Monday, October 18, 2010

Confessions of an October Farmer: Last Week of CSA Distribution 2010

We cannot tell a lie. The last week of the CSA distribution always brings a smile to our faces. We are thankful for the community's support, the helping hands in the field, the abundant harvest, and a great crew of interns. Now, however, we can't help but be excited for a moment longer at the breakfast table, a second cup of coffee sipped on the couch by the wood stove rather than in transit between the field and the barn, a freezer and pantry full of goodness and the beginning of our tenth decade as farmers. Yup, that's right, this next season coming marks our tenth year as farmers.

So, many thank-yous are in store. The biggest thank you goes to SLCT for providing the opportunity for us to farm here and to the amazing one-woman show, Laurene Swaney, for her foresight and perseverance to restore Broadturn Farm to a working farm. She's my hero. And a huge thanks to Marla Zando for keeping all the balls in the air at SLCT. Thank you to our crew of interns, Samantha, Courtney, Briis and Aaron. You guys are rock solid. We had so much fun working and learning with you this summer. We value your enthusiasm and fresh insight to farming. Thanks to Ellie who stopped by for an extended visit to lend a hand when we most needed it and a spectacular smile to start each day. Thanks to our great crew of work share folks. These souls came rain or shine to trade work for a CSA share. Chris, Megan and Emily, our Girls' Friday and Megan, Shannon and Croix, farm veterans who really know how to hustle. And then there are the folks who stop in from time to time to weed and harvest and keep us on our toes, Bea, Abbie, Sasha and Leah, thanks for your hands. As always, a huge thanks goes out to Caroline, my superstar mother-in-law, for all your time spent entertaining Flora. We love you all and could not have done this work without you.

After this week, we will continue to be in the field. The list of to-do's includes planting garlic, planting 500+ flower bulbs, erecting a 200 ft long Haygrove high tunnel for next year's tomato production, cutting firewood, putting miscellaneous things away and cleaning up the farm before the snow flies. We always make plans to attend a few continuing education events. We'll rebuild our website with updates and new photos, finish the financial books for the season, and launch the sign-up for next year, all before New Year's Eve. Our projects for after New Year's are always larger than possible but we'll prioritize and keep you all posted on progress. The after-the-New-Year plans include some indoor painting projects, finishing the renovation of our 2 cultivating tractors, planning the upcoming season and ordering seeds and plant material, filling out organic certification paperwork, some shingling of buildings, and the list goes on...

Starting in February, we'll welcome new lambs, gear up for the arrival of our new calf, and we'll fire up the stove in the greenhouse and start all over again with onion, leek and flower seedlings. The slow time is a short lived pleasure that we look forward to. By March, we can't wait to get outside and start working in the fields. And then, before we know it, we're saying hello to our first customers as they pick up their June shares.

Our goal for next season is to increase the number of weeks we distribute food by adding more structures to grow in. We anticipate growing our business by growing more food for the same number of people versus adding additional customers for the upcoming season. We want to start 2 weeks earlier in June and continue through until the end of October, possibly increasing from 20 weeks of distributions to 24 or 25. We are contemplating the offer of delivery to accommodate our customers who find it difficult to make it out to the farm. Finally, we will apply for the State's Senior Share program to make it possible for our neighbors who are on a fixed income and of modest vegetable needs to participate in the CSA. In short, our plans are to make it more convenient for our customers to get their vegetables and to feed those customers for a longer period of time. We welcome feedback, suggestions and of course, constructive criticisms. Please let us know if there is anything we might improve upon to keep pleasing our shareholders.

This week's share includes:
arugula for Tuesday/ Broccoli Raab for Friday
squash medley
We will continue to update you all as to the happenings on the farm and inside the farmhouse and of course, in the barn. We will be taking a break from the blog next week but look for us again in November.

As always, we thank you all for a great season!

Blessings on the meal-

PS....make sure you get out to vote for the Land Preservation Bond Package! A bond issue is on the ballot to support Land for Maine's Future (LMF).This is exactly the kind of money that helped preserve Broadturn Farm and can contribute to the future of tillable acres left undeveloped for your children to farm. Please vote yes on Question #3.

PSS...we still have 2 spots left in our Thanksgiving Turkey Processing workshop.
on October 23 at 1 pm you, along with 7 other students can come to the farm and learn how to slaughter -- eh hem "process" your own Thanksgiving turkey. Get this: for $150 bucks, you choose your own turkey, learn to kill it, pluck it, and gut it, along with many of the finer points of the trade so that you can raise one next year in your front lawn! You'll also walk away with a sack of potatoes, onions, squash, and beets, AND an amazing conversation piece for your Thanksgiving dinner. We're really excited about this because a) we enjoy hands-on teaching with our hands-in a bird; and b) Maine's new regualtions restricting on-farm sales of poultry processing forbids us from selling you a turkey that we kill for you. There is no reason you can't do it yourself though! Anyway we have only five more spots so, sign-up, or sign-up someone you love: is your hubby too lazy on Thanksgiving while you are busting ass in the kitchen all morning!? Well, we take care of that! Send Stacy ( a message to register.
Wild Turkeys in the field

1 comment:

  1. This was our first year having a farm share. It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to seeing you again next year.
    Thank you so much
    The Greene Family