Root Down Farm Ramblings
That's right, the Spring Greens Share will be starting the first week of May for everyone who signed up for it. Not sure if you signed up for it?...well, if you did you would have received an email from us last week. So, if you did not receive an email, then you are not signed up for the Spring Share. Remember: the Spring Share is not the Summer CSA Share. **I know that statement sounds simple, but it is key:).
Okay, okay, okay. A week and a half ago there was snow on the ground and now I'm telling you we just plowed the first field of the season on Thursday. The weather is looking pretty wet in the coming forecast, though. As we were trying not to obsess over the weather (which inevitably happens every year, especially in the Spring!) we went on our way planning and prepping the spring field when one of our tractors stopped running, literally. Steve is in 'frantic mode' trying to figure out what is wrong and the rain is looming. Yes...I can say that this is definitely Springtime, no foolin'.
Wow, it has potentially been the longest span of time I've gone without blogging since the farm started! Is it possible that a lot is going on even though things are slow on the farm? Right now we are still watching the last of the snow melt while the greenhouse is starting to fill up. The first of the tomatoes are potted, the first of the greens for the Spring Greens Share are germinating and it looks like rainy Spring days are ahead. Hopefully we can look forward to some sort of normalcy this season when it comes to the weather, even though this winter was extremely unusual. I guess in the middle of writing this I've realized how it is possible to be so busy even when progress on the farm is slow...it's because of all the planning for everything that may happen this season. We spend a lot of off time planning, and planning, and planning for when that plan goes out the window so that even in a 200 year drought (like last season) we can still deliver an awesome share. So thanks Excel, and the Girl Scouts for preparing me for this! Ha.
Well, the 2017 season is off and we already have the earliest of the vegetable seedlings germinated and growing in the propagation room. Now on even the gloomiest or coldest of days I can just go in the prop room and the seedlings bring a smile to my face. The earliest of the seedlings are always the onions, leeks, scallions, celery, celeriac, and a range of herbs as they take the longest to mature or need to mature during a specific time of year. We've also seeded the hot peppers, eggplant, and earliest tomatoes. Next on the agenda is to start up the big greenhouse and start up the big seedings. I'm talkin' sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, collards and on from there. This also marks the ending of our "off season" because those little vegetable seedlings need constant care.
The company that hosts our website is in the midst of upgrading our email system at the most inopportune time. It is nearing March 1st and if you are on the payment plan for your share the next payment is due March 1st. You will all (hopefully) be receiving emails from us soon with all the information you need to make your second payment, it may just be a little late.
Yesterday was the very last share distribution of the 2016 season (I know that sounds confusing 'cause it's 2017, but all the seeds that grew into the very vegetables in your fridge were seeded in 2016). So we celebrated a little and then woke up this morning ready to work for 2017. The first seeds of this season will soon be seeded and new projects are already underway. The warming weather will help us along as we have 11 weeks until we start distributing vegetables again! Every new season is an uplifting moment since we get to look forward to not only a new year, but more learning and adding new aspects to our job. It keeps us interested and innovative every year.
This coming week marks the end of the 2016 Winter Share. I love that every year the end of the winter share corresponds with the start of the 2017 greenhouse. It is also when the day length has again reached 10 hours of sun (yes, you guessed it...it's all connected). It's amazing how easy it is to forget that life is dictated by the sun and moon and light when there is concrete and light bulbs surrounding us. Thank goodness the vegetables know better than us, and annually bring my thoughts back to "Nature as Measure" as Wes Jackson might say.
We are on the "off week" for the winter CSA shares this week, so there will not be a share distribution this week. Instead we will be using the week to tie up the remaining loose ends of 2016, including processing all of the dry beans for the last winter share pick up. After that we can finally say 'good friggin' riddance' to 2016 and focus on this coming season. Of course both Punxsutawney Phil and Dunkirk Dave saw their shadows yesterday, so they think we'll be in for a good 6 more weeks of winter. I'm not really sure how good a groundhog can be at prognosticating, but I guess he's about as good at it as I am (and they're more practiced). Easter is a little late this year, too, so I'm going with a longer, maybe lingering winter this year. I would also like to predict this year is going to fly by! How is it February already?
This week marks the 7th week of the Winter Share out of a total of 8 share pick ups. It seems that the last of 2016 is almost over and our thoughts are turning more and more to what this season will bring. We have honestly been away for a little farmer vacation in Florida this past week, so if you want to comment on our tans when you see us feel free:) Ha.
Friday slipped through my fingers and it was 7pm before I knew it. Sorry for the late Winter Share Reminder email as well as this blog. Somehow winter is flying by. I am also getting backed up with computer crap work (I mean the side of farming that has nothing to do with farming), so if you are checking the blog for waitlist updates please look for an email from us in the coming week.
The winter share pick up is off again this week. The next pick up is the week of the 16th, so we will see you then. As for you guys out there thinking about next season we have been systematically going through the waitlist. If you feel like you've been on the list for a while (say since the fall of 2015) you should've received an email from us with the chance to sign up for a share. We are almost full for the 2017 season so get those forms mailed to us:)
The winter share pick up will go along as planned today from 3 to 6. The weather looks to be shifty today and we are now under a Lake Effects Snow Warning until tomorrow morning. It's looking like we won't be getting snow until around 5 pm around here. If you are unable to make it to the farm today because of the snow please text or call us to set up another time to pick up (probably tomorrow Friday the 6th).
The first full week of January (next week) marks the next winter share pick up after being off 2 weeks. Yes, Monday pick up-ers will be picking up their share on Monday the 2nd. So we'll see you Monday shares from 3 to 6 in the root cellar (the smaller white building next to the bigger green house). And of course you Thursday pick ups have already picked up in the root cellar, so we'll see you on the 5th from 3 to 6 in the same place as last pick up.
There will not be any share pick ups for the next two weeks. The calendar is a bit funky this year with maybe the weirdest school break I've ever seen. But we will be distributing the winter shares again come the week of January 2nd (yes there is a Monday pick up on the 2nd). The weather flipped on us quickly as well, and a good foot of snow has fallen this week in Clarence. It's absolutely beautiful and equally as cold. We'll see if this is what the entire winter season has in store or not.
Oh holy, moly how weather is changing so drastically from day to day. Last year's December was as warm as I can remember, but start getting back to dressing in layers because the Polar Vortex is on it's way and I'm shivering just thinking about it. For the first time since we've been running the winter share we will be moving the share room to the root cellar in December. We usually hang lights in the barn this next week, but I'm not sure we will be enjoying them very long!