CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 3

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #3, Week of June 18, 2018

This week’s share contents.

The third share of the season will be coming your way this week. You’ll get more salad items, including lettuces, sweet Japanese turnips or red and white ‘Fakir’ radishes, arugula, young mustard greens, scallions and kohlrabi. You’ll also have the cooking greens, koji, choy, kale and Swiss chard, to choose from, along with garlic scapes and zucchini. Your fruit will be strawberries (primarily from Yonder Farm this week) and rhubarb. Cucumbers appear to be just around the corner.

What’s new on the farm.

It may be hard to believe, but we have not had a meaningful rain for a month. The farm is parched, and temperatures are ramping up. You’d think it was August the way the lawn is already burning out. Although we expect droughty stretches in summer, spring usually provides the farm with adequate rainfall. So, it seems odd to us that we have been irrigating around the clock. Like most vegetable soils, ours are coarse textured, which means they drain very well. That’s a benefit early in the season, because a well-drained soil warms sooner, and warm soils provide crop nutrients and good growth sooner than cool soils. But our coarse soils are working against us now – some crops are wilting, others are slowing down.

There is little cause for concern at the moment. So far, we are keeping up with our irrigation schedule. Although our back pond is already running low, our middle pond has deep reserves, and our well also appears to have ample water. We have two irrigation reels and miles of trickle irrigation lines to do the job, and most of it is fully functional (although a reel broke down last week, the parts needed to fix it arrived on Friday, and it should be working in the sweet corn by Monday morning). Moreover, the forecast for Monday is calling for afternoon showers. So, there’s room for optimism.

Working with water provided a cool respite from today’s heat. The middle pond is a world away from our manicured vegetable fields. Nestled at the base of a ravine and surrounded by dense woods, the pond is a cool, wild place. As I refueled the pump, I was in the company of tadpoles the size of marshmallows, snapping turtles and Great Blue Herons.

It will be a huge relief when rainfall comes, but with some effort we can fill these gaps between rains. Here’s a look at today’s irrigation activities. Back pond: we irrigated a field of leeks, a field of cabbages and collards and a block of small greenhouses containing peppers, tomatoes, ginger and basil. Middle pond: we irrigated a field of melons, cucumbers, eggplants and cutting flowers. Front well: we irrigated two blocks of cutting flowers, a broccoli field and a bank of small greenhouses containing flowers, more peppers and more tomatoes. If we water every day at this pace, we can irrigate the whole farm once a week.

Here’s hoping for rain. Cheers, Ted

p.s. It is now Tuesday. Monday’s rain never materialized, although heavy rains fell to the north and south of us. We have managed to repair our broken irrigation reel and have used it in the corn and in a newly seeded block. Rain is expected on the weekend. Cross your fingers!

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 2

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #2, Week of June 11, 2018

This week’s share contents.

Your second share of the season will be arriving tomorrow. You’ll get arugula and a salad mix, along with baby spinach and lettuce. This might be greens enough for salads all week long! You’ll also get kohlrabi, radishes, scallions and cooking greens or Happy Rich. And you’ll get your choice of potted purple and Genovese basil or Thai basil and cilantro. Our own organic strawberries will fill out your fruit share. Flowers started for everyone last week and it’s Jan’s hope that she can deliver flowers every week for the next nine weeks. Next week, you can expect more salad crops. Sweet Japanese turnips, cucumbers and zucchinis are getting started and, depending on the weather, one or more should be in next week’s share.

What’s new on the farm.

It’s Sunday. Nate is painting a piece of farm equipment he has built, Jan is working in her flower garden and the Medinas are harvesting strawberries.

