CBCSA Winter Share- 3 Days Left to Sign Up!

Hello Past, Current, and Future CBCSA Members!

Did you know there are only three days left to
sign up for Ted’s Winter Share?

The pick up location is right across the street from the
Hebron SDA Church and pick ups will be on one
Saturday per month:11/18, 12/16, 1/20, and 2/10.

Get your Winter Share

Sign up by November 5th!

More winter share information from Ted himself:

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/.

2017 CBCSA Member Survey

Thank you for being a member of the Central Brooklyn CSA!

As a member-run volunteer organization, the Central Brooklyn CSA depends on you for a successful season. Please help us improve for next year by providing your feedback in our member survey. It should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Your response will help us continue to bring fresh, organic, affordable and nutritious vegetables and fruit to Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding communities.

Thank you for your participation—we look forward to you joining us again next season!

Take the Survey

CBCSA Newsletter: October 26th Week A

It’s a Week A Pick-Up This Thursday, October 26th!

(Last pick up for half share week A members)

This week’s share:
-Pie pumpkins or other winter squashes
-Fennel
-Sweet Potatoes
-Red and yellow onions
-Chiles
-Peppers (or eggplants)
-Broccoli
-Carrots
-Romaine lettuce
-Arugula (or Swiss chard)
-Tatsoi, which is also known as Chinese spinach, and can be used just like spinach.

Quick Notes:
The next and LAST Lewis Waite Delivery is THIS, Thursday, October 26th. Be sure to get your staples for winter!

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #21, October 24 and 26, 2017

This week’s share: Pie pumpkins or other winter squashes, fennel, sweet potatoes, Red and yellow onions, chiles, peppers (or eggplants), broccoli, carrots, Romaine lettuce, arugula (or Swiss chard), and tatsoi, which is also known as Chinese spinach, and can be used just like spinach.

Your winter share signup form is available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/.

We hope you decide to join us! 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 winter, and includes fresh organic greens from our greenhouses, local pears and apples, our own organic storage vegetables, and a variety of little treats, including the Borden’s cider, and our own homemade jam and popcorn. The signup form contains more detailed information.

Fall is a time of transition here. As the farm season winds down, our staff is moving on. As rural people do, the people who work with us have built their lives around the seasons. Sara, a jack-of-all-trades at the farm, is on to run her family’s balsam wreath business. Once that work comes to an end, she’ll work with her brothers in their maple “sugarbush.” In between, she makes time to work on her pottery. Andrea, our membership coordinator, will wrap up the season making herbal teas and hawking vegetables in Saratoga Springs for a friend’s farm. After the New Year, she’ll head down to Laguna Prieta, Mexico to spend some of the winter at the home of co-workers, the Medinas. Sara and Andrea will both help with our winter share when their schedules permit. The Medinas, who have been with us for ten years, will visit family throughout the United States during the month of November, and then will head to Mexico for the winter. They have family with whom to reconnect there, and onion and cabbage and “Three Sisters” crops to tend. We’ll see them back here in April.

Adam, my nephew, is hitching his tiny house to a borrowed Ford F350 and heading west. He and his wife and child are relocating to Boulder, Colorado. Don, our delivery truck driver, will drive a school bus during the winter and spring, and spend any spare time painting, which is his first love. Naomi, who works with Don on the truck, will turn her attention to her move into a new house just a couple of miles from here where she’ll do some nesting and work on art projects of her own during the winter. We’ll see them back here in June. Victoria, Naomi’s sister and our distribution coordinator, left us three weeks ago and, on Friday, gave birth to her third boy. Mom and baby are healthy. I think that daycare is already in place for next season. Salvador and Candelaria, who live in the town next door, will slow down a little. But we’ll see them for a week every month as we work together to prepare winter shares. Jan and I know how fortunate we are that this creative and hard-working group of people come back to us each year.

As for what my family and I will do now – we’ll slow down, too. Several farm projects require our attention before spring, but we’ll ignore them for a little while. We are hoping to spend a couple of weeks away in late November, although we are not sure where.

The peak fall foliage reminds us that, this crazy-warm weather notwithstanding, winter is coming, and it’s already past time to squirrel away storage vegetables and grains and to put up firewood. This week, we’ll finish planting the German white garlic and begin to plant next year’s onions. We’ll cover strawberries and winter greens and finish seeding down rye. We’ll harvest and bag the last of our carrots and potatoes. And we’ll fetch a bean thresher from a friend – it’s a stationary machine for processing the Black Turtle Beans that we’ve grown for the winter share. Our end-of-season project list is long, but we are checking items off at a good pace.

Your last share of the season will be delivered next week. We hope you have enjoyed your experience. We’ll send out a survey – please take a few minutes to tell us what you think.

Have a great week, Ted

CBCSA Newsletter: October 19th Week B

It’s a Week B Pick-Up This Thursday, October 19th!

This week’s share:
-Red and Yellow Onions
-Acorn Squash
-Broccoli
-Potatoes (or leeks)
-Carrots
-Lettuce
-Arugula
-Chiles
-Possibly your last sweet peppers
-A kale choice
-A choice between parsley and cilantro.

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #20, October 17 and 19, 2017

This week’s share: Red and yellow onions, acorn squash, broccoli, potatoes (or leeks), carrots, lettuce, arugula, chiles, possibly your last sweet peppers, a kale choice, and a choice between parsley and cilantro. Your sweet potatoes are not quite ready – their starches have yet to convert to sugars, so they won’t arrive until next week. We are expecting our first hard frost tonight, which, if it comes to pass, will put an end to the harvest of all but the most hardy of vegetables. We are hoping for a heavy cloud cover, which will reduce the severity of the frost. We spent part of today putting row covers out to protect your greens. Your final two shares will include fennel, sweet potatoes, pie pumpkins, butternut squashes, carrots, onions, broccoli and a wide array of salad and cooking greens. Your fruit share will consist of Goldie apples, which are a yellow variety of Gala, and Bosc pears.

Our regular season comes to an end in a couple of weeks (October 31st for Tuesday sites and November 2nd for Thursdaysites). If you think you might miss getting fresh greens and other veggies from Windflower Farm, consider joining us for the winter season. The winter share comes less frequently – just once a month – and it includes our organic greens and stored vegetables and the Borden’s fruits all prepackaged in a 1-bushel box that you can take home. The greens include fresh spinach, kales, chard, tatsoi and others, and the stored vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternuts, carrots onions, and more. Our own organic Popcorn and black beans and the Borden’s apple cider and jam round out the winter share. Winter members also have a chance to get the Davis Farm’s fresh brown eggs and maple syrup. I hope you’ll consider joining us. Look for a winter share signup form soon.

Have a great week, Ted

You’re invited to a 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!

Harvest Picnic!

When: Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, 2 to 5 PM
Where: Brower Park (Meet at the SE corner, near the intersection of Park Place and Kingston Ave)

CBCSA Newsletter: October 12th Week A

It’s a Week A Pick-Up This Thursday, October 12th!

This week’s share:
-Arugula
-Carrots
-Onions
-Lettuces
-Delicata squash
-Tomatoes
-Broccoli
-Leeks (or potatoes)
-Your choice between kale or tatsoi and dill or cilantro.

Next week, you’ll get your last tomatoes, your first sweet potatoes, plus acorn squashes, fennel, carrots, onions, broccoli, arugula, lettuces and various other greens and herbs. Your fruit share this week is Empire apples and Borden Farm cider. There are just four shares remaining in this season. Please consider joining us for the winter. A signup form will be available soon.

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #19, October 10 and 12, 2017

This week’s share: Arugula, carrots, onions, lettuces, Delicata squash, tomatoes, broccoli, leeks (or potatoes) and your choice between kale or tatsoi and dill or cilantro. Next week, you’ll get your last tomatoes, your first sweet potatoes, plus acorn squashes, fennel, carrots, onions, broccoli, arugula, lettuces and various other greens and herbs. Your fruit share this week is Empire apples and Borden Farm cider. There are just four shares remaining in this season. Please consider joining us for the winter. A signup form will be available soon.

Choice at the CSA distribution site is not as easy for us to manage as we initially expected. It is not difficult to offer choices, but it is difficult to manage them in such a way as to avoid some disappointment. The chief complaint about choice has been that the “good stuff” goes early, so that there really are no choices for those arriving late in the distribution window. Many people registered their appreciation for choices. A couple who wrote in response to my question about waste mentioned that greater choices at the pickup site helped them reduce waste because they chose items they knew they would use. There were two suggestions in particular for improving how we offer choices that make sense to me: first, seek weekly feedback from the site manager so that the farm team knows what is popular, and adjust quantities accordingly. Instead of sending equal numbers of eggplants and peppers, for example, perhaps, if peppers are more popular, it should be 1/3 eggplants and 2/3 peppers. And, second, hold some totes of vegetables from each of the choice categories to be opened later in the evening, so that those who arrive later also have choices. Those changes might help. But, as one shareholder wrote, because herbs and greens are the most important places to offer choices, perhaps we should limit the idea of choice to those categories. Our goal, of course, is to find the best way to give our CSA members what they want in a way that is equitable and enjoyable. Your feedback is always welcome.

