Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Ain't Gonna Work On Martha's Farm No More

Whoa, this is way overdue (we talked about writing a final blog post with this title for quite some time, but I guess we never got around to it)
Sorry that we sort of forgot about the whole blogging thing about halfway through our experience

Anyway all there really is left to say is that our 2 months on the farm will be remembered as some of the best of our lives.  It was really incredible and beyond even our most ridiculous dream expectations and we cannot show enough gratitude to those who made it that way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Hello out there!
It has been far to long since we have spoken.  Sorry about this, but we have discovered the merits of sleeping immediately after dinner, and this has curbed our blogging significantly.

Everything is going well here, we have had two beautiful sunny days after what seemed like endless days of rain and mist.  

The Strawberry season has reached its end here at Silvermine which will drastically change our daily routine of early morning berry pickin, but thats alright, there are plenty of other things to do.
Also, a few days ago, we learned the art of chicken plucking, it was quite the experience.

In other news, new goslings continue to appear almost every week, they are adorable, but closely guarded by their mothers.

Today was spent clearing fields of irrigation tubes and old greenhouses to ready them for plowing and later in the day we constructed some enclosures of chicken wire to contain the rapidly growing chicks

Good things lie ahead as some of our earliest planting near the point of harvest and the weather and company stay pleasant.

hope all is well!
   - B&D

Sunday, June 21, 2009


First post in a while, sorry for the delay, we have been rather busy and tired. Its been raining up here for the past week, but the work continues. We emerged triumphantly from numerous battles with bind weed and each of us got to try our hand at running the farm stand and selling produce at farmer's markets in Worcester. We drove up to Vermont this weekend where Ben administered a tour of Middlebury. It was quite a relaxing weekend. 

On the way back down to Sutton, we had the opportunity to stop at Overlook Farm, which is one of Heifer International's few education centres in the states. We had time to contemplate what we will do with our farming skillz.

There was also a fair amount of camel/bro love time.

We have always been big fans of what Heifer does, and it was interesting for us to consider how our experience here could possibly tie into their line work in the future. Teaching sustainable agriculture internationally would definitely be cool.

We returned from the weekend to work and more rain. Ben spent some time scurrying around under the barn installing some PVC pipe to allow us to wash copious amounts of greens in a bathtub.  We also picked tons of delicious snap peas. mmmmmm.

hope ya'll are feelin fine!
 - B&D

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food, Inc.

A new week brings new projects here at Silvermine. The Worcester Farmers Market opened for business on Monday and Mike was the intern representative selected to attend. Meanwhile, back at the farm, we harvested radishes and greens for the stand and got a good bit of weeding done in the carrots. Every day gets more exciting.

We stopped work a bit early to head to Cambridge. Jeff was able to get the whole family including the interns tickets to a prescreening of Food, Inc. a new documentary on the USA's industrial agriculture system. Think of it as a movie version of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma. It's a fantastic film that outlines where our food comes from and impact it has on our society and our planet. 

The film was followed by an interesting discussion panel that featured to director, Robert Kenner.  He explained to the audience that he had an opportunity to screen the movie for Tom Vilsack, the current Secretary of Agriculture. After seeing to movie, Vilsack told Kenner that the industry could change if there was a movement for them to follow. We all can be part of that movement and that change. Truly inspiring, this was a wonderful reminder to the both of us why we chose to spend our summer this way. We highly recommend that you see this film and spread the news to everyone you know. Its time to get this ball rolling.

Got back to the farm late and got up early this morning a bit sleepy but empowered. We kicked the morning off deliciously by picking organic strawberries. The rest of the day pushed the interns to new levels of incredible through a fierce hunt for dock weeds. None were spared.

In other news, we would like to thank everyone who so generously has sent us letters, cookies, mix cd's, and other tokens of affection. You have won our hearts.

Much love,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Berries and Goats

The work goes on here at Silvermine Farm, we awoke early on Wednesday to pick a few quarts of strawberries for the opening of the farm stand.  

This was a very enjoyable task as slight snackage was inevitable and delicious. Other than this, we have been transplanting tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant with our fellow farmhands for most of the past few days. 

