Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013 CSA Greetings!

Dear CSA friends, We hope everyone has been having a great winter. We’d like to say we’ve been catching up on lost sleep, but we’ve been busy organizing, building, baking, and planning a great 2013 season. The winter farmers markets just ended (best winter season ever!) and this is the first chance we’ve had to sit down and write this long overdue letter. We are looking forward to the 2nd year on our new field across town. Oliver says that the 2nd year is the best for new plots. The first year it’s always tough to break the sod. The perennial grasses, milkweed and wire worms are a pain, but then the spring of the 2nd year comes and the field is already plowed, the organic matter from the sod is more readily available, the field has been divided into rows and some of the rocks have been dealt with. All we have to do is jump in and plant… well it’s not quite that easy, but in the 2nd year, pest and pathogen populations haven’t built up yet, the native nutrients haven’t been depleted, the soil hasn’t been overworked or compacted. Sounds good! And with compost and crop rotations it can ideally stay that way. Of course we try not to think about the fact that for this particular field, the third year rotation will likely be parking lot. So here’s to enjoying the goodness of the 2nd year! Over the winter, improvements here have included our new wood fired sauna, which you are all invited to use. We have been keeping it fired up on the weekends, and it is so exhilarating to get really hot and then go roll around in the snow. In the summer it should be even better to jump right into the pond. It hasn’t happened yet but later this spring, we’ll be building some walls for the CSA pick-up. Its part of our plan to install glass door display coolers, so folks can grab their produce right out of the fridge. This will make setup and breakdowns easier for our crew, and improve veggie quality especially for the highly perishable greens which never like to sit out. In other farm news, we recently got word, that we are the recipients of funding for VT value added farm producers. We’ll use the money to purchase blast freezing equipment for our veggie burgers. As part of this process Oliver was invited to speak about our operation to a joint VT Senate and House agriculture committee. So of course, we packed up the kids for a family road trip to the statehouse. The experience made us proud to be Vermonters. The government in Montpelier was amazingly open and friendly, and we brought bread and veggie burgers for the legislators. It was great to share the experience with the kids and teach them about participating in our democracy. On to the important stuff… its time for 2013 CSA signups. Still keeping the price unchanged. $460 for full shares, $300 for small shares, and $75 for 20 weeks of bread. Pickups are still at the same times: Tuesdays 12:00 to 1:00 and Fridays 4:00 to 6:00. We are planning to do a lot more pick your own crops this year. We hope to have lots of snap peas, string beans, raspberries, husk cherries, culinary herbs and cutting flowers all in close proximity to the CSA area. Also we are in the process of making a children’s play house (with a gated area) near the herb garden. We love it when families linger at the pickups, when folks can talk, and taste, and pick bouquets and kids can play. Once we had a CSA member who used to come in the house and borrow Bonnie’s shoes every week, that was a little weird, but that’s ok, we’re flexible people and we want to feed you, we want to be a part of restoring our area’s farming and food culture. So go ahead and sign up, bring the kids, take our shoes… whatever comes our way it is good to be in it together and we look forward to the best season ever! Returning members sign up by the end of March and we’ll add an extra week to the end of the CSA season for a whopping total 21 weeks . Go sign up on the website, or better yet stop by the farm. We’d love to see you, and we’ve got lots of good food to share. Many thanks to those of you who have signed up already and/or spread the word about our csa. Oliver and Bonnie Levis Earth Sky Time Community Farm (802) 384 1400