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Hey Friends & Farm-ily,

Happy Fall!  We’ve made it through yet another wonderful summer season albeit very different from the last!  Looks like we have some mild Fall weather ahead in the next few weeks and shouldn’t have to say goodbye – just yet – to all our summer crops.  Although, our poor heirloom tomatoes have seen better days… the rain and colder temps have caught up causing a serious late blight to the plants.  A few remain so enjoy them while they last!  Just two more weeks left of the Spring/Summer CSA… then it’s onto Fall..

2013 has been such a long and glorious season.  We’ve been enjoying the variety (over 60 different kinds of vegetables and even more varieties) and bounty these past 17 weeks.  We feel blessed as farmers to be able to grow such a beautiful array of vegetables for our community.  Every new year we try out a few dozen or so new veggies and varieties.  Making our seed list is one of our favorite things to do in the winter… checking our notes and remembering which varieties grew the best, tasted the best etc.

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Thanks again to our members for making it out to the new farm this weekend!  Despite the wet(ter) weather, you stayed true to your Oregonian roots, and braved the elements and welcomed in the first weekend of Fall with open arms.  It was great to see you all and we look forward to many seasons ahead there.

We appreciate your encouragement and excitement as we gear up for our big move and transition.  It will be bittersweet as this place was the first farm, the first opportunity to fall in love with farming, and with each other.. where it all began.  We’ve learned a lot over the past 4 years and are excited to put all that knowledge to good use, to take on new challenges and to keep moving forward.   The new garden is brimming full of crops, we’re planning, building and constructing new homes for the animals, and will be moving the greenhouse, shade structure, animals, tools, you name it over the Fall and Winter months.  We have a long way to go but are excited for the challenge and excited to share it all with you!

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As we near the 3/4 mark of our season we begin to look to our projections for the year and see where we stand.  The topic of late has been our laying hens and an interesting conversation was started over the weekend in regards to production, feed cost, etc…  “Every two months we order a one ton tote of verified GMO free, organic and locally produced chicken feed. It is the most expensive and high quality feed in our area. We believe this feed as a supplement to fresh pasture and organic veggies produces the best eggs possible for our members. Every year we spend about $6,000 on chicken feed. We sell all of our eggs which totals to 850 dozens and we sell them for $6.50 per dozen. That means this year we will lose about $800 on our eggs. So the question becomes, do we raise our prices? or do we buy poorer quality feed resulting in poorer quality eggs? This is a question that the farmer faces everyday but the consumer is the one to answer it.”  We really enjoyed and appreciated the feedback from our farmer friend’s over on instagram (you can find thoughtfully written responses here) and opens the conversation about what it takes to grow and produce healthy, sustainable goods and produce.  We’re still learning and the layers aren’t going anywhere, we love our gals.

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Miss Truffle the pig is due this upcoming weekend and we’re excited for piglets!  She hasn’t begun making her nest yet but when she does…. you’ll be the first to know!   We got the official word today that after 9 months of waiting, Ellie isn’t pregnant.  The vet did a check and said she gave a false positive last time as usually one side of her plumbing would be bigger than the other if she took to being bred… come to find out Ellie is naturally just a little bit bigger on one side due to the amount of calves she’s had… now we know I guess.  Kind of a bummer (we’ll miss seeing a brand new baby calf on the farm and all that fresh milk, yogurt & cheese) but ultimately it makes sense… as we have this big transition and have a lot on our plate to get ready for the winter and season next year!  Ellie is healthier than we’ve ever seen her and we’re excited to get her and Maribelle established at the new farm and to see a brambling calf (or two) next season.

Stay dry out there and we’ll see you all this week!

With fond regards,

Your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

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