I’ve just come in from planting green beans with the John Deere and Multiflex seeder I purchased last year. It’s become dry and my tractor kicked up a cloud of dust as it pulled the seeder along. I sprinkled black bacterial spores on the white bean seeds. Once the spores awaken from their slumber, they’ll colonize the bean roots and provide them with nitrogen they have “fixed” from the air. I’ll irrigate these tomorrow as part of a block that includes a new carrot seeding. Three 350’ beds of beans, each bed with two rows, or just over 2000 row-feet. I will repeat this every ten days or so through early August. It is part of a regular seeding I’ll do that includes radishes and greens.

On my way back to the barn, I peeked under the row cover where arugula, a salad mix and radishes have been growing for the past 30 days or so. All three of these will be in your shares this week. We’ll pull them root and all and then bunch and wash them. Bunched, we’ll be able to send them without a plastic bag. For your part, all you’ll have to do is cut them midway up the stem, rinse, dry, and serve.

The locusts finished blooming here a week ago. They grow in groves and produce a powerfully sweet fragrance. The wood is famous for long lived fences, but they are also valuable to farmers as an indicator plant: old timers will tell you that it’s safe to plant your garden once the locusts have bloomed. Last week, believing the threat of frost to be behind us, we planted sweet potato slips, the last of our field peppers, chiles and eggplants and uncovered our cucumbers and squashes.

Have a great week, Ted

CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week 1

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #1, Week of June 4, 2018

June greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm! Thank you for joining our CSA – we know that you have a number of alternatives to choose from, and we are very happy that you decided to be with us! Your first share of the season will be arriving tomorrow.

This week’s share contents.

Your first share will consist of your choice of potted purple or Genovese basil, which you can keep on a windowsill, plant in a garden, or use in a dish in the next week or two. There will be more potted herbs during the next few weeks. You’ll get Red Russian kale and Swiss chard. You’ll also get a bunch of scallions, heads of lime green oakleaf lettuce and bok choy, a bunch of radishes and a small bag of baby arugula. Fruit shares will start at many sites this week, with our own organically grown strawberries. It’s early days in the berry harvest, and we won’t know our quantities until they are harvested later today. Flower shares, too, will start at many sites this week. And egg shares get underway at all sites with fresh brown eggs from the Davis’s pasture-fed hens. We hope you enjoy your first share of the season. Next week, we’ll be sending more salad vegetables and radishes, along with kohlrabi.

If you are new to CSA, know that the first half dozen shares in our 22-week season generally consist of cool-season salad crops and that the shares are lighter than they will be later on. Cucumbers, squashes and sweet turnips will begin to fill out your shares two to three weeks from now, and broccoli will be soon to follow. And by mid-July, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cabbages, carrots and sweet corn should make regular appearances in your weekly share. With warmer temperatures, good things are coming!

In the weeks ahead, I’ll use this space to introduce you to our excellent farm team, and I’ll tell you a good deal about the crops we grow and how we grow them. Every week, we’ll post an image or two from the farm on Instagram (windflowercsa. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you are thinking.

Have a great week.

Best wishes, Ted and Jan

2018 Kick-off Party this Sunday!

Calling all CBCSA members and future members! Come and meet Farmer Ted Blomgren of Windflower Farm and hang out with your fellow CSA members. Stop by for beer and for some delicious snacks provided by Lewis Waite.
When: Sunday, April 22nd, 3:00-6:00pm
Where: King Tai, 1095 Bergen St. Brooklyn, NY 11216
We hope to see you there!

Are you ready for the 2018 season?

Kick-off Party at King Tai

Calling all CBCSA members and future members! Come and meet Farmer Ted Blomgren of Windflower Farm and hang out with your fellow CSA members. Stop by for a beer and for some delicious snacks provided by Lewis Waite.

When: Sunday, April 22, 3:00-6:00pm

Where: King Tai, 1095 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216

We hope to see you there!

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Wait list for Summer 2018 Farm Share

Registration for the 2018 season is now closed.

