Editor’s note: This is the first in a weekly series focusing on healthy living.
CHESHIRE — As planting season approaches for farms across the state, here are six things to know about Boulder Knoll Community Farm, a community-supported agriculture farm providing vegetables and fruit to 50 shareholders and local soup kitchens.From planting to harvest
It is early in the growing season and the farm is focused on getting crops planted for the harvest later this summer and fall. Transplanting, as in moving plants from the greenhouse to the field, and seeding, are both part of those preparations.The crops
Swiss chard is transplanted and carrots are put in the ground, along with tomatoes and peppers, to begin growing into the summer months. Early season crops also include lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, beets, kale, herbs, bok choy, broccoli raab, garlic, scallions, foraged wild greens and broccolini.
As the season progresses, midseason crops can include peaches, blueberries, melons, lettuce, carrots, beets, scallions, Swiss chard, kale, bok choi, herbs, summer squash, potatoes, garlic, parsley, onions, green beans, leeks, tomatillos and tomatoes.
Into the fall, late-season crops could consist of apples, pears, cider, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, peppers (sweet and hot), chard, kale, potatoes, arugula, spinach, pumpkins, parsley, eggplant, and more varieties of tomatoes as well as winter squash, broccoli, broccolini raab, tatsoi and parsnips.The farmer
Sydney Downham, 21, recently joined Boulder Knoll Community Farm as the farm manager after studying at Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a degree in animal science. She was previously a leader in the student farm program at the university as well as a former officer of the 4-H club in Tolland. Downham’s duties at Boulder Knoll include planning the crop schedules, planning the harvest, and managing the volunteer hours for CSA members.The CSA model
Community-supported agriculture, or CSA, is a system in which a member purchases a share of produce from the farm in the spring in order to jump-start the season. In return, the member receives seasonal farm produce every other week. Boulder Knoll encourages members to commit to helping out on the farm five to 15 hours a season. Produce is organically grown with no added chemicals.The history
The Friends of Boulder Knoll nonprofit group was formed in 2006 and the community farm followed three years later. The group leases three acres of land from the town on what used to be a dairy farm. The Friends group oversees the organizational aspect of the farm while the farmer, Downham, runs the operations.Membership
The season runs from June to October. Boulder Knoll, at 875 Boulder Road, currently has 40 CSA members. Registration for the CSA program is available at https://www.boulderknollfarm.com/.