Tuesday, July 01, 2008

An agricultural idyll

I went up to Ipswich yesterday to visit Appleton Farms and have a talk with the farm manager there.  Appleton Farms is a pretty big chunk of land owned by the Trustees of Reservations, about a thousand acres encompassing woodlands, wetlands, pasture, field, and farm.  They run a highly successful CSA vegetable operation on 26 acres, which was my primary interest for the visit.  

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few photos.  Appleton Farms is a beautiful spot, and its gently undulating fields couldn't be lovelier, filled with swaying wild grains and the patter of sparrows, blackbirds and bobolinks.  Nestled amidst the pasture, field and woodland is the crop acreage, with row after row of healthy green salads, herbs, onions, hundred of vigorous and delicious plants.  Yesterday I found the small crew there weeding several rows of onions that were overgrown with waist-high lambs-quarter, a tasty green in its own right when picked much younger.  

I had my chat and then wandered around for a while with my binoculars and camera, and chanced upon a nice bird sighting - a cattle egret, my first seen in Massachusetts.  In full breeding plumage, as this one was, they are somewhat comical looking, with pale, startled-looking yellow eyes, yellow beak and dirty-blond patches on their otherwise white plumage. 

On my way home, I took a swim at Walden, which was lovely.   


Anonymous said...

On an early morning circuit of Walden two days ago, watched a great blue heron wing past overhead. Thought it was a pterodactyl at first.

AS to food, it would be great if the local farmer's markets were more like Euro markets that actually offer good food at competitive prices, instead of lovely baked goods and potted herbs for the leisure class.

Brian C. Kenney said...

Yes, some farmer's markets are better than others. The best I've ever been to was in Athens, Ohio, of all places.
The Sunday one in Harvard Square can be disappointing for the reasons you mentioned, though some of the baked goods are pretty decent.