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Root Down Farm Ramblings

The Spring Share to Start in 1 Week!

by Erin and Steve on 04/22/17

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:).

So, with the Spring Share starting soon, it also means that it is time for the annual proverbial poo to hit the proverbial fan. This is the time of year we start running around trying to get as much done in the time frame that Mother Nature will allow. April showers are part of an old saying for a reason. So the greenhouse is booming and filling up fast with the more temperature sensitive summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, squashes and cucumbers. We rushed to prep fields last week when, as I mentioned in last week's post, our largest tractor decided to call it a career (or it broke down depending on how you want to look at it). We were still able to pull things together with our awesome crew and get 13,000 transplants in the ground in 2 days. Since we had such a warm winter, some of our most hated bugs are already back in action about a good 2 weeks or more ahead of the usual time of year (we can all thank global warming for that). And along with our wonderful growing crops, weeds are starting to grow, too. I know, I know...everyone is busy. So when you see us running around like 'chickens with our heads cut off' for the next few months you'll understand.

#FarmingisFixing, plus the Spring Greens Share

by Erin and Steve on 04/15/17

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'.

So, we're staying positive and looking for solutions to all of Spring's challenges. The good thing is that the high tunnels that house the bulk of the vegetables for the Spring share are booming, and looking good. The Spring Share looks like it will start on time this year. The start will be the first week of May. If you have signed up for this share you will receive an email from me early next week with more information. Yeah Spring?!

"Always Be Prepared"

by Erin and Steve on 03/27/17

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.

Up, Up and Away

by Erin and Steve on 03/06/17

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.

Here we go.

Second Payments for the Shares Due March 1st

by Erin and Steve on 02/24/17

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.

As for this crazy weather it's making us farmers stir. But average weather will return again and put our heads back on our shoulders. Phew.

Eleven Weeks and Counting

by Erin and Steve on 02/17/17

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.

The 2017 shares are full for the season, so remember to email us to get on the waitlist. If you are put on the waitlist this year it looks like you will be an entire season out (ie you're looking at joining in 2019).
We still have one open position on the work crew this year as well, so if you know anyone who would like to work (a lot) on a crazy CSA farm let them know we might have a spot for them.

The Final Winter Share Pick Up

by Erin and Steve on 02/10/17

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.

Now, these feelings are always at odds with my childhood memory of February taking FOREVER even though it is the shortest month of the year. Now that I'm older I'm okay with it. It's a good month for us farmers to re-charge the batteries, turn our attention to the coming growing season, and realize again that the glass is definitely half full! This all comes pretty easy when we have such wonderful vegetables to share with you all. The final week's share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage, kale, turnips, radishes, parsnips, kohlrabi, dry beans and dry corn and some more farm ferments. See you then.

Ready All Over Again

by Erin and Steve on 02/03/17

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?

Winter Share #7: 1/30+2/2 Out in the Sun

by Erin and Steve on 01/27/17

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.

Back to the share. This week will include: all the awesome root vegetables, plus kale, cabbage, dried cayenne peppers or horseradish root, popcorn and farm ferment option! Must be gettin' close to February. And don't forget Providence Creek Farm will be here, too with pastured meat. 

Winter Share #6: 1/16+1/19 Backlogged

by Erin and Steve on 01/14/17

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.

It looks like we are going to be entering some warmer weather this week that might just be enough to trick me into thinking it's not going to snow much anymore. Well we welcome any warmer weather during winter share pick ups, so we will see your smiling faces in the root cellar from 3 to 6 Monday or Thursday (depending on your pick up day). The share will include: all the root veggies, cabbage, kohlrabi, onions, butternut squash, cabbage, a choice of herbs, and kale!

Thinking about the Summer

by Erin and Steve on 01/08/17

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:)

Now that the first 7 days of the new year have come and gone, it's easy to fall right back into the ebb and flow of another year (yes, already). I'm trying to balance work with some relax time for myself. It's sometimes difficult to stop working when in the summer we work all the time! So fitting puzzles and baking in between scheduling, seed and field planning and studying (yes, we still study farming) has become important in my weekly schedule to de-stress. I hope you're able to find some balance in 2017, too.

Thursday January 5th pick up

by Erin and Steve on 01/05/17

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).

Winter Share #5: 1/2+1/5 New Year's Observed

by Erin and Steve on 12/30/16

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.

We hope everyone is enjoying time off and time with family and friends, as well sa finding time to reflect. Us farmers are good at that in the winter...maybe not so much in the summer, though. This week's share will include: carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, winter radishes and turnips, parsnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, kale, the last of the leeks and winter squash. There will also be some farm ferments as an option. See you soon.

Off for Two Weeks for the Holidays

by Erin and Steve on 12/17/16

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. 

So whatever it is you celebrate during the holidays we hope it is filled with love, peace, and good cheer. Remember it's a short one this year (thanks, again 2016 calendar), so live every moment of it!

Winter Share #4- 12/12+12/15 The Polar Vortex is Coming!

by Erin and Steve on 12/09/16

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!

***So this is the current game plan: Monday share pick up will again be picking up their vegetables in the share room in the barn from 3 to 6. However, Thursday share pick up will be held in the root cellar where there is heat! (the root cellar is the smaller white building located net to the big greenhouse...look for extra lights and the yellow share sign). As of right now the forecasted high for Thursday is 17 degrees...burrrrrrr. So all this being said, you Monday-ers still have to dress warm to pick up in the share room because it is December and the high temperature will be higher than freezing, but not by much.
Yes there is some snow in the forecast, too, so if any large, unpredicted snow storm blows in make sure to check your inbox and this blog for all the information you need to make sure you get your veggies for the week. And here's what's in them this week: carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, scallions, squashes, cabbage, radishes, kale, cutting celery, and there is even some cauliflower, too. Bring it Winter.

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Root Down Farm
5850 Shimerville Rd 
Clarence Center, NY 14032 
csa@therootdownfarm.com

Pick up hours:
Summer Share M and Th 2-6:30
Winter Share M and Th 3-6
Spring Share M and Th 4-6