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October 29, 2017
Final Week of the Main Season!
By Charis Lindrooth
Just for fun, the Farmer and his daughter set up a tent on a sunny afternoon - a perfect way to savor the last few warm days.
These October days have been downright balmy. In fact, this is the longest pepper season on record for the farm. For those of you keeping tabs on the First Frost Bet between the Farmer and the Farmer’s Wife, it might end up as a tie. That’s because we have had a tiny bit of frost, but not a hard frost. The only thing damaged so far is the dahlias, which do not tolerate it a bit. Of course, I plan to make the Farmer his chicken and dumplings regardless - he has earned a favorite meal!
As I sit here writing this post, the sky is grey and a gentle Sunday rain only makes the blue-green stripes of kale, cabbage and broccoli in the fields below more striking. The autumn leaves are more muted this season, perhaps due to the warmer temperatures. Crickets are still chirping at night and we are enjoying many migratory bird sightings, as the farm is positioned right under their journey path.
The Main Season flew by as quickly as these birds in flight. One more box, and then we turn to the Fall Share. We are grateful to all who have joined the Fall Share; your participation makes all the difference to us as we wind up our year. We couldn’t do it without you.
September 4, 2017
The Geese are Flying
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Okay, these are vultures, not geese, aren't they cool?
The geese are flying, a sure autumn on the farm. Other clues include chilly toes in the dewy mornings, the groan of school buses passing in the lane, the grumpy teenager dealing with early school mornings and and the murmuration of starlings. Friday afternoon I walked through fields newly planted with fall crops and startled a small flock of bluebirds. What a treat!
Another sure sign of fall is the sudden disappearance of half of our crew. This strains those left behind, as the demands of the field, while less, are still significant. It is true, the crew is tired after the long summer push. Soon, however, the weed pressure will drop dramatically and the fall planting will be finished. Beautiful September days will remind us that what we do here is worth it.
Many of you might be thinking that the season must be winding down, but actually we are only a tad past the half way point of the Main Season. With 9 weeks still ahead, an array of fall goodies will start to appear on the list. We apologize that eggplant did not land on the proper list this week, for those of you who noticed, and hope to have it available next week. We are also sorrowful that the tomato crop, while not a total failure, struggled with blight and we will not be able to make our signature pasta sauce this year - boo hoo for the Farmer's Wife! And basil too, in case you didn't notice, failed utterly. I hear local gardeners complaining of the same problem. An entire field of it just up and kicked the bucket before I even had a chance to think pesto. When eating from a small farm, you must adopt the motto, "There's always next year!" Of course, for most of us you could also say, "There's always Whole Foods." Not quite the same as fresh from the farm, but at least there are options.
Of course, we are hoping that you will jump into the fall season which starts the week of November 6 (the final week of the Main Season is the week of October 30). Prorated Main Season and/or Fall Shares are available to any and all. We have LOCAL FOOD for you!
August 20, 2017
Singing the August Blues
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
The morning arrived fresh and inviting today, restoring hope to the Farmer's heart. It's been a rough couple of weeks. Everyone knows that farming is hard work, long hours in all types of weather, and physically demanding. Actually that is the part of farming that appeals most to our Farmer, and to many who dream of trading their desk job for a life out of doors. The physical work is the easy part. The challenge lies in the unexpected, be it weather issues, employee drama or equipment breakdown. Any of these can pitch a twist in our daily routine, or tip the delicate scale of our economy and amount to a significant load of stress. August always presents a challenge for us. Although it still feels like summer, the power of the sun is shifting towards the equinox while the insect and disease pressure is burgeoning.
We have learned to expect the unexpected. We expect too much rain to insult our tomatoes. We expect the crew to get over-tired and less enthusiastic by now. We expect equipment, which is used hard all season, to falter. It's all part of the deal, part of being a working farm. But these past few weeks have held a run of out-of the-ordinary unexpecteds, such as a significant theft and an accident with the delivery truck that demolished an entire delivery on Tuesday and left the truck in the repair shop indefinitely. Many of our Tuesday members, who were disappointed to miss their Tuesday box, reached out with kind words and even donations, all of which touched and inspired us to pick up and keep going. No one was hurt with either incident, thank goodness.
Two things help us put it all in perspective. First is the beauty of the day before us, the cicadas singing staccato, the indigo bunting flashing blue among the foxtail, the cool dew-bedazzled mornings and the lullaby of the crickets and katydids as we drift into sleep at night. Second, is the people around us: the crew pulling together for the push of the second half of the season, our friends and family reaching out with support, and you, our CSA members, many of whom have stood by us for over a decade of Augusts. We read every note, every email, whether a brief thank you, or a lengthy story of how our vegetables have impacted your life, and every single word goes to heart. You are the reason we do this.
The concept of CSA was born from a passion for supporting small farms and for a grass-roots endeavor to reconnect with where and how our food is grown. I maintain this blog with the primary intention of helping our customers know us and our farm. I write with my heart on my sleeve, because I believe that our customers care about the welfare of their farming family as much as about the convenience of having their local food arrive in one box. I want our customers to know without a shadow of a doubt their dollars are supporting the livelihood of a small Pennsylvania farm and their support makes this farm a better provider of fresh, high quality, safe food for people throughout our region.
Many of you ask how you can help:
1. If you are not a current member, please join
today! Our CSA is the only one in the region offering weekly online ordering. Our produce has never been as lush and abundant as this year. We are GAP certified and offer a prorated price to jump in for the second half of the Main Season.
2. If you are a member, refer a friend. Tell them about our farm - share this post.
. Sign up for our Fall Share
. We are extending our season by 6 weeks this year and are opening our fall share at almost all sites. Your Fall Share commitment is a HUGE help to us this year
. In addition to fall veggies this year, we are offering Egg, Apple, Bread and Cheese shares. We also have listed some local artisan crafted gifts which help support the farm as well as small-time crafts persons.
4. Come to our Garlic Planting Picnic or VIP Farm to Table Dinner - both super delicious and a fun way to experience the farm. Anyone is welcome to these events, even in they are not a member. Inquire for details.
As always, we are grateful every day for the opportunity to feed you and your families. Thank you for your continued support.