Spring into Action

Posted on 9 Feb 2018

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

It’s the first week of February and we’re moving from a period of reflection to action here on the farm!  The Celtic Festival, “Imbolc” was on February 2nd which is the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Which means the days are getting longer and a new growing season is upon us!  It feels more and more real with every passing day.

Can you believe we’re halfway through the Winter CSA season?  Just 9 more pick ups to go!  Our expectation for the Winter Shares was 8-12 items (dependent on weather) in each weekly share.   Over the course of 9 weeks we have had 13-17 items in each weekly share.  We have also been impressed with the variety of veggies we have 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)!   So far we’ve harvested 270lbs of produce per weekly share (21,000lbs total)!

Update! Our Spring, Summer & Fall CSA is over 3/4 of the way full and we’d love to have you back for the 2018 CSA season.  Please pick us, Jess and Brian, to be your farmers this upcoming season.  Check out our website workinghandsfarm.com/csa for all the details!  3 Steps to Signing Up:

Thank you for supporting local! And for all those who have signed up already, word of mouth is the best way to help us grow and sustain our small farm. Please encourage interested friends, family, neighbors & community etc… in signing up for their WHF CSA share.

Purple Cape Cauliflower forming, greens in the high tunnel, Farmer Brian with our new seeding set up in the red barn…

We’ve been busy gearing up for the 2018 season!  Last month we cleaned out the propagation house and got our seeding area organized in the red barn.  Brian built a new bench which is now the perfect height and easy to clean debris off between seeding sessions. In just a few days, Brian seeded over 200 trays of storage onions, shallots, bunching onions and cipollinis (over 20,000 onions!).  We were like a well oiled machine as I mixed the potting soil + amendments and filled trays while Brian seeded them all. We even started some beets, lettuce and spinach to be planted as some of our first crops for the Spring and Summer CSA. Whoop whoop! Over the upcoming weekend, we’ll seed our first peppers and tomatoes that will be planted out early in the high tunnels followed by kale, broccoli, chard etc…

We’re pretty excited about the new germination chamber we have established in our old cooler. Our friend and fellow farmer Jason from Local Roots Farm in Washington suggested this idea to us.  It’s the perfect place for germinating seeds because it’s so well insulated and maintains a constant temperature and humidity.   In order to accomplish that, we put one heater in there as well as a slow cooker filled with water (for moisture/high humidity). It’s been keeping it at a steady 80* with 95% humidity and have been germinating seeds like crazy!

Savoy cabbage up close, overwintered red radishes, the first of the PSB (purple sprouting broccoli)

Our current protocol is.. we fill all our seedling trays with seedling mix, seed the trays (and depending on the seed size/shape we either do that by hand or using our vacuum seeder), cover them up and water them real heavy. Then we load them up on the gator and into the germination chamber they go. We had beets and lettuce germinate in less than 24 hours! Onions only took 72 hours. We’ve been really happy with it and it’s much more efficient than the heat mats we used to use in the propagation house. Once the seedlings have germinated/start to emerge the trays are moved to the propagation house where they’ll continue to grow until they are planted later this Spring.

We seeded the first carrots of 2018 in one of the high tunnels last month as well as another round of arugula.   If all goes well, the carrots should be ready for the first Spring/Summer CSA pick up in May. We have plans of weeding the other high tunnels over the weekend that currently house some spring greens for Winter CSA – lettuce, spinach, arugula, radish, bok choy, parsley, cilantro etc.

We went on a crop walk at the beginning of the week and spotted the first Purple Cape Cauliflower with their tiny little buds in the center. We’re hoping that the current dry stretch in the 10-day pulls through as the plants could use a little sunshine and less sog (it was so soggy at the end of January!). Half of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli varieties are all about to take off and despite how different every winter is it is right on time! The Kale Rapini looks like it’s a few weeks earlier than usual and we started harvest on that this week.   Crazy to think that this time last year all the snow had melted and we were accessing how all the crops looked in the field (the ultimate “selection event” – selecting the hardiest ones for next generation) only to be followed by a classic mild Oregon winter this year. We’re expecting a few chilly nights over the weekend but (knock on wood) it’s been a really nice Winter thus far.

Spigarello, taking a cruise around our annual pond & a freshly tilled high tunnel awaiting all of springs possibilities…

We received our soil test results a few weeks ago and are working with our soil guy at Marion Ag to perfect this year’s organic fertilizer blend. We don’t have many inputs into the soil but the few things that we do put into the soil (the omri certified compost, our custom organic fertilizer blend, the organic potting soil mix for transplants) are so important for healthy soil biology. We’ve seen some major improvements since our first season and it feels good to continue making strides in a positive direction for the health of our community, the soil, the plants, the animals, the rivers and the streams…

Speaking of rivers and streams… A week ago, after harvest, Brian & I went for a canoe ride around the annual pond in the back 40 of the farm. This is our annual flood (after a few weeks of rain and rising ground water) where our “said unnamed creek” meets the Tualatin River. Usually by now we would have had several floods but this is the first time all winter that this low area has flooded! I love knowing this piece of land the way that we do. And after just one week of sun (and no rain) the pond has already disappeared… I like making these notes because each season and year is unique (and it helps me remember things more clearly) especially when I go back and read what the previous season was like at this time.

January King cabbages, Farmer Beth coming to help out last month and Gloucester taking in the morning from above…

Harvest help! In the Winter months it’s just Brian and I here on the farm doing all the things (harvest, maintenance, building, growing, planning etc). But last month Miss Beth from @evenpullfarm was nice enough to come lend me a hand during one of our Winter CSA harvests after Farmer Brian pulled a muscle in his leg pretty good.   It was extremely helpful to have her willing hands and it was really fun to have her company. It’s amazing to have a community of farmers around to help out in a pinch or a pull 😉  Farmer Brian is on the mend now though after some rest and some stretching – he’s as good as new and we’ve been kicking some butt and keeping real busy!

