08 Jun CSA on its way!
The farm was invigorated with new energy these past two weeks as smiling CSA members filled their baskets with produce from the farm, and headed out into the fields to pick strawberries, sugar snap peas, and herbs. I love seeing the familiar faces, many who have been with us since the beginning 11 years ago, as well as introducing new people to the process. The positive energy, and grateful members provide a reason for the long hours my husband Tom and I, Pete our assistant farm manager, and our stellar farm crew put in daily to the work of growing these amazing organic vegetables. To hear how excited and thankful you all are to receive food just hours from the earth, and to bring that bounty and health home to your kitchens, helps to make all the hard work worthwhile.
The work of the last few weeks has involved a lot of trellising and staking of tomatoes, and keeping up with all the weeding. We weed by hand, with hoes and with cultivating tractors (pictured below the sweet corn is being cultivated with our old farmall tractor). Often the weeds outpace the crops in their growth, so it is a constant scramble to stay ahead, and to do it while the ground is dry, which it was for quite awhile. There is also weekly transplanting and seeding to stay on top of, as certain crops we plant multiple rotations of- cucumbers, summer squash, beans, lettuce, and corn for example.
Every year we have new folks join us on our farm crew, so there is a quite a lot of training that goes on, especially in those early weeks of the CSA as we get into the swing of things. It’s not the easiest to get 6 or so people all making uniform bunches- but we’ll get there!
We have been super pleased with our bumper strawberry crop- full share members have already received 5 quarts! The plants this year were big and healthy, resulting in big tasty berries. On a side note, I feel I should explain that you may notice long white fibers on some of the berries in the field or in the bulk flats you are purchasing. This fiber is from the big white sheets of floating row covers we had to use over the berries to protect them from that late frost that came in mid May. Do not be alarmed- it is not human hair, but a fiber that can be washed or pulled off. We are doing our best to remove them as we pick, but are not always successful!
The sugar snap peas are so sweet and abundant this season, and a joy to pick. Coming up in the share next week will be the first of the new red potatoes, as well as garlic scapes- the delicious curly cue that grows out of the center of our stiff neck garlic plants.
Now that everyone has at least one pick-up under their belt, here are a few reminders:
- BYOB: please remember to bring your own bags, coolers, or baskets to get your produce home in. If you’re picking up at the farm, you will also need your own clippers for pick-your-own crops like herbs and flowers.
- The on-farm pick-up times are between 1 and 7:30pm on your designated pick-up day. The distribution room will get cleaned up at 7:30pm, but you may do the pick-your-owns until 8pm. If necessary, you may do the pick-your-own crops on another day within the week before your next pick-up, preferably within a few days. The farm is closed to pick-your-owns after 3pm Saturday and all day Sunday.
- What if I go on vacation? One option is to “Share your Share” with a friend. You can have someone else pick up your share while you are gone (no need to tell us). However, you are responsible for explaining the pick-up location and procedures to your substitute. For on-farm pick-up members, another option is to change your pick up day from a Tuesday to a Thursday or vice versa. Just let us know by email by 7pm Sunday of the week you wish to switch. Unfortunately, because we harvest a precise number of shares each harvest day, we cannot accommodate last minute switches. Please do not call or email us if you forget to pick-up your share- this just puts us in an uncomfortable situation, as you can imagine. *Delivery share members do not have the option of switching pick-up days, or picking up at a different site.
- Recipes: A wonderful way to get ideas about using new veggies is to ask your fellow CSA members as you are picking up. We also have a wonderful cookbook, “From Asparagus to Zucchini” available for sale in the distribution room- it is a fantastic resource for new members. You can also search our blog by key ingredient and pull up old recipes we have posted as well. And there’s always Google.
- We will post a labeled share photo on Tuesday evening on Facebook. This photo will show the on-farm pick-up share, as well as the medium and large delivery shares. This is the quickest way we have found to post the photo, so in case you get home and forget what you have, it is there as a reference. Other folks take their own photo of the chalkboard in the distribution room, or as one resourceful young man pictured below did, make a list. Blog posts will happen as frequently as we can manage, and we will begin to post recipes as well.
You may have noticed our new farmstand wagon at the farm. It will be open to the public Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat from 10-7pm. We will also stock it with a few extras of certain items on pick-up days so your able to purchase more of things while you are here- a common request we have received over the years. As a CSA member you will receive 10% off- the same if you visit us at any of our weekend farmers markets.
If you are interested in signing up for a sustainable seafood share, follow this link: www.communitysupportedseafood.com to enroll in the 2016 programs for wild caught Halibut, Sablefish, Rockfish, Sockeye, Coho and King Salmon with Otolith Sustainable Seafood. Delivery will be from Otolith to Blooming Glen Farm- you will be able to pick up your seafood share from the freezer on your pick-up day that is closest to the delivery.
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community. Farmstand photo and strawberry field photo by photographer and CSA member Vanessa Lassin.