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2018 Winter Share Sign Up

squash lot

Our winter share sign-up is underway!

Help keep the Windflower Farm team off the streets of Valley Falls – please sign up today for the Central Brooklyn CSA winter share.

Sign Up Today

 

The winter share consists of four monthly deliveries that will include approximately 2 lb. of organically grown greens (including spinach, kales, Swiss chard and other greens) and 8-10 lb. of storage vegetables (including carrots, red and yellow onions, winter squash, a variety of potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, popcorn, black beans and more), along with 4-6 lb. of fruits, and either apple cider or homemade jam or local honey – all packed to fit in a returnable box. This year, some of the storage vegetables (including carrots and butternut squashes) will come from neighboring organic farms, but almost everything else will come from Windflower Farm.

What’s new? Less plastic packaging! There are too many plastic bags in the world and we fully intend to reduce the number we use in packaging your vegetables. We’ll pack loose where we can, and use paper bags where we need packaging. Our GOAL will be to use zero plastic bags, but, because we are not yet sure that we can, we’ll promise this: to use no more than one plastic bag per month. And we have found a reusable, recyclable, tape-free box to help reduce waste.

An optional EGG share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available in the winter, as is a MAPLE share. Our four deliveries are timed to coincide with the deliveries made to your CSA pickup site by Lewis-Waite Farm (of CSA Extras) for one-stop shopping.

Delivery dates: November 17th, December 15th, January 12th and February 9th. Follow this link for pricing and site specific details: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

We hope you’ll join us.

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 22

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #22, Week of October 29th, 2018

This week marks the final CSA week of the season. We are ready for a break; perhaps you are, too! The farm is cleaned up and cover crops have been sown on all the bare ground. Let the cold come! Everything has been harvested, or will be within a day or two, winter share crops are tucked away, fall planting has been wrapped up, temporary greenhouses have been dismantled and bags are packed for trips south and west.

This week’s share. Sweet potatoes, kale, choy, your choice of spinach or lettuce, red and yellow onions, leeks, potatoes, scallions, celeriac (a bulbous root crop having the flavor of celery, and a flavorful addition to any root medley) and perhaps a little something else. I was once dressed as a celeriac for Halloween, wearing stuffed white leotards for the rootlets and bulb. I tell you this because Jan accompanied me in a chef’s outfit and served celeriac fritters that were the hit of the party. She cut them like fries, dipped them in batter, deep fried them (this may not be the healthiest of snacks) and served them in a light mustard sauce. Delicious!

CSA Survey. You’ll find a link to our annual survey here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/r1wtll4j1r7po72/. Please take a few minutes to tell us what you think. We want to make sure we are growing the kinds of CSA shares you want.

What’s new at the farm? This week’s share is the last of the season. Before saying good bye, Jan, Nate and I would like to say thank you. Thanks very much to you for being a part of our CSA. We hope that your eating has been a little healthier and that you have enjoyed being more involved in your local community because of it. Your membership in our CSA provides good, meaningful employment for all of us on the farm, and it keeps the landscape in which we reside productive and healthy. Thanks to all of you for giving us the opportunity to pursue the craft we love.

We’d also like to thank the volunteers who make the CSA work – the women and men in your neighborhood who organize the CSA. They work on newsletters and recipes, member recruitment, site management and work-shift coordination. Without the hard work of this core group, our little farm might not be in business. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Finally, we would like to thank our employees. We easily have the best farm team in the Hudson Valley and we couldn’t do what we do without them. Please come back!

You’ll find a link to our winter share signup form below. The first winter share will be arriving on November 17th. We hope you’ll join us.

Warmly,

Ted, Jan, Nate and everyone at Windflower Farm

Our winter share sign-up is underway! Help keep the Windflower Farm team off the streets of Valley Falls – please sign up today for our winter share. The link is here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

The winter share consists of four monthly deliveries that will include approximately 2 lb. of organically grown greens (including spinach, kales, Swiss chard and other greens) and 8-10 lb. of storage vegetables (including carrots, red and yellow onions, winter squash, a variety of potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, popcorn, black beans and more), along with 4-6 lb. of fruits, and either apple cider or homemade jam or local honey – all packed to fit in a returnable box. This year, some of the storage vegetables (including carrots and butternut squashes) will come from neighboring organic farms, but almost everything else will come from Windflower Farm.