This upcoming week I’m heading to an Organic Farmer Conference for a few days (Brian will be staying back to hold down the fort and set up for CSA). I’m really looking forward to hearing different perspectives from other farmers and to go on a few hikes in the woods with fellow farmer friends. It will be a nice refresher as we gear up to Spring into Action!

That’s all from the farm!  We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the Winter bounty.  Fingers crossed it’ll be an early Spring (unlike last year with the record amounts of rain… do you remember that?)  We’re really looking forward to the season ahead and sharing the bounty with all of you!

With Kind Regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts


January on the Farm

Posted on 12 Jan 2018

“Hello, sun in my face.  Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields… ” – Mary Oliver

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

We hope you all had a healthy, happy holiday and New Year!   After a two-week harvest break (the first time since May!), we’re so excited to get back to Winter CSA harvest (and we bet you are too)! What a whirlwind it’s been since our last Winter CSA distribution – between the holidays, the more mild winter weather (especially compared to last year), the 2018 Spring, Summer & Fall CSA sign ups and getting a few opportunities to sneak away from the farm and go for a hike with friends!  It’s been a great finale to 2017 and a wonderful beginning to 2018.

Thank you members! January 1st, 2018 was the best opening CSA day we’ve had in the last 9 years! We had more return members sign up on the 1st (and the days following) than we could have ever expected. Your early investment makes a huge difference in our ability to make decisions on the farm. And those decisions ultimately allow us to provide a better experience and product to you, our members.  Here we grow 2018!

Shares 3 & 4 and a quiet nighttime view of the CSA pick up…

Sign up for the 2018 Spring, Summer & Fall Season!  We are just 10 days into January and we are more than halfway there to being full for the 2018 season.  A big thank you to all of our amazing CSA members both new and old!  Keep spreading the good word because it makes all the difference.   As a farm-ily member once said, “keep your friends close and your farmers closer.”

Shortcut to the CSA Sign Up Form!

January on the Farm. It’s a funny inbetween time on the farm this time of year. Where we’re still subject to winter weather and whatever ol’ mother nature brings our way (with rain, temps falling below freezing etc) but we’re also creeping closer to Spring with every passing day. We’re not planting or seeding or weeding much this time of the year but we are crop planning, ordering seeds and getting our work spaces and tools in order for a whole new farming season. We’ve been making some major headway on crop planning and seed orders in the WHF office (first we had to dust off all the cobwebs from our 2017 season…farmers don’t see much ‘office’ time during the growing season).   We plan on taking several soil tests this weekend to see where our soil fertility is at. We’ve had a blast figuring out soil interpretation over the past 8 seasons and even help out a few of our farmer friends with their soil interpretations.  We saw a lot of improvements in our soil last year from all our inputs we’ve put in (organic fertilizer and organic compost etc) and are excited (in the best, most nerdy way possible) to check out how we did this past year!

Views from that beautiful sun shower we had on Tuesday…

Before the holidays we were able to construct our first 2 100ft caterpillar tunnels (from Farmer’s Friend LLC). They were super easy to put up and we’re really excited to plant in them later this week for early spring/the hunger gap crops (lettuce & spinach)! We were also able to clean out our third high tunnel and get it prepped for some baby arugula, carrots and more!

We’ve also passed the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice) and are slowly seeing the days increase, minute by minute, day by day. We’ve had a few really hard freezes over the break (coldest night got down around 22) but we’ve been maintaining a similar weather pattern of 45-50 degree days and 30-38 degree nights. And after last year’s crazy winter weather events we’ll take it! Hard to believe we had a foot of snow on the ground this time last year! It’s amazing how different the years can be.

*Can you all believe we had 12” of snow on the ground this time last year?!   We remember patiently waiting for it to melt (it felt like forever) to see how all the crops fared in that crazy weather event.   We thank all our Winter CSA members for your support and dedication to winter eating (even through the dark and frozen days of winter).

Sun showers, Brian in our overwintering cabbage patch and our first taste of Kalettes!

Pretty soon it will be Spring again and the return of longer days and an incredible bounty. We are VERY excited for the coming season on the farm.   Winter can be a time of rest and recuperation for farmers but it is also a time for planning, revisiting notes from the previous year, solidifying the crop plan, ordering soil amendments, getting the propagation house up and going for the start of seeding, submitting the seed order, going over financial projections, figuring out ways to manage workflow in the busy season better etc, as well as some winter projects & planting outside.  Over the next few  weeks we will sow our first seeds of the season (onions, shallots, lettuce, spinach, beets) and this week, we’re buttoning up the rest of our seed order and are in the midst of our crop plan in anticipation of another bountiful season!

On a personal note, Brian and I have been really touched by the sweet little notes, emails and posts on the group page about what signing up for the CSA means to them.  One of our members that is going into their 6th year with WHF wrote this on our Facebook page, “It’s become a New Year’s tradition at my house that the first purchase of the year is our CSA membership, which is a three-season investment in the health of our household, our community, and our bank account. We have improved our diets and our health immeasurably because our farmers provide the most nutritious, freshest, tastiest produce out there at a tiny fraction of what we would have to spend to buy it (way less fresh!) at retail. We realized our first season in that we could not afford *not* to be members of WHF CSA–it’s the best thing we buy every year, hands down! Happy New Year, and thank you both, Farmers Jess and Brian!”

