Saturday, July 11, 2020

CSA Newsletter for Week 4

Farm Update

Hi everyone!  
Here we are, entering week 4 of the CSA!  Last week was a hard-hitting week with tons of work, but this week should be a little less extreme.  We got some rain last week, and we’re likely to get more this weekend, and we are so thankful!  The plants are a little less desperate, and we’ll have to spend a little less time on irrigation, so that’s a huge win!  The recent hot weather was longer than we’ve had in a long time; Fred was talking with our neighbor the other day, and Mike doesn’t ever remember a stretch of 90-degree days that long in his seven or so decades of life.  But the heat has broken, and the plants (and farm workers!) have made it out safely on the other side.  This heat has really spurred on our tomato plants, which are now about 8 feet tall, and are having to be re-trellised regularly.  To keep our tomato vines up off the ground, we have them held up by two rows of twine close together, which are wound tightly around metal T-posts.  Trellising is the process where Fred takes all of the new growth on the tomato plants and wraps it into the rows of twine, and it has to be done periodically throughout the season as the vines grow longer.  They’ve been growing so quickly lately that Fred has had to trellis the tomatoes way more frequently than usual! 

If you remember a few months ago, I had information in the newsletter about a great source for pasture-raised, non-GMO, non-hormone chickens from a local Amish farmer, Jonas Weber.  Jonas is currently taking orders for turkeys for Thanksgiving or Christmas if you’re interested!  The turkeys will be 15 to 25 pounds, and they’ll cost $2.25 per pound.  He’ll be taking orders for the next week or two, so if you’re interested, get in touch with Corina Thomas at 989-561-5298.  Since Jonas is Amish and doesn’t have a phone, Corina is a neighbor with a phone who will be answering questions and taking turkey orders.  So if you are interested in getting a really great Thanksgiving turkey, give Corina a call!

Jonas is also considering starting a periodic farm box that will include a gallon of raw milk, some butter, cheese, eggs, and a chicken, and he’s looking for input from our CSA members on whether people would be interested in this option!  All of the aforementioned products are produced by him and his parents, and they’re all pasture-raised, non-GMO, and non-hormone.  I stopped by there Friday morning to get some more information about their products, and he gave me a sample box of what their meat and dairy share would include, and I just have to say, I am so excited about this!  The thing about a lot of Amish farms is that they have really top-notch products, but not really a good way to market them.  So Jonas and his folks are wanting to get some feedback from our CSA members about whether this is something people would be interested in, and whether it would make sense to hire a delivery vehicle to bring their meat and dairy shares to our drop-offs!  So if this is something you’d be interested in, just send me an email, and I’ll let him know the level of interest in these awesome local farm products!  Or if you’d be interested in some items but not others, let me know that too!

In other news, we’re going to have blueberries for everyone this week!  The heat over the last week has really ripened the berries, so they’re a full week earlier than we thought they’d be!  We’re also going to have enough berries to take some bulk orders this week!  The bulk blueberries will come in 10-pound increments (which is about 13 pints), and they’ll be $37 per 10-pounder.  We don’t know how many blueberry orders we’ll be able to fill this week, so if we get just a ton of orders and can’t get you blueberries this week, we’ll try to fill the requests as we can over the next few weeks.  So if you’re interested in getting a bunch of blueberries for freezing, making jam, etc, just let me know and I’ll put you on the blueberry list!  

Also new this week, I'm going to experiment with a new way to collect requests for prepacked shares!  In the interest of saving me several hours a week doing emails, as well as increased accuracy, I'm going to try out a Google form instead of having you guys email me.  So when you choose which share you want, just fill out this quick survey by noon the day before your drop-off.  And if you think of anything that should be on the Google form and isn't there, let me know so I can tweak it for next week!  Thanks so much! See you later this week! 😊

What to Expect in Your Share

If you are going through the line at one of our traditional style drop-offs (Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland), here’s what the options will be at the different stations.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item at each station, and if you have a full share, you choose two items at each station! 

