Hi Friends & Farm-ily!

Happy second week of the Fall CSA!  We hope you all enjoyed the first week’s bounty. It was such a pleasure meeting all our new members and welcoming back familiar faces.  We’re happy to have a community surrounding us that loves food as much as we do!  Feel free to email any favorite recipes you find along the way… or if you’re in need of any ideas we’re there to talk about food at the drop!

Fun little produce note:  You’ll notice as the cooler weather comes in that the brassica crops will sweeten up!  Plants produce more sugar to keep their cell walls from bursting and we benefit greatly in terms of the flavor.

Updates from the field.  Thanks for all your well wishes of sun… it looks like we finally got our wish!  At the end of our harvest week, we began our Fall/Winter prep and covered all our more “tender” greens with frost protection.  In the summer months we use a lighter weight fabric as a bug protectant (a much better and easier method than spraying) and in the winter we switch to a thicker weight that protects against frost.  We had a few nights dip into the high 30’s.   Our first frost last year was October 1st so we’ll see just when this year’s frost will be.  It’s amazing  to us how different each season can be.. and the 10-day forecast looks like we’re all in for a real treat!


Thanks to the beautiful weather we also planted all our garlic!  We’ve been slowly building up our garlic seed over the past few years and this year was our biggest planting yet.  Organic garlic seed ain’t cheap (at $20-24 per pound and at 10lbs per bed it adds up quick) but we use garlic in every meal and believe it to be important as a part of our CSA.  We hope to include more and more garlic as the years go on.  Enjoy all the richness you will find – different levels of spice, earthiness, vigor.  We just can’t get enough of the stuff.

The bees are gearing up for the winter.  Upon our inspection last weekend we found that the majority – 6 out of 9 hives – had high bee numbers, there was plenty of food stored for the winter and that there is a healthy, laying queen.  Three of them appeared to be weaker and showed definite signs of the varroa mite (which weakens their immune systems indefinitely).  Did you know that worker bees live 4 to 6 weeks during the active season and those reared in the fall may live as long as 6 months?  They are such awesome creatures.  We hope that the odds are in our favor and that they live through the winter.  The Pacific NW is somewhere in the midrange of overwintering loss  (at 30%) so we’re hoping for the best!  We’ll be moving over the bees come November to their new home on the farm.


Updates from the new farm.  Operation build new chicken coop also began this weekend.  So far we have the bottom floor in and have begun framing the sides.  The new coop will include a place to store feed and a space for a brooder (for new young chicks!)  Checking off a few more items on our 2013 TO-DO list aka the longest to-do list ever!  The barn roof continues to go up and Farmer Brian and friends will begin siding the barn this week coinciding with our harvest (go farmer Jess, go)!

Updates from the barn.  Our little piglets sure are thriving.  At just a little over a week old they are beginning to stretch their legs and even their bounds (we found one had escaped into the field just the other day).  They are mimicking all of mom’s gestures – making a nest and burrowing in it, distinguishing where the food is, where to go to the bathroom, have started rooting in the dirt etc – they are such smart creatures!   We’re excited to share the piglets with our members and welcome those who are interested to accompany their farmers into the barn to take a look.  We ask that folks enter quietly as the tiny piglets sleep most of the day so the less stress the better – for mama pig too!  Interesting pig fact:  Pigs hate being picked up off the ground!  They squeal and squeal.  Turns out they like having all their feet on the ground at all times…


Chicken update.  Thanks to our friend, Naomi – at Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply in Portland – we believe we’ve come up with a much better system for feeding our layer hens!  Over the past few weeks we’ve changed our system and feel as though they are now eating a more adequate amount of food paired with their forage on pasture.  We now use just a simple  feeder bowl on a cinder block and mix in a little water so that the fines (minerals and other nutrients) don’t just get flicked or left behind.   We can’t believe how well it works with little to no waste (and chickens can be the most wasteful of the bunch)!

Eggs.  The gals of Chateau Poulet thank you for all your support last week!  There will be eggs available this week for purchase.

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Thanks again for your support and encouragement!  We had a great start to the Fall CSA and feel pretty wonderful about the next 7 weeks!  In this blog post we mention some of our favorite recipe blogs.   And, if you’re looking for  ways to preserve your extra goodies and get creative in the kitchen click here!  Don’t forget – all of the root veggies and winter squash should store for several weeks.  Enjoy and we’ll see you all soon.

Remember your crate!  Also, we reuse rubber bands, egg cartons & berry boxes.

Many thanks,
your farmers
Jess & Brian
dirty hands, clean hearts

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