It is very satisfying to see the fields fill up and some of the seeds we planted earlier begin to sprout.

Much of our time recently has been occupied by chasing around Mila, 

a very mischievous and accident prone goat who refuses to be contained by any enclosure, including Daniel's expert electric fence-work.

In addition, we have welcomed some poults (baby turkeys) to the farm, and they are adorable.

We hope this post finds all of you well
 - B&D

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Preparing for Strawberries

Rain plagues the soul. This morning was spent transplanting tomatoes and peppers in a steady downpour. It was cold, wet, and muddy. We accomplished a lot in a short time thanks to the many hands at work. Morale was high, namely because we have recently returned from a very enjoyable visit to our friend Grace Voterro. 

Martha, being a merciful farmer, allowed us to assist in cleaning the barn after lunch instead of continuing the endless transplanting. Refrigerators were moved, floors were swept, and countless piles of pigeon excrement were removed. 
We also did some mild exploring of the hay loft. 
The farm opens for the season tomorrow so everything was made to look resectable. There is a large Pick-Your-Own Strawberries operation here which we hung up signs around town to advertise. If you live in or around the Sutton, MA area please stop by 96 Eight Lots Road any time between 8AM and 7 PM for good pickins and fine times.

We moved into a new trailer today, which is larger and more accommodating. We have space to store our massive backpacks, more comfortable beds, and room for entertaining.


Until next time,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Objective Observation #1

Ben and Daniel introduce the newest section to “Will Work for Food”. This segment will consist of interviews conducted by acquaintances on their weekend days off. Each interview will explore Ben and Daniel’s mental well-being and other nonsense.

I, Grace Emerson Vottero, professional Blabbity Blah, had the joyful pleasure of hosting the two slightly dirty but enthusiastic farmhands, Ben and Daniel, at my home over the past weekend. We engaged in a plethora of pleasant activities, including (but not limited to) getting a pedicure, eating an entire rotisserie chicken, enjoying free ice cream cones, going for walks, and meeting Bird.

I chose to ask them the following questions:

What’s the most strenuous task you’ve encountered at the farm?

B: Hand seeding spinach.

D: Hand seeding spinach. It was very methodical and peaceful but still strenuous

B: It just really hurt my lower back and was seemingly endless. It was like 2015 ft of spinach 1 inch at a time. Just us two.

Biggest lifestyle change?

B: Dirtiness.

D: I’d say, having something to do all the time that I really enjoy.

B: Yes, it’s been very nice to be outside all day everyday

D: A little overwhelming even

B: A lot of lifestyle changes

D: It’s been very strange to be coming to a new family and having them take us in

B: That’s been the least awkward in my opinion.

D: But it is a big change.

B: Yeah, getting up early and doing relatively monotonous tasks has been a change. But the time has passed quickly.

D: Good company.

Most stimulating conversation you’ve had at the farm?

D: We’ve been doing a devotional about every night. Just like a daily thing that gives an essay on faith.

B: Yeah, we’ve had some stimulating conversations about truth and faith and stuff like that. Also talking with Martha and Jeff about their different approaches to farming.

D: Jeff works with a nonprofit that heads up and regulates all the farmers markets in the state so it’s very nice to talk to him about policy and where he sees the local movement going and the like.

The most magical thing you’ve found at Silvermine?

B: The old carriage and sleigh are pretty sick.

D: As far as physical things, there is the Jaguar in the barn is pretty cool.

B: Most magical thing - sense of hospitality.

D: Sense of place.

B: Feeling like we belong there. Also our friendship with Mike is pretty magical.

(plays voicemail from Mike:)

M: “And make sure Sir Daniel puts the digits into his phone as well! I’ll see you cats on Monday!”

B: Most magical thing: Cripple Creek Ferry.

What’s the yummiest thing you’ve eaten grown entirely on the farm?

B: Strawberry shortcake, easily.

D: Yeah.

B: Choosing a farm where strawberries are a big part of their operation was a good decision.

D: But not geese, never trust a goose