  • Carrots or beets
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries!
  • Lettuce or cabbage
  • Kohlrabi or basil
  • Zucchini or cooking greens mix
  • Green onions, pearl onions, summer savory, or microgreens

If you have a prepacked share, here are your options.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose either share A, B, or C, and if you have a full share, you can choose two of them.  So just fill out this Google form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off to let me know which share you want for this week!  If I don't hear from you, I'll just choose for you. :-)

Share A:  Carrots, potatoes, blueberries, cabbage, basil, zucchini, and green onions

Share B:  Carrots, cucumbers, blueberries, lettuce, basil, zucchini, and pearl onions

Share C:   Carrots, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, kohlrabi, cooking greens mix, and pearl onions



If you're one of the many people who have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with zucchini because your mom's/grandma's/neighbor's garden produced way too much of it when you were a kid, hopefully these 41 Best Zucchini Recipes from Bon Appetit will help change your mind!  Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2020

CSA Newsletter for Week 3

Farm Update

Hi everyone!  We're gearing up for another busy week!  But actually, the busiest portion of our week is actually Saturday and Sunday this time around, because we have a humongous order going down to Ann Arbor on Monday morning, and most of our farm workers are off for the holiday weekend.  So that leaves Fred and me harvesting, washing, and packing like crazy for the next two days to get everything ready to hit the road early Monday morning.  Then we start all over again harvesting, washing, and packing for the CSA drop-offs.  Actually, we may have gotten in a little over our heads this weekend, so keep your fingers crossed for us!  Yikes!

In other news, this extremely hot weather has also changed up how we're doing things at the farm lately.  For one thing, we've been irrigating like crazy to keep all of the veggies from drying up and wilting away.  We've also had to start a lot earlier in the mornings so we can get the green leafy veggies harvested before it gets hot.  If we were to harvest leafy greens in the heat of the day, they would wilt way too soon and not last very long in your fridge.  So it's early mornings for us until this heat breaks.  We are super thankful that we improved our blueberry irrigation system this season, though!  Fred reworked how we had our irrigation lines laid out in previous years. Now it requires a lot more irrigation lines, but has enough water pressure to reach all of the blueberry bushes simultaneously, rather than having to run different lines at different times.  And the blueberries still look fantastic, even despite this heat and lack of rain.  So we're expecting a great crop of berries in about three weeks!

As of last week, the weed pressure was mounting but we were staying pretty much on top of them; now they're officially out of control!  We're hoping to be able to knock out some weeding this weekend if we can get the harvesting done with any time to spare.  We've pragmatically let some of the weeds in our lettuce beds go because they provide some shade for the lettuce in all this hot sun, but alas, we can't rely on that as a general principle.  Something will need to be done soon so that we don't have a significantly lower yield.  A lot of the time, the farm is a series of moving parts and competing priorities, and managing time, labor, and resources to their best advantage is like playing a really intense game of Tetris.  Fortunately, Fred is a logistical mastermind and somehow manages to keep all of the various balls in the air.  But it will be a relief when things slow down a little bit and we get some rain.  So if you know any rain dances, now is the time to employ them!  Have a great 4th of July, and we'll see you next week!

What to Expect in Your Share

If you are going through the line at one of our traditional style drop-offs (Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland), here’s what the options will be at the different stations.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item at each station, and if you have a full share, you choose two items at each station! 

  • Green onions or pearl onions
  • New potatoes!  We're so excited!
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce, spring mix, or cabbage
  • Basil, summer savory, or kohlrabi
  • Cucumbers or beets
  • Zucchini, kale, or Swiss chard

If you have a prepacked share, here are your options.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose either share A, B, or C, and if you have a full share, you can choose two of them.  So just email me by lunchtime the day before your drop-off to let me know which share you want for this week!  If I don't hear from you, I'll just choose for you. :-)

Share A:  Green onions, potatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, basil, cucumbers, and kale.

