Mark your Calendars!  Our 2020 CSA sign-ups will begin on January 1st.  

Pictured above are all 28 shares from the 2019 growing season!

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope you all had a wonderful holiday and we give thanks to all of your for your support this year! Did you guys peep your farmers on Instagram’s instagram on Thanksgiving? Kinda crazy!  Check it out here!  We can hardly believe that it’s been 28 weeks since the start of 2019 harvest season!  It’s amazing how quickly the Fall has passed by ..  “In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.”–Rose Kingsley

There is so much to look forward to as we move into December.  We’re continuing on our quest of bringing in storage crops for our winter CSA as the days are growing shorter. How wonderful have those sunny and drier days been (albeit a little bit chilly at night)? So rejuvenating to be outside! Instead of chasing the sun during the peak of summer (to avoid the excess heat) we now make the most of the hours that we have from sun up to sun down. With the change of the season it automatically carves about 4 hours off of our typical work day which is a much welcomed change of pace.  We feel blessed to be able to enjoy both times of the year.

Your farmers grinning after a big successful season.. (check out the Friendsgiving post about the farm on Instagram’s Instagram)

This time of the year, our hearts and minds are gearing up for the 2020 season (there’s just so much to look forward to!) and now that December is here we are feeling ready to nest and write and look over notes and better prepare for the next growing season.  Before the holiday break we sat down as a crew and completed the first few steps of “Hippo Camp” from @habitfarming (which is run by Farmer Taylor at Footprint Farm/VT)“Hippocampus. It’s the part of your brain that is associated with space and memory. It’s also how I think about business planning. My goal with our annual business plan (we call it Hippo Camp) is to do all the thinking upfront, then rely on that plan to help alleviate decision making fatigue in the heat of the farming season.” – Farmer Taylor

It was a great way to close out the end of one season before we jump into Winter CSA and everything is relatively fresh on our minds! Listing all of our Achievements/Disappointments (step 1) we were surprised by just how many Achievements there were. We also discovered that all of our disappointments fell into the research and systems bucket just as she said would be true to non-beginning farmers (for beginners most issues will fall more into the infrastructure and equipment). We are now taking all that information and running it through the Stop Doing/Keep doing/Start Doing (step 2). In the past we have tackled the season’s disappointments one issue at a time and quite often they aren’t all written out together in a list. So we’re really looking forward to having a clear list and set expectations ready to go out the gate in the New Year. Better habits all around. 

A few of the disappointments this year included some crop loss due to disease brought on by the cooler more humid/wet summer (i.e. our onions which succumbed to downy mildew which we’ve never had before!)  Which was a bummer because we always put so much effort into our onions… starting in the late winter all the way through August.  Despite that we still had overwintering onions and early walla walla’s in 13 shares so we’ll refine the system and hope for better onion weather next season!  

We’re also excited to add some more crew members for the 2020 season!  This year we refined our systems even more and we’re like a well oiled machine – which explains why we were able to harvest, plant, weed, irrigate etc for almost 200 shares/families this year with just 3 people (Brian and I full time and Farmer Rob part time).  We’re setting a few vision boards going into the 2020 season… both personal and business and are excited to enter this next chapter as farmers.  

This time of year is also a time for rejuvenation and inspiration in the kitchen and I’ve been cooking up a storm!  As you guys know we make it a priority to cook 3 meals a day even during the busy season. Eating well has a lot to do with how productive we’re able to be on the farm and we honestly don’t think we could keep up with everything if we didn’t eat well. Plus, it’s fun to create fresh homemade goodies and it’s delicious to boot. For inspiration, I often find myself online on the WHF Members Page to try out a few recipe suggestions there that were bookmarked in my mind.  A lot of the new recipes we try become house favorites and it’s been a very valuable resource for us farmers as well!

“Out standing in the field. We, each of us, spend a lot of time alone on the farm… Working, thinking, sometimes dreaming, sometimes worrying but mostly hoping. Hoping that the work we do is important. That it serves a purpose that is greater than we who tend the land. We are grateful to have our work. To work hard and nourish many. That is a calling. It must be because we have given up so much to do it. But, as is the nature of these things, the more we give the greater the return. Could it be that our favorite part of farming is watching the children of our customers grow. To someday see their children’s children grow and eat salads made of chicory. That’s the dream. Happy Thanksgiving from your farmers Jess and Brian (see post) ❤️”

2019 was one for the books!  And we think you’ll be amazed at our total CSA numbers this year… (keep reading for the total lbs produced as well as CSA cost breakdown below..)

We are proud to say that this season was our best season to date and that we grow better and work smarter each and every year.  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.  Thanks for believing in your farmers every step of the way and for being a constant reminder of why we do what we do each morning when we rise.  We look forward to serving this community for years to come.  We think y’all are the bees-knees.

