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Wait list for Summer 2022 Farm Share

Registration for the 2022 season is now closed.

You can still add your name to our wait list for shares of vegetables, fruits, and eggs from Windflower Farm’s 2022 harvest

About the share:
Pick ups happen:
Every Thursday from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
June 9th through November 3rd, 20
22

at:
Hebron SDA Church
1256 Dean Street
(On the corner of New York Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11216

Spring News from Windflower Farm

Dear friends

This spring, treat yourself to a share of Windflower Farm’s certified organic vegetables. As a CSA member, you’ll get 22 weeks of fresh veggies, including sweet corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and greens of every kind, the makings for fresh salads every week.

Every year we modify the crop plan based on the feedback we get from our CSA customers and our own farm trials. This year, in addition to producing the garden favorites, we’ll double down on broccoli, cucumbers, shallots and new salad greens.

“In like a lion, out like a lamb” …and just like that spring has arrived. After a month and a half of steady work, three greenhouses are bursting at the seams. Our tractors and transplanters have been readied and it’s time to head to the field! We couldn’t be more excited to get started.

In addition to veggies, we offer shares of fruit, eggs, maple products and grains. 

Signups for the 2022 season are now closed. You can add your name to the waiting list for the 2022 season here. Thank you! 

Spring news from the farm

We pulled the transplanter out from behind the barn yesterday afternoon. It’s time to plant, and the machine needed a once over. Last year, it was given a canopy and new seats – important creature comforts for the planting team – but now it’s in need of maintenance to its carousel, the part of the machine that delivers individual plants from the planter’s hands to a specific row and at a prescribed distance from the previous plant. The springs, gears and levers that accomplish this had become worn and needed to be retired. Nate spent a day replacing parts and making small adjustments and tells me it’s ready for another season. By Thursday or Friday of this week, we should be planting your first shares – kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, kohlrabi and more. And by next week we’ll be seeding radishes, arugula, beets and broccoli raab.

Mid-April is usually cold and wet, and this year has been no different. Nevertheless, we found a brief window on Saturday during which the soil had become dry enough to work. And so, I climbed on our old John Deere 5425 and ran the Perfecta harrow across six acres of land slated for early June plantings of sweet potatoes, winter squashes and various fall greens. There is just enough time to grow a cover crop before planting these vegetables if it’s sown by mid-April. Immediately behind me, Nate was in the cab of the bigger John Deere 5100, spreading a blend of spring oats and winter pea seeds (and a brew of bacteria that will aid in nitrogen fixation) – 150 lb. per acre, 900 lb. in all. These crops will be knee high when we turn them into the soil in June. Once Nate finished seeding, I climbed aboard our tiny John Deere 4044 and attached the cultipacker, an implement that buries the seeds and firms the soil around them, greatly improving germination. It was raining steadily by the time I finished my work, and I was soaked through. But I was also exhilarated – our first field planting was a success.

Last week, we removed the mulch from the garlic and overwintered onions, and we put compost and wood chips around the blueberries and elderberries. We found a few surprises as we uncovered the garlic – first, happily, the garlic looks wonderful. Some beds were weed-free, some were inundated with Chickweed, a winter annual, and others were loaded with the mustard family weeds, Yellow Rocket and Shepherd’s Purse. We had to hand weed the Chickweed, but our small electric cultivating tractor took care of most of the mustards. It’s always best to start the season with weed-free beds and it felt good to get out of the greenhouse and into the field. This week, we’ll spin on some compost to ensure a healthy start to the crop.

Wishing you a happy spring, Ted and Jan

February 5, 2022, Winter Share #4

The News from Windflower Farm

Winter greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm! Your fourth and final share of the winter season will arrive on Saturday, February 5th.

What’s in the share?

  • An Allium bag (yellow onions and red shallots)
  • A bagful of carrots, beets, red and purple turnips
  • A spinach bag
  • A fruit bag containing Ruby Frost and Empire apples
  • Sweet potatoes and potatoes in a bag
  • Celeriac loose in the box
  • And a jar of jam from our neighbor Deb’s Country Kitchen

To fill out this last box of the winter season, we reached out to organic farmers in our neighborhood. These are some of the people who will be a part of our more collaborative CSA in the future. Our friends Brian and Justine at Denison Farm provided the celeriac in this month’s share. Andrew Knafle at Clearbrook Farm helped with potatoes. Adam Hainer at Juniper Hill Farm helped with beets and carrots. And the Bordens provided the tree fruit. Everything else came from Windflower. Our friend Deb has a yard that contains berries of virtually every kind, including blueberries, Concord grapes, elderberries, red raspberries and blackberries, and makes hundreds of jars of jam each summer. She has made the jam in this month’s box. 

We know that turnips are not much in fashion these days, but you should know that they make for excellent soup stock. Most of their off-putting flavors are eliminated during the simmering, and they add a good deal to any broth, giving it a creamy texture. Here’s a link to a spinach-turnip-carrot-onion soup: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252800/creamy-turnip-soup/

Celeriac should be part of every roasted root vegetable medley, adding color, texture and a delicious celery flavor. For something more interesting, try celeriac fritters. Peel the celeriac, cut into strips, deep fry, then serve with a little Dijon and mayonnaise. Numerous recipes exist; here’s one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/celeriac-comte-fritters.

