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Winter Update

Posted 1/29/2010 1:40pm by OONA COY & BEN JAMES.

Winter greetings from the farm. We’ve had a fantastically full month of planning around here, doing everything from completing our seed order and mapping our crop rotations to hiring new workers and making plans for our farm store (more about this in a minute). January was especially productive thanks to Laura Dinwiddie, our returning worker who will be assistant managing the farm this season. We’ve actually been a team of four: Oona, me, Laura, and then there’s baby Wiley providing all sorts of input in the form of spit-up and distracting smiles. Who knew there was such a thing as a calm baby? This was not something that Silas (our almost-four-year-old) prepared us for.

2010 will be an eventful year for us, not least because we are implementing a bunch of new systems for planning, planting, cultivating, and even storing our crops. We’re buying a bed shaper and a couple other new implements, and we’re building a walk-in cooler to be able to cool your produce immediately, so that it will stay fresh as long as possible in your kitchens. We’re also putting up a real web-site where you’ll be able to read weekly updates and find recipes and such.

On the less technological front, we’ve been doing a lot of talking about the “CSA experience” and what more the farm can offer to shareholders on a weekly basis. We’ll be putting more effort into planting and maintaining pick-your-own crops, making sure that most weeks have at least one food or herb crop for you to harvest yourself.

We’ll also be selling additional products in the CSA barn this season to round out the local farm food experience. Products will include everything from local bread, eggs, fruit, yogurt, pickles, salad dressing, and meats to more snacky items that can be enjoyed while you’re at the farm. The key to making the store a success (for you and for us) will be to make sure we’re offering the right products. Please help us in figuring this out by going to the following link and taking a few minutes to fill out our farm store product survey. I encourage you all to be conservative in your estimation of what you’ll purchase on a regular basis. We’d rather start off on the small side and grow as demand requires than to overbuy and end up losing money on the venture. Here’s the link:

Having a three-year-old makes me see a lot of the world through a small, energetic, wondrous person’s eyes (feel free to exchange the words “small,” “energetic,” and “wondrous,” for “crazy,” “crazy,” and “really crazy”). One of the things I love about our CSA is how many awesomely weird kids show up at the farm every week. This spring we’re planning to get some of our goat kids close to the CSA barn on pick-up days for general interaction and enjoyment. In the summer your (human) kids – and even you – can look forward to hand-cranked shaved ice/snow cones on a somewhat regular basis. I’m also aiming to expand the playground a bit if time allows this spring. We’ll see.

So, here’s wishing you a great end of winter and early spring. We’ll send out an update or two in the next few months. Pick-ups start the beginning of June, but we’ll be at Tuesday Market starting in May, so feel free to get some early greens, etc. from us there with your 10% discount.

We have some shares still available for this season. If you have any friends looking for a farm to join, please let them know.

So take care, and please go on and fill out that store survey as soon as you can (like now, for instance). We’ll be seeing you.