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It's May Day, time for Cannes, not Canning

May 1, 2012

A not often rainy day.

Well today was another lovely spring day. Seriously, this water is doing wonderful things to your yard and our fields by the minute. We are still quite low for precipitation so far this season. It did mean it wasn’t the best day to traipse around the May Pole though,  so in the spirit of the onset of spring, here are some lovely things to focus on.

One aspect of Volante Farms is that it is staffed by classic characters, like myself and so many others, that have been holding down the fort for a decade or two. Simultaneously, the seasonal irregularity of the job has meant there has been a constant swing in and out of workers.

Grey outside but lively colors thriving in the greenhouse.

High school students, college kids, working parents and retirees, you name it,  there are many part-time farmers that have called Volantes home for a short time here and maybe again there every few years. The beauty of our part-time lovers is that while they are away, traversing Himalayas, acquiring additional degrees, or herding children, they are bringing their adventure back to us and sharing the experiences they have been lucky enough to have.

We in turn enjoy the stories and the sense of satisfaction that Volantes is always a welcome place to come home to. One such story is upon us now. Ben Crowell, recently found his way back to the East Coast and back to our greenhouses after a few years away. In the meantime, he has developed some striking skills.

While I know that the photos we share here on the website and with our Facebook and twitter followers get a great response, there have been many finer photographers than me to pass through our farm over the years, and we find Ben to be no exception. I was more than a little surprised to find that Ben, a cheerful bird with a song to match while singing to the flowers, was not only an excellent cinematographer, but additionally partially responsible for the winning film at last year’s Boston 2011 48 Hour Film Project. “One Step Forward” stars Ben and was filmed by co-director Joel Marsh in nearby Natick, Brookline, and Sherborn.

screen grab of Ben himself in “One Step Forward” from Ben’s YouTube site, click to watch video.

His team’s use of chronology manipulation created a loving and joyful film that will have you spellbound for its few minutes and likely feeling happier than when you started.

Volantes is thrilled to give Ben a nearly unheard of leave of absence this busy month to celebrate his win. He needs the time , as Cannes Film Festival is no quick affair. Whoops, I buried the lede again. Well, in his words:

“One Step Forward” is what they call an “Official Selection” for the
festival. More specifically, the festival’s Short Film Corner. There will
be a screening and it will be playing on kiosks throughout the festival. We
are up for a Palm d’Or, but …[w]e’re competing against some heavyweights.-Ben Crowell

We couldn’t be happier for him, or prouder to have had some effect on his success.

Oh is that overstepping? Yeah probably, but we would also like you to see another of his short films. One of his early works, it is a combination of time-lapse tests he performed, many of them on flowers grown at Volantes during his last stint here.

Time lapse Tests, from Ben’s Vimeo Site, click to watch there.

So Ben will be leaving us for a few weeks, but if you run into him before he goes, please pat him on the back, and pass along any tips for a nice Riviera cafe he should hobnob in.

9000 Onions transplanted last week.

That’s about it for us this week, we are just preparing for the May planting season to really get under way. We expect to see plenty of you in days to come. You can  certainly be getting those cold tolerant annuals and perennials in the ground and some of the cool season veggie crops too. We are planting broccoli and cabbage this week, and we put onion transplants in last week.

Michael Natkin will be signing his book Herbivoracious this Sunday, from 10-12:30. Stop by to pick up your copy.

Have you stopped by the kitchen and deli lately? Todd has been putting some very cool daily specials up. Keep tabs on him @VolanteFarmChef to be in the know. I know I’ve seen a lot of toasty grilled cheeses leaving the kitchen lately, and can’t wait for some summer-time tomatoes to slap on one of those.

And one last bit, with more details to come:

Ice Cream Stand to open May 25!

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