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St. Fiacre Microfarm
(Rochester,NY)If you would like to be on the notification list for Winter CSA memberships read on below. Email or call Chris with your contact information. Thanks! If you would like to arrange a mini membership for a small list of crops please be in contact with Chris to talk over details. Memberships for summer crops should be arranged by March 1st. Arrangements for Nov thru May 2015 crops should be finalized by July 1st. * * * * St Fiacre Microfarm is a multi-campus farm with gardens in Heniretta, Gates, Greece, Penfield, and Rochester. We also adopt orchard trees on land in the Rochester area. Our largest growing area is at the Miller Dairy Farm on W. Henrietta and Brooks Rds near the RIT Conference Center. We have an exciting partnership in Penfield at Penfield First Baptist Church, where we run a "Gift Garden" in collaboration with St Joseph's Church. Our other sites are all barter arrangements with neighbors, families and friends. To see some photographs of the various gardens, the crops, and the farm helpers, please visit stfiacre.wordpress.com. An interactive map of the entire microfarm will soon be available on Google Maps -- stay tuned. We do most of our business through two CSAs a small Winter CSA with about 10 members, and a very small Summer CSA, about 2 to 5 households. CSA members pick up their food at a central location, the farmhouse, 364 Merchants Rd. in Rochester. We pride ourselves on abundant crop diversity. Check out the chart below to appreciate the range of vegetables and other produce. Winter crops are our specialty. We have experimented extensively with the timing of bringing fresh produce to the consumer every week of the year. To do this we rely on hoophouses, low tunnels, cold frames, frost sowing, mulching in the field, and root cellars. A typical Winter CSA runs from November to May, and can include: many kinds of winter squash, pumpkins, celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots. carrots, beets, parsnips, salad radishes, daikon radishes, winter baking radishes, celery root, parsley root, turnips, rutabagas, burdock root, dandelion root, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, brussel sprouts, broccoli rapini, pac choi, chinese cabbage, endive, escarole, sugarloaf chicory, italian dandelion chicory, several radicchios, belgian endive, arugala, tatsoi, mizuna, yukosai, yukina, hon tsai tai, mispoona, green or red komatsuna, senposai, maruba santo, several mustard greens, claytonia, mache, cress, french sorrel, red sorrel, spinach, chard, 15 kinds of lettuce, asparagus, flat and curly parsley, cilantro, dill, dry herb teas, dry cooking herbs, and sometimes dried flowers or forced flower bulbs. Favorite herb teas include Peppermint, Spearmint, Apple Mint, Anise Hyssop, Sacred Basil, Lemon Balm, Bergamot & Chamomile. Inquire for our full list. Many of the winter roots and greens are perfect for Macrobiotic diets, and can help raise energy during winter's seasonal contraction. If you would like to pre-order certain quantities of macrobiotic vegetables, such as Burdock, Daikon, or any Asian Greens, please contact the farm. * * * In the warm season crops include over 40 kinds of Cut Flowers, 30 or more fresh Herbs, 5 Grape varieties, summer and fall Red Raspberries, Black Raspberries, Golden Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries and Rhubarb. Our adopted orchard trees are mostly Apples and Pears, with a smattering of Peaches, Cherries & Plums. (Strawberries will return in 2015!) Favorite cut flowers we carry every year are Sweet William, Larkspur, Bachelor Button, Zinnia, Gladiolus, Dahlia, Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, Purple Coneflower, Shasta Daisy, Sunflower. Inquire for this year's projected list. There are many others, and the cast of characters changes often. Some of the regular culinary herbs are Basil, Dill, Parsley, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Celery Leaf & Seed, Cilantro, Coriander, Fennel Leaf & Seed * * * We follow an economic philosophy that generosity is the true engine of human wealth, and such wealth is intertwined with the abundant gifting of the Earth. This is inspired by thinker-in-action, Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. This outlook is supported in many spiritual traditions and in science. We find tools and inspiration in the practices of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and in the science of ecological thinking. We see manual or mental labor as a special form of artistic generosity and co-creation. We try to follow this outlook in our practices. Whenever possible we gift a surplus to smalls scale food shelves or shelters, such as the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf or Bethany House for women & children in transition. Sometimes we have enough to bring the cooks at St Joseph's House of Hospitality. We try to match the size of the gift harvest with the size of the gifting site, so that each piece of produce makes its maximum impact on a meal menu or a life. A good portion of the harvest from our Penfield garden is dedicated to such gifting. As the microfarm reaches the point of fiscal balance where cashflow from consumer memberships entirely supports the operation, we plan to expand gifting to the hungry, so that each membership will reflect a certain value of food given to those who need it. For consumers we offer food as a gift, not a market commodity. In return we ask no fee or price for the food. We encourage consumer members to give what they can to ensure that the microfarm will keep its head above water and continue next year. The lead workers offer their labor as a gift. This core team receives no salary or wage. We do try to plan for a worker's dividend in the case when senior workers have re-commited to the microfarm for several years. If the planning is effective we prefer that in exchange for their significant time commitment, they may receive a return from any entrepreneurial leadership they undertake for the farm.. * * * We invite local people interested in growing a large variety of sustainable food year-round to work with us and learn our methods. The main farmer, Chris.Phillips, will work with you to design a mini-apprenticeship to care for 1 certain crop or a garden. If you have the time, energy and curiosity you can work with us several days a week all year. Part of this work would be supervised, part solo. The more effort you put in, the more know-how you take away. Apprentices may return from year to year, and take on more leadership responsibility for getting the food to the consumer and guiding volunteers. New volunteers are welcome on a weekly or monthly basis. * * * If you are interested in just a few crops, there's room for you to become a member of the microfarm too. Because our CSAs are small we are able to give a wide selection. Once or twice a month consumer members receive a menu of veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers that are coming up. You may choose only Sorrel and Spinach in April, or Hot Peppers, Sweet Basil, Apples and Pears in September. Not only do you control your membership contribution, but you have a large say on what and how much you receive. In the past we have made special arrangements for bumper crops of Raspberries, Grapes, Apples, Pears, Asparagus, and Spring Greens. * * * Currently, we are re-assessing orchard fruit adoptions. We have been over-extended in this area. The microfarm will focus more work on fewer trees, and will seek more efficient new adoptions closer to existing operations, for instance in the North Winton Village neighborhood near the farmhouse. You'll find more information at stfiacre.wordpress.com and www.youtube.com/user/FiacreGardens Note: Due to family health issues we are not able to hold our Summer or Winter CSAs this year. We look forward to restoring the full Winter CSA in 2015. This has been a consumer centerpiece for lots of fresh greens and other produce Nov thru May since 2008.
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