And so it begins - February 2016

Don't believe those romantics who say farmers have winters off! February kicked of with a mad dash to prepare for the 200+ day old chicks that arrived on the 12th. Along with the {adorable!} day old chicks came the coldest weather we had experienced all Winter! I mean bone chilling cold... temperatures below zero with gusty winds that dropped it down to -20 degrees! I know what you're thinking... no biggie right? I mean it's not like we were outside... 

Trick is day old chicks need to be warm. 100 degrees kind of warm. No easy feat in an unheated 100 year old barn. Somehow we did it. There was a LOT of teamwork, solid planning and more than a bit of luck involved. Vin built us a beautiful and bomb proof enclosure. The Hemmingways assembled the hover which took the place of a real mama hen keeping the chicks toasty warm despite the arctic cold. Charlie and Corey were everything from welcome-wagon when the chicks arrived to butt wipers when the inevitable "pasting" began to cheerleaders and comrades in chaos right alongside us that first weekend. James supplied us with enormous sheets of cardboard which were perfect for insulating. Elizabeth, Vince, Emmett, Susan, Tony and Amelia answered our 10 million questions over and over again with smiles, sound advice and so much encouragement  that we believed we knew what we were doing!  We are forever grateful for the boundless love and support of our amazing friends and family. You are our greatest asset and we love you to bits!

February also saw the first seeds in soil! Sarah built a fab 4' x 8' heat table that handles lots and lots of seed trays and keeps the soil warm enough for germination. She added some hoops, row cover and some greenhouse plastic to cover and we are seeing green!

Despite being the coldest month of the year, our lives have become all about warmth. For the chicks, for the seedlings and especially the warmth of friendship. The chickens are growing like crazy. They are seriously adorable and more fun to watch than anything you've seen! We wrapped up the month planning our next mad dash... finishing the big coop cleanup so we can move these little monsters in before they out-grow the brooder! 

CSA Signups are rolling in so be sure to get in now before we fill up!

Thank you all for your support!

Sarah, Kate and Massimo

Farmers | Co-Founders

 

Cluck & Trowel Farm

875A Horseneck Rd

Westport, MA 02790

 

508.542.0434

cluckandtrowel@gmail.com

cluckandtrowel.com

 

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Cuttyhunk Island CSA

We hope you all made it through the deep freeze unscathed. Thank you to those who filled out our survey. Your valuable input has helped us determine the best way to provide you with fresh organically grown produce and eggs this coming season.

We wanted to share more information with you about our farm, plans for the Summer and how you can secure your Island CSA share. First, our very sincere thanks to our friends Seth and Dorothy at Cuttyhunk Shellfish, The Lombards at the Island General Store and Sue and Jono at Cuttyhunk Ferry for their input and support. 

About Our Farm:

Cluck & Trowel is the newest addition to the Farm Coasts’ local food scene in beautiful Westport, Mass. We are a small family farm raising pastured poultry for eggs as well as a variety of seasonal produce. We are committed to growing the highest quality food for your family and ours and are pursuing organic certification. Please visit our website for more information. www.cluckandtrowel.com


Our Plan for the 2016 Season:

Cluck & Trowel is offering their 2016 vegetable and/or egg CSA shares on the island of Cuttyhunk beginning late June through Labor Day weekend. (Please note that vegetable shares do not include eggs. Egg shares are purchased separately). We have completed our plans for the 2016 growing season based on a set number of Island CSA shares. In order to guarantee that you receive a selection of fresh, organically grown produce and/or eggs each week we strongly reccomend that you sign up for our Island CSA as soon as possible. Please visit the 'BUY NOW' page on our website for pricing to purchase your Island CSA Share. 

We begin seeding in the green house later this week. Our goal is to operate a pop-up Island Farm Stand on Saturdays where CSA members can pick up their pre-purchased CSA shares and everyone on Island can shop the additional items we have available. Once our Island CSA shares are fulfilled, a limited supply of vegetables and (possibly) eggs will be available on a first come/first served basis at our pop-up Island Farm Stand each Saturday. After consulting the Lombards we have decided to offer local cream-top yogurt and cheese from our friends at Sweet and Salty Farm in Little Compton as we well as locally roasted coffee from Westport coffee guru, 1773 Roasters, in addition to our farm products at our pop-up Island Farm Stand. 


You may be wondering:

What IS a CSA ?!?

CSA or 'Community Supported Agriculture' is a locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. CSA Members are individuals who have pledged to support a local farm, sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season (when the farms capital expenses are at their peak) for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, the CSA member receives weekly shares of produce and/or eggs. This model allows the farmer access to cash flow at a time when it is most crucial to establishing a healthy and productive growing season.  CSA share fees are non-refundable. If you are unable to pick up your share on a given week you may assign someone else to retrieve it on your behalf. 

What is a Share ?!?

A Share is a portion of the produce and/or eggs we harvest, each week. Egg Shares are available in half dozen, 1 dozen and 2 dozen sizes. Vegetable shares are available in 2 sizes: a full Share feeds 4-5 people. Each weekly share includes 8-11 items. A partial Share feeds 2-3 people. Each weekly share includes 6-8 items. Joining our CSA means purchasing a 'Share' in our farm and is your commitment to buy a portion of what we grow for a predetermined number of weeks at a set price. By making this commitment and paying before our season begins you allow us to better manage the largest capital expenses on the farm which come when there is little to no product available to sell. From January till June we invest in seeds, trays & pots, soil amendments, row cover, tools, chicks, feed, heat and light for the young chickens and seedlings as well as necessary infrastructure improvements, packaging and marketing materials. All before anything is harvested!   Making the investment in a Cluck & Trowel CSA Share ensures that we are able to bring you the healthiest, hi-quality, freshest product possible.

We welcome any questions that you may have. Please do not hesitate to call or email us. We look forward to being your farmers.

 

Sarah, Kate and Massimo

Farmers | Co-Founders

 

Cluck & Trowel Farm

875A Horseneck Rd

Westport, MA 02790

 

508.542.6451

cluckandtrowel@gmail.com

cluckandtrowel.com

 

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January 2016

January came and went in a blur!

We somehow managed simultaneously to do a tremendous amount of work and end the month with a longer to-do list than we started with. Since you are reading this you already know that we got a huge jumpstart on our marketing efforts. Thanks to our amazing friends at Medium Studio and Scrimshaw Screenprinting and some pretty incredible strangers (Moo.com and OvernightPrints.com I am looking at you!) we managed to make a showing at the snowy 'Meet Your Local Farmers' event at the Westport Grange. 

Behind the scenes we have been busy ordering seeds, writing our organic certification application, cleaning out the greenhouses, chicken coop and workshop and preparing for the chicks to arrive. Despite the snow on the ground and in the forecast we are getting ready to start seeding in a few short weeks! Can't wait to spend more time in the cozy propagation house!

It can not be overstated how grateful and humbled we are for all of the love and support or family, friends and farming community have shown us. Dave of Plato's Harvest who told us we were completely nuts to consider farming and that we should absolutely start immediately! ; John, Keri and Zane of Medium Studio have translated our endless rambles into stunning visual content; Vin who is our Maestro for all things construction; Susan, Tony and Amelia of Apponagansett Farm and Hannah, Ben and Matilda of Skinny Dip Farm have given invaluable encouragement and feedback on everything from soil tests to seed orders; Sam, Julie, Tucker, Isaiah, Nancy and Alan Manley have unloaded, loaded and unloaded a [literal] ton of soil with us; Elizabeth, Vince and Emmet of Copicut Farm for talking chicken with us for hours!; Shane at Scrimshaw Screenprinting who not only made our kick-ass t-shirts but delivered them to our house at 11pm the night before an event!; Laura, Andrew and Annie at Sweet and Salty Farm who loaned us there chick gear; Seth and Dorothy at Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farm along with the Lombard Family, owners of the Cuttyhunk Island Market, who and have been vital in connecting us to the Cuttyhunk folks we hope to feed this summer; Jono and Sue at the Cuttyhunk Island Ferry have shared their experience and offered their support for our Saturday island deliveries; Jessica, Phil and Delia of Quintessential Gardens for keeping us and the farm plowed and loaning us their truck; Cousin Jacob for getting the chicken coop cleanup underway; Derek, Jen, Christian, Corey, Charlie, Nick, Tiffany, Jeremy, Joanne, Alex, The Dartmouth Grange, The Dartmouth Junior Grange, Patty, Dave and James for helping us spread the word and reminding us that we can do it!

There is SO much happening in the coming weeks! We will do our best to keep a monthly update here on the Blog. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest happenings.

Thank you all for your support!

Sarah, Kate and Massimo

Farmers | Co-Founders

 

Cluck & Trowel Farm

875A Horseneck Rd

Westport, MA 02790

 

508.542.6451

cluckandtrowel@gmail.com

cluckandtrowel.com

 

Follow us!    Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram