Welcome to the New Year!

Farming is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind right now. However, we really are hard at work getting ready for the 2014 season—signup begins January 10! At the end of the 2013 season, we sent out a survey to our members. Based on the responses, we have made a few changes, which you can read about below. Here is a great recipe from the Splendid Table for this time of year. It will definitely be on the menu at my house this week:

For the first time, we are offering a new smaller share size—the Mini Share! This share will have 4–5 items (our regular share has 8–12) in it.  It is designed for either a single person, a couple who doesn’t cook too much, but would still like access to fresh, local food, or a family that just wants to see what CSA is all about!

What exactly is a “unit” or “item”?

An item, or a “unit,” will fluctuate over the course of the season—depending on harvests, weather, etc., but basically, it is a grouping of a produce item; or you could think of it as a unit of measure. For instance, when tomatoes are first starting out, a tomato “unit” could be just one tomato. Once they get rolling, a unit could then be a quart of tomatoes. Sometimes a unit will be just one piece of produce, such as a watermelon. It all depends on the particular fruit or vegetable.

Why is understanding what a unit is important?

Since we now have multiple sizes and pickup option, when you come to the farm on pickup day, you will need to know what goes in your share. We will have more signs telling everyone what their share is composed of. They might look something like this:

Potatoes
WS & BWS = 1 qt
MS = 1 pt

This would translate to: Weekly Share (WS) and Bi-Weekly Share (BWS) get 1 quart of potatoes, and Mini Share (MS) gets 1 pint.

This is a work in progress! We may need to play around a bit with the signs to make sure we are all on the same page. Rest assured, we will make sure everyone gets their proper share. We are always around during pickup times and will be sure to answer any questions you might have.

What else are we changing?

We have added a new way to pay online for your membership. It is a new system called Dwolla, and it operates just like an e-check.  You can either go through the signup process with Dwolla (similar to signing up with PayPal) or checkout using Dwolla as a guest member. We like Dwolla, because unlike PayPal and other credit card options, the fees are actually very reasonable—$0.25 per transaction. That’s it. With online credit card payments, we pay a per transaction fee, AND a percentage of the amount purchased. Which really does add up over time. This means that your dollars actually go to supporting us, as opposed to VISA…. So this is a nice option for those larger transactions, such as membership payments.

We also are in the process of finding a credit card system that we can have available in the barn so you can use your debit card or credit card for retail purposes too.

Anything else?

In addition to all the vegetable staples, we are looking at some fun new things, such as purple carrots, and maybe even artichokes! We will keep you posted on that. We would also like to offer expanded Pick Your Own flowers this year. You will still be able to pick larger amounts of flowers for a fee. If you have a special event, such as a party or a wedding, you will be able to get all of your flowers fresh and locally!

 

Welcome to the 2013 CSA Season!

Pea Tendrils

Delicious, tender pea tendrils!

Sorry to have gone dormant and not updated the blog for such a long period of time. We have been crazy busy with millions (or so it seems) of farm activities.  A farmer’s day can easily be 12 to 14 hours at this time of year. Somehow, I find that this schedule does not lend itself to creative blogging. Remember that phrase “Make hay when the sun shines?” Well, it is never more appropriate than Spring…we have taken advantage of every single sunny day, only instead of “making hay,” we are growing produce. When you’re a farmer, Spring is all out time for farming!

The weather so far this year has been a roller coaster ride. It was certainly slow to warm up, and as a result we delayed some plantings. Which is a good thing since we experienced a heavy frost the second week of  May. The frost was then closely followed by four days in the 90’s. This kind of weather is challenging for people who aren’t used it as well as for all of our newly planted seedlings. We had some plants nipped by the frost, but no major losses. We  also had to replant a bunch of tomatoes that didn’t like the 90 degree windy days (thank goodness for extra plants in reserve!). Everything is growing very rapidly now, and it is very rewarding to look out over the fields and see the fruits of our labor!

We have the first week of CSA under our belt and as a result, are slowly shifting our energies from spending our time planting and tending, to harvesting and waiting on members and customers.

It is wonderful to see so many new members this year, as well as the many returning members after the long winter’s hiatus. A community has truly formed around this farm property! Good food and good people—what could be better!