What’s new? Less plastic packaging! There are too many plastic bags in the world and we fully intend to reduce the number we use in packaging your vegetables. We’ll pack loose where we can, and use paper bags where we need packaging. Our GOAL will be to use zero plastic bags, but, because we are not yet sure that we can, we’ll promise this: to use no more than one plastic bag per month. And we have found a reusable, recyclable, tape-free box to help reduce waste.

An optional EGG share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available in the winter, as is a MAPLE share. Our four deliveries are timed to coincide with the deliveries made to your CSA pickup site by Lewis-Waite Farm (of CSA Extras) for one-stop shopping.

Delivery dates: November 17th, December 15th, January 12th and February 9th. Follow this link for pricing and site specific details: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

We hope you’ll join us.

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Delivery #21

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #21, Week of October 22nd, 2018

Cold weather is expected this week, along with sunshine. Fall colors are fading, and final harvests are underway.

This week’s share. Sweet potatoes, ginger, spinach, butternut squash, escarole (or kale), Koji (a dark green choy), fennel (bulbs and fronds), yellow onions, the last of our sweet peppers. Next week’s share is the very last of the season and will include a variety of greens and root crops.

What’s new at the farm? Today, Jan, Nate and I are washing and sorting ginger for this week’s delivery and planting elderberries. The Medina clan is harvesting the last four caterpillar tunnels of sweet peppers and the last four beds of sweet potatoes. Collectively, we are wearing every manner of outdoor clothing, none of which is likely to be seen on this year’s fashion runways. Martin is wearing a matching tan Carhartt jacket and balaclava, with green rain pants and duck taped black rubber boots. Daniel, whose appearance is the most sophisticated among us, has on a set of bright orange Healy Hanson fishermen’s bibs over a black Hefty trash bag. He might have just come off an Alaskan trawler. I’m wearing EMS’s flannel lined dungarees, in blue, and a black Prava jacket I found at the second hand shop in town, neither of which, it turns out, is any good in the wet.

Nate and Jan have been testing their new foul weather gear, most of which includes polypropylene and gore-tex and various shells, in part to keep them comfortable today, but also because we are heading off on a hiking trip the day after we make our last delivery, and they would like to know how well the stuff works. Our vacationing happens in the off season. Last year, we went to Acadia in coastal Maine in December and had the hiking trials to ourselves. This year, it will be Sierras and southern Utah in November. When we return, it will be just in time to prepare the first of your winter shares, and we’ll know exactly what to wear. This year’s surprise find is waterproof socks by Seal Skin (not real seal skins, of course).

Our winter share sign-up is underway! Help keep the Windflower Farm team off the streets of Valley Falls – please sign up today for our winter share. The link is here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

The winter share consists of four monthly deliveries that will include approximately 2 lb. of organically grown greens (including spinach, kales, Swiss chard and other greens) and 8-10 lb. of storage vegetables (including carrots, red and yellow onions, winter squash, a variety of potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, popcorn, black beans and more), along with 4-6 lb. of fruits, and either apple cider or homemade jam or local honey – all packed to fit in a returnable box. This year, some of the storage vegetables (including carrots and butternut squashes) will come from neighboring organic farms, but almost everything else will come from Windflower Farm.

What’s new? Less plastic packaging! There are too many plastic bags in the world and we fully intend to reduce the number we use in packaging your vegetables. We’ll pack loose where we can, and use paper bags where we need packaging. Our GOAL will be to use zero plastic bags, but, because we are not yet sure that we can, we’ll promise this: to use no more than one plastic bag per month. And we have found a reusable, recyclable, tape-free box to help reduce waste.

An optional EGG share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available in the winter, as is a MAPLE share. Our four deliveries are timed to coincide with the deliveries made to your CSA pickup site by Lewis-Waite Farm (of CSA Extras) for one-stop shopping.

