Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Springing Forward into Our New Barn

Farm Update

We're starting to plant!  Here I am seeding our onion transplants
in the greenhouse.
Hi everyone!  It feels like the season came on all of a sudden, and we are definitely back in production mode now!  Our new barn is up, and Fred has been busy moving everything in and figuring out how to arrange the things according to the different activities that will take place there.  We’ve also been making deliveries of spinach, microgreens, and pea shoots to a few of our restaurants and stores for the last few weeks.  So if you’re interested in getting a hold of some of our spinach, you can find it at GreenTree in Mt. Pleasant or LaLonde’s in Midland.  In other awesome news, we started planting in the field on Monday!  The first field planting day of the year is an extremely big deal to us, because the veggies we put in the ground this time will be the veggies that you get in your first few shares.  The earlier we can get things growing in the field, the earlier we can start the CSA, so we were really excited to be getting seeds into the ground.  We’re also really glad to have Carson back working for us this season!  He started working on Friday, which is great timing because we’re going to have a huge amount of work ahead of us.

We are also happy to announce our partnership with GCC Organics, a certified organic farm that raises free-range meats.  They are kicking off a meat CSA this year, and we’re going to have an arrangement where any of our CSA members at the Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-offs who also sign up for their meat CSA can pick up the meat shares at our drop-off.  For more information about that, you can email them at

Springing Forward into our New Barn

March is a month of beginnings; it's when the farm wakes up for the year.  It is the month when we begin harvesting the greens that have been overwintering, it’s the month when we start our transplants from seed in the greenhouse, and it’s the month when we plant the seeds that will become the vegetables in the first CSA shares.  There is a lot going on at the farm right now, but by far the most significant beginning this March is the inaugeration of our new barn!  The barn project is the culmination of many years of projecting and many months of planning, and now it stands where our old makeshift packing area used to be.  Like those home shows that take you from broken-down house to beautiful remodeled home in half an hour (and leave you with the impression that somewhere out there, there is a fairy godmother who can give you a sparkly new kitchen with a wave of her wand), I'm going to give you the really condensed version of the month-long project.  So here are some pictures from each stage of the construction of our new barn!

Stage 1:  The excavator comes out to level the ground and take
off the topsoil where the barn will be built.

Stage 2:  The team from Integral Builders puts up the frame.
These guys work really quickly, and they have the frame up
in one day.

Stage 3:  The windows are hung and the siding goes on the barn.
It's starting to look more like the finished project.
Stage 4:  The ground is leveled inside the building so they
can pour the concrete floor.

Stage 5: While the concrete floor dries, the holes where the
garage doors will be are closed off to keep the new wet floors
out of the elements.  Soil and construction materials pile up outside.

Stage 6:  The large garage doors are added to the building,
and the barn is complete!  Now we just need to do the electrical
wiring and move everything in!


Oh, March.  Not quite as tricky as February for the Michigan locavore, but still not exactly an abundant month.  The upside is that local spinach is more readily available in co-ops, small grocery stores, and indoor farmer's markets.  The downside is that that's pretty much it.  But you can still make some pretty amazing meals with just the produce that's available locally in season, like Chef John's Spinach and Feta Pie!  Perfect for an Easter morning breakfast!  Enjoy!