Distribution #2, December 12, 2020

Winter News from Windflower Farm

Happy winter from a snowy Windflower Farm. Your second share of the season will be delivered on Saturday, December 12th.

What’s in your share?

  • Assorted kale and chard greens in a plastic bag
  • Cabbage (primarily green and pointed)
  • Yellow onions, a small handful of shallots and garlic in a paper bag
  • Carrots, beets and yellow potatoes in a second paper bag
  • Butternut squash
  • Apples – Jonagolds and Empires from Borden Farm – in a third paper bag
  • A jar of honey from Harry’s Honey House

My apologies to you if you got spoiled broccoli in your share last month. The spoilage was the result of freezing and thawing in the field. Some of the broccoli was apparently still frozen when it was harvested. 

Next month, you’ll get three new winter vegetables: a storage variety of kohlrabi, celeriac and spinach. You’ll get our mainstay vegetables – potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and kale. And you’ll get sweet potatoes, apple cider from Borden Farm, along with more of their apples. 

Site hosts have asked me to remind you to pick up your share during the appointed time frame. Pick up times are posted below. Your next deliveries will arrive on January 9th and February 6th.

Yesterday, we harvested and bagged the greens in your share. We celebrated the fact that it was our last harvest of 2020 and that Saturday’s delivery – our 48th – will be our last of the year. Eight of us harvested from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. The greens were growing in “caterpillar” tunnels, and I’ve posted some pictures on Instagram for anyone wanting to see where they have come from. It takes four days to prepare for a winter share delivery, and the day we work in the greenhouses to harvest your greens is my favorite. Sunshine, physical exercise, green plant life, good company. I hope you enjoy them.

Winter Distribution #1, November 21, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Hello from the Windflower Farm team! Thank you for deciding to join us for the winter season. If you are receiving this email, then you are on our winter share roster. Your first share will be delivered this Saturday, November 21st. See below for distribution times and locations.

Your first share:

  • Russet potatoes, yellow onions and garlic in a paper bag
  • Leeks, sweet potatoes and a butternut squash loose in the box
  • Carrots and beets likely also loose in the box
  • Swiss chard, koji, kale and broccoli in a plastic bag
  • Empire apples in a paper bag
  • A jug of apple cider

Important distribution notes:

Your share will come pre-packaged in a box that you may take home. We are happy to take boxes back and to recycle them when we return in December. Check in with your site coordinator to find out how this can be done at your site

There will be a couple of boxes at each site with a special label indicating that its contents differ from those of the others. This month, for example, a box might not have leeks and instead have a handful of red onions. Take your pick while the option lasts.

The apple cider in your share does not fit in the box and is packaged separately. Make sure to grab yours. If you’d prefer, and while supplies last, you may choose to take a second bag of apples instead of a jug of cider.

If you’ve ordered eggs or a maple share, please remember to seek them out – they will not be packaged in your box. Check in with the site coordinator.  

What’s new on the farm?

A brief warm spell a week back was just what a late planting of rye cover crop seeds needed to germinate and cover the last couple of acres of bare ground here. And just what we needed to finish cleaning up our fields and getting our equipment put away. Cold temperature have now descended on Windflower Farm. We saw 17 degrees last night. All of our winter storage crops are tucked away in various coolers and from now until June, all of our greens harvests will come from the protection cover of greenhouses. 

Our winter team is relatively small. There will be seven of us harvesting and bagging your greens and packing boxes tomorrow. We won’t start until 9:00 or 10:00 am, by which time the greens will have thawed. Your November and December greens are cold-hardy cultivars growing in “caterpillar” tunnels, which are unheated and make use of multiple layers of protective covers. As the more intense cold of winter sets in during January and February, your greens will come from “high’ tunnels, which are relatively conventional (but still unheated) greenhouses and better protected from the cold. You are invited to follow along on our Instagram page.   