Delivery dates: November 17th, December 15th, January 12th and February 9th. Follow this link for pricing and site specific details: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

I hope you’ll join us.

Have a great week, Ted

CBCSA 2nd Annual Harvest Picnic


Join us for a fall picnic with your fellow CSA members!

Please bring a dish or beverage to share and let us know what you plan on bringing on this form. Family, friends and dogs welcome!

When: Sunday, October 14th, 2018, 3 to 6 PM
Where: Brower Park (Meet at the SE corner, near the intersection of Park Place and Kingston Ave)

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week #19

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #19, Week of October 8th, 2018

This week’s share. Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, Sweet potatoes, onions, acorn squashes (or pie pumpkins), sweet peppers, potatoes, herbs (sage or parsley), and perhaps some eggplants or chiles or broccoli. Your fruit will be Empire apples and Bosc pears. Next week, you’ll get carrots, leeks, sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, squashes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, lettuce, escarole, Winterbor kale and herbs.

What’s new on the farm? The Kubota is running again, but the repair did not set any new speed records. In addition to the bearing problem I wrote about last week, three small welds had broken, which took Nate some time to repair. His work reminds me that it is terrific having a kid who can weld.

A new Windflower Farm planting record was achieved, however. On Friday, we managed to plant five small tomato greenhouses (the kinds we call “caterpillars”) to winter greens – Swiss chard, spinach, Koji and kales. For some perspective, that’s the equivalent of a four-row bed the length of five football fields. We still have four more caterpillars to plant, along with three large greenhouses, and we hope to have them all planted by this time next week.

On a related note, winter share signups will be available soon. We hope you’ll join us for the four deliveries of our winter season.

I’m mapping the 2019 location of crops on the farm. Next year, these caterpillar greenhouses will be rotated out of tomatoes and into flowers or peppers or herbs to break up pest cycles. Crop rotation is the most important tool we have for dealing with pests without pesticides. Inside our deer fence, an area of about eighty acres – we use a five-year rotation. This year’s severe drought brought about a change in our thinking. Now, all of the greens and the smaller root crops (carrots, radishes and beets) will be put in our front field, the one we call Maryjane, because our good overhead irrigation system can take care of them there. Corn, beans, squashes, cucumbers, peppers and sweet potatoes, all grown with mulch and drip irrigation, will be located in the large field that is served by our biggest pond. And the potatoes, cabbages and onions – vegetables that deer don’t regard as food – will be planted in a rotation of their own in the ten acres remaining outside the deer fence.

I spent the first half of today working in a lovely mist, plowing under old weeds and crop residues in preparation for the very last of this year’s outdoor plantings. The large sugar maples in the hedges are golden, and the climbing woodbine is a deep red. The peak of colors is perhaps a week away. Because of recent rains, the ground has finally become soft, and deep plowing has once again become possible. I was working in the back field near the new pond, which was in potatoes this year, and will be the location of next year’s winter squashes. Squashes are generally happy to follow potatoes in a crop rotation, following the old time admonition: ‘fruits to follow roots’. Or is that ‘roots to follow fruits’? It likely doesn’t matter because these two crops don’t share pests, and following one with the other is going to interrupt the pest cycles of both, or so I hope.

Have a great week, Ted

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 18

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #18, Week of October 1st, 2018

This week’s share. Sweet potatoes, leeks, acorn squashes, tomatoes (perhaps our last), sweet peppers, chiles, garlic, eggplant, lettuce, your choice of arugula or a salad mix and kale or Swiss chard. Your fruit will be Gala apples. Next week, you’ll get more sweet potatoes (so, eat these up!), plus onions, peppers, and assorted greens.

For newcomers to sweet potatoes, try this simple approach: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes because their skins are edible and nutritious, poke the roots with a fork in a couple of places, place them on a baking dish to catch their drippings, and bake for about an hour, or until they are oozing with caramelized juices. They should be fork soft when ready.

