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Winter, Spring, Summer

Reminder, the next winter share is this Friday, January 27 from 2-6pm.

The Spring Shares are now sold out (although most have not paid yet, but no worries). Lydia will send out a notice at the beginning of March.

Now, we need to hear from existing main season members if you want a share for this coming season. Many of you I’ve heard from and have paid or begun paying. Even if you can’t put a first payment down at the moment, please let us know your intentions. There have been several inquiries from new member, and we will officially open it up in February for anyone to join until the CSA is full.

For me, winter is the time of on-line teaching, but there are some local education opportunities in the works that will be posted when the details are worked out, stay tuned!

February is usually end of year farm bookkeeping, so the tax info is all done before the new season gets underway. I’ll share some about the farm economics in the next post.

All the seeds have arrived and the greenhouse will start up in about a month. I can tell the days are getting longer, since the chickens have a different cluck and are giving us more eggs!

When there’s the least light

Last post for 2022! Reminder of Winter share pick-up this Friday December 30 2 – 6pm!

Each year, around winter solstice, we sing Christmas Carols to the cows and horses in our barn.  It’s a small thing, not a production, or performance (our harmonies could only be loved by cows), but it holds a special place, a sacred place in my heart.  I’ve been doing it every year since my apprentice days, whichever farm I was part of that time of year.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas Carols, it could be a Hanukah celebration, or Dong Zhi, or Yalda Night, or any acknowledgement of the Sun’s lowest rise on the horizon, and the beginning of the longer days.   The meaning of the simple practice has deepened over the years.  It relates to the very special place manure holds in agriculture. 
In the darkest time of year, all the plants are dormant in seed or cambium.  The outer Sun offers not much warmth.  But the cows have the warmth of the Sun inside them, held, cherished, by the metabolism, giving them warmth in their blood.  Chewing their cud, resting on the bedding in the barn, the warmth they are nurturing is precious.  They are masters of digestion, some of the only beings able to extract nourishment from cellulose.  They give more than they take.  If handled with care, the fertility they bring to the land provides for generations. 
When we sing to them we are honoring their gift of giving more then they take. 
We collect and protect that gift in the compost.
We spread that gift on the soil.
We tend that gift of fertility in our crops.
We sing to the cows in hopes that their gift is carried in the food we all receive from the land, that you can carry that inner warmth in all you bring to the world.

Thank you for all your support this past year, and wish you well for 2023!

Cory

Winter CSA schedule

Every other week can be a challenge to keep track of, so here’s the planned pick-up days, Friday’s from 2-6pm:

November 18
December 2, 16, 30
January 13, 27
February 10, 24
March 10

As always, if it’s a struggle for you to make it during the regular pick-up time, let me know and we can make other arrangements. If Highway 6 is closed due to weather I’ll send a notice out and we will adjust.

Winter Squash

Here’s a helpful description of the different squash that will be available at the first winter csa pick-up. We have all these, except there’s no more delicata (unfortunately). We do have a small grey/orange pumpkin looking squash not in this picture that has a similar flavour though…
The buttercups, kabochas, and kuri’s have drier flesh but very tasty for pies or to thicken sauces. Enjoy!

Fall, Winter, Spring

With our official last week of summer, fall is in the air. This post has important information about the end of the season, winter shares and a new SPRING SHARE!

Folks have been asking, so the final main season CSA pick-up days will be: Friday October 21 and Tuesday October 25.

A CHANGE from previous years, the Winter CSA will begin early November, Friday the 4th, and continue every other week as before, but finish up the end of February. The main reason for this shift is that the past few years I’ve seen a fair amount of loss in some of the storage crops (squash, cabbage, kale) through the month of November. There’s nothing so disheartening as harvesting a good crop, only to see it spoil in storage. The Winter share prices will remain the same: $250 for a small share and $400 for a large. I will start taking return winter members now, and if we’re not full by the middle of October will sign up new members.

The other reason for this shift is our new Spring CSA! The greenhouses usually sit idle in early spring, but it has been too much for me to grow crops on my own, but as many of you already know, Lydia will be returning next season and will take on the management of the new Spring Shares. I’ll let her explain:

Hi everyone, it’s Lydia here. 

I know it’s difficult to picture winter right now, when we’re stuffing ourselves with toasted tomato sandwiches and salads…but it is coming, and as the snow settles in we’ll start wondering where all the greens have gone! 

Well I have good news for you, we will be running a spring CSA share in 2023! Spring shares from mid-April through May will include succulent sprouts, mustard greens, radishes, Bok Choi, lettuces, green onions, leaf cabbage and more. By signing up for all three shares (winter, spring, and main season summer) you would only go one and a half months of the year without local, fresh veg. 

We will be signing people up through December, but if you want to reserve your spot (there are only 25 shares available), let us know now and we’ll put you on the list. Email me at lydiadyck.sunspring@gmail.com or let us know at the regular pick-up.

Basil!

We have an abundance of basil this year… and it’s not going to be around much longer. We have more than member seem to need, so am looking to sell larger quantities. We can sell it by the bushel or by the plant, or whatever quantity you or someone you know needs!

Peak of Summer! And Processing Tomatoes!

The greens in the tree leaves have shifted from their rush of spring to their soaking summer sun. The days are getting noticeably shorter.

I wanted to remind members who opted for payments spread throughout the season that another payment would be beneficial, and all payments should be complete before the end of the season.

We will start taking orders for canning tomatoes. Like the pickles, a minimum of half a bushel can be reserved for a specific harvest day. We can sign you up until the middle of September. We’ll try to fill all the orders, but it’s never 100% certain what the harvest will be.

I also wanted to tell the tomato’s story so far. The plants are looking great, and it appears it will be a very good harvest. When the plants were potted up back in April, in the greenhouse, there was a problem because we had to change the lime ingredient of our soil mix, and it seemed the new lime was not dissolving and available to the plants. The struggled to develop their roots. We supplemented them with a nettle and compost tea which brought them around to be strong healthy plants. After we planted them out in early June, the weather turned quite cold and windy for a couple weeks, and the plants wished they could have been back in the greenhouse! We even saw frost on June 19th (now the record for latest frost I’ve seen). It didn’t do any damage, but shows how cold the nights were. The plants reacted by trying to make fruit right away, and held off growing. There was a tiny flush of fruit, but then they got into the summer mode and started growing like mad, holding off more fruit production. Now they’ve set a good harvest, although it appears to be ripening a couple weeks later than other years. Every year is different, and I’m always amazed at the adaptability of plants, and feel honored to be in partnership with them!

Products for sale at the farm

Just a reminder that in addition to the vegetables and herbs that you get as a CSA member, we have available for sale: herb salts and tea, salve, currant coulis, and duck from our farm. We also carry chicken and pork from Burdock Grove Farm near Williamsford. Aster Lane bread is available by pre-order on Tuesdays.

Horses and drivers in training

The days of sun this week have given us the chance to work more with Flora and Marcus, the new power-houses (horses) of the farm. The goal for the summer is to have the team, which is both of the horses as well as the driver, cultivating rest areas of the garden where we can plant cover crops to continue feeding the soil during the season.

It’s really fun to see the horses get into the groove of working, they blow through their noses and set into a good walking pace together. These horses want to do work, and it’s a really amazing thing to see them listening well to their driver, Cory, and following commands in formation. It’s a bit of a process to acclimatize the horses to the farm and get them used to working again after a few years of a relaxed life, but it’s been going well, and ultimately we’re building a team in the process, the horses and the driver. “Good work team,” Cory says as Flora and Marcus head into the next garden bed.