We hope you enjoy your share! Your next one will be delivered on Saturday, December 12th.

Wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving, Ted and Jan

Distribution #22, Week of November 2, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Hello for one last time this season from Windflower Farm (where just a few winter CSA shares are still available!) 

This week’s share

Cabbage

  • Kale
  • Lettuce or Swiss chard
  • Parsley (or cilantro)
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots

What’s new on the farm

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an increasingly vital part of organic farming, and hundreds of small farms in the Northeast thrive because of CSA members like you. Thank you for being a part of our CSA – we hope you enjoyed the experience. I’d especially like to express my gratitude to the volunteers who spend countless hours organizing the CSA. Their work in recruiting members, maintaining websites, managing distributions and in performing countless other tasks is the critical stuff that makes the CSA work. If you think that you’ll be with us next year, consider joining the core group at your pick-up site.   

We at the farm are celebrating our last CSA delivery. As you know, the season comes to an end this week. Victoria, our distribution coordinator, hosted us at her house around a bonfire to celebrate the end of the season. The farm team has been working long days since early March and are ready for a break. I’m very proud of them. Much of the staff will be back at it in a couple of weeks to prepare the first winter boxes. Snowfall bookended the farm season, with a couple of inches in early May, just after planting, and a couple more just last week. Candelaria and her sisters, who are new to snow, had a brief laughter filled snowball fight. Soon, they’d be in the warmth of Central Mexico. For us, there are winter projects that we’ll now have time to turn to, Jan in her studio, and Nate and me in our workshop.

Jan and I hope you have a healthy and happy fall and winter season. We look forward to seeing you before long.

Take care,

Ted and Jan

For more winter share information, please click here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/.

Distribution #21, Week of October 26, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Hello from Windflower Farm (where winter CSA shares are still available!) 

This week’s share

  • Savoy cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger
  • “Rainbow’ carrots 
  • Red potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Butternut squash 

Next week’s share will include shallots, red cabbage and more sweet potatoes along with more of the usual suspects.

If you are an odd week CSA member, this week’s share is your last of the season. On behalf of everyone here at Windflower Farm, many thanks for being with us. We hope you have enjoyed your share of our farm’s 2020 harvest. It is because you decided to be with us that we were able to pursue the work that we love for another year. If you haven’t had enough of our produce, and want to help keep my staff and me from running wild on the back roads of Washington County, consider joining us for our four month, four delivery winter share. It will begin on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day and run through early February and include hardy greens from our unheated greenhouses, a wide variety of our stored root vegetables, apples and pears from neighboring farms and something sweet (cider or jam or honey) with each delivery. For more winter share information, please click here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

What’s new on the farm?

Jan, Nate and I have just come in from washing carrots and ginger and it got me thinking about soups. The cookbook, Soup’s On, has one of our favorite recipes featuring these two crops: Coconut Carrot Soup with Ginger and Dill. The only thing better than reaching a beautiful mountain lookout on an October hike is digging into your daypack and finding a thermos full of hot carrot ginger soup with which to admire the view. Nate will post the recipe on our Instagram page.

Many of the ingredients of a potato leek soup can be found in the week’s share, too. Our favorite comes from Moosewood, where carrots are also an important part. This week’s variety of carrot is called ‘Rainbow’ and they are from the last bed on our farm. Then there is butternut squash, which makes one of the very best “feel good’ soups I know. With a pot of soup on the stove, no winter day is too cold, no sky too bleak.

Jan is now napping, Nate is again baking pumpkin muffins for the farm crew – a triple batch for a cold day! – and the Medinas are wrapping up the harvest of some leeks and cabbages. The local staff are off today. They’ll be here tomorrow morning to offload whatever returnables are on the truck, wash tubs and the greens that will be in shares this week, and then fill bags, the heavy vegetables in one, and the light and leafy vegetables in another. 

