Hey Friends & Farm-ily,


We hope everyone is doing well!  The Spring is flying by quickly this year and we can’t believe we’re already recapping this season’s 16 week Winter CSA!  We are so happy and proud of this year’s CSA. As farmers, every season that we farm proves to be an incredible journey with so many things to learn and many delicious farm grown goodies to grow.  As we head into our 10th year, we’ve harvested 17,400 individual CSA shares and over 490,000lbs of produce all while feeding 1,000’s of families in our community.  26,110 CSA shares and over 695,000lbs of produce.

Winter CSA Success!  Last week was the final pick up week of our fourth Winter CSA season and I know we’ve said this time and time again but we LOVE the Winter CSA!!  Thank you to the 100 households who supported us through the Winter months!   Be sure to check out the Winter Recap below!

We, your farmers, want to give a big THANK YOU to our CSA-ers!  Thank you all for your continued support through all the seasons.  You are all CSA rock stars and we are proud to be your farmers!  

One of my favorite parts of Spring .. when the kale goes to seed, a planting we will go and the last Winter CSA harvest..

Spring Updates!  Things have been moving right along on the farm the past month.  It’s been a crazy ride trying to beat the rain that’s been filling up the ten day the last month.  As my friend Carri from Pitchfork and Crow Farm said about farming in April, “hurry up and wait.”  A lot of our friends who farm in Salem and south of there had some serious flooding the last few weeks after receiving several inches of rain.  Freshly planted fields, high tunnels etc were all flooded out.  Rivers were reckless and unrecognizable.  Reminded us of the crazy wet Spring we had a few years ago when we had a perpetual flood on the lower acreage of our farm for the months of Feb and March and wondered if we’d ever dry out enough to plant!  We seem to have lucked out this time around (mother nature is ultimately boss) and have been able to work the soil to plant and cultivate with a waiting game in between.

We’ve planted so much since the end of March.  The first spring kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, chard, lettuce, beets, cauliflower, bunching onions, snap peas, fava beans, spinach, pac choi, fennel, turnips etc all made their transplanting debut.   The first field carrots came up a few weeks ago and they already have their first true leaves!  We planted a new field of strawberries (4,000 plants!) in addition to last year’s patch that is coming back strong.  We hope to have multiple successions of strawberries – if we get any late spring rain it can do a number on the berries so it’ll be great to have a succession to mitigate that risk!    Potatoes were also planted this past week in the sunshine – over 6,000 ft!  (that’s 6,000 potato plants).  Fingers crossed for our best tater season to date!

The snap peas are stretching towards the sky, transplanting and two fungis..

We’ve also managed to get in a few first passes on our cultivator the Argus Finger Weeder.   The weeds can be extra competitive this time of the year especially if the soils wet and you aren’t able to get in there and weed when you need to!  Luckily, we’ve had a few breaks in the weather to get out there but we need to stay on top of it to get the plants to a place where they can out compete their weedy opponents (namely Redroot Pigweed and German Chamomile).  The Argus does an amazing job and it’s part of our secret to success!  Brian and I can weed an acre in a day!  This time of the year we have row cover to contend with (uncovering plants, moving the cover, repeat) but come summer there is no row cover and we can just breeze on through the crops!  It really is an amazing piece of machinery that allows us to grow as much food as we do.

One thing we won’t be weeding this Spring (for the first time ever) is garlic + over wintering onions!  We planted them last October in plastic mulch and boy did it pay off (helps suppress weeds, keeps the soil warmer to promote more growth and keeps the soil nutrients from leaching in our wet winters)!  It’s our healthiest and happiest looking garlic we’ve ever grown.  Usually it takes us about a week to hand weed it and this year (after some maintenance during the winter months) it looks like it’s good to go until harvest in May/June.  Pretty soon it’ll be throwing up garlic scapes – just in time for the Spring CSA!  We’ll call it a win and will be definitely planting it this way in the years to come.

Cultivating with the Argus and this years garlic crop..

We’re getting really excited for the new season to begin!  Things are really taking shape over here and we have some more planting, mowing, seeding, cultivating and tilling to do over the next few weeks before it begins.  It’s the most important time in the season right now where we’re gearing up and charging ahead planting all the things and getting ready to feed 200 households for 7 months of the year!  Whoop whoop!