We’re finishing up our 10th season as Working Hands Farm which is crazy to think about.

In 10 years we’ve harvested 30,410 CSA shares and over 820,000lbs of produce. 

This Spring/Summer/Fall alone we’ve harvested 4,500 individual shares from May through November!

One of the reasons winter vegetables continue to amaze us.. behold chicory in all its glory. ♥️✨🌹

We’ve been really thrilled with the CSA shares this season (some of our best yet) especially with the strange cool, humid weather we had… and then the early rains in September, the mild October, the cold but sunny November… it’s been a wild ride!  Even with all the seasonal changes from years past most of the crops came on at the same time in years previous.  We had way more peppers, tomatoes etc from the same amount of plantings.  We think they actually performed BETTER this year because when it gets super hot they can drop their flowers (i.e. future fruit) which means less to harvest later on.  We definitely didn’t have that this year and the fruits kept on coming.  And overall the quality was the highest it’s ever been because of the mild weather… which puts less stress on some of the leafy greens, lettuce etc.  We had so much lettuce mix this year!  And potatoes.. and carrots.. and strawberries…sweet corn… basil…melons…!  We also had more fall goodies than before too… leeks, celeriac, celery, cauliflower, spaghetti squash etc.

It’s been awesome to take a look back on the CSA share pictures over the past few seasons to see the impact of all the systems, the knowledge and know how and how they have come together.  One of the reasons we take weekly pictures of the CSA shares is so that we have something tangible to look at the end of the season.  It’s become a huge resource for us as farmers… where we look at it over the winter and say “awesome, we had 17 weeks of broccoli last season let’s do it again!” or “let’s work real hard and figure out how to have more Spring/early summer carrots” when they can be so labor intensive due to cooler +wetter soils = poorer germination and more weeds that outcompete the crop. It’s a pretty invaluable tool for us as we continue to grow better and work smarter and are able to offer a stellar product to our members year round.

We hope you all had an inspiring journey during our 28-week CSA season.  Whether it be your first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth+ season at WHF we hope many meals were shared and enjoyed in the warmth of your kitchen, that you enjoyed expanding your veggie horizons with new varieties, flavors and methods of preparation, found inspiration in becoming a more confident cook and feel really good about where you’re at in your own personal food journey.  We hope you will be thinking of the Spring and Summer goodies fondly come the middle of winter… we’ll all be dreaming of tomatoes and freshly picked goodies come the middle of January <sigh>.

Thank you for being part of this farm, and the WHF farm-ily!

Remnants of summer in a late fall sunset ✨🌻❄️ Almost ready to dream about next summer season 😉 but first 😴..

Over the course of our 28-week Spring/Summer/Fall Season your farmers grew and harvested…

125,000 lbs of produce!

Over the course of our 28-week 2019 CSA season your farmers have harvested and distributed 125,000lbs of freshly picked, organic, thoughtfully grown produce to our CSA members.

That’s 843lbs of produce per weekly share which means our members paid $1.49/lb for all their fresh, local, organic produce this season.

(Some high fives- all around -are definitely in order!)

All while supporting the ecosystem of this farm, two full time farmers by ensuring a livable wage (+ one part time employee), and the best possible produce you can find…

From Spring to Fall, the shares averaged 28lbs (with lighter shares in the Spring and heavier shares in the late summer and Fall) and included 12-20 items (on average throughout the season it was 16 items) with a great variety of crops and delicious tasting veggies that have inspired many fantastic home cooked meals.

Just when it feels like the day is really getting started the sun begins to sink beneath the horizon ✨🌅🐈

We love our little corner of the World, our community that surrounds us, our friends, family and farm-ily members that all believe in us and the food we work hard to provide.  We’ve been enjoying the variety (over 70+ different kinds of vegetables and even more varieties) and bounty these 28 weeks.  We feel blessed as farmers in the Pacific NW to be able to grow such a beautiful array of vegetables for our community.  From berries to brassicas to winter squash and tomatoes we can grow just about anything here! Every season we try out a few dozen or so new veggies and varietals.  Making our seed list in January 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.  In the coming months we look forward to sitting down and beginning that process all over again.

