A Note From Layton | The 2024 Summer CSA Begins at Quail Hill Farm

June 7, 2024

By Layton Guenther

Quail Hill Farm

I recently returned from a weekend away up in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, a region riddled with farms (organic and otherwise) where I myself got my start as a (forgive me) budding agriculturalist. Straddling the banks of the Connecticut River lie some decidedly exquisite farmland, and this time of year the asparagus is high and the vegetable farmers are working like mad to keep up with the vicissitudes of early summer. It was in Western Mass where I was first introduced to the concept of CSA as a spritely nineteen-year-old working on a large organic farm. It was 2006 and for the summers that followed, I cut my teeth driving box trucks full of CSA shares throughout Boston on my weekly delivery route.

While I worked on that farm for five seasons, I can barely recall the names of any of the members who joined our CSA – not for the wanton fog of memory, but because there was actually quite a gulf between the farmers and CSA members. When I started working here at Quail Hill Farm, I was struck by the innate connection forged between members and farmers by virtue of the fact that we’re all walking the same rows of radishes, picking from the same tomatoes, celebrating bumper crops here and lamenting vexing pests and diseases there.

As we kick off our thirty-fifth year of community farming here in Amagansett, and my twelfth season involved here as a (still budding, in some ways) farmer, I’m struck by how much I’ve gleaned from this place over the years. Not literally, in terms of veggies eaten or flower admired, but how formative an institution like Quail Hill can be for a community over the span of a generation or more. How many countless members and their friends and families have traversed the rows on Birch Hill, or Hurricane Hill for that matter? How many children grew up picking potatoes with their parents, now rearing their own young ones to eat radishes straight out of the silt loam?

But, reader, I digress. The summer picking season is upon us, and this year we’re thrilled to have just about sold out our summer shares. If you have been thinking about joining us this summer, now’s the time!

Take care, and see you in the fields.

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