January 8, 2014
Happy New Year to All Our CSA Families!
The 2014 Spring season is in the planning stage. Seed and nursery catalogs have been flooding our mailbox for three weeks or more. We have been making selections and looking at new varieties to trial, looking forward to luscious fresh tomatoes, tender asparagus, crunchy flavorful carrots and new potatoes. The catalog pictures are both inspiring and tormenting. (It’s too cold to plant anything right now!)
However……speaking of winter planting: we put up 4 raised bed low tunnels this fall and planted them on December 2nd. (Just before the weather turned cruelly cold.) We are trying a new planting method with crops that tolerate colder weather. So, for spring we have already planted some beets, spinach, broccoli, carrots, onions, peas, and cabbages as trials. We want to determine how early we can harvest things if they are under plastic tunnels to trap the sunlight, and if this will accelerate the harvest time. Our goal is to fill the early CSA baskets as full as possible. Therefore, we are experimenting to develop some new techniques.
Fruit production has been on our minds because several people have asked about it. Last year we planted 200 red raspberry plants and are hopeful for a good harvest this summer. We are thinking these will be U-pick and you will need to pay by the pint. Additionally, we doubled the size of our strawberry bed with the hopes of opening this up to U-pick and pay by the quart.
Our main concern is the time needed to manage all the fruits as well as the vegetables. And this is where we need your “U-pick” labor to make the fruit production work. We can grow it but we need your help to harvest it. Picking berries is time consuming.
Apple and peach trees are planted in our dwarf fruit tree orchard. These will slowly come into bearing over the next 4-8 years. (Last fall’s cider was pressed from our ancient Red Delicious and from trees from Valerie’ parent’s farm.) If we have any abundance from these, we will offer them to you.
Every few years we get a bumper crop of apricots, but last year the rains came at the wrong time bringing bacteria that caused the majority of it to rot on the tree: it was very difficult to watch. We hope for better conditions in a new year.
Although not really a fruit, we also planted ten more rhubarbs plants last Spring after having many requests for more, please! Again, we will have to gage how much can be harvested this first year, but we are on our way for increase due to popular demand.
It seems like we just wrapped up last Fall’s harvest. But the new year has dawned and it’s time to think about Spring. We have attached a new registration brochure for 2014. Please let us know ASAP if you will be returning, so that we can reserve your place. You do not need to send your down payment until March 1st, just email your intentions.
Some of you had communicated last fall that you would be renewing and I had placed your name on the list for 2014 to hold your place. However, I ask that you would please re-confirm and to remind you to send your down-payments by March 1,, 2014.
In 2013, we served 28 families (over 100 people) with fresh, organically grown food. It was our honor and privilege to provide food that nourishes and strengthens your family and our community. Thank you for trusting us with your life nourishment. We do not take it lightly.
Our commitment is to grow our vegetables sustainably, with organic practice, using no genetically modified seed, and caring for our soil so it provides the most nutrients to our food. Our farm is a work in progress, and we are making progress! We look forward to a prosperous 2014 for each of your families and our farm. May the Lord bless each of you richly!
Doug and Valerie