Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Welcome to start of the Working Hands Farm 2018 CSA! We, your farmers, Jess & Brian are so excited to have you aboard for the season ahead. Let the 2018 Spring harvest season begin!  We are so happy and appreciative of all your support and encouragement over the last 5 months (since we first opened up sign ups in January).  Our Spring, Summer and Fall CSA has been months in the making and we look forward to the season beginning and to celebrate with our first harvest this week!

Flow of the CSA.  Over the next few weeks we will all begin to get into the flow of pick ups, harvests, seasons, you name it. Spring is a great time to adapt-to and learn new habits, to eat seasonally and fresh. We remind you to be patient, to be excited and to enjoy the ride.  There are so many decisions that one person must make everyday – a daunting task at times – revel in those food choices your farmers and the changing of the seasons are making for you each week.  Get creative & be inspired.  Ask questions & be open – you’ll be surprised what you might find as the season unfolds.

Enjoy all the benefits of eating fresh (picked THAT morning), eating seasonally, and local (your local farmer, Brian and I, need the support of our community)!

Your farmers will be at the pick up this week from 4-5pm!  Whoop whoop!

Checking in on the first round of carrots (almost there), weeding with the Finger Weeder and laying mulch..

Farm Pick Up Time.  Farm Pick Ups take place on Tuesday & Wednesday from 3:00 – 6:30pm (please double check on your assigned day). Note: Bi-Weekly share members pick up their produce every other week throughout the course of the 28 week CSA season (a total of 14 shares). Bi-Weekly members will pick up their share on weeks 1,3,5,7, etc… or 2,4,6,8, etc… depending on your assigned CSA start date.  

It’s important to pick up between 3:00-6:30pm on your assigned day (and not a minute before) as we harvest most everything fresh that morning so your farmer’s need the time to harvest, wash and set up the pick up area.

Caught our first swarm of the season, a mid afternoon cat nap and the goats living their best goat life.

Parking. There is a nice big parking area for a convenient and stress free pick-up.  Please park facing the red pole barn as this will help to keep a consistent flow of traffic which will help to keep children crossing the parking lot safe. Park thoughtfully as folks tend to come in waves and the parking will fill up fast!  There are also children and families who will be moving from the pick-up area to the parking lot so please drive slowly.  We are located on a busy country road so please be patient coming and going from the farm (oh the pros and cons of living on a main country road!)

Pick-Up Area.  The CSA Member Area is located in the RED POLE BARN through the white French doors. We love having our wash/pack, cooler and pick up area in the same building.  It improves efficiencies ten fold, gets the produce chilled quicker (for quality and storability!) and provides a nice area for our awesome members to pick up in!  Having a building with concrete floors means we can use things like pallet jacks and carts with wheels to move things too and fro which has made the lifting part of harvesting a lot less tiresome!  Over 6 years ago all that remained on this property was a dilapidated old barn that was covered in 15ft tall blackberries and the old farmhouse by the road.  We are breathing new life into a very old farm property (it’s been farmed since 1890) so you will see it become more and more beautiful as the seasons and years go on… Thank you for growing with us and for being a part of this process.

Gloucester is always popping up in funny places, laying fresh mulch for taters and doing a crop walk

The Pick-Up.  Please sign in before grabbing your goodies.  You will enter the member area and move counterclockwise, packing your own share with the allotted amounts of vegetables written next to each varietal.  Please bring 2-3 reusable shopping bags, a crate or some members even use a laundry basket to put your produce in. It’s nice to have a few bags for heavier items and a bag for bunched greens/more fragile items etc. The veggies are arranged by heaviest to lightest. There will also be a table in the center of the room in case you need a place to organize your bags.

Pick-Up is also a great opportunity to meet other members and share over the common bonds of food, health and community!  If you are unable to come pick up your share from 3:00-6:30pm on your assigned day, you can either arrange for a friend, family member, colleague etc to pick it up for you. If you cannot find anyone to pick-up the share on your behalf please give us 48hr notice (emails are best).

Be sure to visit our FAQ’s for any other questions you may have:  https://workinghandsfarm.com/q-a/

Spinach at dusk, Jess perfecting her ‘floating buddha’ on the Argus Finger Weeder and prepping ground for tomatillos, cukes and squash!

Working Hands Farm CSA Member Group on Facebook!  An email has been sent out with instructions to join the Working Hands Farm CSA Member Group on Facebook.  It’s a safe place (a private group) exclusively for Working Hands Farm CSAmembers to share recipe ideas, kitchen prep successes, food preservation ideas, articles, resources etc. Check your email to join the group. Participation is highly encouraged!

CSA Farm Day, Pumpkin Day, Newsletters etc.  Throughout the season we offer opportunities to enjoy a CSA Member Farm Day, pumpkin pick day etc all on the farm.  Also, to keep our farm-ily connected to the farm, the seasons and what it takes to grow food locally we send a bi-weekly farm newsletter so be sure to read the whole thing through! We post frequently on instagramfacebook to share in our day-to-day and to stay connected with people (as you can imagine we spend 99% of our time with vegetables and 4 legged critters ha!) All of these opportunities are a great way to see the farm, chat with your farmers, meet other CSA members in the community and enjoy the seasons on the farm.

Gloucester and the giant garlic, early morning sun and some varigation in the collard patch..

We have a great crew on board this season… two hard working women – Allie and Leah! Like me, they are both transplants from other parts of the country and we’re so excited to welcome them as a part of the farm.  Community and health are both really important to them as well as getting their hands dirty.  They’ll both be working part-time on the farm throughout the season so let’s give a big warm welcome to Allie & Leah!   Whoop whoop!   We’re excited to achieve a bit more balance with two extra sets of hands and we look forward to seeing what this season brings!

Thank you again for all your support! It’s been a busy Spring and there is much anticipation to get this season started.  We have another exciting season ahead with over 70 different types of vegetables and several different varieties of each (it’s never a dull moment on the farm!)  Your farmers have been working harder than ever to get the season started on the projected start date and have more variety in the shares early on!

Enjoy the leafy greens and cool weather brassica crops that you will find in the first few week’s of the CSA (the Spring seasons natural cleanse… after a Winter full of root crops and heavier foods).  The greens will be tender, delicious and untouched by the heat that summer brings.  Enjoy them while they are here!  The bounty will continue to grow and grow and grow as we near the longer, warmer days of Summer!  Thanks again for all your support and we look forward to sharing in the bounty with you this season.

With kind regards,

Your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

Planting onions with the Mechanical transplanter and getting taters in on the rain flo with Leah & Brian’s Papa