The Winter Bounty Recap!  We started our Winter CSA journey on November 27th and we made it all the way to the middle of April! Our expectation for the Winter Shares was 8-12 items (dependent on weather) in each weekly share.   Over the course of 16 weeks, Farmer Brian and I have grown, harvested and distributed 44,800lbs (1,400 shares) of winter produce with 15-17 items in each weekly share!

Farmer Brian washing and packing up produce and the kale rapini going to flower.

We were also impressed with the variety of veggies we harvested through the winter months – most weeks we had more fresh picked produce than storage veggies which is amazing (even in the coldest and darkest of winter days)!   To top it all off, it was an average of 535lbs per weekly share which comes in around $1.48/lb of produce.

So many different kind of goodies in the winter shares…Arugula, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, cilantro, cipollinis, collards, garlic, greens mix, kale, kalettes, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce heads, onions, herbs (thyme, oregano, sage), pac choi, parsley, purple sprouting broccoli, pumpkins, radish, rapini, radicchio, romanesco, rutabaga, scallions, shallots, spaghetti squash, spigarello, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, turnips, winter squash and more!

We transplanted the first tomatoes of the season, the strawberries sprouting their first leaves and the orchard is flowering..

Some interesting highlights from this year’s Winter harvest (we’ve harvested..):

Carrots for 18 shares,

Broccoli for 8 shares,

Cauliflower for 6 shares,

Onions for 18 shares,

Shallots and Cippolinis for 16 shares,

Romanesco Broccol, Celery & Fennel for 4 shares each,

Garlic for 16 shares,

Winter & spaghetti squash for 16 shares,

Cabbage for 11 shares,

Beets for 6 shares,

Potatoes and/or Sweet Potato choice for 16 shares,

Mixed Bunch Greens for 16 shares,

Lettuce, spinach & bagged greens for 16 shares,

Leeks for 14 shares,

Brussels for 6 shares,

Kalettes for 9 shares,

etc, etc!

Farm fresh can’t be beet, overwintered swiss chard brightens up the field and Farmer Jess & Rob planting potatoes..

This Winter was definitely more mild compared to last year.  We had some cold stretches (with lows around 18), windstorms and rain but we seemed to avoid the heavy snow and extra frigid temps (15* and lower).  We felt prepared for just about anything and as we become more seasoned that feeling of preparedness keeps growing.  At the end of last fall, we were able to put up many tons of carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, winter squash and other root crops and grew plenty of PSB, kale, leeks, spinach, cabbage, brussels, kalettes and other greens to keep all the shares fresh and varied.  It was our most successful winter CSA to date (look at those numbers above) and we’re riding that high as we head into the Spring, Summer and Fall growing season.

We are so excited to learn and grow for the next winter season!  Keep your eyes and ears open for when we launch the 2019 Winter CSA Sign Ups in July!  We’ll be starting our first Fall and Winter veggie starts in the coming months (we’re always thinking ahead…!)

Spring radishes, harvesting pac choi and the babies looking good in the propagation house..

Thank you to everyone who has spread the good word about the upcoming Spring, Summer & Fall CSA!  The majority of our new members this season are from word of mouth so THANK YOU!  We have just a few shares left so if you have a friend, family member, co-worker etc that’s interested now is the time before we close down sign ups!

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

Carrot art straight out of the barrel washer and signs of spring all over!

WHEN DOES THE SPRING/SUMMER/FALL CSA begin?  We’ll send everyone an official start date email during the first few weeks of May!    Our estimated start date for the season is the week of May 15th – so it could be as early as then but as the seasons vary the CSA may begin up to two weeks after our estimated start date.   We’re working hard to make a mid-May start date happen.. now it’s just up to ol’ mother nature (more sun = warmer temps = faster growing plants!)  Keep doing those sun dances!

We look forward to seeing and meeting all our Spring/Summer/Fall CSA Members next month!  We’ll be in touch with updates about the start date etc.  In the meantime, follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep in touch with our daily happenings on the farm.  Here we grow!  Whoo hoo!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts