CBCSA Newsletter: August 17th Week A

It’s a Week A Pick up This Thursday, August 17th!

This week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • ‘Genovese’ Basil
  • ‘Magenta’ Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onions
  • Bi-Color Sweet Corn
  • Green Snap Beans (Still Hand Picked!)
  • Your Choice of Kale or Spinach
  • Your Choice Between ‘Carumba’ Cabbage, ‘Zephyr’ Summer Squash, Sweet Peppers, or Eggplant.
  • Your Fruit: Peaches!!!

Potatoes are coming soon. Melons are just around the corner.

The next Lewis Waite Delivery is August 31st. Did you know that you can place an order and edit it up to a few days before delivery? Helpful advice for those who sometimes forget to order until it’s too late (I know I have).

CSA News from Windflower

Farm Delivery #11, August 15 and 17, 2017
I’ve discovered podcasts! Sure, you’ve been listening to podcasts for years, but, as some of you know, good internet service is only just arriving in rural places, including here in Upstate New York. I’m finding all kinds of good stuff: a new favorite is Invisabilia, where two women explore the hidden forces behind why we behave the way we do. A little more to the point of this newsletter is the Farmer to Farmer podcast by Iowa farmer Chris Blanchard, who interviews small-scale organic farmers (and others) from all over North America. In one recent episode, Chris spoke with Simon Huntley, a software engineer whose company, Small Farm Central, hosts the online CSA sign-ups of more than a thousand CSAs. He has gathered all kinds of data related to CSAs and shareholder experiences and has a good deal to say about why some succeed and others fail. I think he is every bit as invested as we are in seeing the CSA movement grow, and to do that, he says, it (we) must learn new ways to better meet the needs and wishes of CSA members.

The few subjects he believes farmers should pay particular attention to are food value, farm communication, food choices and authenticity. (In last week’s New Yorker piece about the singer Lorde, I learned that it is “smoldering authenticity,” in particular, that people are after!) Choice is something I hope we can improve upon. You may have noticed that this week’s share entails choices among more than just the greens. Inspired by Simon’s comments, beyond deciding between spinach and kale, you’ll be asked to choose between cabbages, squashes, eggplants and peppers. If we find that giving you options like this is popular, and doesn’t create too many difficulties, we’ll do it more often over the second half of the season. Please, let me know what you think (tedblomgren@gmail.com).

Have a great week, Ted

Farm Trip this Weekend! CBCSA Newsletter: August 3rd Week A

It’s a Week A Pick up This Thursday, August 3rd!

This week’s share:
No news from the farm this week, but will likely be very similar to last week’s share!

Please don’t forget to RSVP for the farm trip this weekend if you’re planning to go! RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com. Camping on the farm is encouraged – all kinds of sites are available within an easy walk of the barns, running water, toilets and electricity. Kids and leashed pets are welcome. Please bring a dish to pass for the Saturday evening potluck.

Saturday, August 5th:
CSA members are welcome to arrive any time after noon.
2:00 pm: First Windflower Farm tour with Ted (tractor and wagon ride)
3:30 pm: Snacks
4:00 pm: Second Windflower Farm tour with Ted (tractor and wagon ride)
5:00 pm: Cocktail hour (byo)
6:00 pm: Potluck. Please bring a dish to share!
Afterwards, bonfire and live music

Sunday, August 6th:
8-10:00 am: Breakfast provided by the farm staff
11:00 am: Davis Family Farm tour: learn about raising pastured chickens for eggs
Noon: depart for other local sites.

Visit other local attractions, such as the:
Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival: http://craftproducers.com
Washington County Antique Fair and Flea Market: http://www.fairgroundshows.com/
Local wineries: http://upperhudsonvalleywinetrail.com/
Local breweries: http://hudsonvalleybounty.com/Brewery
Local cideries: http://www.saratogaapple.com/
Swimming holes, farmers’ markets, hikes (directions will be provided)
Saratoga Race Track: http://www.saratogaracetrack.com/

Please RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com with the number in your party. I hope you can make it.

Have a great week, Ted

Kombucha Demo! CBCSA Newsletter: July 27th Week B

Our own CBCSA member, Owen, is going to be giving a make-your-own kombucha tutorial this Thursday from 5-7 PM. Come by to learn how to make this delicious brew right in your own kitchen, as well as to try some yummy samples!

It’s a Week B Pick up This Thursday, July 27th!

This week’s share: Tomatoes, basil, onions, lettuce, your choice of radishes or turnips, plus cucumbers or zucchinis, depending on your site, and your choice of two greens from kale, choy, collards or arugula. Sweet corn is coming in fits and starts; I hope to be able to include it in your shares with regularity in the coming weeks. We’ve increased the share of heirloom tomatoes in our mix, but are finding getting them to you to be a challenge. The fruit of a vine ripened heirloom is very, very soft, and roads in NYC are very bad. We will try to harvest and ship a slightly greener fruit with the hope that a better product makes it to your kitchen counter. Please keep us posted. Your fruit share will be blueberries. Peaches are just starting.

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #8, July 25/27, 2017
If you were to fly over our farm you’d not only see a mix of woods, fields and farmland, as Jan and the boys did not too many years ago, you’d also see the hundreds of ponds that dot the landscape. Every farm has a pond, many put in with the help of the depression era CCC program. One of our farm ponds had been stocked with bass. This summer, just as they have been doing for years, herons have been flying from pond to pond in much the same way a trapper tends his trap line. They swoop in, pause to hunt for ten or fifteen minutes, and then move along to the next pond and the next meal. In particularly wet years, they will cruise the wet ditches along our fields in search of frogs.

A wildlife biologist from the DEC was here last week. He helped me to assess our deer fence and to identify points of vulnerability. He made the observation that deer, once inside, have a virtual paradise here because of the excellent food supply and absence of predators. To right the imbalance, the logical next step would be to bring in a small family of coyotes. He has given us deer tags to use in the event we cannot drive the deer out of the enclosure. I am loath to use them, but I’d rather do that than explain to you why we have no sweet potatoes or lettuce or delicate squash.

So, our proximity to wildlife can be exasperating. Cedar Waxwings will devour every kind of berry crop, including grapes, blueberries and strawberries, the three we are working hardest to develop here. We now realize we’ll have to install netting over each planting in order to get a crop. Jan has installed bird netting everywhere around our barn complex. Barn swallows are everywhere – they nest in the engine compartments of our tractors, on our tub washing machine and the fans in our packing shed, and on every horizontal (or diagonal) beam on our barn. Safe produce handling requires that we prevent them from invading the places where we wash and pack your vegetables.

That the Upper Hudson landscape is such a rich blending of wildness and domesticity is one of the things that attracted us to this region and, ultimately, to this farm. The wild north of our place offers the best animal habitat and over the years has been the temporary home of black bears, turkeys, martens, beavers, rabbits, foxes, eagles, herons, possums, bobcats, snapping turtles and deer. There are two ponds, two creeks, a cattail swamp and a good-sized woodlot. And it is bordered by hundreds of acres of forest and fields. We do our best not to grow deer food on the few acres of land suited to vegetable production in the northern parts of the farm. Potatoes and onions are our best options. The domesticated southern reaches of our farm are where we grow most of your crops. It’s also where our greenhouses, barns, employee housing and home are. We can hear the coyotes at night, but only rarely do our wild neighbors venture close to home.

If you join us for our open house, I’ll take you on a walk through both the wild and the tame parts of our little farm.

I hope you can make it, Ted

You’re invited to Windflower Farm’s Open House Weekend!

When: August 5-6, 2017

Where: 585 Meeting House Road, Valley Falls, NY 12185

About: Each year for the past ten or so, more than 100 CSA members from the city come visit the farm and either camp in one of our fields or stay in a nearby B&B. We open our farm to you, as a member of our CSA, because we want you to know where your vegetables, cut flowers, eggs and some of your fruit comes from. We’d like you to have the chance to learn how your shares are grown, and who is actually performing the work.

The event takes place over two days. On Saturday, you’ll set up your tents, tour the farm, sample local beers and wines, enjoy a potluck supper (please bring a dish to pass), listen to live music, hang out around a bonfire or play board games, and gaze at the stars made possible by a dark night sky. Please BYOB.

On Sunday, we will serve you a farm breakfast comprised of the freshest eggs you’ve ever had, pancakes and other farm goodies. After breakfast, and after camp has been broken, there will be an option to tour the Davis Farm, where your eggs are produced. There are four vineyards within three miles of here and a Sunday farmers’ market to visit. There is an excellent river to swim in and beautiful, quiet roads to bike on. Please consider joining us for the weekend.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP with the number in your party to tedblomgren@gmail.com

Agenda:
Saturday, August 5:
Members are welcome to arrive any time after noon.
2:00 pm: First Windflower Farm tour (with a tractor and wagon ride)
3:30 pm: Snacks
4:00 pm: Second Windflower Farm tour (with a tractor and wagon ride)
5:00 pm: Cocktail hour (byo)
6:00 pm: Potluck. Please bring a dish to share!
Afterwards, bonfire and music

Sunday, August 6:
8-10:00 am: Breakfast provided by the farm
11:00 am: Davis Family Farm tour: learn about raising pastured chickens for eggs

How: CBCSA is in the process of looking into shared transportation options from Brooklyn (details to come); however, we encourage folks to make carpool arrangements where possible. Have a few seats to spare? Interested in taking a spare seat? Register for our carpool: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/j3u9yq

Meet Lewis Waite Farm, Our Newest Farm Partner!

Spring2006LewisWaiteThis season, we’ve partnered with Lewis Waite Farm to bring our CSA members a plethora of extra farm fresh, all natural, artisanal, and organic products like pasture raised meat and poultry (10 kinds of meat), fresh eggs and bread, grass fed butter, yogurt and ice cream, artisan cheese from sheep, goat or cows’ milk, including aged raw milk cheeses. They also offer many pantry staples like local and naturally made: granola, fresh stone-ground organic flour, dried organic beans and grains, natural jams and chutneys, natural sweeteners, locally roasted organic coffee, apple cider vinegar, and more!  Lewis Waite Farm partners with small, family run farms and producers who take great pride in their products. Learn more about our newest farm partner here!