This kind of thing means the world to us.  This is why we started WHF,  with the goal of bringing a community together over amazing food and to know the farmers and place that brings that food to your table.. to be part of the farm-ily and the working hands farm team.  Eating and enjoying that amazing food and tending-to and growing that food through sustainable and organic practices helps us to achieve those goals together!  Eating should feel good and when it’s fresh and grown down the road and picked by your farmers it seems like the easiest and best way to contribute to that shared goal/vision.  It’s the perfect partnership and we feel so lucky to be where we are in the U.S., in Oregon, in Hillsboro, off a old country road called River within a community of people who are excited to eat well (the freshest possible produce), know their farmers (and their food), support their local economy and be part of the WHF team.

“When the community is connected to its soil the plants are not the only things to grow roots.” – Farmer B

Brian in the new caterpillar tunnels and the last sunset of 2017!  

Spring, Summer & Fall CSA Sign-Ups are now OPEN!

3 Steps to Signing Up:

Read all about the 2018 Spring, Summer & Fall CSA Season (the Who, What, Where, Why, When & How Much)

Fill out the CSA Sign Up Form & Member Agreement

Mail or drop off a Check or Make Payment Online to reserve your share

Pay by Check: Make checks out to ‘Working Hands Farm’ and send it to 7705 SW River Rd. Hillsboro, OR 97123.  Checks only!  Please make sure to put the shareholders name & type of share in the memo.

Pay by Check via drop off on the farm: If you would like to drop off your payment in form of a check on the farm, there is clearly marked white CSA lockbox located on a post at the red barn (on your left when you pull in).    Please drop it off during regular business hours (9-6pm).  Click here to see where to drop off your check!  We check it daily.  Checks only!  Please make sure to put the shareholders name & type of share in the memo.

Pay Online: Visit the WHF Farmstore to pay for your share online.  Please note that the online payment option includes the 3% + .30 online processing fee.  If you wish to avoid this online fee you can pay by check.  


Spent a day on our ‘harvest break’ on a beautiful trail with friends, baby spinach plants and our favorite winter green: chicory!

Thank you all for your support!  Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow and sustain our small farm. Please encourage interested friends, family, neighbors & community etc… in signing up for their WHF CSA share.  Many thanks for your help from all of us at Working Hands.

We look forward to seeing you all at the start of the season!  Here’s to good food and the amazing community it brings together!  We’re so excited to continue on in this farming journey and to share it all with you.#workinghandsfarmcsa #dirtyhandscleanhearts #endlesspossibilities

With kind regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

King of the Sand Bag Pile, a frosty December morning and more chicory (Variegata di Castelfranco!)

Working Hands Farm CSA 2018

Posted on 1 Jan 2018

Above are the images of each share from last year’s 2017 season! 

Happy New Years Friends & Farm-ily!

2018 CSA Sign Ups begin TODAY for our Spring, Summer & Fall Season!  We hope the winter is treating everyone well! Your farmers are feeling extra inspired and excited for Spring and another year of farming ahead!  Thank you for all of your support this last year– we couldn’t be more excited for what is in store for 2018.  By being a CSA member and investing in our farm it continues to thrive and get better and better with every passing year. As we head into our 9th season the learning curve is becoming less steep, and we are feeling more confident no matter what ol’ mother nature throws at us.

In 2017,  over the course of our 28-week Spring, Summer & Fall CSA season Brian & I harvested and distributed 98,000lbs of freshly picked, organic, thoughtfully grown produce to our CSA members. 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 with a great variety of crops and delicious tasting veggies that have inspired many fantastic home cooked meals. That’s 816lbs of produce per weekly share which means our members paid $1.48/lb for all their fresh, local, organic produce during the 2017 CSA season.

By investing in the CSA we are able to invest in you!  Every year we perform a cost comparison by adding up the cost of the produce in each weeks CSA share and comparing it to our local organic markets and in a typical year our members save in excess of $500+ on their produce.  Not that we think our produce can be compared to that of the super market as ours is harvested by either farmer Jess or farmer Brian and given to you the very same day – you can’t beat the freshness of our produce! Also, a store can’t give you the sense of adventure and community that a local farm can.  With that being said…


Spring, Summer & Fall CSA Sign-Ups begin TODAY! 

Shortcut to the CSA Sign Up Form!

3 Steps to Signing Up:

Pay by Check: Make checks out to ‘Working Hands Farm’ and send it to 7705 SW River Rd. Hillsboro, OR 97123.  Checks only!  Please make sure to put the shareholders name & type of share in the memo.

Pay by Check via drop off on the farm: If you would like to drop off your payment in form of a check on the farm, there is clearly marked white CSA lockbox located on a post at the red barn (on your left when you pull in).    Please drop it off during regular business hours (9-6pm).  Click here to see where to drop off your check!  We check it daily.  Checks only!  Please make sure to put the shareholders name & type of share in the memo.

Pay Online: Visit the WHF Farmstore to pay for your share online.  Please note that the online payment option includes the 3% + .30 online processing fee.  If you wish to avoid this online fee you can pay by check.  

*In order to reserve your share we require a $250 deposit that is non-refundable and is applied to the total cost of the CSA.  The deposit is due within two weeks of submitting our online CSA form.  Once your deposit of $250 is received we will send you a confirmation email welcoming you to our CSA program. We encourage those members who can, to pay more than the deposit upon signing up as this helps your farmers absorb the initial expenses that happen at the beginning of the season.  Remember that our CSA operates on a first come, first serve basis so sign up ASAP!

Thank you all for your support!  Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow and sustain our small farm. Please encourage interested friends, family, neighbors & community etc… in signing up for their WHF CSA share.  Many thanks for your help from all of us at Working Hands.

