Preparations for 2013 CSA

We’ve been busy since the beginning of the year pouring over seed catalogs and placing orders for needed growing supplies for the upcoming growing year. A  thank you goes out to members who completed the end of year csa survey.Everyone’s input is much appreciated! We’ve been discussing the comments and suggestions received and finding ways we can weave some of the winners into this up-coming season.
CSA sign up time is coming up very shortly!  We”ll send out a invitation/announcement to former members within days of this csa post. So, please stay tuned.

Farmer Karen

Preparing for next season

We’ve been busy for the last couple of weeks making some improvements to our barn area. We’re playing musical sheds. We moved the shed that we have been using for csa distribution around back to be repurposed as a garden tool shed. We are looking forward to the arrival of two new sheds.One will become the new csa distribution spot. It will allow us to be out of the weather and will give us greater elbow room at pick up time. The other shed will be utilized for mechanical repairs. All of this moving will buy us some added space in the barn to set up a new to us [but used] walk-in cooler. Lot’s of work between now and then so we’re keeping our eyes on the end goal. It would be helpful if the weather wouldn’t turn cold real soon- we have many, many hours of work ahead of us.
Farmer Karen

December Already?

We’re heading into our 4th week now since our CSA program wrapped up. It was a bit of hubbub at the last pick up time due to hurricane Sandy. We needed to change some of the pick up dates due to the storm but overall got off with light damage. A 40 foot blue spruce tree fell very narrowly missing the farm house. It pulled down our phone/cable connection but thankfully not the elect.line. We did loose electric service for about 12 hours but that was due to a general outage in the area. Our row crop covers were badly torn[as I had expected] but the good news was the chicken house didn’t dump over. We tried to position it strategically so it would have minimal damage and definitely had the stabilizing/support riggers in place with the knowledge that we might get pummeled by high winds. It’s weather conditions like this that make you take stock of all the many things that can go airborne on a farm. We often save up the scrap metal and what some people would call “Spring cleaning”until our busy season is over.
It’s that time! We’ve been doing some cleaning and clearing. First of all a big thank you goes out to workshare member Jason Sylvester  and Cassie Shoup who have been incredible with tree removal. How fortunate we are to have a “tree guy” as a workshare member!  Workshare member Jon Kasitz also wields a mean chain saw! We have removed that one fallen tree as well as a bunch of evergreens that all succumbed to early death due to an insect infestation. When we moved here close to 30 years ago there were many evergreens around the houses that all were about 10 feet tall. We have taken down a few over the years and the ones that remain are now 40 to 50 feet tall . Some of them are not as healthy as they used to be. So, the landscape and skyline is changing a bit around here. The plan is to plant some smaller flowering trees in the Spring.
We’re keeping up our strength by eating lots of our delicious root crops and greens!
Farmer Karen

CSA Pickup Date Changed

Because of the impending storm we decided to postpone Tuesday Oct.30th CSA share pick up time until Friday Nov.2nd. Pick up time for members picking up at the farm will be from 3:30 until 7pm. For the satellite groups,{as always] the pick up representative can arrive earlier to pick up for their groups.
We hope that everyone remains safe!
See you Friday.
Farmer Karen

Preparing for Sandy’s Arrival

At first it seemed like a bunch of hype but we figured this storm would at the very least bring us a couple inches of rain. That alone would be a couple of inches more then we need right now. We  stepped up the pace and with the help of all  of our wonderful workshare members and some really great volunteers from Vanguard we got all the carrots dug and a lot of the parsnips before the rain started. It’s hard to know if it is better to have the leafy greens in the cooler or in the ground during a big rain and blow. We decided to split the difference. We harvested ahead of time many things and covered others with a row crop cover. Why does it always seem to get super windy right after we roll out the row crop cover? Twenty mile per hour winds will surely shred the covers but sinse we are reusing some from another crop that already saw the same fate it seemed worthwhile to minimize erosion, and mud splash. Here’s to hoping we won’t find the peach trees wrapped in a thin white cloth called row crop cover when this is all over with.
We spend all day Saturday moving things that might take off in the wind or would not take to being soaked with water. The greenhouses are always of chief concern as is the top- heavy mobile chicken coop.
On my walk back from closing the door to the chicken coop this eve I can’t help but wonder what things will look like in a day or two after inches of  rain and the 50 mile per hour winds that are expected.
I’ll write a blog post when Sandy has moved on out. Hope everyone else remains safe and dry!
Farmer Karen