[Snakeroot Organic Farm logo]
 • What's New Here
 • Snakeroot Poultry

 • About Our Farm
 • Annual Farm Tour
 • Community Supported
    Agriculture Plan (CSA)
Directions to our Farm
 • From a Run Out Hayfield to
    a Prosperous Organic Farm
    in Ten Easy Years

 • Get Real. Get Organic!
 • History of Our Farm
 • Pictures of the Farm
 • Where We Buy
 • Where We Sell
 • Our Yearly Work Schedule
 • Just Pretty
 • Subscribe to our e-newsletter.
 • Newsletter Archive.
 • What We Will & Won't Ship

 • Working Here
 • Our Apprentices
 • Our Farm Workers
 • Pictures of Us at Market

 • Fresh Vegetables
 • Fresh Fruit
 • Fresh Herbs
 • Perennials
 • Aloe - a magical plant
 • Our Bird Houses
 • Lupines
 • Rosemary Plants
 • Lovage, Tansy & Yarrow
 • Our Product Brochures
 • Dried Vegetables
 • Dried Culinary Herbs
 • Maple Syrup
 • Maple Syrup, p.2
 • Sugarin' Is Like Ice Fishin'
 • Our New Sugarhouse
 • Tomato Seedlings
 • Tomato Seeds We Offer
 • Tomato Seed Production
 • Paste Tomatoes
 • About Garlic
 • Garlic for Sale
 • Garlic Year Round
 • Mulching Garlic
 • Growing Rounds from Bulbils
 • Whole Bulbil Cluster Method
 • Planting Garlic

 • Using Mulches
 • Combatting Quackgrass
    with Mulch

 • We Want Your Leaves!
 • In Praise of Chips

 • Buying in Bulk for
    Storage, Canning & Freezing

 • Winter Storage Tips
 • How to Freeze Our Veggies
 • Building Techniques
 • Our Outbuildings
 • Evolution of the Farm Table
 • The Story of Our Cooler
 • Prepping Veggies for Market
 • Crop Rotations
 • Drip Irrigation
 • Low Pressure Water
 • Planting with Spreadsheets
 • Greenhouse Vegetable

 • Let-tuce Begin
 • Recipe Favorites
 • Our "Remay Roller"
 • Gardening Class Notes
 • Your Most Expensive Crop

 • Being Green
 • Digging Potatoes by Hand
 • Farmers' Markets in 2012
 • History of Pittsfield
 • Hybrids or Open Pollinated?
 • Making Websites
 • Open Source Software

    Our Retirement Plan
 • How Should a Farmer Retire?
 • Impediments to the want-to-be     farmer
 • Reducing the Value
    of the Land

 • Who Will Farm Here When
    We're Gone?

 • Apprentice Terms and Stages
 • From Apprentices to Partners
 • Transferring Farm Ownership

…and now for something completely different…

At dawn
Canoe bow waves are quickly lost
    on the shoreside
But go on out of sight
    on the lake side.


The constant swish-swish of skis
    On a day long ski.
The constant swish-swish of wiper blades
    On a day long drive.


My dog, trotting barefoot
Steps on a garden slug
And thinks
Nothing of it.


Word spreads quickly
as I approach the pond.
All becomes quiet.


Hidden in the vines
a large warted cucumber
jumps out of reach.
A toad!


Delicate puffs
of marshmallow snow
carefully perched
on a branch,
await the trigger of my hat
to melt their way down my back.

Deep in the tomato jungle
Fruits of yellow, purple and red
Tell of their readiness
To go to market.

Sugarin' Chores
Snowflakes hurry through my flashlight beam,
As my boots knead new snow with spring mud,
On my nightly Hajj to keep the boil alive,
For as long as possible until the dawn,
To match the power of the flowing sap,
With my meager evaporator and will.
The prize at the finish line are jars of syrup
And Spring.



~ Our Specialty ~

[Snakeroot Organic Farm]
on the Snakeroot Road in Pittsfield, Maine
27 Organic Farm Road, Pittsfield ME 04967,
ph (207) 487-5056
Gardeners to the public since 1995.

Click on photos to enlarge.
Items marked with a * are also available from us as seedlings in May and June.

Also see our Fresh Herbs, Fresh Fruit, and our Perennials page.

Asparagus, mid May to mid June. We have a single two hundred foot bed planted in the spring of 2004. As a result, we bring a fairly small quantity of asparagus to each market during its season.

Beans, green, yellow wax and flat Italian, late July thru late October. We grow mostly Jade green beans which produce a long thin bean that stays tender even when large, altho we try to bring to market only the slenderest beans by frequent picking. Flat Italian Romano beans are probably the richest flavored bean we grow. We are also experimenting with a late crop of green beans in the field and in our greenhouses, so watch for those into October!

Beet Greens, early May thru September. Beet greens are one of the crops we grow in our greenhouses for the first early crop in May. By June, they are coming from the field. We do continuous plantings of beet greens throughout the season in order to have a steady supply. We plant Early Wonder Tall Top from organic seed.

Bunched Beets, late June thru September. These are our beet greens that have grown up and begun to produce beets. Early Wonder Tall Top makes wonderful bunched beets, whose greens remain tender even with two inch beets attached.

Broccoli*, early June to mid November. We grow several varieties of broccoli in a succession of plantings in order to extend the harvest season as much as possible. Our favorites are Pacman and Gypsy, but we are always trying a new variety or two. After the main heads are cut, we continue to cut side shoots for several weeks.

Brussels Sprouts*, mid September to mid November. We just began growing Brussels sprouts in 2007 and are quite pleased with the response. We'll be expanding our plantings each year until the demand is satisfied.

Cabbage*, mid June to mid November. We grow two kinds of green cabbage, the round Primax and the pointed Jersey Wakefield, and one red cabbage, round Ruby Perfection.

Carrots, bunched, bagged and loose, early May thru November. To get that early crop of bunched carrots in May, we start Mokum carrots -- a very sweet early variety -- in our greenhouse in February. These are usually sold out before the field carrots are ready in mid June from an early April planting. By mid summer, we begin offering carrots in 3 lb. bags as well as bunches. Bolero and Nelson are the other mainstay varieties we grow, including a large late planting in early July for fall harvest. We generally have carrots available at the farm all winter long, and offer overwintered carrots in May along with our bunched greenhouse carrots.

Celeriac*, available September to May, has been cultivated especially for its edible root. Celeriac is very popular in Europe and Russia, actually more popular than stalk celery. It can be stored along with carrots and other root vegetables, or up to a month in the refrigerator. Celeriac is high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, phosphorous, and potassium. Celeriac leaves and stalks are edible and can be used to flavor soup stalks, but use sparingly as they are more potent than common celery. Celeriac can also be eaten raw, grated into a salad, or used for dipping. Use in soups, stews, or an old standby is to mash with potatoes. Buying and preparing: If possible, buy smallish bulbs of celeriac. The flesh discolors when exposed to light, so as soon as peeled, sliced, or diced, plunge it into bowl of water with lemon juice.

Celery*, both red and green stalked, available July to November. Our celery has a heartier flavor than store-bought types, and it always comes with leaves attached to you can use them in soups, salads or to dry for celery flakes. The red-stalked variety is a cross between the regular green type (Ventura variety) and a large red very stong flavored celery. The result is a slightly stronger flavored red celery.

Chard See Swiss chard.

Cukes*, picklers and slicers, July thru early September. We always have an early planting of greenhouse cucumbers available in early June and bring these to market until our field cukes are ready in mid July. For slicers we grow General Lee, Olympian, and several Marketmore strains. For picklers we grow Alibi and several others. We offer discounts on both picklers and slicers in pecks and bushels during the height of the season.

Fennel, mid July thru late October. Anise-flavored herb and vegetable. Both the bulb and leaves are used to flavor soups and stirfries.

Garlic, mid July thru December. We grow mostly Red German rocambole (stiff-neck) type garlic, but we do grow a little Inchilium (softmeck) to bring to market extra early in mid July. We often sell out of garlic by mid October. The major garlic harvest is usually during the first week of August, when the plants are pulled, bunched and hung in a shed to cure. Over half of our garlic crop is grown from our own garlic rounds that we grow from bulbils. Read more about our garlic here. Get our seed garlic here.

Garlic Scapes, mid June to mid July. These are the curly-cue tops of the rocambole (stiff-neck) garlic plants with real garlic flavor that can be eaten any way you'd use garlic. We get an extra early crop by growing some of our garlic in a greenhouse. A wonderful pesto can be made from them, here is a recipe. We harvest about one fifth of our scapes for market, and the rest we let grow into bulbils.

Garlic Bulbils, October. These are the pea to chickpea sized garlics that grow in the garlic scapes that we leave on the plant to mature. They can be used to grow garlic grass all winter long in a flower pot, or can be planted in the garden to produce garlic rounds by mid July. Learn how we use bulbils here.

Gobo (Japanese Burdock) root, October thru April. Gobo, or burdock root, is a popular vegetable in Asia and among folks on a macrobiotc diet. Called "the poor man's ginseng", gobo is renowned for it's health giving properties. We grow the Takinogawa varitety, originally from Johnny's, but we have been saving our own seeds for years.

Horseradish, May through November.

Kale*, mid July to December. Altho some people prefer the sweeter taste of kale once it has been frosted in the fall, we find it is welcome in the markets as soon as we can harvest it midsummer. We grow, as pictured here, red (Redbor), smooth leaf (Lacinato) and green (Winterbor) kales.

Leeks*, September thru Winter. The leek is the national flower of Wales, and popular vegetable in potato leek soup. Leeks are in the onion family and can be used wherever onions are called for. Harvest begins in September for market, and by November they are all harvested and stored for winter.

Lettuce*, early May thru November. Lettuce is part of our market display for the entire season, altho the individual varieties change with the heat or cold of the growing conditions. Buttercrunch, romaine, oakleaf and boston types are the loose head varieties we grow in various shades of red and green.

Baby Lettuce Mix, Early May to November. A mix of red and green varieties planted closely together, Baby Lettuce Mix is harvested when very young, long before heads begin to form, resulting in extreme tenderness of the leaves. With these you can make delicate salads, sometimes made by mixing in Spicy Greens,

Onions*, mid August thru November. We grow cooking/storage onions and sweet spanish onions in both red and yellow varieties.

Our regular cooking onions are excellent keepers. The first of these available are the the Dutch onion Stuttgarter Reisen, grown from sets we get from Fedco Seeds, a flattened onion which will often keep until the following summer. Other yellow onions are the round Clear Dawn, an open pollinated version of the hybrid Copra onion, which will easily keep until spring. Redwing is a round red onion of excellent keeping qualities and good flavor.

Our primary sweet Spanish type onion is actually an English variety called Ailsa Craig Exhibition, a big round light yellow onion. We also grow a round red sweet onions called Burgermaster. The sweet onions are among our first harvested in mid August. Because sweet onions are low in sulfur, which gives onions their pungency, all sweet onions are not good keepers, so saving them beyond November is often not possible. Yet they are wonderful in salads and sandwiches while they are available.

Redwing storage onion

Clear Dawn storage onion

Stuttgarter storage onion

Burgermaster sweet onion

Ailsa Craig sweet onion

Parsnips, September through May. We start digging parsnips in September, and continue digging them as we go to market until late October, when we dig our winter's supply. We usually leave about a quarter of the parsnip patch to dig in April so we'll have some at the farmers' markets May.

Peas, late June to mid July. To extend the pea season we grow early peas with shorter pods (usually Dakota varitey) and later peas with longer pods (Green Arrow variety).

Peas, Edible Pod See Snow peas or Sugar Snap Peas.

Sweet Peppers*, early August to late October. Our sweet peppers are green, turning to red as they mature, and we grow both the regular bell peppers and the long Italian peppers.

Hot Peppers*, Habañeros, cayenne & jalapeños, mid August thru November. We grow these in large pots in our greenhouse during the summer, where the enjoy the heat of high summer. What's left over after markets close we dry and package for sale at market the following season.

Potatoes*, yellow-fleshed varieties, July thru November. Our early potatoes are Red Gold, a red skinned yellow flesh variety, and we start digging these in late June or early July. By September we have the yellow fleshed German Carola, probably the finest potato grown. Both have a smooth and creamy texture unlike any regular potato, yellow or white. Currently we sell out of both varieties about six weeks after we begin digging them, so we are planning to plant more.

Radishes, early May to late October. We primarily grow round red radishes using Champion as our favorite variety.

Rutabagas, mid August thru November. Rutabagas are in the cabbage family, while their cousins turnips are in the radish family. Rutabagas have necks between the root and the leaves, while turnips do not. Rutabagas also are slightly yellow fleshed, and are sometimes refered to as a Swede Turnip. Can be used wherever fall turnips are used, such as in boiled dinners or steamed and mashed as a side vegetable.

Scallions*, mid June thru September. These are a non-bulbing onion with a delicate familiar onion flavor. Scallions may be used from tip to tail, and make a welcome addition to salads, stir fries and omlettes. We usually put in a late planting to overwinter so we will have scallions at market in early May and June.

Snow Peas, July. The original edible podded peas. Oregon Giant are our favorite variety of snow pea, as they are large and remain tender even when the peas begin to develop. Edible podded peas mean you eat the whole thing, shell and all, after breaking off the stem and pulling down any string. Great in stir fries and salads.

Spicy Greens, May to November. A mixture of mizuna, arugula and red and green mustard, spicy greens are grown and harvested all together, and we begin planting them in the winter greenhouses and have them ready for our farmers' markets in May. To assure a continuous supply, they need to be planted every two weeks during the warm part of the growing season. Some like these as the sole green in a salad, others mix them with lettuce for a more flavorful salad.

Spinach, May & June and again in September through November. Spinach does not like hot weather, so Swiss chard becomes a subsititute in July and August. We plant spinach in our greenhouses in November to have spring spinach even before the markets open in May. Each spring planting of spinach provides only a few weeks of harvest, so we do several spring plantings. Spinach for fall harvest is planted starting in early August and appears at market in September thru November.

Sugar Snap Peas, July. Round filled out pods and you eat the whole thing.

Sunchokes, October to May. Our sunchokes are the red-skinned variety, originally from Nova Scotia. One of a handful of vegetables native to North America, they were described by Samuel Champlain when he visited what is now Chatham, Massachusetts in 1605. Also called Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are not from Jerusalem nor are they related to artichokes. In fact they are in the sunflower family, as is apparent during the growing season. Each fall we harvest enough for winter, then dig the rest of the patch in spring.

Swiss Chard*, early July to November. We offer three varieties of chard, the traditional white stem, the red stem, and the yellow stem. The white stem varities have the broadest stem and are the most cold tolerant, finally succombing to frosts in early November. The red and yellow varieties usually taper off a few weeks prior to the white, being a little more cold-sensitive.

Tomatoes*, late June thru November. Three thousand plants of thirty varieties is typical of our tomato planting. We grow both heirlooms and hybrids in colors of orange, yellow, pink, purple and red; and round, long, paste, and pear shaped and round cherry tomatoes. All are grown on the ground with a mulch of leaves delivered to us the previous fall. From mid August to early October we also offer as canning tomatoes those that are overripe or have cosmetic defects. We mix all varieties in our canners unless we have a request for a certain type. Our specialty tomatoes are all heirlooms: Hogheart (second from top), the long Italian red paste tomato that's also great for sandwiches; Pruden's Purple (second from bottom), the big round pink ugly tomato that rivals Brandywine for flavor; Frosty's Heart (bottom right), a pink heart-shaped Italian heirloom with a smooth silky texture; and our own Snakeroot Golden Arrow (top), a dark yellow long paste tomato we are in the process of selecting for greater length. We also grow a selection of yellow sandwich and salad tomatoes, such as the Yellow Brandywine, Valencia and others (below center). Unripe green tomatoes (below left) are available for about a month starting in early September. All of our major heirloom varieties are grown from seed we have grown ourselves. Every year we test several new varieties to see how they grow for us and how our customers like them.

Cherry Tomatoes*, mid July to late October. We grow five different varieties of cherry tomatoes; four of them are heirlooms (Yellow Pear, Red Pear, Gardener's Delight, and Black Cherry) and one is a hybrid (Sungold). We pack pints mixing the varieties randomly, and at the height of the season we also bring them in by the bushel so folks can create their own pints any way they like. Then it's "Nibbler's Heaven" for cherry tomato lovers. All of our cherry tomatoes are indeterminates grown on trellises in two of our greenhouses. This means we have fewer split tomatoes after heave rains, and it means we have both earlier and later cherry tomatoes than if they were grown outdoors.

Winter Squash*, late August to December. Delicata (shown), Acorn, Butternut, Buttercup, Sunshine, and the heirloom New England Long Pie Pumpkin.

Zucchini* & Summer Squash*, early July thru early September. We grow both heirloom and hybrid zucchini, and hybrid summer squash, including the Johnny's introduction Zephyr, a delicious long yellow summer squash with a green tip.

27 Organic Farm Road, Pittsfield Maine 04967
owned and operated by
Tom Roberts & Lois Labbe
Tom: Tom@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5417
Lois: Lois@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5418

Gardening for the public since 1995.

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