We’ve just updated our Summer Vegetable CSA brochure, and it’s time to sign up for a share! You can download a signup form by clicking on this link: 2013csasignup.
We have decided to change our CSA distribution system a bit this year. We will no longer be using a volume limit based on bag sizes, but are instead switching to a unit system. This is the system that we have been using this winter for our Winter CSA and it has been working pretty well. It continues to offer choice while giving clearer guidelines of what a “share” consists of. It will make it easier for us to adjust for the bounty or scarcity of crops (by adjusting portion size, for instance) on a weekly basis, without resorting to a vague and confusing “short supply” sign. It also gives us a system that watermelon and pumpkins can fit into (physically!). As an added benefit, shareholders no longer need to worry about forgetting their bag. We still, of course, encourage you to bring a bag to bring your produce home in, but now any bag will do.
In our new system, we will arrange crops by type on different tables, and post how much each share size can take from that table. For instance, on a hypothetical week in August, a small share could take 3 pounds from one table (of cukes, squash, carrots, beets, and potatoes) and 3 items from another table (of heads of lettuce, cabbage, and bok choi, and bunches of kale, chard, amaranth, and basil), plus 2 units from a third (with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans, and sweet corn on it, each with different unit sizes). That week, a Medium share would get 4 pounds from the first table, 4 items from the second, and 2 units from the third, while a Large share would get 4 pounds, 5 items, and 3 units (or some other combination adding up to more, depending on what’s plentiful and what’s short). It will make a little more sense when there are actual vegetables on real tables.
Yes, we are offering a Winter CSA this year. We’ve been doing the Winter Farmer’s Market for the past two years in Northampton, and have been able to have vegetables available straight through the winter, so we have decided that it’s time to offer a CSA share that extends our CSA season, well, forever. Not really forever, but without a break between this summer and next. We’re offering two season length options, one running for November and December, and the other running all the way through spring. We’re offering the shorter option because we expect that some folks will want to have plenty of vegetables for all the holiday meals in those months, but might not want to continue coming out to the farm once hibernation mode kicks in in January. Also, we’ll have more vegetables available at the start of the winter. But we’re going to keep things growing in the hoophouses and fill our storage spaces as full as we can for those people who want to join us for the Long Haul.
Space is limited for the Winter CSA, so please sign up quickly if you are interested.
More information and a Sign-up form can be found on our CSA page.
Our CSA distributions start this week, with distributions on Mondays and Fridays from 2pm-6:30pm.
The warm weather this spring has given some crops a bit of a jump, so we have plenty of early greens and vegetables ready. Some of the summer crops that we have never harvested this early in the season are almost ready, including summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, and cucumbers. Unfortunately, the warm weather has meant that a few things, notably radishes, arugula, and the overwintered scallions, haven’t held in the field and are already done. But we will have future plantings of all three crops to look forward to later in the season.
With the start of the CSA, our Farmstand hours for the rest of the summer will be Mondays and Friday 2pm-6pm and Saturdays and Sundays 10am-5pm. Expect the best selection and freshness on Mondays and Fridays, as well as being sure that someone will be around. On the weekends, we will stay within earshot of the bell in the farmstand, but it may take a few minutes for someone to get there. Vegetable selection on the weekend will be limited to what fits in the little fridge or won’t wilt.
We are going to be giving a series of workshops over the summer. Right now we have three scheduled – a Scythe workshop on June 9th, a Seed Saving workshop on June 30th, and a Wheat workshop on July 14th. For more information, check out our workshops page.
Tevis will also be presenting a workshop on breeding and seed saving at the NOFA Summer Conference at Umass in August.
We’re planning to continue this series with more workshops on the farm through the summer and into the fall. If there is a workshop you would like us to give, please suggest it to us. Also, if you are unable to attend either the Scythe or Seed Saving workshop but wish you could, let us know – if there is sufficient interest we will offer those workshops again later in the summer.
The growing season is upon us, and we are working hard getting our crops planted in the greenhouses and the field. I know many of you are getting your gardens prepared. As we have done in the past, we have grown many flats of seedlings for sale in addition to the plants that we need to plant our own fields.
The Burgy Thursday Market starts tomorrow on the lawn of Meekins Library in Williamsburg! We’ll be there with lots of seedlings, as well as beef, lamb, eggs, and lots of greens (we’ve got spinach, lettuce, scallions, kale, and chard!). We’ll have seedlings at the Burgy Thursday Market through the beginning of June. (the market runs from 2:30-7)
You can find us this weekend at the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds on Saturday (10 to 5).
We’ll have our farmstand open on Sunday and Monday as well, from 10-5, for folks to stop by and get seedlings (or beef, lamb, wool, eggs, spinach, lettuce . . .). For the rest of May, we’ll be open Friday through Monday, 10-5.
What’s so great about our seedlings? First of all, they’re organic (not certified) – grown with natural fertility and no nasty chemicals. Just as important, they are varieties proven to do well in Chesterfield. We trial a lot of varieties in our fields every year, and we only sell seedlings of varieties that we have had success with here in the hilltowns. We even have a couple of things you can’t get anywhere else – because we bred the variety right here!
It’s time to sign-up for a summer CSA share! You can find out more about the CSA and get a signup form with all the details on the CSA page. We are planning on offering Fall/Winter CSA shares this year, but are not yet accepting signups for that option.
Just because it is winter doesn’t mean that we’re done for the season. We have been selling at the Northampton Winter Farmers Market for the past month, bringing beef, lamb, eggs, yarn, winter squash, beets, onions, shallots, salad greens, cooking greens, black beans, and wheat berries. The market is in the basement of Thornes, on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. There are many other farms at the market also, with an impressive array of meat and vegetables, as well as cheese, bread, and even wine!
For our hilltown neighbors, our farmstand will be open on Friday December 16th and Friday December 23rd from 3-6pm. Stop by to get a holiday roast! We are also open by appointment during the winter.