We look forward to seeing you all at the start of the season!  Here’s to good food and the amazing community it brings together! #workinghandsfarmcsa #dirtyhandscleanhearts #endlesspossibilities

p.s. Check out this link to our favorite photos from our 2017 season: it’s amazing how much can happen in a year and there’s so much to be thankful for!  Enjoy this compilation of our best shots of the year.

Happiest of days to you all!

Your Farmers

Jess, Brian & the rest of the farm-ily…

dirty hands, clean hearts

The Gift of Sunshine (winter CSA week 1 & 2)

Posted on 8 Dec 2017


“Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.” 
― Mary Oliver

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Happy December! We hope the Thanksgiving holiday treated you all well.  It was mild (surprisingly warm) and wet end to November and we hope you all enjoyed making many delicious homemade meals in the warmth of your kitchen.

After a weeks of rain and slog and mud we’ve been treated with the gift of sun this December (and it looks like it’ll continue through the 10-day!)  We’re so excited.  The transition to shorter, darker days paired with the rainier weather can really “dampen” ones spirits so we’ll take all the sunshine and vitamin D that we can get.

Every year (and season is different).  Last year on Thanksgiving we had that huge rain and wind storm and the bottom land on the farm was flooded and continued to rain throughout the rest of Winter and early Spring.   With all that rain and snow the flooding of our bottomland was essentially there for most of the Winter.   By this time last year we had tons of rain, snow, freezing rain, colder temps and snow again!   It’s been such a different winter growing year for us than last year.  The extended fall like weather that we had this year meant extra time to enjoy more frost sensitive crops like cauliflower, romanesco and broccoli.  Usually by the time December comes around those crops have all but succumbed to colder temps.    So we are thankful for an extended season for some of those delicious veggies and glad we took some chances with a later successional planting of those crops!

Finding the right balance, fingers crossed the cauliflower does well through these cold nights! and butterhead lettuce harvest..

Welcome to the start of the Winter CSA!  There’s no better place to grow during the winter months than in the Willamette Valley – our more mild oceanic/marine west coast climate is perfect for overwintering vegetables and when you pair that with a couple of farmers who love growing vegetables it’s a winning combination.  For those of you who are joining us for a winter growing season we think you are the bees knees. You understand that the winter weather is more variable than other times of the year and you have chosen to support the farm and these two farmers through the winter months. Crop losses can happen from a hard freeze, disease pressure, bugs, etc…  and many of these things will be out of your farmers control.  You invest in the farm and the farmers and we do our very best to provide you with organic seasonal produce that is sure to inspire.  We have taken measures to give the Winter CSA the best possible chance at success like building high tunnels, building a pole barn for storage, researching specialty winter hardy crops, etc… All that being said, you have gotten to know Brian and I, and our work ethic over the course of this season (and for the majority of you over several seasons) and you know we will do our very best to ensure you have food on your table all winter long!

Thank you for supporting our farm through this time of exciting ‘growth’! We grow better each and every year with the support, encouragement and inspiration that our CSA members bring.  It’s a mutual admiration society around here

Some late Winter babies in the high tunnel ready to be tucked in, more cauliflower and Brian harvesting the brussel sprouts…


This time of the year that quote, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes” rings true.

With our long johns on, wooly layers and Grundens rain gear we’ve been good to go with bulk winter harvest, grounds maintenance, winter CSA harvest etc.   When the real cold weather hits, all of the tender crops (i.e. fully mature romanesco/cauliflower, tops of radishes, mixed greens, chard, beet greens etc) turn into slime- from freezing and thawing- and whithering away.  Some of the crops we grow actually taste better when they go through a freeze (turnips, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi,  etc) because of all the sugar they create in order to protect themselves from freezing.  To find a balance and to protect some of the more tender crops listed above, before any cold and bitter weather hits we are keeping busy, covering crops, harvesting in bulk for storage and working extra hard – to ensure that our winter CSA members had the best possible CSA experience.

The first two shares of the Winter Season (so much bounty!) and the view from the brussel sprout patch..

As I mentioned above, it’s been a surprisingly mild late Fall this year.   Last night we had our first freeze (which typically comes much sooner than that) and is the reason why we still had some peppers, romanesco, cauliflower and broccoli in the first Winter CSA shares.  We planted a late succession of all three and it paid off this year.  As Farmer Brian said the other day while harvesting,  “In a typical season we would have had our first freeze by now, which made these a big gamble with a delicious pay out. Glad we rolled the dice.”  We’re definitely feeling thankful for this bounty of late Fall varietals!

Although working in the cold and wet can be difficult at times (with the right clothes on we could be out there for hours – no problem) but the shorter days are hardest to get used to after the long days of summer and fall. Right now the day length is 9 hours of sunlight and by the Winter Solstice it will be close to 8 hours & 42min (compared to the Summer Solstice with 15 hours & 41 min of daylight).

One of these things is not like the other, some goodies from this week’s pick up, and the view from the kale patch…

It is during this darkest time of the year (when you have 10hours of daylight or less) — referred to by Eliot Coleman as the “Persephone period” — that plant growth essentially stops…

‘Humans have long had their own way of understanding the changes in day length and its affect on agriculture. Early Greek farmers, whose practical experience added mythical stories to astronomical fact, knew intimately that the power of the sun and the length of the day are the principal influences on agriculture. They created the myth of Persephone to explain the effect of winter conditions. As the story goes, the earth goddess Demeter had a daughter, Persephone, who was abducted by Hades to live with him as his wife in the netherworld. Demeter would have nothing to do with this and threatened to shut down all plant growth. Zeus intervened and brokered a deal whereby Persephone would spend only the winter months with her husband, Hades. Demeter, saddened by her daughter’s absence, made the earth barren during that time. On our farm we refer to the period when the days are less than ten hours long as the Persephone months.’ – Eliot Coleman, The New Organic Grower

The sun shining between storms, fennel in the field and that beautiful fractal veggie: romanesco!