Share B:  Pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, basil, beets, and Swiss chard. 

Share C:   Pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, spring mix, kohlrabi, beets, and zucchini.



'Tis the season for grilling!  While most people think of burgers, hot dogs, and steaks when they think of firing up the grill, you can actually grill almost any vegetable as well!  Check out these handy vegetable grilling tips from The Kitchn for ideas!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

CSA Newsletter for Week 2

Farm Update

I love this picture that our daughter
Jessamine (who just celebrated her
8th birthday on Thursday!) took 
on Sunday, because not only
can you see all the rows of different
veggies we're growing, but it also
captured the wild beauty of the weeds
in bloom. :-)
Hi everyone!  What a week!  It was crazy busy for sure, but I’d call it a success!  There are always a few kinks to work out when we are getting the CSA season up and running for the year, so if you have any questions about anything, just let me know!  Aside from all the emailing, making of harvest lists and delivery labels, and logistical management that’s been occurring on the office end of the farm (which is pretty much my domain), there has also been a lot happening on the production end of the farm (which is pretty much Fred’s kingdom).  The main thing we spend our time on during CSA days is harvesting, washing, and packing all of the produce that we bring to you guys at the drop-off, but there is also a ton of field work that has to happen each week to keep the farm running smoothly.  This week, the hot sunny weather helped the crops grow a ton, and also the weeds.  So we’ve been doing a ton of weeding this week, but they’ve been mostly under control, which is reassuring.  Sometimes the weeds get so out of hand that we just can’t keep up with them and meet all of our other time commitments, but we haven’t gotten there yet this season. 

We’ve also been waging war with the potato beetles, who decided to stage a resurgence this week.  People always wonder what we do for pest control in an organic system, and fortunately, there are a few good organic products we can use to help us keep the bugs under control.  We use neem oil, which is the extract of the neem tree, and Pyganic, which is extracted from daisy flowers.  We also use Entrust, which is a fermented soil bacterium that is completely safe for humans and animals, but kills insects.  We also use the more ancient method of simply knocking the bugs off the plants.  They like to feed on the top of the potato plants, so if they get knocked back onto the soil, it takes them a long time to get back to the part of the plant they want to eat.  But we do it in a more modern way, by knocking the tops of the plants with our tractor, which does it a lot more quickly than we could do it on foot.

Aside from the tiny six-legged pests, we’ve also been having trouble with some larger four-legged ones.  There’s a group of deer who have been making it through a break in our deer fence each night for a while, and while it’s a smaller group of four deer, they have been eating a lot of our romaine.  Fortunately, that seems to be their main interest and they’ve been leaving everything else alone, but it has resulted in us not having as much romaine as we had hoped.  There isn’t a good way for us to mend the fence and still have access to our new back field (which we bought the year after we put up the deer fence), so we’ve been doing things like parking the tractor in the gap to deter the deer.  We also camped out there for a night about a week and a half ago to try to scare them away, but they were only deterred for a short time.  So the battle with the deer continues, but hopefully we’ll eventually neutralize the threat.

But there are a lot of good things going on at the farm too!  The crops are looking really good, and the cherry tomato plants are growing like crazy!  They’re currently about 5.5 feet tall, and they’ve got tons of blossoms on them, which bodes well for a good crop.  We’re starting to see the first green tomatoes forming too, so it won’t be long before they are ripe and ready to harvest!

Each farm season is an adventure, and we never quite know what to expect.  Each year brings its own combination of weeds, pests, and weather events that keep us on our toes and cause us to constantly adapt.  It’s crazy and sometimes exhausting, but it’s absolutely worth it!  And we are so glad to have all of you along for the adventure this year!


What to Expect in Your Share

The first of the cherry tomatoes are developing!
They're still green right now, but it won't be long
before we're harvesting and eating them!

If you are going through the line at one of our traditional style drop-offs (Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland), here’s what the options will be at the different stations.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item at each station, and if you have a full share, you choose two items at each station! 

