Friday, September 25, 2015

Preparing for Fall at Shaker Organic Garden

We are down to the last fall crops.  A bit of arugula, chard, kale, salad turnips, scallions and few brassicas that may or may not size up.
We can expect spinach, radish and arugula from the hoop house for late fall.
Our week was spent cleaning, emptying fields, pulling plastic and irrigation lines, disposal of field debris, seeding spinach and radish, delivering pumpkins and winter squash, potting perennials, weeding, and cleaning the education garden.
Kenn and I were able to dedicate a day to the education garden and made some great progress.  We weeded, transplanted, divided and potted up plants.  Another day of cutting back plants and potentially mulching and the garden will be set for the fall.
I will be limiting deliveries to the Co op to once per week as there is less produce being harvested. The farm stand at the Village will probably get stocked once more next week and then be done for the season, with the exception of pumpkins and maybe more apples if we get out to harvest more next week.
There is a lot of planning left to do in regards for next years crops, which I will start in earnest next week.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Shaker Organic Garden Update

Check out Stacey's latest update from Shaker Organic Garden...

This week we've been busily prepping for the Artisan festival and the benefit dinner next weekend. These activities include cleaning and hanging all of the ornamental corn, shelling heirloom beans, harvesting corn stalks, harvesting pumpkins and winter squash (it was an early crop and the groundhogs were starting to take a serious interest).
Most of these items are hanging in the attic of the garden barn, which is set up for drying crops.  Despite being on the third floor it is quite pleasant inside during the early part of the day.  It is really beautiful with all of the hanging plants!
I will be doing a demonstration for the festival on bean threshing and winnowing.  A farmer friend is trying to help me set up a bike powered winnower for the event, however we may not have time in which case I will do it the even more old fashioned way, by hand.
We have set up the farm stand nicely in front of the Box Lunch stand with hanging lattice structures to display some our drying beans, corn and herbs.
I've started harvesting fall root crops such as rutabaga, turnip, carrots, onions, celeriac and soon diakon.  Some of these I will put directly into storage and save for later fall for the Co-op and the Shaker Table.  It will give me a chance to catch up in the field a bit if I'm not packing and delivering quite so much for a few weeks and also help to extend the season a bit.
Soon I'll be planting some late fall crops of spinach and arugula in the hoop house.  The day time temperatures are still a bit too hot, so I'm waiting a bit longer than I might normally.
We have some beautiful red stem small turnips that you should look for at the Co-op early next week.  They are a beautiful magenta color.
My volunteers have really stepped up and helped out during the last part of the busy harvest season, which has been very welcome!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Update from Shaker Organic Garden

Read the latest from Co-op Organic Garden manager Stacey...
A garden update for this week:
The beans are in full swing, it takes up to 2.5 hours a day to pick them all!  They should be tapering off soon.
The blood meal seems to have worked to keep the ground hog away for the time being. Japanese beetles are now the pest of the week.
I've dug new potatoes, which if I do say so myself are amazing. They are huge. I really think the combination of drip irrigation, straw hilling and side dressing with bone char was the magic combination!  While the soil test results read that our soil phosphorus levels are high, potato yields still benefit from a light side dressing of phosphorous.  They suffered severely from leaf hopper damage, however because they are an early variety it didn't' seem to affect the yield. I would love to do more next year.  Because of the leaf hopper damage, I may need to harvest the fingerlings for the September dinner early.
We've also started harvesting carrots (3 colors) and giant green bell peppers. Eggplant and tomatoes should be along soon, along with shell beans.  The tomato plants are loaded, just waiting for them to size up.  A few sungolds are ripening each day, just enough for a snack at this point.
I've seeded some experimental crops to see if we can create a really nice mix of fall greens for the harvest dinners including red stem salad turnip, baby beets, baby chard and daikon to go along (hopefully) a lot of head lettuce.
We've started cover cropping some of the fallow areas.  Luke, from Brookford Farm, will bring our tiller over next week and help me adjust the PTO shaft to fit our tractor on site.  I'll be able to till up larger sections of the field with it and get more cover crops in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Take a Tour of the Organic Gardens

If you aren't able to make it out to Canterbury Shaker Village anytime soon to see the organic gardens, take a virtual tour with Co-op Organic Garden Manager Stacey Cooper instead! Watch the video below...

You can find fresh produce daily at the Shaker Box Lunch and Farm Stand, 288 Shaker Rd, Canterbury, NH or at the Concord location of Concord Food Co-op.