Aside from growing winter veggies, we’re just plugging along on the winter projects… cleaning up around the farm, planting for late winter/early spring, harvesting,  organizing, building projects, packing and storing,  planning,  making financial projections for next season etc.  We’re still chippin’ away at the ol’ to-do list but we’re also taking time to rest and recuperate (thanks to the growing darkness that winter brings).  The days are growing shorter and we are just 2 weeks away from the shortest day of the year – the Winter Solstice.  As we near the holidays and the new year we’ll be spending the longer evenings inside, brainstorming and dreaming about the future and pulling out all of our inspiring seed catalogs to begin our adventure for the 2018 season!

January marks the beginning of our season as we open up registration for the main season CSA, order our seeds, fill the propagation greenhouse with soil amendments, and begin this exciting process all over again! We have some exciting plans and ideas to make 2018 our greatest growing season yet – so stay tuned!

Enjoy this week’s veggies and we’ll see you soon!

With regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts


Season Finale (csa 27 & 28)

Posted on 22 Nov 2017

 Mark your Calendars!  Our 2018 CSA sign-ups will begin on January 1st.  Pictured above are all 28 shares from the 2017 growing season!


Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Happy Thanksgiving!  We can hardly believe it has been 28 weeks since the start of 2017 harvest season!  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 farmgrown 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 8th season as Working Hands Farm which is crazy to think about.  In 8 years we’ve harvested 16,000 individual CSA shares and over 450,000lbs of produce.  This Spring/Summer/Fall alone we’ve harvested 3,400 individual shares from May through November!

We’ve been really thrilled with the CSA shares this season – definitely our best yet –  especially considering the incredibly wet and wild spring we had (wondering at some point in March if all we’d have for the first CSA was lettuce and radishes!) and the hot and dry summer.  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 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)”  (2017 FARMER MAGIC: WE HAD CARROTS FOR 26 WEEKS THIS YEAR!) 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.

January King Cabbages and romanesco broccoli looking spot on for Winter harvest and Ahab taking in the view…

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

 Carrots for 26 shares,

 Broccoli for 17 shares, 

Tomatoes for 13 shares, 

Sweet Corn for 8 shares, 

Onions for 26 shares (*Also, twice the amount per week+ as last season!), 

Zucchini/Squash/Cukes for 14 shares, 

Garlic for 26 shares, 

Mixed fruit (strawberries, plums, cantaloupe & watermelon) for 11 shares, 

Mixed Peppers for 16 shares, 

Cauliflower for 8 shares, 

Winter squash for 10 shares, 

Beets for 15 shares, 

Mixed Bunch Greens for 22 shares, 

Lettuce for 19 shares, 

Bagged Greens (spinach, arugula etc) for 15 shares 

Cabbage for 6 shares,

Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes for 6 shares, 

Eggplant for 10 shares, 

Tomatillos, Fennel & Kohlrabi  for 5 shares and on and on and on!

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

2017 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..)

stormy weather putting on a show as we wrap up harvest last week

Mark your Calendars!  Our 2018 CSA sign-ups will begin on January 1st.  Our 2017 members will have the opportunity to sign up for a share before we open it up to the public. Whoo hoo!  Until then, keep in touch with your farmers through our website, facebook and instagram! And for half of you we’ll see you in the coming weeks with the start of our Winter CSA!

We hope you all had an inspiring journey during our 28-week CSA season.  Whether it be your first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh 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!


So, without further ado, the final numbers are in for the Spring/Summer/Fall CSA Season..

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

98,000 lbs of produce!

Over the course of our 28-week 2017 CSA season your farmers have harvested and distributed 98,000lbs of freshly picked, organic, thoughtfully grown produce to our CSA members.

That’s 816lbs of produce per weekly share which means our members paid $1.48/lb for all their fresh, local, organic produce this season.

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

The upcoming winter season just got a whole lot sweeter with all these varieties of winter squash

All while supporting the ecosystem of this farm, two full time farmers by ensuring a livable wage (+ a part time employee), and the best possible produce you can find…Amazing! FYI: the total lbs of produce per weekly share in 2014 was 675lbs @ $1.74 per lb, in 2015 it was 771lbs @ $1.52 per lb and in 2016 it was 778lbs @ $1.49.

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.

This November view made me think of this Kurt Vonnegut quote, “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” 

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.

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.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
  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.

After 8 months (!!) of CSA pick up you have come to know and trust your farmers.  We never missed a harvest day and always worked our hardest to ensure that our members had the best possible CSA experience.  You were there every step of the way and we appreciate all your support, the time you took to share your food journeys, the little notes of encouragement and everything in-between.  We look forward to sign-ups in January and the start of the 2018 season!

Becca and I between storms during last week’s harvest, more cauliflower is heading up and playing some cribbage with B..

Our 2018 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 (workinghandsfarm.com), 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 18-week Winter CSA begins after the Thanksgiving Holiday so to our winter veggie eaters this is not the end!

