For many years it’s been a dream of ours to organically grow fruit, vegetables and flowers on a scale large enough to sell them. Most vegetables and flowers are easy to grow organically but apples can be very challenging. Our first apple trees were planted back in 1982 and are now bearing abundantly.  We cleared an acre of forest for our market garden 1999 and when we put our new tractor and plow to work we discovered an incredible quantity of rocks, which are still putting our backs to the test.  Our first year of selling was in 2004.  We are building a large 80ft x 25ft solar greenhouse, which we hope to have on line next year for early tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash.


We had a mild winter this year, although it lasted much too long, (three inches of snow on April 15th). Tender fruit like peaches should bloom and bear.  Last year was very good for our peaches.  We harvested over 1000 pounds from about 20 trees.  Our apples were thin as we battled a green bud worn in the spring that destroyed many blossoms.  Our first big production of tomatoes, peppers and cukes from the greenhouse was very successful and this year the plants are looking good growing in pure 100% compost.  The bumblebees we ordered are busy in the tomato blossoms and we hope to harvest the first tomatoes by early June.  Field crops looked good last year but we ran out of potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic. We hope to produce more this year so that we can provide our CSA customers with big bags of storage veggies in the fall.  Our Saturday CSA still has room for a few more customers.


There has been lots of buzz in the media this past year on eating well and eating local.  Hopefully it has turned more people on to the benefits of local, organic and fresh produce. We became a vendor at the Northfield farmers Market last year and had a lot of fun. We will there again this year every Thursday starting June 7th.  Just as the strawberries start coming in. Have a great year. Eat well and eat local.



We used the greenhouse for winter production of lettuce and spinach for the first time this winter and were very happy with the results. We had  timed our harvest for the Feb.2 Ground Hog Day Winter Farmers’ Market in Greenfield. That event was wildly successful; we sold out of all our produce in a couple of hours. Next year we would like to grow for the Winter Farmers’ Market again and we want to supply our CSA customers
with greens throughout the winter on an “as needed basis”. A new crop we’re planning this year is celeriac, an ugly root that tastes like celery and stores all winter. Its’ great in soups and stir-fries and with roast chicken. Of course we’ve added a few new melons to try for a total of 21 varieties.

     We put up a solar shed this winter in a corner of our flower garden. It has 20 solar voltaic panels on the roof and will produce 75% of our  electricity even in the summer when we’re running the greenhouse fan and the air conditioner in our cold room. As an added bonus, the solar shed serves as garage for our tractor. We have pictures of the solar shed and more in the 2006 gallery.


Our CSA has been wildly successful this year.  We’ve had to turn away potential customers because we limit our membership to 20.  This year Saturdays and Wednesdays are pickup days.  The spring has been mostly good to us.  The cool rainy has made for great sweet lettuce, peas, and broccoli.  A new crop we’re trying this spring is fava beans.  They like it cool too.  But we’ll need some heat and sun soon to get our tomato, corn, melons and sweet potatoes off and running. We are testing our some new heirloom sweet potato varieties to see what tastes good and grows well in our conditions; white, red and purple varieties.  Again, I went crazy with new melons, over 25 varieties. We are also trying some new heirloom tomatoes with great names like Boxcar Willie. The peaches, pears and plums are looking great but the apples are thin this year due to poor pollination weather during their bloom.

                                                       Healthy and happy eating.

Ervin and Gloria

Coyote Hill Farm

 June 22, 2009


            This year is our 7th year in farming and we have learned a lot.  It seems every season has a lesson to teach us.  Last year we watered our greenhouse tomatoes too much when we planted them in their beds with the result that the soil compacted and we had a 50% yield reduction.  This year the tomatoes look absolutely wonderful.  We’re trying for more greenhouse cucumbers too.  We’re starting our sweet potatoes in the greenhouse this year but have yet to devise a satisfactory system for producing slips.

            It was a very early spring this year and the orchard bloomed two weeks early. Hopefully frost on April 28th didn’t set back the blooms on the peaches, pears, apples and plums. The early strawberry blossoms were blasted by the cold but there should still be enough future blossoms to produce a crop.  We’re trialing an ever bearing variety called Seascape this year for berries in September.

