“Maybe most important, farm food itself is totally different from what most people now think of as food: none of those colorful boxed and bagged products, precut, parboiled, ready to eat, and engineered to appeal to our basest desires. We were selling the opposite: naked, unprocessed food, two steps from the dirt.” ― Kristin Kimball, The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
Reminder: First CSA payments are due by this Monday, April 1st! Check out the email ‘Reminder: First CSA Payment Due by April 1st’ for more details!
Hi Friends & Farm-ily,
We hope you are all happy and well and enjoying the first week of Spring! Things have been chugging right along over here on the farm and as the days grow longer we’ve been keeping pretty busy. Getting back into the garden after winter is one of the most exciting times on the farm and we love it!
Spring has really sprung on the farm this year! 🌱✨ We’ve been busy the last week getting the first crops of the spring and summer season transplanted in the fields! It has been super fun and productive and sunny to boot and we’re feeling jazzed about the season ahead! #springinourstep#letsdothis #futurefood
My happy place in the propagation house.  Feeling good about these hard plastic trays we invested in this year.  
Our first big field planting of the season happened last weekend during that lovely dry stretch (over 13,000 plants and ½ acre of crops).  And oh how lovely it was (hello sun on my face…)!  The first spring kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, chard, lettuce, beets, cauliflower, bunching onions, snap peas etc all made their transplanting debut.  The first field carrots were seeded a week ago and we’ve got our eyes on them for any signs of germination so we can flame weed before they break the surface.  Fava Beans will be direct sown into prepared beds later this week!
That little bit of sunshine has us wanting more!  All our fingers and toes are crossed for more sun in the 10-day (although it’s looking a little wet). We’ve got some ground prepped and some ground cover to lay down for strawberries.  So come rain or shine this week and next we’ll be planting lot more strawberries!
Depending on how much rain we get, we really need like 3+ days of sunshine in a row to dry out all the fields.  So far it’s been a much drier Winter/Spring than the record breaking one of 2017 which means we’ve been able to work the soil a lot earlier this season!   We’ve had a fair share of sun and it was even up in the 60’s on a few days.   The sun and warmer weather sure does put a pep in ones step and it feels good to out working in the fields. The high tunnels that were once full of Winter CSA goodies have been flipped (tilled) to grow Spring and Summer CSA veggies… we were able to plant a round of early potatoes, beets and greens just a few weeks ago.  In just a couple of weeks we’ll be planting our early tomatoes in the high tunnel!  Whoo hoo!
Soaking in the sun and getting the first transplants of the Spring season in the ground!  Brian and I make a great team.
Field prep is the big thing that needs to happen this time of year… Spring marks the time in the season where we can finally get out there to lime, fertilize and compost the farm.    Where we mow old crops, pasture and cover crops and begin the transition for planting new crops.  The past few weeks Brian and I have divided tasks in order to take full advantage of our weather windows. While I was busy harvesting for Winter CSA Brian was turning over new ground, mowing, tilling and prepping beds so that we could have the opportunity to plant.   It was awesome having another hand from Rob who’s been working hard here all winter long.  He jumped on the tractor to till and help prep beds as well as helping with harvest and getting a jump on some propagation house seeding.
Having the ability to seize the moment when you have it is amazing. The machinery we’ve purchased over the last 4 years + the systems we are dialing in as we gain more experience and become more comfortable and proficient, so, we’ve been able to take full advantage – within reason of course as we’re only human  – of the drier weather! .   The soil itself is also becoming better with time (from the amending etc) which makes it easier to work at the beginning of the season.
Winter CSA harvest included 150+ lbs of Purple Sprouting Broccoli!  Just a few pick up weeks left in the season.  Covering up babies in the field.
