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A Note from Layton at Quail Hill Farm | During These Uncertain Times Taking Things One Day at a Time

March 25, 2020

By Layton Guenther

In  this uncertain, nerve-fraying era of the COVID-19 outbreak, I hope this note finds you and your family safely enduring these troubling times.

Like many of you, here at Quail Hill Farm we find our days dramatically shifted in efforts to keep ourselves, and our community, safe.

At its core, Quail Hill exists to feed our community, and to enrich the lives of eaters by fostering a lasting and profound connection to land and place. We’re taking things one day at a time, and we thank all of you who have reached out to check in and offer support.

We  will continue to keep you updated on the state-of-the-farm as time progresses and as we take our cues from state and local officials regarding food and workplace safety. With renewed imperative, we aim to provide a peaceful and sustaining presence to our members and community this season.

For the 2020 season, our 31st year of community farming, we are taking the opportunity to reflect on seasons past to plan for a brighter future together. Construction of a new barn for Quail Hill will accompany a major invasive species removal project over the next year.

After hearing from many of you who want more face-time with your farmers, we are shifting our work schedules for June, July and August to a Tuesday-Saturday schedule. With a greater presence in the field on weekends, we hope you’ll stop and say hello, ask questions and introduce yourselves to our new crew of apprentices.

In 2020, we’re also adjusting our planting schedule to ensure earlier and more bountiful harvests of the summer favorites like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. With the help of heat mats in the greenhouse and biodegradable mulches in the field, we’re working hard to grow the earliest, highest quality and most diverse crop of tomatoes we’ve had in years. Later this summer we plan to bring back The Great Tomato Taste-Off, a beloved farm event that has only occurred once or twice since 2013, when I joined the QHF team. Stay tuned for the date!

This year, we’re happy to announce a new pick-up site for Quail Hill Farm box share: Bridge Gardens, on Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. As our sister site here on the South Fork, Bridge Gardens is the perfect place for those of you located further west who wish to participate in the CSA. Pick-ups will be Thursday afternoons from 3-6pm. As in years past, we continue to offer Box Shares for pick-up at Quail Hill Farm, Saturdays only.

For over three decades, Quail Hill Farm has weathered countless incontrovertible challenges: climate change, crop failure, pestilence and disease. Membership is more than a simple exchange of goods and services; it connects us to a project that has the capacity to uplift and endure despite great uncertainty. This is the very essence of the great experiment (to borrow from my friend and mentor, our beloved Scott Chaskey) that is Quail Hill Community Farm: interdependence, now and forever.

Yours,

Layton Guenther

PLEASE NOTE:

Due to new safety measures to keep our farm community healthy, the farm shop is now closed to the public. We’ll have eggs for sale outside of the shop, on the honor system.

If you are looking to get outside for a walk, please do visit the orchard or if the gates are open walk up to the fields on Birch Hill. Please be sure to take care for any newly planted rows and observe all of the health and safety guidelines from the CDC and the state and local health authorities, including maintaining social/physical distancing of 6 feet.

Please email Layton or call the farm shop with any questions or concerns!

The Farm shop phone number: 631.267.8492 or email to LGuenther@PeconicLandTrust.org

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Dorian Payan returns to Quail Hill Farm as Farm Production Manager

Crew News:

Earlier this month, we welcomed our new Farm Production Manager, Dorian Payán!

For members of 2019, Dorian will be a familiar face as he was part of our Advanced Apprentice crew last season. Dorian is a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS).

We are thrilled to welcome Dorian back to the farm.

And please take a moment to read Dorian’s farmer essay from last summer at Quail Hill Farm.

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