Our season began in March, which feels like a very long time ago. We welcome the change in seasons and what that portends for those of us whose lives move closely with them. Our last CSA harvest will take place on Wednesday of next week, and although the to-do list is still long, we see an end to the work, or at least a change in the nature of the work. In the next ten days, we’ll plant the final three acres of rye cover crops, transplant the last 20,000 or so of our fall onion sets, cover our strawberries, garlic, onions and winter greens, and tuck away our pumps, unneeded row covers, sand bags and irrigation lines. We expect a low of 17 degrees by week’s end. 

The Medinas will head off to Mexico next Saturday and what appears to be a calendar full of fiestas in celebration of weddings, births and faith. I don’t think they care one way or another about the election here. They expect corruption and division in politics, having had little experience of anything else. Family and community are at the center of their lives. After work today, young Martin came to ask if we would employ his spouse next year. They are hoping to work on a house of their own before starting a family. I told him it was something we would try to make work. 

I believe our election matters. I bet you do, too. I can’t believe that nearly half of us don’t vote. Please tell everyone you know to get out to the polls next week!

Take care, Ted

Distribution #20, Week of October 19, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Hello from Windflower Farm (where winter CSA shares are now available!) 

This week’s share

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy or kale
  • ‘Covington’ sweet potatoes
  • Red and yellow onions
  • ‘Rainbow’ carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Chiles (small, HOT, not sweet!)
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplants (or sweet peppers)
  • Ginger

Your fruit share will be a mix of early ‘Fuji’ and ‘Empire’ apples from Yonder Farm. The ‘Fujis’ are the lighter colored apples.

Please use care in handling the chiles in your share, particularly around children – they can be painfully hot. The small, blocky orange-yellow ones are habaneros and are very hot. They will be the last of the season. You might find a way to combine these with the cilantro in your share.

Some shares will contain eggplants, others will have sweet peppers. This week’s eggplants, also the last of the season, may not be the prettiest, and I’m sorry about that, but I hope you’ll still enjoy these last flavors of summer. Try to ignore the spots – a good deal of the waste in our food system can be attributed to shopping too much with our eyes. Breaded and fried, they make great additions to any pizza, especially with dollops of Ricotta and pesto. They are also an excellent addition to any vegetable lasagna.   

You’ll be getting some of Nate’s ginger this week, and very likely again next week (the pieces won’t be large). He ordinarily gets his planting stock from a guy called “Biker Dude” in Hawaii, but he had a crop failure last winter and referred Nate to a Peruvian supplier. Have fun with it. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this tropical crop is in the form of a gingersnap cookie. 

Winter share news

To learn more about our winter share, please click here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

What’s new on the farm?

I took a road trip on a rainy Friday last week to a farm in northern vermont. Earlier in the year, I mentioned that I might more frequently include the produce of other organic farms in your summer shares beginning next year. (The idea, by the way, received overwhelming support.) Among the best candidates for that are beans and carrots. Beans because a friend and experienced organic farmer – Martin Stosiek – has a bean harvester. Carrots because we do not have a soil suitable for growing carrots, at least not on a commercial scale. Ours is too stoney to grow straight carrots or to cultivate a carrot crop using tractor mounted tools. 

My trip north took me to Jericho Settlers Farm, just east of Burlington, VT, near Mount Mansfield’s backside. The farm sits on 90 acres of Winooski River bottom soils, level, stone-free and well suited to the production of carrots, parsnips and beets. The winter share’s carrots will come from them this year. My hope is to barter onions, which grow better here, for their carrots.  

There is a third crop I’ll mention – potatoes. We have never had to buy potatoes before, and I don’t intend to include them among the crops we’ll source in the future, but I have just purchased some to help finish out this year and to have them for the winter share. Our own potatoes were planted in a back field that our irrigation system could not reach and yields were miserable. Sometimes things don’t work out. The potatoes I have purchased came from Williams Farm and are certified organic. You’ll get more next week.

Have a great week, Ted