  • Green Onions, radishes, or frisee
  • Bok choy or Swiss chard
  • Zucchini or cucumbers
  • Carrots for everyone
  • Head lettuce or spring mix
  • Microgreens, basil, or kohlrabi
  • Beets or kale

If you have a prepacked share, here are your options.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose either share A, B, or C, and if you have a full share, you can choose two of them.  So just email me by lunchtime the day before your drop-off to let me know which share you want for this week!  If I don't hear from you, I'll just choose for you. :-)

Share A:  Green onion, bok choy, kale, zucchini, carrots, spring mix, and basil.

Share B:  Radishes, Swiss chard, beets, zucchini, carrots, spring mix, and microgreens.

Share C:   Frisee, bok choy, kale, cucumbers, carrots, spring mix, and kohlrabi.



Post Image

Every year when we have the first kohlrabi at the drop-offs, I often get asked, “So, what is this crazy thing?”  And indeed, kohlrabi does look crazy!  It kind of reminds me of those little green aliens from the claw machine in Toy Story, and it’s a favorite among young kids, probably for that reason.  So if you’ve never cooked with kohlrabi before and you’re not quite sure what to do with it, here are 5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ready, set, go! CSA Week 1

Farm Update

While it will still be a few months before the
cherry tomatoes are ready to harvest, the fact that
they have tons of blossoms bodes well for lots
of delicious tomatoes to come!

Hi everyone!   The CSA starts this week, and we are so excited to see you all!  If you happen to have missed last week's newsletter and you have any questions about what to expect at the drop-off, check out last week's newsletter for details!  The end of June is always crazy at the farm, and this year is no exception!  The heat and dry weather mean that we are irrigating like crazy so we can keep all the thirsty plants healthy!  They're growing by leaps and bounds right now, and so are the weeds, which means we're also doing a ton of weeding.  We're past our main planting push of the spring, but Fred and the crew were still planting lettuce, carrots, green beans, cilantro, and cabbage this week.  We'll actually be planting every few weeks throughout the rest of the summer, because in order to always have vegetables that are the right size to harvest, we do what's called succession planting.  That means that throughout the summer we're always planting, and constantly harvesting, and perpetually weeding.  Right now the insect pressure is on the downturn for a little while.  A few weeks ago when the plants were smaller and more stressed from repeated frosts and freezes, they were really vulnerable to attacks from insect pests, so of course the bugs availed themselves of that opportunity.  But now the plants are bigger and stronger, and we're not having to expend as much energy fighting insects on our crops.  Which is good, because once the CSA starts, it's going to be all hands on deck to harvest, wash, and pack enough veggies for 350 CSA shares each week, as well as the veggies we provide to our stores and restaurants.  It's an incredible amount of work, but we genuinely love coaxing food from the soil and providing it to our friends and neighbors in the community.  And you can't beat getting to work outside in the sun all summer!  So it's ready, set, go! for us at the farm!  Thanks so much for joining us for another CSA adventure, and we'll see you next week! 

What to Expect in This Week's Share

If you are going through the line at one of our traditional style drop-offs (Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland), here’s what the options will be at the different stations.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item at each station, and if you have a full share, you choose two items at each station!  And if you're unfamiliar with any of the stuff on the list, you can just follow the links for more information about how to choose, store, and prepare each item!

If you have a prepacked share, here are your options.  If you have a half share, you’ll choose either share A, B, or C, and if you have a full share, you can choose two of them.  So just email me by lunchtime the day before your drop-off to let me know which share you want for this week!  If I don't hear from you, I'll just choose for you. :-)

Share A:  Spring mix, green onions, strawberries, kale, cooking greens, radishes, and zucchini.

Share B:  Spring mix, green onions, strawberries, Swiss chard, bok choy, radishes, and microgreens.

Share C:   Spring mix, green onions, strawberries, kale, bok choy, garlic scapes, and cilantro.


Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Ginger
and Garlic
This is officially our 10th CSA season, which now that I think of it, is a pretty incredible milestone!  Over the last decade, we've been through pretty much every up and down you can experience in the life of a small farm, and we've gained a lot of knowledge and experience.  And after years of doing this, I have a pretty good idea about which veggies people are going to have questions about.  So if you're new to the CSA and you've never tried bok choy or garlic scapes before, never fear!  Here's a super easy, super quick, super yummy recipe for you to try that includes both of those ingredients!  (Actually, it calls for regular garlic, but you can use garlic scapes in exactly the same way as you'd use regular garlic.)  So check out this recipe for Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic from the Food Network!  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

CSA Starting Next Week- PLEASE RESPOND!

Get ready for some salads!  We've got some
 beautiful lettuce in the shares this week!

Hi everyone!  Hope you're all doing well!  This is just a little in-between newsletters message to check in with everyone to make sure you got the message about the start dates!  I probably should have asked you in the last message to respond and let me know that you got the memo about the CSA starting next week!  I would hate for someone to miss the message and not get their first week of veggies, so here's the plan:  If you've already emailed me since the last newsletter with a question, then you're all set.  I know you're aware of your official start date.  If I haven't heard from you since the last newsletter, please just send me a quick email so I know you know we're starting next week.  Then, anyone I haven't heard from by around Saturday, I'll follow up with by email or phone so you don't slip through the cracks.  
Also, if you're at one of our traditional "market-style" drop-offs (Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland), let me know if you'd like to have your share pre-packed this year!  You can change your mind at any time, so if we get into the season and you decide you'd rather go through the line and pick out your veggies in the way we've previously done it, that's totally fine!  Getting the CSA off the ground each year is a logistical feat of epic proportions, so if you'd like to get your share prepacked, it makes my life so much easier if I know about it sooner, rather than the day before the drop-off.  Thanks so much!  

And for those of you getting pre-packed shares, be sure to look at the newsletter that will come out this weekend, because it will let you know what your choices are!  Just send me a quick email letting me know if you'd like share A, share B, or share C for next week, and be sure to email me by noon the day before your drop-off.  And if I don't hear from you, we'll just choose for you!  No worries, you won't miss out on veggies if you forget to respond! :-)

We are so excited to see you all next week!  Just let me know if you have any questions!  See you soon!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Official CSA Start Dates and How the Drop-Offs will Work!

Abby working hard on
the transplanter!
Hi everyone!  So, who's excited for the start of CSA season?!?!  I certainly am, and I bet you all are too!  We've got some exciting updates and some details worked out for how the drop-offs will go, so read on!

Official CSA Start Dates!

Alma:  Monday, June 22 from 5-6 PM, out in front of His Place. (200 W. Superior St, Alma).

Mt. Pleasant:  Tuesday, June 23 from 5-6 PM behind Herbs, Etc. (503 E. Broadway St, Mt. Pleasant).

Lansing: Wednesday, June 24 from 4:30-9:00 PM at the Soup Spoon Café.  (1419 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing).  

Okemos:  Wednesday, June 24 from 4:30- 6 PM at Mert's Specialty Meats (1870 W. Grand River Ave, Okemos).

St. Johns:  Wednesday, June 24 anytime after 3:30.  I'll send you guys a separate email with the address since it's at someone's house, and I want to protect her privacy. :-)

Midland:  Thursday, June 25 from 5-6 PM in the back parking lot of Eagle Ridge Church of God. (2808 Waldo Ave, Midland).

Midland hospital:  Thursday, June 25 anytime after 4:00, in the seating area behind the Center for Women's Health.  (There's a delivery area off of Campus Ridge Drive with a short delivery parking lane and a sidewalk that leads up to the back of the building.  There are some nice picnic tables in the shade, and that's where your shares will be.)  