News from Windflower Farm. After this week, there will be just four more CSA deliveries. But don’t despair – winter shares will be available soon! The winter share is comprised of four monthly deliveries (from November through February) of fresh greens and stored root vegetables from Windflower Farm, fruit (apples and pears) from Borden Farm, a sweet treat of some kind (honey, cider, jam, etc.) each month from a local producer and optional eggs and maple products from the Davis family. Stay tuned!

Nearly every year, for as long as we’ve owned our Kubota L3130, I’ve had to replace the bearings on the front end of the tractor. Sometimes the left, sometimes the right. I guess the original engineering was a little off. When the bearings fail, the wheel wobbles, the gears grind audibly, the four wheel drive knuckle drips gear oil, and, if left unattended, the wheel eventually falls off. This unfolds over the course of a few days or, at most, a couple of weeks. I try to deal with the problem sometime between the grinding stage and the wheel falling off. They always have the parts in stock down at the dealership because they know I’ll be coming. As you can imagine, given that we’ve owned the tractor for nearly 15 years, I’ve become relatively proficient at the job. In the early years, it would take about half a day. More recently, it has taken closer to two hours. Martin told me yesterday that the front end has been grinding again, and he has positioned a bucket underneath the knuckle to catch the oil. While he is slightly amused by the whole thing, my only reaction is surprise at how late it has come this year. The week ahead will be a rainy one, so I’ll tackle the project then. I’ll report back if I’ve achieved a new personal record.

Also this week, in addition to ongoing harvests, the farm team will finish clearing the tomatoes out of the eight or nine small greenhouses that we’ll plant to winter greens. Soon afterward, we’ll add compost, chisel plow and till in preparation for planting. Next week we’ll plant the Swiss chard, spinach, Koji, red choy, arugula and various kales for the winter share.

Have a great week, Ted

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 17

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #17, Week of September 24th, 2018

This week’s share. Lettuce, radicchio, Dinosaur kale, cilantro, chiles, tomatoes, sweet peppers, leeks, delicata squash, beans, potatoes and carrots. Your sweet potatoes need another week in our greenhouse to sweeten – you’ll see them beginning next week. Nearly 100% of the vegetables in your shares are from our farm, and all are organic, but this week’s carrots are not ours. Our carrot crop was a failure. These carrots are from Brian and Justine Denison’s farm, and are certified organic.

Pete tells me his apples have been slow to develop color, which I gather is the final step in their development prior to harvest. I will not know for another day what Pete will have for your fruit share, but it will likely be something from his late plum crop.

Summer vegetables have begun to disappear with the arrival of fall. You’ll be getting the last of our beans this week or next. You’ve likely already had the last of our summer squashes and cucumbers and corn. Tomatoes are slowing down, and they’ll soon be removed to make greenhouse space for the greens that will fill out winter shares. But there are good things to come. The final six shares of this season will be comprised of sweet potatoes and potatoes, red and yellow onions and leeks, carrots and beets, winter squashes and various greens, including radicchio, endive, lettuce, arugula, kales, chard, koji and a mustard mix. You’ll also get more garlic and some fennel and celeriac.

We are beginning to prepare for cold weather here. We’ll be able to put up wood for the spring heating season, but we are too late for our winter supply. So, we’ve called Bob Bassett, the man who occasionally provides us with wood for the stoves that heat our workshop and cabin. Bob loaded four full cords onto his trailer by himself today and brought them over. He would have come earlier in the week, he said, but he had a fifty acre field of corn that he wanted to chop before the rain came. It’s a big project for anyone, but Bob is just shy of 80. He wears mutton chops and has bright blue eyes. He is someone Robert Frost or Leo Tolstoy might conjure. He’s one of those country gentlemen that I can’t help but admire. He is as happy at his work and in his place in the world as anyone I’ve met. It’s the simple things, he says. He tells me he has a wife who loves him, a nice little workshop off the barn and a view of the Helderbergs and the Berkshires from the high field where he splits his wood. The four cords are now stacked and covered, and it feels good to know we are a little more prepared for the coming cold.

Have a great week, Ted