For several hours yesterday we harvested greenhouse spinach in full sunshine in temperatures in the upper 60s. A few hours in the sun does wonders for the spirit. During the nights this week, this space will have been well below freezing. Winter greens production is always risky in unheated greenhouses, and this has been a particularly cold winter. Twenty-one days in January were significantly colder than normal. But spinach is a hardy green, and you’ll get a bag of it this month. Soon we’ll be turning the heat on these very greenhouses. It will be time to sow the seeds that will become next year’s produce, starting with tomatoes, peppers and onions. 

We’d like to thank you for being with us this winter. We hope you’ve enjoyed your share. Please drop us a line if you have an idea that will help us improve future winter shares. You’ll hear from us about summer shares later this winter or in early spring. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the rest of winter.

Best wishes, Ted and Jan

PS: Here is a note from Kristoffer Ross about your final grain share. 

Hello folks,

Your final winter Grain Share Item is a 1 pound bag of Oat Groats. They can easily be cooked into an excellent oatmeal or porridge, for which you can find directions on the ‘Grain Recipes’ page of our Website. Our sincere thanks for supporting our continued efforts to sustainably diversify our farm, and to the Blomgren Family for allowing us to partner with them. If you would like to order more products before the next CSA season, you can do so directly via hickorywindfarm.net, and they will be shipped to you affordably via USPS. Kristoffer Ross

PPS: Your pick-up time and location is noted below.

Central Brooklyn (1251 Dean St., 4:30 to 6:00)

Please note:

1. A friend, family member or neighbor can pick up your share for you if you are not able to make it to distribution. Please ask this person to sign-in under your name.

2. Site hosts are not obliged to save shares for members who miss the distribution window. Any shares leftover after distribution will be donated to community fridges or food pantries and will help other community members in need.

3. The farm is not able to send you a make-up share if you miss a distribution. The farm will send your shares on the distribution dates only.

4. The farm will send you a newsletter a day or two before distribution. Please save these two emails to your preferred contacts list: windflowercsa@gmail.com and tedblomgren@gmail.com and check your SPAM folder if our newsletter does not make it into your inbox.

5. Watch for updates from site hosts on social media. Many sites post updates about the share on Instagram and Facebook.

January 8, 2022, Winter Share #3

The News from Windflower Farm

Happy New Year from all of us at Windflower Farm!

Your third share of the winter season will arrive tomorrow, Saturday, January 8th. Your fourth and final share will be delivered on February 5th.

What’s in the share?

  • An Allium bag (yellow onions and red shallots)
  • A roots bag (carrots, beets, potatoes and a piece of ginger)
  • A greens bag (spinach and kale)
  • A fruit bag (Bosc pears and Empire apples)
  • Sweet potatoes and winter squash loose in the box
  • And a jug of the Borden’s apple cider

As we often do during the winter, we supplemented what we have in our root cellar with produce from neighboring organic growers. Our friends Brian and Justine at Denison Farm provided much of the winter squash – you’ll get either a kabocha or a butternut. Andrew Knafle at Clearbrook helped with beets. And the Bordens, again, provided the tree fruit. Everything else came from Windflower. Next month, among other things, you’ll get celeriac from the Denisons, more beets from Andrew and a mix of potatoes from us, Andrew and pals Paul and Sandy Arnold at Pleasant Valley farm.

Winter greens production is always risky. We grow your greens in unheated greenhouses. For 15 years we have relied on the selection of cold hardy varieties and the judicious use of row covers, and we have met with reasonable success. Our spinach harvest was good this week, and the February harvest should be fine, too, but the other greens (kales, primarily) have suffered. A warm fall and early winter enabled aphid populations to rise to the point where much of the kale was not usable. As it is, you should thoroughly rinse what we send. On the bright side, our chickens couldn’t be happier.  

Your root bag contains the last of Nate’s ginger. These are the “mother” roots, and sending them serves as a reminder that it’s time to call Biker Dude, the Hawaiian Nate sources his ginger starts from, to place an order for this year. During the last two weeks of December, I placed orders for nearly everything else we’ll need to get the farm started come March: seeds and seed potatoes, soil amendments, row covers, irrigation supplies and other odds and ends. It feels as though we’re a bit more organized than usual. Soon it’s off to the shop for annual tractor maintenance and equipment repairs. 

It’s been snowing all day and several inches are expected here before it’s over. Nate is out cross-country skiing. Jan is making squash soup and Spanakopita for tomorrow’s delivery. And I’ve been staring out the picture window. The snow has made for lovely scenery, but it might present difficulties for tomorrow’s distribution. We’ll leave early and bring shovels and an extra person to maintain our delivery schedule. I ask that you take the steps necessary to get to your pickup location in a timely manner. Please don’t expect volunteer distribution coordinators to wait around in the cold!  