For more information about the strategic partnership between Concord Food Co-op and Canterbury Shaker Village visit...

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Shaker Farm Stand is Open!

Co-op Organic Garden Manager Stacey and her team of amazing volunteers are harvesting their efforts in the form of fresh certified organic produce and delivering it to the Co-op and the Canterbury Shaker Village Lunch Box Farm Stand.
You can find USDA certified organic produce picked fresh that morning!

You can even take a tour of the Village which includes access to see the working organic garden. Stop and say if you see Stacey and her volunteers working!
The Shaker Box Lunch and Farm Stand is at 288 Shaker Rd, Canterbury, NH.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Call out for Volunteers at the Shaker Organic Gardens

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors and working in your community? Do you have a few spare hours during the week to get your hands dirty? The Co-op's Organic Garden Manager, Stacey Cooper is in need of more active volunteers to keep up with the demands of the Co-op gardens at historic Canterbury Shaker Village.
If you can stick to a weekly schedule and can apply yourself to assigned tasks independently, Stacey is looking for you! In return you will learn valuable gardening skills to apply to your own home garden and the opportunity to take home some fresh produce when available.
Watch the video below as Shane, Co-op Outreach Coordinator lists what volunteer opportunities are needed.

For more information send an email to

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This Summer at the Farm, to the Co-op

A Letter from Our General Manager, Paula Harris

Welcome to summer, the season of perfection when it comes to local produce! Our produce team is always dedicated to finding the freshest, most local, and preferably organic produce we can for  you to buy. We are incredibly grateful for the many local farmers who sell to us – from well-known New Hampshire organic farmers to Concord-area favorites and small backyard gardens.

In spite of all of these great farmers, it’s still a challenge to meet the demand of our veg-hungry customers with local goods. That’s why this year we’re positively thrilled to add our very own organic gardens to the local farm roster in our produce department

As you probably know by now, the Co-op has teamed up with Canterbury Shaker Villages to farm its certified organic land. Our Organic Garden Manager Stacey Cooper has been hard at work in the greenhouse and fields getting spectacular farm-fresh goodies to our shelves. While farming in New Hampshire can sometimes be unpredictable, here’s a list of some of the produce you can expect to see on our shelves this summer from the Co-op’s Shaker Organic Gardens.
  • In June, look for our very own spinach, lettuce, pac choi, scallions, radishes, arugula, and mustard greens.
  • We plan to have more lettuce and scallions in July as well as chard, kale, fresh beans, beets, summer squash, cucumbers, basil, parsley, cabbage, and broccoli.
  • Check out carrots, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, shell beans, potatoes, and rutabaga in August in addition to lettuce, scallions, chard, kale, fresh beans, beets, summer squash, basil, parsley, and broccoli.
  • We plan to harvest traditional fall crops in September alongside the last of the summer crops, including parsnips, winter squash, pie pumpkins, and leeks.
You might be wondering if, with all this new produce, we’re giving our regular farmers the boot. Hardly the case! In our goal of sourcing as many of our products from local farms as possible, we’re working with our regular farmers to bring in even more of their goods than in previous years.
Generation Farm (Concord, NH) salad mix will be in higher volume this year, so we should have it in the produce case all week.

Kearsarge Gore Farm (Warner, NH) will continue provide us with some of the most beautiful greens in the state, including their unmatched dandelion greens. (Hooray for the dandelion-pumpkin seed pesto that nutritionist Traci Komorek got us all addicted to!!)

Look for The Vegetable Ranch (Warner, NH) van with its cartoon farm animals printed on the side. We will continue getting wonderful produce from them as well as eggs and some meat products new to the Co-op this year.

We expect a high volume of beautiful broccoli to come from Harvest Hill Farm (Walden, VT) this year. 

We are also very excited to be expanding our relationship with Fred’s Farm (Alexandria, NH). They will provide us with some amazing lacinato kale and will also supply us with carrots deep into winter.

Unfortunately, this summer we will also bid adieu to our awesome Produce Manager Shawn as he follows his dreams to move back to his former home in Maine. He will be a department manager at the Gardiner Food Co-op, a new Co-op opening in June. He is excited to have the opportunity to help it get off the ground and help build the local food community in that area. They’ll be lucky to have Shawn, and we’ll miss him!

Please welcome Jay as he steps into Shawn's role as Produce Manager. You'll already recognize Jay as he has worked as both a produce clerk and in our marketing department prior to taking on the management role. He was eager to step up to the plate, and we're glad to have him!

Paula Harris