How To Use This Newsletter
Each week you will receive a newsletter with what's available to choose from, any important details about the CSA, farm news, and a recipe. We keep the most important information at the top, so if you don't have time to read a newsletter, anything you need to know will be in the beginning before the section labeled "Farm News." There will also be a button you can click on if you have any questions. Some questions are common so we created answer page that may be helpful. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please don't hesitate to reach out!
What's Available This Week
This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, green garlic, cilantro, baby kale, baby lacinato kale, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, baby chard, basil, pea shoots, cucumbers, and plant starts for your garden.
It is really exciting to have cucumbers so early in the season! We are still in disbelief ourselves, but enjoying the sweet, early crunch!
You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway. Then pull up to the barn. Enter the barn up the ramp, check off your name on the right as you walk in. Non-refrigerated items will be on display as you walk in. Everything else will be displayed in the walk in cooler. Walk into the barn, and make a left, and you will see the big door. We have two very sweet dogs, one who is poorly behaved and may jump on you despite all our best efforts. We apologize in advance if she jumps on you. The other dog is super sweet as well, but can have an intimidating bark if you haven't met him. Neither of these dogs will pose a danger to you or your kiddos.
You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. Heads up that the market has a strict policy of selling before the bell rings at 4 pm. Even though you aren't buying things and just picking out your share, coming early can apparently still jeopardize the market's permit, so do your best to come after 4 pm.
You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.
If you cannot make one of those pickup spots one week, feel free to send a friend or neighbor, or just make up those missed items at your leisure. Just keep track of your missed items yourself. Thanks!
Your deposit and half of your remaining CSA balance are due by this week. Do not hesitate to send me an email if you need a different payment schedule. We are happy to accommodate people.
Bonuses in the Barn
If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grassfed beef or local maple syrup check, we have both available for sale from neighboring farms. The beef is in the freezer to the left of the CSA sign in board, and the maple syrup is right next to the board. It is important to note that these are not things that can be swapped for items in your CSA. These are completely separate from our business: we are just offering the space to our neighbors. If you want to buy any of these products, fill out the sheet in front of the CSA sign in board, and leave payment in the CSA payment box, and we will pass it along to them. The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is will likely be official later this week. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am a bit biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.
For those of you who weren't a part of the spring share, some of our biggest news this season is that we are finally certified organic! It was a surprisingly lengthy process with more record keeping and office work than even the data-nerdiest among us (like me) would enjoy, but we are happy to join the many farms who provide this third party, verified safe food for our community. We relish the relationship we have with our CSA, and the other parts of our business (farmers' markets and wholesale outlets) have taken off enough that we felt like it was responsible for us to finally go through the motions of certification for folks who don't get newsletters in their inbox each week about what's going on at the farm. As we told the spring share, one of the exciting parts for us is that certification will not make our prices go up because we were already using organic production methods, so the higher cost of production was already reflected in the food we grew. The only additional cost the farm takes on with certification is the actual certification cost, which is cost-share by a federal program that keeps certification fees reasonably low. It is worth noting that program is in jeopardy of being cut in the year's Farm Bill, as well as other important organic standards programs. If you love organic agriculture, now is a good time to let your federal congressional delegates know you would like to see those programs continued.
Another big change this season is that we ("we" predominantly means Ryan in this case) installed a ground heat system in on of our high tunnels, powered by wood pellets to allow us to grow earlier tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers. It's wildly exciting to have these crops coming in several weeks earlier! I am not exactly sure when the first tomatoes will appear for CSA, but I don't think it will be long.
As for this week, we are working on getting in some normal weekly transplants for the many succession plantings we put out each week. About every week and a half we transplant another round of cilantro, beets, head lettuce, and baby lettuce. We also direct seed arugula, pea shoots, microgreens, radish, bok choi, salad turnips, more baby lettuce, and carrots every week and a half. So those repetative tasks up a fair bit of our farm time. When you add in all the time it takes to harvest and prep veggies for CSA, markets, and orders, it leaves us with a surprisingly small amount of time to weed, trellis, mow paths, and do all the myriad projects that we need to tackle that may change from week to week. We were able to rescue weed a few plantings early this week, but the main thing we are behind on is inoculating next year's shiitakes. Unfortunately the logs Ryan harvested for them this spring dried out too much to use, so they will become firewood, and we will have to harvest new logs for the rest of the inoculation.
This season's early crop bummers are minimal, but noticeable. We had a few field rodents decimate the first broccoli planting, which is a downer. (So in a funny turn of events, we will all be enjoying tomatoes before broccoli this year!) Flee beetles got to our kale before we did... which means they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing kale leaves, but it doesn't change the taste. Two of our pea rows seem to have some sort of silly pea disease, so we re-seeded some area, and those too, will be available later than tomatoes! And the final bummer has been leaf miner in our chenopods: spinach, beets, and chard. They do a number on the foliage of these plants, which may make for smaller beets with ugly beet greens in the first planting, as well as less spinach and chard available for harvest. But those are only a handful of crops among the dozens of items we grow, so we are feeling pretty good so far about this year's growth.
Next week we may finally get around to trellising our peas, and maybe even try to catch up on shiitakes. We will see!
Have an excellent week!
-Kara, Ryan, Shane, Peter, Morgan, Sam, Taylor, and Mikayla
Pasta Salad With Chard
Feel free to substitute anything you don't like or don't have for something else. This is our go to, and it's a great way to get extra greens in your belly!
1 pound of pasta, cooked (we use penne or fussili, but use whatever you prefer)
2 bags baby kale, finely diced into ribbons
1/2 bunch green garlic, finely chopped
2 cups kalamata olives, sliced
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP oregano
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper
Toss all these ingredients together while the past is still warm, so the chard wilts. Let it all sit for about a half hour and enjoy at room temperature.