We have needed a workshop for a long time. Vegetable farming is tough on equipment, and we use the off-season to piece it back together. We have a shop, but it’s too small, and it’s not heated. So, we are working on a space large enough for a full-size tractor. Nate, Adam and I poured the concrete floor last week. For those of you who have been here, you’ll know it as the barn where we have our potluck supper. Pouring concrete is nerve-wracking. There is something about the permanence of a large slab that ratchets up the pressure to get it right. And there is something foreign and stressful about having an item you’ve spent thousands on being delivered in a semi-liquid state, poured onto the floor via a shoot, in need of a good deal of shaping and cajoling to look and function the way you want it to, and to have a tight timeline in which to do the work because the concrete is rapidly setting up and is soon to be unworkable. I’ve done just enough work with concrete to know the importance of the setup: I choose calming music, say Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a Second Fiddle for my nerves. We get the tools laid out – screed, rakes, bull float, hand trowel, groover, wheel barrow, boots and gloves. In the days before, we framed the perimeter of the pour with lumber and lined it with 2” of blue foam so that it can float independently of the pole barn. We then lined the bottom of the pour with foam and a plastic barrier and placed reinforcing steel throughout. It is still under plastic – a slow cure is best – but we are happy with our work. Nate was working on doors during any spare time he had in September, and they are nearly ready to install. We’ll post something on Instagram soon. With a little more effort, including installation of the small Scandinavian squirrel stove we found last spring, we’ll have a snug space in which to work this winter.

Have a great week, Ted

Jan and the boys, pouring a fresh concrete floor

A post shared by Windflower Farm CSA (@windflowerfarm) on

CBCSA Newsletter: October 5th Week B

It’s a Week B Pick-Up ThisThursday, October 5th!

This week’s share:
-Spinach
-Butter head lettuce
-Your choice of cooking greens (including dinosaur kale, tatsoi, collards and Swiss chard)
-Yellow onions
-Delicata squashes
-Potatoes
-Dill or cilantro
-Chiles
-Tomatoes
-Green beans
-Summer squashes, and another item. Salsa vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, onions, chiles, cilantro – will be with us for just another week or two, but, as they give way, fall crops like Delicata squashes and sweet potatoes will take their place.

Your fruit share will include Golden Supreme apples and Bosc pears from Yonder Farm. Next week, you’ll get Yonder’s Jonagold apples and the Borden’s cider.

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #18, October 3 and 5, 2017

This week’s share: Spinach, butterhead lettuce, your choice of cooking greens (including dinosaur kale, tatsoi, collards and Swiss chard), yellow onions, Delicata squashes, potatoes, dill or cilantro, chiles, tomatoes, green beans or summer squashes, and another item. Salsa vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, onions, chiles, cilantro – will be with us for just another week or two, but, as they give way, fall crops like Delicata squashes and sweet potatoes will take their place. Today’s Delicatas (my favorite of the winter squashes) can be prepared by cutting them in half lengthwise, removing their seeds, and roasting them for 30-40 minutes in the oven until fork soft. Some people add a little butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Their skins, if washed before baking, are also edible. Acorn squashes or more Delicatas will arrive next week, and still more winter squashes will arrive the week after that, so there is no need to hold onto these. Your fruit share will include Golden Supreme apples and Bosc pears from Yonder Farm. Next week, you’ll get Yonder’s Jonagold apples and the Borden’s cider.

We have been removing spent tomato plants from our “caterpillar” greenhouses this week. We take out the old vines in order to make room for the winter greens we’ll plant next week. The volume of plant matter we’ve removed so far is huge, nearly doubling the size of our compost piles. We have organized those piles into windrows. We start the tomato vines composting in a way that reminds me of how we use a sourdough starter to make bread. We place the fresh green material on the ground, forming a new windrow, then cover it lightly with a layer of compost from the windrow next door. That compost is full of the microorganisms that get the process underway. In a few weeks, we’ll turn the compost for the first time, adding other organic materials, including old straw, hay, weeds and culled vegetables. The process is a slow one, taking an entire season from start to finish. The pile we are starting now is for next year’s fall crops. By the time we have tuned the compost six or eight times, the pile has taken on a uniform dark brown color, and it no longer looks or smells anything like the waste vegetables and plant matter that it is composed of. Once it’s spread, the compost will transform these tired greenhouse soils, restoring them to the healthy condition farmers call good tilth, and giving our winter greens a good start.

Have a great week, Ted