And I get this question every year, so I'll preemptively answer it, in case you're wondering.  The Midland hospital drop-off is only for hospital employees, because they have regulations preventing non-hospital staff from picking up there.  So if you work at the hospital and would like to switch to this drop-off, let me know!  And if you don't work at the hospital, I'll have to keep you on the list for the regular drop-off!  Sorry! :-)

If you have home or workplace delivery, your share will be dropped off on the day for your town, and we'll likely be delivering it on our way to the regular drop-off.  So expect your share sometime between 3:00 and 4:30 on your drop-off day!  We'll drop off your share next to your front door, so if that spot is particularly sunny and you won't be able to bring your share in right away, you'll want to place a cooler out there so your veggies don't wilt!

How it Will Work

Every year, I have information in the newsletter about what folks can expect at their first drop-off.  It's old news for the veteran CSA members who know the routine, but it's useful information for the newbies, who aren't sure what to expect the first time they pull up to their drop-off location.  But this year, it will be a little different for everyone, and we're all figuring out this new way of doing things together!

For the Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, and Midland hospital drop-offs, and for people with home or workplace delivery, it will be exactly like it has been in the past.  For the CSA first-timers at these drop-offs (Welcome!!!), here's what to expect!  Each weekend, keep an eye on the newsletter, because that will tell you what your options will be for your pre-packed share.  It will say something like, "Share A has these 7 items, share B has these 7 items, and share C has these 7 items."  Then if you have a half share, you'll choose one of those options, and if you have a full share, you'll choose two of them.  Just send me an email by noon the day before your drop-off (so if your drop-off is Wednesday, you'll want to let me know your choice by Tuesday at noon), and we'll bring you your preferred share.  If I don't hear from you, we'll just choose for you. :-)

For the Lansing and Okemos drop-offs, you'll arrive at your drop-off location during the specified time window on Wednesday, tell a staff person your name, and they'll get your prepacked CSA share for you.  Easy!  For you St. Johns folks, I'll be sending you a separate email soon, so be on the lookout for that!

At the Midland hospital, just pull up in the delivery drive off of Campus Ridge behind the Center for Women's health, walk up the sidewalk, and find your share on the picnic tables.  We'll have your share in a bag with your name on it, and if you have a full share, your two bags will be tied together.  I'll be sure to make the labels clearly visible without touching the bags, so you don't have to worry that other people have touched your bag before you got there. :-)

At the Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland drop-offs, we'll be doing a hybrid between our traditional market-style drop-offs, and having prepacked shares.  You can pick up your share in one of three ways:

  • We'll pre-pack your share for you at the farm, and you don't even have to get out of your car at the drop-off!  When you pull up, hold a piece of paper with your name on it out your window (the bolder, the better, so if you have markers around, that would be awesome!)  And we'll grab your share and bring it to you in your car!
  • Or, you can choose to have your share pre-packed at the farm, and you can get out of your car, come up to a table where we'll have a lot of pre-packed shares set out, and grab your bag from the table and say hi to us.  We'll have the labels clearly visible so you don't have to rifle through other bags to find yours.
  • Or, you can go through the line and pick out your veggies from the stations in the traditional way.  For the newbies, here's how it works.  We'll have all the produce set up on long tables, and there will be seven "stations".  At each station, there will be a sign telling you what the choices are for that station, and how many you should take.  For example, "Spring mix or Romaine, half share choose one bag, full share choose two bags."  Then you go on down the line, choosing your items at each station.  Then at the end, we'll have our Trading Station.  Normally, people can trade an item from one of the stations down at the end for something they like better.  For example, if you don't really want spring mix or romaine, but you'd love to grab an extra bunch of carrots, you can trade for some carrots that are down at the Trading Station.  These days, we're trying to minimize how many people touch an item, so if you want to trade, just let me or Fred know, and we'll take the item you want to trade down to the Trading Station for you, and you can choose the item you want.  That way, the only people touching your produce before you get it are the people who already touched it while we were harvesting and packing it at the farm. :-)

Safety Protocols at the Drop-off

  • Please make sure you're staying six feet away from people!
  • Please wear a mask while you go through the line or pick up your share!  If you're more than six feet away from any people or produce, then you can take off your mask if you need to.
  • It's just fine to bring your reusable bags (we encourage it!), but once an item goes in there, you can't trade it for something else!
  • Please make your selection before you touch any produce items!  If you want a specific head of broccoli or a certain tomato that's hard to reach, just let us know, and we'll grab it for you!
  • We will be selling eggs at the drop-off!  If you know beforehand that you want to buy some eggs, email me and I'll email you an invoice with a payment link, or you can bring us an envelope with cash or check.  Or if you don't know beforehand that you want to buy some eggs, I'll write down your name and how many dozen you purchased, and I'll email you the invoice when I get home.
  • Instead of having the sign-in sheet with the communal pen like we've always had, I'll be signing in folks this year!  This might get me in trouble, because I know for a fact that there are some people I've been seeing every summer for five years, whose names I wouldn't be able to conjure up.  So if that is you, I am so sorry!  This will be an embarrassing but necessary opportunity to correct this egregious error!
So that's it!  If there is anything that I've forgotten about, or any question that I haven't answered, send me an email!  And we are so looking forward to seeing all of you the week of the 22nd!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June is Here, and It's Almost CSA Season!

Farm Update

The zucchini blossoms are appearing,
which means it won't be long until we
have zucchini to harvest!
Hi everyone!  It's now June, and the CSA season is right around the corner!  The crops in the field are finally starting to take off!  For a long time, their growth was delayed by cool weather in general, and between freezing and flooding, we had some extensive crop damage in May.  But now we're back on track and hoping for a warm and sunny next few weeks to spur on the plant growth.  We've seen plenty of growth over the last few days, both in the crops we want, and in the weeds we don't want.  We've been doing quite a lot of planting and weeding lately, which are both pretty time-consuming prospects.  From about Memorial Day to about the 4th of July is the busiest time of our farm season each year, and then once we get past the first week of July, it settles down a little and we can catch our breath.  (And by "we" I mean Fred, because I'm still working from home and caring for the kiddos instead of working out in the fields.  Fred is running himself ragged and working crazy hours on the farm, and I'm sitting in zoom meetings, doing computer-based work, helping my kids with their distance learning, and cleaning the house.  It's a very different type of work that I'm doing this year, and while I know it's important, I definitely haven't been pulling my weight around the farm this season.  So when you see Fred in a few weeks, give that man a round of applause! 😂

Check out this cool new lettuce
we're growing for our spring mix
this year!  The variety is called Verigo,
and it's crunchy, dense, and spiky all
at the same time!
I've had a lot of people asking lately about when we're going to start, so in case you were wondering, we don't have an official start date just yet. It all depends on what the weather does over the next two weeks and how quickly the plants grow in response.  So the tentative start date is the week of June 22nd, but it could be as early as the week of June 15th.  I'll let you all know as soon as we know for sure!

Another question I've been getting a lot lately is about whether we have any shares available.  We are actually all sold out, but if you weren't able to sign up and would like to, we do have a waiting list.  We could find out we can accommodate more shares than we thought, or we could have someone change their mind about participating, so just let me know if you would like to be put on the wait list!

With everything going on with Covid-19, we were originally planning on beginning the season with all prepacked shares and transitioning back to our normal market-style CSA drop-offs for Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and Midland when it became safe to do so. (The Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, and Midland hospital drop-offs will continue to get prepacked shares as usual.)  Now with everything opening up, we're wondering if it won't be necessary to do all prepacked shares.  We're considering a hybrid approach, where we do prepacked shares for anyone who wants it, and set up the tables for folks who would rather go through the lines and pick out their produce.  We're not sure about that yet either, but we'll keep you posted!

The strawberry plants are in bloom!  Just a few more
weeks, and we'll all be eating delicious strawberries!
Now that June has begun, the newsletter will be arriving weekly so we can keep you posted about any important information!  Thanks so much for joining us in the CSA this season, and we'll see you in a few weeks!