With kind regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts



Shorter Days, Longer Nights (CSA week 25 & 26)

Posted on 12 Nov 2017


“Geese appear high over us, 
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, 
as in love or sleep, holds 
them to their way, clear 
in the ancient faith: what we need 
is here. And we pray, not 
for new earth or heaven, but to be 
quiet in heart, and in eye, 
clear. What we need is here.” by Wendell Berry

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Here we grow Week 26!   Wow, it’s amazing that we’re just a few weeks away from the Thanksgiving holiday and we are more thankful than ever for the amazing community that comes together and makes our small CSA farm possible season after season.

It’s amazing how quickly the Fall season has passed by.. October was quite a slog but the welcomed mix of sun, clouds and rain has made November a much more pleasant environment for us to work in. We can recall so many detailed memories from the 2017 season. From opening the 2017 CSA registration last January to all the planning and hard work and bountiful harvests, the recipes, and inspiration… we somehow have made it to November.  Thank goodness for the seasons.. otherwise we would never know which way was up!  But one thing is for sure  – as we mentioned in last week’s newsletter – we’re deeply appreciative and impressed by all of our awesome CSA members.

Morning commute, our last field planting on the season and a halloween kitty posing while we cover winter plants with floating row cover (in the wind no less)..

We’re a community and a team and our success (both in the field and in the kitchen) depends on each other.  To grow the food, develop the tools, run with it and live happy and productive lives.  Each week we see, hear and witness the impact of eating seasonally, fresh and beyond organic.. which means more meals at home, stocking up the freezer, cooking meals with friends and family, feeling energized and maybe coming in a few notches on the ol’ belt .  Eating good food is a way of life… something that we believe in.  We wanted to thank you for believing in us and the food that we grow here on our farm.  Thank you for your dedication and commitment – you’ve been coming to pick up you share for the last 26 weeks (or 13 weeks for our bi-weekly members) on your pick up day and every week you are inspired, challenged and ready to bring it all home and make glorious things happen.  Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your food journeys along the way.  You guys rock and we feel so thankful to have you as part of the farm-ily!

It truly has been an AMAZING harvest year for us (without a doubt our best season yet) throughout all the seasons – spring, summer and fall.  Our fall season shares have been averaging around 28-30 lbs with 14-18 different items in the share which means we’ve had quite the bounty!   Since we’ll be harvesting a double share for next week – the harvest will begin this week with storage crops!   We’re really looking forward to adding up our 2017 numbers for this week’s newsletter… here we grow!  THIS week is the FINAL PICK UP!  Check out the details below!  And a date to remember: Sign ups for the 2017 CSA season will open on January 1st!

Farmer Brian loves his new sign and the fall veggies have been on point!

THIS WEEK is the final pick up week of the Spring, Summer & Fall CSA Season!   Tuesday, November 14th OR Wednesday, the 15th depending on your assigned pick up day.

There will be a “Week 27″ share table and a “Week 28″ share table in the Member’s pick up area – be sure to check off your name and grab the appropriate share(s).

Weekly CSA Members will receive a double share (shares 27 & 28) to better prepare you for the Thanksgiving holiday (think storage crops!)  Be sure to bring a big enough vessel or enough bags to carry all your goodies home in.

Bi-Weekly Share Members All Bi-Weekly Share members will pick up next week. Depending on your assigned weeks, you will pick up either Share 27 (weeks 1,3,5,7 etc) OR Share 28 (weeks 2,4,6,8 etc)!  If there is any question, be sure to check your email to confirm which Share you will be picking up.

Casper Kale is beginning to show it’s true colors with the cold weather, Farmer B jumping for joy and Becca in the midst of a foggy harvest..

The month of November is here which means quieter days and longer nights.  How wonderful have those sunny and drier days been? So rejuvenating to be outside! The first week of November have been absolutely beautiful – a slight change of pace and weather has truly rejuvenated our spirits!  This past Sunday also brought daylight savings.  We love starting the day earlier and heading in earlier – by 6pm! – which means an early dinner and farmer bedtime for us (two thumbs up). The change of daylight hours has us slowly adapting into new schedules… getting to evening chores earlier – around 4:30pm and buttoning up last minute farm chores before losing the last moments of light.   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.

There is so much to look forward to as we move through November.  We’re continuing on our quest of bringing in storage crops for our winter CSA – the days are growing shorter and we’ve been chasing the sun – oh so much mud!

Our hearts and minds are gearing up for the 2017 season (there’s just so much to look forward to!) and now that November is here we are feeling ready to nest and write and look over notes and better prepare for the next growing season.   We spend a good part of each day talking about how we can move the business forward in a balanced direction, what kind of tools or infrastrtucture should we invest in as we pay closer attention to our bodies and work smarter. We always feel successful if we can get to Fall and still have energy to give to ourselves and the farm – which we’ve been able to do the last few seasons – which means things are always getting (growing) better!

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!

Talk about a “micro-manager”, the garlic is up and the pups taking in a brilliant sunset…

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 4 seasons of posting (so cool)!  Some of my favorite advice that one of our member’s gave a few seasons back (in their 5th 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 150+ 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!

Mon Petit Choufleur, harvesting the first of the brussels and Becca and I harvesting roots in the frosty morning!

And this is the other reason why your farmers have energy this November.. The Members Page, the thoughtful emails and conversations, the CSA member’s day, the mindfulness, all of it inspires us and continues to fuel us through the 2017 season. 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. This year more than any other year we feel 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.

Keep up the great work in the kitchen and keep sharing your experiences, recipes, etc. We hope you take a moment to reminisce about your first CSA share pick up of the season and how far you’ve come and all the beautiful meals you’ve enjoyed since then. A 28-week commitment is no small thing and we thank you all for choosing us as your farmers. Thank you for choosing to be a part of this farm and for investing in our small farm so it can provide the best possible food we can for you and your household.

