and raspberry bushes caress our garage, neighbored by rhubarb and a pumpkin patch. We have jars of ground herbs we use for cooking. Perhaps most exciting for my family is the jar of dried chamomile in the kitchen that we’ve produced and are drinking as tea! Another project I’ve taken on at home is building another raised bed and putting to use my sheet mulching knowledge! I am lucky because I have a supportive family who is totally ready to back my edible landscaping ideas. Since I’ve been interested in sustainability and growing food, my family has taken many new step and they are excited about expanding our garden. My brother, sister, mom, dad and cousin are very excited when we sit down for dinner that has been produced solely between Three Sisters, Seaview Farm, and our backyard. I am very fortunate that I have food producing land and a family to share it with.

Mushroom Experiment

I came home from school dedicated to starting a mushroom farm. Having just taken a class at UMass called Introduction to Mushroom Cultivation with Willie Crosby as the professor, I felt more than prepared. So I got my bag of shiitake mycelium and set to work. I would go into the woods with my hand saw and cut up fallen trees I’d come across into smaller, more manageable sizes. I drilled the holes and concocted a new machine to get the mycelium into the log by using a funnel and a marker. I then melted a candle over the holes to prevent them from drying out.

This process was long and not very efficient and I quickly realized that maybe I couldn’t start an entire mushroom farm, especially on top of work and all. So I made a more manageable goal of just a few logs and now I feel quite satisfied.

One of the ladies I farm with at Three Sisters, Alyssa, also took up an interest in growing mushroom logs as well. So we ordered more materials, this time pink oysters, blue oysters, and shiitakes, and together we were able to inoculate a bunch more logs! My pile is now looking much more impressive. We’ve caught the bug and are looking to do some more soon!

Maybe my dreams of a mushroom farm will come true! Now we just had to wait a couple more months until we can fruit them!

And then, there was water!

A lot of new and exciting things are happening here at Three Sisters and its feeling more and more real every week I come back.

We had an early tragedy as our first spring greens failed because of lack of water. Since then IMG_4754our method has been hand watering. We would fill up a large tub down the hill at the spigot and then put it on the truck and attaching a hose to the end. A hose which a human would have to stand and hold over each individual plant. It didn’t help that we had an incredibly dry spring.

Recently we had a day to celebrate when we turned on our IMG_5022irrigation for the first time! We had set everything up just right so that as soon as we got the “go ahead” from the plumber and the electrician and all we could it on and get some water to the plants!

All the plants have been so happy since they’ve been getting sufficient amounts of water! At this point we are literally watching the cucumbers grow right before our eyes!

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There’s a lot of excitement coming our way in the next few weeks regarding infrastructure! A lot of progress made and more to go!

Are you one of the sisters?

One of the most asked questions I get when I tell people I work at Three Sisters Garden Project, or when they see our sign at the farmers market is, “Are you one of the sisters?” My answer often changes. At first I would laugh and say no and explain to the person what a Three Sisters Garden is and then have to explain how we don’t grow a three sisters garden and how the name doesn’t make much sense. Sometimes I just say “Yes, number three!”. Other times we’ll all introduce ourselves as squash, beans, and corn. We’ve started having a lot of fun with this name. Its an all girl crew this year and we’re always talking about ourselves as sisters.

Another mix up that happens with the name has to do with our location. Our Farm is located at Cuvilly Arts and Earth Center which is a preschool and Kindergarden. It happens to be a Catholic school as well. Down the hill from our farm is an entire Convent which is filled with sisters. So sometimes people will wonder if we’re “one of the sisters” of Notre-dame. I have yet to figure out a good answer for that question.

Who knew I could have so many sisters?

Goats! Goats! Goats!

Across town lives a family who has set up a little homestead of sorts in their back yard. They have a large garden thats growing an abundance of vegetables. Mushroom logs rest in the very back of their yard, and a chicken coop sits off to the side. The residents include Chicks, Roosters, and Ducks. But what I was most excited about were the goats. Recently I have grown fascinated by goats and have been trying to learn more about them and get some hands on experience taking care of them.

My friend told me her family was going away and was desperately looking for someone to take care of all the animals and I was more than happy to volunteer! In no time I’ll be milking like a pro.

Three Sisters Garden Project

Three Sisters Garden Project is a first year farm in Ipswich MA and it is a very neat new project. Though it might seem like everything but what the name describes, as in no three sisters plating and no garden project,we have a lot more we’re working on. We are the farm aspect of a whole bigger project that is dedicated to community.

The project is working to help in the areas of sustainable food production, agricultural education, community building, and hunger relief, along with a number of other goals. We are just in the starting phase of something that will be very beneficial to our community.

My first day at Three Sisters was May 15th, a Wednesday, and I jumped right in with the crew I would soon get to know a little better.

https://threesistersgarden.org/

Check out this great website to learn a little more!

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