All the hours of planting, worrying, fertilizing, wondering, weeding, and wishing all culminate in early autumn with a sigh of relief as our storage crops make their way in from the fields to our wonderfully accommodating greenhouse. Like squirrels storing nuts for winter, it pays to be a bit obsessive and you may see the farmers acting a bit squirrely over the stores which are to feed us through the winter. A light frost or two has told us it is time to bring our winter squash and sweet potatoes in for the winter as well as firing a warning shot at our peppers, eggplant, beans, and zucchini. Their days are numbered!

Saturday was our annual Fall Festival, but before the festivities there was a wonderful potato harvesting effort with volunteers from Boston Cares, sharers, work-shares, staff, and friends all working together to harvest almost half a ton of potatoes! With the bounty safely stored in the root cellar, we could then relax and sit down to a beautiful and diverse potluck with the appropriate 60% representation of desserts. There was great music from local musicians Randy Batson and Matt Carlen and our own Craig Barlow curated the first annual silent auction and food drive with many of the items from his own pantry. Thank you Craig! Deb and Lawson, our resident beekeepers were selling their top-notch honey and boosting our immunities in the process.

A brief meeting was held by Board President Peter Doherty, during which the community unanimously elected two luminous personalities, Jill Boyd and James Apostol, to the Stearn’s Farm Board. Susan gave a report on the farm and an update on the winter share (picks up in November and December) and the farm staff was recognized with deafening applause. Farm-dog Lily was given the Medal of Honor for acts of bravery in the field.

If you notice Penelope’s Garden looking fresh, it is thanks to Stearn’s MVPs, Frann and Rick, which reminds me that there is a lot to do around the farm and the weather is perfect to do it! We still have a lot of potatoes to harvest, and it is a great job for all ages. We are (really) hoping for rain this week, but we need help watering until then to help crops keep up with short days. Any and all help is appreciated.

Thanks for the good vibes in the field and at the tent.