            Hopefully we won’t get a repeat of the late blight disaster on our tomatoes and potatoes that hit us last year in July.  We salvaged the potatoes but there was little harvesting of any heirloom tomatoes.  This year again we’re trialing 30 different heirloom varieties of tomatoes and hopefully this year more of our 25 varieties of melons will reach maturity.  It is always a gamble with New England summers and melons.

 Have a good summer and happy eating.

    Ervin and Gloria 



   Our chicken population has tripled from 5 birds to 15 now.  We got 10 more pullets in April (Rhode Island Reds) and they started laying in mid-May.  They enjoy very fine accomodations: a solar heated, insulated bedroom and a sun porch with clear polycarbonate plastic glazing to keep out the snow and rain.  We plan on giving them three rotating pasture pens where they can hunt insects and graze on clover thus producing eggs with very high omega-3 fatty acids and low cholesterol.  We’ll sell the eggs at $3.00 a dozen.

     Our orchard survived the coldest winter night in 10 years at -13F degrees, and the bloom was good in our apples, pears, and plums.  We also have two apricot trees which bloom the earliest of all but still managed to set fruit.  The strawberries look good.  We planted an extra 100 foot row this year as we never seem to have enough. 

     The greenhouse had a bout with a mystery fungus that set back our tomatoes and cukes and transplants, but they have recovered and it looks to be a good year if maybe a bit late.

    Our CSA is full and we hope the Farmers’ Markets in Bernardston and Northfield will be popular.

                                                                                       Happy and Healthy Eating,

                                                                                       Ervin and Gloria






     It’s 2012 but hopefully no the end of the world.  The weather might make one think otherwise.  Last year we had a tornado in Springfield, hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee which dumped over 20 inches of rain on us in September and brought many crops to a premature end and then a 15 inch snow storm in October that brought down many tree limbs and left us without electricity for a couple of days.  Now this spring has been unusually early by about two weeks with no precipitation to speak of since an early March snow storm (the first  to speak of since the October storm).  Thankfully we just got a soaking rain of 2.5 inches April 21-22.

     The orchard looks good with full blooming on the peaches, apples, pears and plums.  Hopefully there will not be any spring freezes.

    We got eight more chickens, a breed called Golden Comets that suppossedly is a prolific layer. This brings us up to a total of 20 chickens.

    We got a grant from the Feds for a hoop house which we plan to put up in the fall down at the north end of our market garden.

    We’ve expanded our mushroom menu from just shitakes to include oysters, chicken of the woods and maitake.  It’s a stump cultivation so it’ll be another year and a half to harvest.

    Experiments with different varieties of veggies and flowers continue.  Maybe you’ll find some exquisite and exotic melon in your bag this August.



                                                                                          Happy and Healthy Eating,

                                                                                       Ervin and Gloria


    Our big new addition this year is a hoop house.  The frame is up but we didn’t cover it with plastic for the winter fearing a heavy snow load which of course we got; 19 inches in February.  The hoop house is 72ft. x 30ft.; lots of room for early and especially late veggies and flowers.

    Gloria got a rototiller for her birthday.  It might make weeding aisles easier on our aging bodies.

    Hopefully we’ll have a stellar apple year, as there was no fruit last year. Apples are often biennial bearers, this year’s trees should be full of blossoms.

Happy, healthy eating,

Gloria and Ervin


       We learned a lot about our hoop house last summer, so this year our plan is to grow heirloom tomatoes (which will be protected from late blight, since their foliage will not get wet), colored peppers (which will be much earlier than their usual September arrival) and winter roots, like parsnips, carrots and leeks which we can harvest for our winter markets.

        It doesn’t look good for our peaches this year since we had -15 degrees which is on the borderline for peach bud hardiness.  This will be our second year in a row without peaches after 10 straight years with great harvests.  Happily the apples and pears should bounce back from their off year last year.  Pruning has been a chore in knee high snow and cold.  What Global warming?  Hopefully, the deep snow won’t retard our spring plantings. 

        Eat well and enjoy the summer,

        Ervin and Gloria