CSA Shares 22, 23, 24 & 25

Proud Farmer moment: Over the course of 25 weeks, Brian and I have sown, grown, harvested and distributed over 87,000lbs of produce to our awesome CSA members. That puts us on track for distributing over 98,000 lbs for the 2017 summer season (that’s a whole lot of lifting, carrying, washing, displaying etc)! Brian and I love what we do and we couldn’t do it without the exceptional group of CSA members that has rallied around our farm. Thank you for believing in us and in your community.

We’ve distributed 725 lbs per weekly share which means by the end of the Spring/Summer CSA we will have distributed close to 815 lbs of food to each weekly share member. Which is a $1.48/lb for fresh, local, organic produce! All while supporting the vital ecosystem of this farm, two full time farmers by ensuring a livable wage, and the best possible produce you can find…Amazing!

This weekend we’ve been bringing in storage crops for our Winter CSA season.. celeriac, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cabbage, celery etc!

Have a great week and enjoy the veggies!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

Doing What We Do (csa shares 18-24)

Posted on 24 Oct 2017


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

First, we had a such a great time during our CSA member farm day a few weekends ago. We had our biggest turn out to date with over 200 of our members joining us (did you know we feed over 550 people!?)! The weather held out for us too and it was truly a beautiful October day. Folks were able to take in the veggie gardens, pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and say hi to the goats and chickens. It sure was nice to talk about the goals of the farm and its role in the community. The members were happy to share their CSA experience and how their relationship to food was changing their lives for the better. It’s so important to take a step back, to listen and to connect. Cultivating community and feeding folks the best possible food has always been at the heart of why we farm. Our members go above and beyond and inspire us all the time and we are so grateful for all their support.

Thank you to all the members who came out to CSA DAY and for those who were unable to come we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!

Decorative gourd season is the cutest, pumpkin picking time!  

It sure feels like September (and October too) are going by in a blink of an eye.  I’m trying my best to savor every bit of it because I love fall on the farm.  The quote (up above) pops in my head every October and I feel it in my bones… I just feel so darn inspired. Maybe my appreciation stems from growing up in the northeast but October is hands down my favorite month. I just love this time of the year.

October has welcome us with some fruitful rains and has made quick work of turning our summer tomatoes into goops and globs hanging on the branches of those summer lovin’ plants. It’s shoulder season on the farm where we we begin to say goodbye to the tastes of summer (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash etc) and welcome the delicious possibilities of Fall. When turning on the oven no longer feels like a chore and the greens and roots and broccoli and cauliflower etc have their moment to really shine.

We had our first light frost last week (33) and said goodbye to the summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes etc. We heeded with precaution and covered up some of our tender crops (peppers, celery, lettuces etc) with agribon row cover (aka floating row cover that provides frost protection up to 2-4 degrees). One perk of the frost is that the cold makes the fall veggies sweeter because in order to protect their cells from bursting they convert their complex carbohydrates (bonded sugars) into simple sugars! Kale, greens, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi etc.. all those veggies sweeten up with the colder temps.

The view from the kale patch, some freshly planted baby plants and the big wood barns favorite time of year!   

This time of the year can feel like a whirlwind on the farm! September and October is where the material handlers part of being a farmer really kicks into high gear and usually begins with our epic Winter Squash harvest. This year we harvested over 25,000 lbs (that’s around 12.5 tons) of squash over a 2 day period. We also started our giant Sweet Potato harvest and have so far harvested around 3,200lbs with another 1,200+ lbs to harvest once the fields dry out again later this week! We started harvesting the first ton of winter carrots and we have a few more tons to harvest out of the field before Thanksgiving. We’ve really come a long way as professional material handlers and it’s been a real game changer to have a larger horse power tractor that can move these heavy loads, the macro bins to store the produce in, the insulated barn to put it all in and the barrel washer to wash all our roots!

There’s still plenty of hand work to do (harvesting, stacking, moving, bagging etc) but all the equipment we’ve invested in really takes a load off our backs and helps us to finish projects more efficiently since it’s mostly just the two of us with our part time crew member Becca.

Sweet Potato harvest is under way with the last few beds to harvest later this week!  (Plus, a happy cloud face)

While bulk harvest continues to be a big one for us as we near closer to Winter we are also busy planting and seeding the last crops of the 2017 season. Over the weekend I seeded one of the last rounds of spinach and winter hardy lettuce that will be planted in our high tunnels for late Winter/Spring harvest. We will begin prepping and planting the first Winter Tunnel (we have 3 total) this coming week/weekend as well as a few beds of crops out in the field once things dry out. The ten-day is looking awesome out there -65 and mixed sun and clouds – let’s do this thing!

Another thing we can cross of the list is our annual garlic planting!   This was our 7th season planting garlic together and as Farmer Brian says, “garlic should be the foundation of any good relationship. And weeding it in the Spring should be a test of that relationship.” We began planting two weekends ago when we saw the “atmospheric river” on the horizon the following week. In order to get it all done we went out on Tuesday and Wednesday morning for CSA harvest and by the afternoon we were planting garlic. Over the course of a few days, we planted over 9,000 cloves. It was a pretty big push but it was also absolutely gorgeous outside and the trees were turning colors and the sunsets were out of this world. It felt great to be outside and to be in the moment even though the days were long and the task was a bit monotonous. We listened to the Farmer to Farmer Podcast and planted our little farmer hearts away and were even able to finish before the big rainstorm hit on Wednesday Night. Here’s to many more years of planting garlic together and to the first crop of the 2018 CSA season!

Pop/shuck, flame, plant, repeat!  All 9,000 cloves destined for CSA shares next season!  

