Hello from Shaker Organic Gardens, June 2017!


Stacey portraitby Stacey Cooper, Co-op Organic Farm Manager

We’ve been weeding away both aisles and crops. A good layer of mulch was put down on the leeks so hopefully that will be the last weeding of that bed for a while.

We seeded sunflowers and transplanted peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, fennel, broccoli and cabbage. Voles seem to have gotten to the peppers and tomatoes within 30 minutes of planting and have done some considerable damage. I will reassess on Monday to see if it is safe to replace the plants that were eaten. About a quarter of the peppers and tomatoes were nibbled off at ground level….

Marin and I did a big weeding along the edges of the old hoop house and got weed fabric down to try to keep the witch grass out. We also did a quick clean up of the hops bed, which seems to growing well this season although only one variety seems to have made it through the winter.

Rutabaga have been mostly thinned out and I started thinning some of the carrots and beets as well as the direct seeded greens.

We should be into strawberries in a few weeks. A lot of fruit sets are developing! Dandelion greens are almost ready and we will have our first scallions ready on Monday. Beans and peas are up and growing and the kale and chard should be ready for some light harvesting in a week or so.

“This was a rainy and mostly chilly week! I put the (very) few skills I’ve learned so far to the test on Memorial Day when I was alone on the farm. I weeded and harvested radishes, which I have learned to love harvesting because they are so beautiful!

This week we also got started on the crops in the uncovered hoop house by planting pepper and tomato seedlings. Although our work resulted in “the prettiest tomato patch ever” (according to Stacey, and I agree), I was so sad to learn on Friday that much of the pepper and tomato plants were damaged by voles within an hour of planting them. Hopefully we can reclaim the hoop house! 🙂

Lastly, we planted broccoli and cabbage this week, adding to the lovely cloud-like row coverings in the field!” – Marin, farm helper


What is that bright thing in the sky? This week we tidied up the hops bed, got new fabric down and strung the hops up. We finished our initial weeding of the raised bed aisles- whoohoo! Harvested and delivered greens and rhubarb. Strawberry, kale and chard to come Monday!

We planted more cukes, zukes and summer squash, seeded another round of bush beans, beets, carrots and radish. The tomatoes in the hoop house got a thick layer of straw to keep moisture in the soil.

We’ve been uncovering, weeding and mulching the brassicas a few rows at a time. The initial crop of beets and carrots have been thinned and weeded.

I tilled the perimeter of each garden plot to try to keep weeds from encroaching into the beds. The tiller had an unfortunate end to the day, but a wonderful local mechanic fixed it and brought it back in record time =)

Today I’ve added a few drip lines to newly planted beds, did some harvesting including strawberries and seeded a round of beans.

The vole problem in the old hoop house seems to be slowing. More than half of our cherry tomatoes, half of our heirlooms and a quarter of our peppers are gone. I will re-plant what I can on Monday and see if we are in the clear.


We replaced our tomato and peppers that were killed by voles. The outdoor tomatoes overall are not looking good… but I’ll hope for the best once the weather is consistently warm.

We transplanted more scallion, shallot, herbs, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. We took advantage of the heat and sun and did a lot of weeding of both the raised beds and the center field along with more mulching of the brassicas.

Some repairs were made to the irrigation system and it seems to be running with more pressure than ever! Flats of fennel, broccoli and cucurbits were seeded for future planting. The strawberries have been coming in fast! We are picking every day and the numbers are still climbing =)

Rows of spring crops have been removed and cleaned up. I tilled the exposed areas in the center field and the new strawberry patch and cover cropped them with buckwheat.

We received funding through NOFA NH to supply 2 CSA shares of organic veggies to a couple of local families who otherwise would not have access to fresh organic produce. I’ve contacted the families and the CSA will start on June 26th.

The hoop house has been tidied up and the attic of the garden barn has been cleaned, scrubbed and otherwise prepped for garlic and herb drying.


We have been harvesting strawberries, rhubarb, lettuce, scallion, scapes, kale and chard this week. The strawberries have reached peak this week and are starting to taper down a bit.

The 9 rows of brassicas got another round of weeding and we mulched with leaves this week. The asparagus also got a coating of leaves and saw dust to help keep weeds down and soil moist.

A lot of weeding was accomplished including the aisles in the center field, both pea rows and the carrot and beet crops. Our cucurbits are now uncovered and flowering, some small fruits forming. We trellised the cukes.

The chard row was cleaned up and leaves with miner damage removed in an effort to keep the new leaves clean. Our last round of carrots and beets were seeded along with new flats of lettuce and scallions.


It has been a beautiful week to be working outside!

We’ve been catching up on weeding while we are waiting for crops to size up. We also did a lot of invasive species removal including roses, bittersweet and thistles surrounding the field.

Tomatoes and cucumbers have been re-strung, corn and shallots mulched, field crops fertilized, rutabaga thinned and weeded and lots of cucumber beetles, squash bugs and asparagus beetles have been picked.

More beans, dandelions, radish, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and scallions were put into the field. We have harvested all of our garlic scapes and you can find them in the produce department while the kitchen is working on pickling some for future use!

Our strawberries have met the end of their season and what a season it was. We are now starting to harvest summer squash and zucchini which you will find on the hot bar.