Pick up times and locations are noted below. Please mark your calendars for the final distribution on February 5th.  

Best wishes, Ted

Here is your pick up time and location:

Central Brooklyn (1251 Dean St., 4:30 to 6:00)

Please note:

1. A friend, family member or neighbor can pick up your share for you if you are not able to make it to distribution. Please ask this person to sign-in under your name.

2. Site hosts are not obliged to save shares for members who miss the distribution window. Any shares leftover after distribution will be donated to community fridges or food pantries and will help other community members in need.

3. The farm is not able to send you a make-up share if you miss a distribution. The farm will send your shares on the distribution dates only.

4. The farm will send you a newsletter a day or two before distribution. Please save these two emails to your preferred contacts list: windflowercsa@gmail.com and tedblomgren@gmail.com and check your SPAM folder if our newsletter does not make it into your inbox.

5. Watch for updates from site hosts on social media. Many sites post updates about the share on Instagram and Facebook.

Distribution #2 – December 11, 2021

Winter News from Windflower Farm

Warm greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm!

What’s in your share?

  • Carrots, red cabbage and kohlrabi loose in the box
  • French Fingerling potatoes in a paper bag
  • A bag containing yellow and red onions, shallots and German Red or White garlic
  • A heap of sweet potatoes and two leeks loose in the box
  • Freshly picked Red Russian, Lacinato and Red Ruffles kales
  • Honey Crisp apples from Borden’s Orchard in a plastic bag
  • A jar of honey from Harry’s Honey House

If you’ve ordered shares of eggs or maple items from the Davis Farm or grains from Kristoffer Ross, please ask your site coordinator where these can be found. A note from Kristoffer and a link to one of his family recipes can be found at the bottom of this page, along with site addresses and distribution times.

What’s new on the farm?

It’s Jan’s birthday but she is still the first to be up and out. She loves this season. We are harvesting your kales today and she wanted to sweep the new snow off the caterpillar tunnel tops so that the sun could more effectively warm their interiors. Soon Andrea and Daren will arrive to help.

Andrea reminds me that the kales do not keep equally well. Red Russian has the shortest postharvest lifespan. It’s best used within days of bringing your box home. Then comes Red Ruffles, which should be eaten within the first week. And, finally, Lacinato (aka Toscano or Dinosaur) kale, which could last close to two weeks. Wash, spin and place in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for best results. 

Even though the sun had shown for most of the morning, the snow didn’t melt, and it was cold inside the unheated caterpillar tunnels. Our first hour was spent sweeping snow off the harvest wagon, gathering knives and crates, removing row covers from the greens and picking up hoops. It took the five of us about four hours to harvest some 65 crates of kale, which was about all the time we had between when they thawed in the late morning and they began to freeze again in the early afternoon. 

Next month’s greens – spinach and Lacinato kale – will come from our larger snow-proof greenhouses. They are also unheated, but they stay warmer by virtue of their size and extra covering layers.

We have not spent much time on social media this year, but Nate just posted images from this month’s harvest to Instagram. You’ll find some bird’s eye farm shots from his drone and see Jan at work clearing tunnels. Find them here: Instagram.com/windflowerfarm/.

Daren prepared braised red cabbage this week. It’s something you could do, too. Sauté onions and garlic and then, when the onions are translucent, add chopped pieces of cabbage and cook until they are wilted. The dish can be added to any number of things or served as a side. Daren added chorizo to his to round out the meal. 

I made a potato-vegetable soup last week, and the hands down best ingredient was the French Fingerling potato you’ll find in this month’s box – dense and creamy. The carrots were a close second. Whatever you choose to do with your veggies, I hope you enjoy the second of your winter shares!

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season, Ted and the gang     

PS. Here is a note from Kristoffer about this month’s grain share. 

Your Grain share item this month is a 1.5 pound bag of stone ground Oat Flour. Our family’s traditional Scandinavian pepparkakor (gingersnap cookies)have made their annual return, and Annie has been baking several batches to determine the proper flour ratio to replace all the wheat flour with oats. I must say that the results have been very popular! The recipe is on our website here:https://hickorywindfarm.net/pages/recipes. Enjoy your month, and if you celebrate, God Jul! 

PPS: Please mark your calendars for the two remaining distributions: January 8th, and February 5th.  

Your pick-up time and location is noted below.

Central Brooklyn (1251 Dean St., 4:30 to 6:00)

Please note:

1. A friend, family member or neighbor can pick up your share for you if you are not able to make it to distribution. Please ask this person to sign-in under your name.

2. Site hosts are not obliged to save shares for members who miss the distribution window. Any shares leftover after distribution will be donated to community fridges or food pantries and will help other community members in need.

3. The farm is not able to send you a make-up share if you miss a distribution. The farm will send your shares on the distribution dates only.

4. The farm will send you a newsletter a day or two before distribution. Please save these two emails to your preferred contacts list: windflowercsa@gmail.com and tedblomgren@gmail.com and check your SPAM folder if our newsletter does not make it into your inbox.

5. Watch for updates from site hosts on social media. Many sites post updates about the share on Instagram and Facebook.