The glorious green of summer is brightening up the winter at Holbrooks 13 acre farm. As the snow flurries begin, Jacqueline Maisonpierre, 24, winter manager for the farm, said it is still possible to find spinach, kale, collard greens, gourmet salad mix growing fresh on the property.
Maisonpierre is holding down the fort for the winter while the Holbrooks are away. “In past winters, we operated on the honor system, but this year we are still open and growing greens,” she said.
Besides the home grown veggies, the farm shop is stocking other goods that Holbrook is known for. “We are carrying fresh milk and we have 350 chickens, so we still have fresh eggs,” Maisonpierre explained. “And we are bringing other kinds of things in as well.”
Colorful shopping baskets now hang above the case where the greens are kept cool, artfully arranged by Barbara DeLong, who is also helping out at the shop for the winter.
DeLong is a florist and said that in the summer, she gets all of her flowers for weddings at Holbrooks. “My daughter and I go out with big buckets of water and a red wagon and cut the flowers as we walk along,” she said. “Working here this winter fits in my my own seasonal schedule. It's a nice little haven or warmth and green.”
The walk to the greenhouses is as cold as can be expected, but inside the greenhouses are warm and humid. Maisonpierre explained that they are heated by nothing but the sun and large drums filled with water. “It gets so warm in here I have to take off the layers,” she laughed, her cheeks still rosy from working outside in the cold.
The science behind greenhouses is simple. Anyone can create a small greenhouse at home, according to Maisonpierre. “ All you need is box and a piece of glass, and you can grow your own lettuce all year long.”