Some interesting highlights from this year’s Spring/Summer/Fall harvest (we’ve harvested..):

 Carrots for 23 shares,

 Broccoli for 16 shares, 

Tomatoes for 12 shares, 

Sweet Corn for 8 shares, 

Bulb Onions for 13 shares,

Zucchini/Squash/Cukes for 13 shares, 

Garlic for 28 shares, 

Strawberries + Plums for 12 shares,

Melons for 8 shares (with 4 double melon weeks!),

Mixed Peppers for 15 shares,

Cauliflower for 6 shares,

Winter squash for 10 shares, 

Celery for 10 shares,

Beets for 11 shares, 

Shishitos for 7 weeks,

Mixed Bunch Greens for 19 shares (5 weeks double bunch), 

Lettuceheads for 17 shares, 

Bagged Greens (lettuce, spinach etc) for 18 shares 

Cabbage for 8 shares,

Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes for 15 shares (5 weeks both)

Eggplant for 9 shares, 

Radish, Turnips for 8 shares,

Herbs (parsley, basil, sage, thyme, oregano etc) for 18 shares,

Tomatillos, Fennel & Kohlrabi, Peas, Pac Choi, Celeriac, Chicory for 5 shares and on and on and on!

There was an average of 16 items per share over the course of the season!

The big time frosties swept through these parts last week. So we tucked in the overwintering veggies and harvested the more tender crops! ❄️✨🌱

All throughout the season, the WHF CSA member’s page has been active and buzzing with many delicious recipes, helpful hints and encouragement.   Thank you to all our members for your continued participation and excellent efforts! There is also a catalogue of recipes from 6 seasons of posting (so cool)!  Some of my favorite advice that one of our member’s gave a few seasons back (in their 6th season now) to a 1st year member is “Make friends with your knife, cutting board, sink, dish towel, salad spinner, stove, and oven. They aren’t instruments of drudgery, they are keys to liberation. The time you spend prepping and cooking food is time to think and be present in the moment–“mindfulness” is a free benefit of CSA membership, so take advantage and enjoy it!” (for the rest of her sage advice check out the week 2 newsletterWe hope all of our members have enjoyed this free benefit of membership not to mention the many delicious meals that have been created and savored in all 200 households that our CSA program grows for.

For us, the Members Page is a really important component to our CSA. Hearing how everyone is utilizing all the fresh produce is an important part as it completes the circle. It acts as a window – in seeing how the fruits of our labour are being prepared. In the same way that our social media posts and newsletters provide a window into how your food is grown and harvested.   It’s part of the conversation that farmers love to be a part of but often times don’t get to experience. In our own insecurity we wonder, “Is our produce being eaten? Are folks cooking more often? What are they making with the produce we have grown for them?”

On the Facebook Members Page the conversation and experience continues well after the produce leaves the farm and the visual component really hits it home for us. The interaction and shared experience validates all the long hours and hard work we do. It shows that its worthwhile and the goals of the farm are being met because the food is being utilized and thoroughly enjoyed. This part of the experience is important to us… because beyond the delicious produce our CSA aims to improve our CSA members quality of life! We want to play a part in ensuring that they can live long, healthy lives and be productive members of society.  This interaction helps us to see that our goals are making a difference in our community. And it is you our members who are making the upfront investment for the betterment of us all! Pretty amazing stuff!

Morning frost and some behind the scenes pics when Tyler & Arlo were here from Instagram…

We must have one of the few jobs in the world where folks come to us and tell us how grateful they are and how important our role is in this community and for that we are so grateful. That kind of support from our members gives us the fuel your farmers need to get the job done. It’s amazing how energized we feel even at the tail end of the season because we are growing better and have some seriously cream of the crop CSA members. Every year that passes we feel more connected to community and deeply rooted in our vision. It all feels like it is coming together and we couldn’t be more proud or encouraged of what our community and our farm are accomplishing.

A BIG thank you! 

Thank you all for being a part of our story, for supporting your local farm (and farmers), for buying direct, for believing in the small farm and for choosing to feed your household with the best possible farm fresh produce that you can both know and trust.

We are just so proud of our members and are constantly inspired by all that you accomplish from season to season!  Your commitment to eating well and nourishing yourselves and loved ones takes time, thoughtfulness, motivation, energy and inspiration.  We are only as successful as the community that surrounds us, so, thank you for all your inspiration, dedication and commitment in being a part of our CSA.  We look forward to cultivating these relationships into the future by growing the best possible products for you, your family and friends.  Know your farmer, know your food.

We look forward to sign-ups in January and the start of the 2020 season!

Covering up crops, posing for a felfie after our last csa pick up and reviewing Hippo Camp!

Mark your calendars: our 2020 CSA sign-ups will begin on January 1st.  Spread the good word!  Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow and sustain our small farm. Please share our website (, forward this email and encourage interested friends, family, neighbors & community etc… in signing up for their CSA share next season!  Many thanks for your help from all of us at Working Hands.

Happy Holidays to you all!   Our 16-week Winter CSA begins this week (and next for Bi-Weekly) so to our winter veggie eaters this is not the end!

With kind regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts