Saturday 10-3, with moments of self-serve-ness

calendula flower after a watering

Hi all, open tomorrow (Sat) 10-3 with sugarsnap and snow peas, kale, garlic scapes, braising mix and olive oil. Maybe a little broccoli early on. Have I mentioned recently we are all organic (uncertified but VERY organic)? I figured it’s worth mentioning again! We’re right down the hill from the Shutesbury Farmers Market, which runs 8:30-noon I think.


SOMETIMES SELF SERVE: Saturday I should be around MOST of the day BUT if I’m not right out front and you don’t see me around I’ll be leaving the stand self-serve, counting on the honor system.   This way I can get a little work done and you can still get your veggies!  I’ll leave a price list, feel free to take what you need and leave what is fair. It’s tricky since we are cash only, but there should be some change in there and we really appreciate your honesty. It will be right outside the house, in the usual spot next to the driveway, under the beech tree. If this works I’ll be able to be open a bit more, like maybe on Sundays, Mondays… we’ll see!


If you pre-ordered olive oil (more than a few tins) I’ll have those out, labelled with your name if I’m not around. Thanks.

Tulsi – Sacred Basil

Have a great weekend, hopefully including cooling baths in beautiful nearby waters, or splashes from a garden hose!


Blessings, sarah


Farm OPEN 9-3 Saturday

Hi everyone, we’ll be around all day 9-3 today, come on by after you head up to the Shutesbury Farmers Market!

We have PLANTS (starts for planting) galore – tomatoes, basil, lettuce in all shapes and sizes, cilantro, dill, parsley, red rubin purple basil (makes a pink herb vinegar great for salad dressings), many more herbs, calendula, scarlet flame zinnias (see picture with Hummingbird Moth above) tatsoi plants, broccoli, tuscan kale, swiss chard…and more.. really we have thousands of plants ready for planting! 6-packs are only $3 and 4-inch pots (tomatoes) are $2.

In terms of EATING we have huge beautiful heads of lettuce $3/head, tatsoi $2.50-3/head, cilantro $2/bunch, rhubarb $3/ bunch. Kale, arugula and mesclun will be ready soon – maybe next week. We also have organic olive oil still, $36/tin. There’s a little spinach left, $8/lb, for early birds  : )

Did I mention we have more broccoli plants for sale? Also collards and tatsoi.

I am stocked up on lavender cream, x-ema cream, salves, lip balms. Hopefully I’ll get them out on a table today, but feel free to ask if you don’t see them.

Enjoy the perfect planting day today, and don’t forget to stop by the Shutesbury Market and support all the wonderful people up there! (We wont be moving our plants up there, it’s just too much, but we’re only 2 houses down the hill!) Cash only, thanks!

Blessings, sarah

OPEN today 11-3, fresh spinach, digester talk, robins, bodycare…

(to get straight to the nitty gritty about what we have for sale skip to the orange writing near the bottom of this post)SONY DSC

Good morning, what a beautiful morning it is. The new silver-yellow-green leaves are glowing as the sun is rising (or as the Earth is turning as my husband would remind me). I can see the wave of thick, white fog like frosting down in the valleys between the Quabbin hills. Millions of birds. I love waking up early.

Do you know why robins tilt their heads when they hop, hop, hop, tilt? They are listening for worms. My daughter put her head to the ground (to see why they did this, of course) and heard the popping noise the worms make when they are coming up to the surface – breathing?- and the robins hear this and know exactly where they are!  Amazing.


SONY DSCCan you see the peaches TRYING to come out of these beautiful buds? I can taste them. We’ve had heavy crops, every year for 3 (4?) years. Peach trees love minerals, and love our compost tea. We made a “digester” or “worm” as we call it, which not only breaks down chicken and horse manure (any kind) but cultures it like yogurt or miso, and makes it such that the minerals are organized in a perfect way for the plants to recognize and take up. That’s why (I think) people find the food we grow SO satisfying. It has the minerals your body has been ASKING for! AND it makes really healthy plants, fast growing trees and that blue-green color in brassicas. Come by for a full explanation and instructions to make your own digester. It’s a way to use very little manure and capture 90% of the nitrogen, instead of losing 90% in a compost pile. Many people have made them from our basic design, some small in a trash can, some in a large wooden structure, looking like a wooden hot-tub! Ricky and Deb at Seeds of Solidarity in Orange have one now. Our first one was made in a cattle-feeder tub filled with woodchips which the bacteria colonize when you water the manure through over and over at first (with water, then pour the tea back in for a few weeks) and they (the bacteria) poop out minerals. You get a dark brown tea, smelling like rich soil, cultured and “digested” that doesn’t burn your plants. I’d take a picture but I’m cozy here in my chair and can’t get up right now  : )  Come by for more information. They are easy to make.

SO about being OPEN… We’ll be open today    11 am – 3 pm

or if town meeting (in Shutesbury) ends earlier and you’re driving this way, stop on by.

We have PLANTS for SALE : red cabbage, 3 diff types of lettuce (grow some early lettuce!), calendula, parsley, thyme, tuscan kale, tomatoes (some people are starting to put theirs in, use your own discretion, but certainly safe for hoop houses or with some protection), and I think some others. $3/ 6-pack

VEGGIES for SALE include beautiful spinach $8/lb, lettuce (red sails, black-seeded simpson and tom thumb butter bibb)$2-3/head dep. on size, tatsoi $2-3/head, violet flowers (edible)(free), scallions $2/bunch and a few baby carrots as gift for people who ask  : )  Sweet treats…

Bring your cash and shopping basket or bags if you have ’em and come on by! Just seeing all our tomato plants and greenhouse will hopefully get you inspired to get working in your own garden. If you need to come a different time just call – 413-259-1183, I’ll be here working in the garden.

SONY DSCBesides organic olive oil, we also have bodycare that I make, fresh herbs, organic oils and essential oils, the most basic and best quality ingredients you can get.

Salves are $9/2 oz jar

Creams $10/jar


Lip balms $3 each, variety of flavors

 Spritzers $7 each

Itch Ease $7 each (for poison ivy and bug bites/stings)

KITS to make your own lip balm or salve $18.


Have a wonderful day! No cold in the forcast so we may try a few tomatoes outside… We’ll see!

Birch Moon Farm has fresh GREENS this Saturday!

Birch Moon Farm & Herbals

42 Cooleyville Rd,  Shutesbury Center

2 houses down (east) from the library!


Greenhouse Feb 22, 2011 (after the big snow piles melted WAY down...)

I don’t know… there’s a lot of snow around… do you think anything’s growing in this UNHEATED greenhouse?


inside in December

YES! This was taken in December, and although “they” say plants don’t really grow during the winter, they just stand still, we found that ours grew a LOT, and re-grew after we picked and ate tastey greens all winter long! (Yes those orange tubes are heating tubes, but used only later in the spring when early tomatoes are planted in between things, because they tolerate NO cold… It would be a complete waste of energy to try to heat an uninsulated space in this weather!)


January dinner

Pretty lucky, I know.

But YOU are lucky too, because we are


with delicious freshly harvested spinach and cooking/salad greens!!

Of course we’ll also have Organic Olive Oil for sale in the 3 L tins for $36… and onions, red and gold for $1.50/lb, as well as lavender cream, x~ema cream, healing comfrey salve, lip balms and herbal teasBring your own shopping bags if you have em’… but we’ll have some too!  ALSO, potting soil, if I dig it out of the snow in time (haha) will be available for $11/bag – a good worm-casting, safe-for-organic-growers mix from NY.

spinach photo taken today, Feb 22, 2011

Last week Jacqueline, Keith and I planted new baby lettuce, broccoli raab and kale plants in one of the beds that didn’t make it thru the winter (a red-flowered mini fava bean, not hardy enough). These greens will be ready in Mar or April for harvest.

notice the snow outside?

Spinach, lettuce, mizuna, pac choi, kale and mesclun mix all did amazingly well over the winter with no heat. Row covers were put on every afternoon around 2-3 pm (when the sun started to go off the greenhouse) and removed every sunny morning, around 10 am, after the sun had warmed up the air a little. We were especially lucky on the -15 degree F night, that it was sunny the day before, so the soil had a chance to warm up before being covered for the night. Kale seemed to have the hardest time, yellowing a little, but with these super warm and longer days it is sprouting all up and down every stem, and we pulled off all the bad leaves. Spinach has the easiest time, growing measurably on the warm days and perfectly content on the cold nights. Amazing what these plants can do. I love them.

cooking greens ready this weekend!

So that’s all for now! We’d love to see you this   SATURDAY  10-2 for FRESH spinach and cooking greens (also really good for mesclun mix salads) as well as all the other goodies we still have! Email us by Friday night if you want to pre-order so it’s sure to be ready when you get here, especially if you’re in a rush. We tend to move at winter pace right now. 413-259-1183 or email

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful old-fashioned winter.  Sunset is later each night and sunrise a little earlier… Spring is really coming!

Sunrise with icy trees

See you Saturday!  Sarah & Keith, Birch Moon Farm & Herbals


Veggies Wed 10-6 and Sat 9-3

Come by Wednesday 10-6 or Saturday 9-3
(note the extended Sat hours…)

Click on the “Current Available Produce” tab at the top for pricing.
We have lettuce, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, Perpetual spinach (kind of a cross between spinach and swiss chard, but not as stemmy as chard), oregano, green onions, red & yellow onions, eggs.

Plants (6-packs): lettuce (many varieties) and maybe some broccoli.

Also, Hillside Organic Pizza will be serving our lettuce and spinach this week and hopefully future weeks! (They are in Hadley on Rt 9 and in Deerfield on 5&10 (near the Magic Wings Butterfly place) and open Thursday thru Sunday!

Red Sails Lettuce

Thanks, Sarah & Keith

Farmstand and insulated beds

Farmstand OPEN

We had a couple of great OPEN farmstand days, selling lots of carrots, onions and spinach, even jerusalem artichokes and eggs! It was really nice to get to know our community!

People sampled (and some bought to take home) tea as well, Minty Morning, made from our spearmint, nettles and oats, with alfalfa and calendula. A very GREEN, tasty tea, even most kids like!  And did I mention we have amazing potting soil for sale? It is approved for certified organic growers, has worm castings, and Keith says it is the best potting soil we’ve ever used! $11/bag.

We’ll be open again THIS SATURDAY, March 27, 9-2

We will have some carrots, lots of onions and sunchokes, eggs, tea, salves, spinach, and finally a lettuce/asian greens/kale salad mix! Soon we will have broccoli, kale and lettuce plants for sale for people that like to get their plants in early.

Insulated Beds

In our greenhouse we have insulated beds. Insulation on the bottom, sides and at night-time on the top. This allows us to have 60-70 degree soil temperature in the beds as opposed to 40-50 degree soil temperature in the greenhouse. Here are pictures of lettuce grown in and out of insulated beds (in the greenhouse) for comparison:

This is also where our tomato starts are, as well as some newly planted summer squash and cucumbers! Come by if you have any questions, but it’s easy :

Dig out a bed, put rigid foam insulation on the bottom and standing up for sides, slowly fill in with 8 inches of good soil on top, being careful not to move the sides off the bottom piece (so the top fits on with no gaps). Now plant!

(Note in the picture above the lettuces of the tomatoes – we’ve starting taking that south-side off as well during the day for greater solar gain – both for the plants and so the soil can really warm up when the sun is out).

The greenhouse is really getting filled up, lucky we’ve dug out all the carrots so we have a big bed to plant more!

Hope to see you Saturday!


Birch Moon Farm and Herbals

42 Cooleyville Rd, 2 houses east (towards rt 202) of the Shutesbury Library


We will have lots of freshly dug carrots for sale!

3 lb. for $5      5 lb for $7      10 lb for $12

onions $2/ lb fresh spinach $8/ lb

Come by the farm THIS Saturday March 13
between 9 AM and 2 PM.
No checks. No credit cards. Thanks!

Call with any questions! We will have more as the season progresses, and plant starts for sale later in Spring!