You can still add your name to our wait list for shares of vegetables, fruits, eggs and flowers from Windflower Farm’s 2018 harvest

About the share:
Pick ups happen:
Every Thursday from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
June 7th through November 1st, 2018

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

Here’s a description of the share from the farm:

VEGETABLES. When you purchase a full

vegetable share, you receive an assortment of organic veggies once a week for 22 weeks. You can also purchase a half-share, which means you pick up one full share of vegetables every other week throughout the 22 week season (i.e., 11 full weeks of vegetables). Your share will vary from week-to-week but is likely to contain six to ten items, including salad greens, herbs, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, such seasonal favorites as cucumbers, sweet corn and tomatoes, and cooking greens, broccoli or cabbage. The full share is intended to meet the vegetable needs of a family of four.

FRUITS. The fruit share runs for 20 weeks (10 weeks for the half share) and consists of Windflower Farm’s organically grown strawberries, blueberries and melons and an assortment of tree fruits grown with minimal inputs by other local growers. Fruit shares begin in the early summer with strawberries, cherries and blueberries, progress in mid-summer to include peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots, and conclude in the fall with assorted apples, pears, and cider.

CBCSA Newsletter: November 2nd Week B

It’s Our Last CBCSA Week
This Thursday, November 2nd! (Week B)

This week’s share:
-Butternut Squash
-Fennel Bulb
-More Sweet Potatoes
-Red and Yellow Onions
-Baby Leeks or Kohlrabi
-Carrots
-Green Romaine and Red Crisphead Lettuces
-Your Choice Between Tatsoi and Winterbor Kale
-Sweet Peppers
-And Some Odds and Ends of Other Items.

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #22, October 31 and November 2, 2017

This week’s share: Butternut squash, another fennel bulb, more sweet potatoes, Red and yellow onions, baby leeks or kohlrabi, depending on your site, carrots, green Romaine and red Crisphead lettuces, your choice between Tatsoi and Winterbor kale, sweet peppers, and some odds and ends of other items. We hope you enjoy this last share of the season. A link to our end-of-season survey is below.

Your winter share signup form is available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/. Please help keep your farmer and his staff off the streets of Valley Falls by joining our winter share. A brief description of the share can be found below, and details related to delivery times, locations and pricing can be found by following the link. We hope you decide to join us!

This week’s share is the last of the season. Where has the time gone? Before saying good bye, Jan and I would like to say thank you. Thanks very much for being a part of our CSA. We hope that your eating has been a little healthier and that you have enjoyed being part of your neighborhood CSA community. Your membership in our CSA provides good, meaningful employment for those of us who work on the farm, and it keeps the 96 acres we call home green, organic and productive. Thanks to all of you for giving us the opportunity to pursue the craft we love. I’d also like to thank the volunteers who make the CSA work. The men and women in your neighborhood who organize the CSA – the “core group” – deserve a special shout out. They work on newsletters and member recruitment, site management, and work-shift coordination, and without their dedication and hard work, our CSA wouldn’t exist. Thank you!

We are always working to be better farmers and to make Windflower Farm a better business. So, as part of our ongoing education, we’ll be off to two different conferences this winter where we’ll review our farming practices and compare notes with other producers. And, of course, we want to make sure we are growing the kinds of shares you want. To that end, we ask that you take a few minutes to fill out our survey. It will be ready for viewing in the evening of October 30th. The link is here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/q1v0qpbx1hrniig/

More winter share information: The first winter share will arrive on Saturday, November 18th giving you plenty of time to clean out your refrigerator. The share is delivered on four Saturdays during the fall and winter (11/18, 12/16, 1/20 and 2/10), and includes fresh organic greens (kales, spinach, tatsoi, Swiss chard and more) from our greenhouses, local pears and apples, our own organic storage vegetables (squashes, onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc.), and a variety of little treats, including the Borden’s cider, our own homemade jam, popcorn and our own Black Turtle Beans. The signup form contains more detailed information, and it’s available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/.

We hope you have enjoyed your shares as much as we have enjoyed producing them.

Please stay in touch – we love your letters!

Our warmest regards, Jan and Ted