Prophouse Chronicles. Earlier this month we woke up to so many pepper seedlings in bits and pieces in our propagation house.  We thought it was mice, set traps and nothing.  Checked all day long and would only see more damage in the morning hours (between 730-830 am when the doors weren’t open).  Setup bird net, dissected trays, watered before 2pm, researched and consulted some friends.  Felt insane.  Why…?!  We finally found out: Brian happened upon a little bird in there early in the morning feasting on some tasty cotyledons.  We have no idea how it had been getting in there but you better believe we sealed off any tiny places where the rock met the ground and covered the babies up with row cover over night.  Although the damage hurt we seeded them early enough that we were able to order more seed and the mystery has been solved.  No matter how many times we do this there’s always something new to navigate!  Onwards and upwards!
Success! We’re feeling pretty stoked on the Proptek Trays we invested in last season.  This will be our second season using the proptek trays and we are so happy!  The plants are happy and uniform with more root space (cell is longer than a 128) and they fit a few more plants per tray. They are a durable hard plastic and we hope to have them for years and years to come (one customer has had them over 20 years). They also nest and never get stuck when trying to refill or for storing 🙌
One of my favorite moments of Spring.. the first Narcissus!  Turning on the irrigation in the field for the first time in 2019!  No turning back now! 
So, while we’re waiting for the next sun break, we’ll be busy clearing the rest of the fields..  removing drip tape, row cover and sandbags from the winter crops.   We have a few bulk crops to harvest and get out of the field and will hopefully get that done over the next few days.  Inside there is plenty of seeding, office work and crop planning to do!  There’s still a lot to be done but it feels great to get them done in these big pushes.
We have a pretty big list of seedlings to start this weekend (which is great timing with all the forecasted rain) as the next succession of planting has arrived!  Hundreds upon hundreds of trays have been filled and seeded over the last few months… most recently celery, celeriac, our next round of broccoli, beets, chicories, greens, bunching onions, peas, basil, herbs, lettuce etc.  It always feels really good to get some of the major crops (i.e. onions, celery, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant etc) that we only plant once a year.
After they get seeded into trays they go into the germination chamber where it’s a cozy, stable 80* with high humidity which gives the seeds the best chance at germinating.   Once the seedlings have germinated/start to emerge the trays are moved to the propagation house (that is passively heated by the sun) where they’ll continue to grow until they are planted later this Spring.   So that’s another place where we’ll be this weekend.. seeding our little farmer hearts away!
You know it’s Spring when you see… The first baby radishes, the first steel in the field and lots of green out there!
Know your farmers, know your food!   The Spring, Summer and Fall CSA is drawing near and we have less than a few dozen shares available for the 2019 CSA season!  Fun Note: We’ve also had more return members than ever before (more than 75%) which is pretty darn exciting!
Thank you to everyone who has shared the good word with their friends, family, neighbors, coworkers etc!  Help us get those last few shares filled by spreading the good word because it really does make all the difference. As a farm-ily member once said, “keep your friends close and you farmers closer.”
3 Steps to Signing Up:
1  Read all about the 2019 CSA season
2  Fill out the CSA Sign Up Form & Member Agreement
3  Mail or drop off a Check or Make a Payment Online to reserve your share
We can’t wait for the 2019 growing season to start! Thank you to all of our amazing CSA members both new and old who have signed up for the 2019 Spring and Summer CSA season!
Purple Cape Cauliflower.. more like a broccauli!  An amazing sunset and freshly harvested beets..
Winter CSA Reminder: Winter Weekly Share Members + Winter Bi-Weekly Share Members: we have just 2 WEEKLY pick ups left and 1 Bi-Weekly pick up for the Winter CSA Season.
It’s been an amazing few weeks on the farm… between the beautiful Winter CSA shares we’ve been harvesting, Oliver and Buddy our newest farm kitties caught their very first voles this week, getting so many crops in the ground and continuing to push many things forward.  Everything is awesome!
Be well, do all the sun dances and root your farmers on!  It’s officially game time!
With kind regards,
your farmers
Jess & Brian
dirty hands, clean hearts