The recent “atmospheric river” brought 3.5” of rain (starting Wednesday night) which gave us the welcome opportunity to take pause over the weekend. The shorter days have lent a hand in that as well.  Once the garlic was tucked in and we could see there was abundant sunshine (or rainless days) on the horizon we took the opportunity to give our bodies a little break. A friend was visiting for a few days out of state too which was a nice change of pace as well. We are definitely at a place with farming where we have better systems, can grow some darn tasty and nutritious veggies and feel like the business is in a good place. We have an awesome community of folks who rally around the farm and support what it is we do. All of these things are incredibly positive and it has been without a doubt our best (and most productive) farming season to date.

All of those things also make room for conversations about taking a day off (or two!) during the week, making time for friends and family, and making time for our selves outside the farm. Being farmers is such a big part of who we are and we love it! We also know how important it is to have other interests and perspectives in order to be balanced people and we finally feel like we are in the midst of a natural transition to be able to do (prioritize) some of these things. Making time for other things helps us to be better people and farmers too. The work that we do – it just being the two of us who farm these 40 acres – over the past 8 seasons – it’s all we’ve ever known as the owners and farmers of Working Hands Farm. We’ve made it work for these 8 years – learning a lot along the way and feeding hundreds and hundreds of families in the process.   We’re looking towards the future and all the endless possibilities.

I took these pictures during a purple sunset while pre emergence flaming the garlic beds… 

It’s crazy that after this week we only have 3 more weekly CSA pick ups left in the Spring/Summer/Fall Season. One of our members posted this in the Member’s Group this past week, “Back when we bought veggies from the grocery store I had to check eggplants carefully against being too soft before buying, and still needed to use in the next day or two or the innards would turn soft and brown. Cut into a WHF eggplant a week after bringing it home and it was still pure white and crisp. We have been eating like royalty since joining.  Looking forward to the rest of the spring/summer/fall share, and to what will come in this winter’s share.”

It means everything to hear that. As farmers, eating fresh, delicious, organically grown food is the reason we got into farming and is an important part of the process. It’s not enough to just grow the food but to make time to prepare three homemade meals a day, and process the extras into what will nourish us to do this hard but good work 12 months a year is everything. That amazing food is what keeps us so healthy and productive and energetic. No way this work would be sustainable if we weren’t eating well. Eating well is at the heart of the CSA. Heck, the size of our shares is based on our own diet (eat all the veggggieeess). We are not a CSA farm that will size our shares according to what sells but will always size them according to what we believe promotes good health in our members and according to the bounty the growing conditions allows.

Casper Kale (it gets more white as it gets colder), Leeks! and chiogga radicchio forming heads..

Brian and I both came at farming from different perspectives – he was looking for a connection to nature after years of working abroad in a stressful job and I was looking to educate my community about the food we eat & how to eat well and in season. A few years later, when our paths came together we were both on the same page. As Farmer Brian once wrote, “And that’s when Jess showed up and gave me a lickin’ you can’t believe. She taught me that you must lead by example. She taught me to fall in love not with just growing vegetables but cooking and eating them too. She taught me that cooking and eating isn’t something you do after all the other needs of the day are met it is something that you do so you can meet the needs of the day. She taught me that eating well is a matter of priorities.”

So, not only was it important that our community wanted to support our farm, they also had to eat the produce, to cook more at home and to overhaul their eating habits. After one year of CSA, members who were feeling challenged by the share were now getting through the whole share no problem, they were trying new recipes & experiences, the look of their plates were changing (to ¾ veggies), some even shared good news from their doctor or had to add a smaller notch to their old belt. But perhaps the most important thing is that after one year of trying the CSA their relationship with food had forever changed or improved for the better. They were spending more time with their partner in the kitchen processing the week’s goodies, they were taking the time to plan home cooked meals through the week, they learned how to make stock with leftovers or preserve the rest. Those tasteless canned beets from their childhood were no longer the only memory they had with beets. They were creating new and exciting and pleasurable habits surrounding food and they were sharing those positive experiences with their loved ones.

Winter Squash harvest, peasoup morning overlooking our overwintering brassicas, Gloucester taking in the first frost + sunrise..

As farmer Brian wrote last year, “Our goal is to see to it that the community that supports our farm eats healthier and as a result is more able, at least in a small way, to contribute to our society in a positive way. It’s a pretty high expectation you say? Well, I sure as hell am not doing this for the big bucks. It’s because I believe that the only work worth doing is work that makes the community and the environment better, so that those communities can make their communities better and so on and so forth. It’s pretty simple really.”

So, we do just that. For every seed the we sow, for every share that we harvest, for every meal that we prepare, we are all connected by this place, by the food that we eat and enjoy. All the hard work comes full circle when we see and hear how the shares are being utilized and enjoyed.

Treviso Radicchio heading up, Gloucester checking out the pumpkin patch, and Kalettes (a cross between brussels and kale for Winter CSA) are forming!  

So here’s to you CSA members! We are proud of all of our members because you have all made the decision to make a change in your life. That whatever brought you to our little CSA farm, whether it be health related, for reasons that help protect the environment, to support small farms, to know your farmers or simply because you were hungry for delicious food etc.. whatever the reason (s), you decided to make a change in your life happen and now you are here. This is where change happens. When a community comes together with a united voice we are empowered to make positive change. And because of all of you this land, these two farmers and this farm’s members are becoming healthier, happier and more productive.

Here’s to Fall, eating well & enjoying the seasonal bounty (with just 3 weekly pick ups left of Spring/Summer/Fall CSA!)


Cheers to you all, enjoy the week and we’ll see you soon!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts 


CSA Shares 18, 19, 20, 21

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