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Root Down Farm Ramblings

No Pick Up This Week!

by Erin and Steve on 12/07/19

Now you may be asking why there is an exclamation point at the end of the title for the post this week: it's because I am excited. I'm going to take this week to relax (at least a little). Of course there's the seed catalogs I mentioned last week that just keep coming, so I won't stop looking at those, but otherwise I don't want to think about planning and office work and shares much at all this week. Woohoo.
I'm hoping everyone will have time to relax in these next few weeks, too. The days are so dark this time of year, we are all supposed to hibernate a little anyways.
So we'll see you Winter Shares not this week, but next.

Winter Share #4 of 8: 12/3 and 12/5 After Thanksgiving

by Erin and Steve on 11/30/19

Well, it's almost time to get off the couch and get back at it. I think that from Tuesday to Friday, with Thanksgiving in the middle, I spent more time on a couch or recliner or car seat than any other place except a bed. Which doesn't sound all too healthy, but when we get our first real break since the 4th of July we really don't want to do much more than sit and think about nothing or football (I grew up in Michigan so this year we got to watch the Lions and the Bills). So we can check that off the list and now it is time to get back at it!
We still have some crops in the fields we are harvesting and some more clean up to do in between snow falls. And soon it will be time for Winter work, which includes ordering seeds!! Yes I have received most of our seed catalogs and am starting to go through them. Very exciting.
As for the share this week, this is what will be included: carrots, beets, radishes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squashes, parsnips, cabbage, onions, turnips, leeks, fennel, kale, chard, lettuce, bok choy, and the last of our 2019 garlic crop.

2nd Annual Thanksgiving Market at the Farm Monday Nov. 25th from 2 to 5

by Erin and Steve on 11/21/19

We are having the 2nd Annual "Thanksgiving Market at the Farm" in the share room at the farm on Monday the 25th from 2pm to 5pm. It's not a share, instead you pay for what you want in order to have the best vegetables for one of the best holidays of the year...Thanksgiving!! And all your friends and family are invited!! Here is a list of what we will have available:
Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squashes, Yellow Onions, Carrots, Turnips, Rutabega, Celery Root, Parsnips, Beets, Leeks, Celery, Kale, Chard, Head Lettuce, Garlic, Apples (These are from Bittner-Singer Orchards, not from us. As you know we grow everything else other than the fruit ;)
and some extras like parsley and salad radishes
We will be open until we are sold out. So make sure to bring cash or check to pay for your loot and dress for the weather. See you there.

Winter Share #3 of 8: 11/19+11/21 Thanksgiving CSA Share and Thanksgiving Market

by Erin and Steve on 11/16/19

YES! There is another Winter Share pick up this week. I know they are 'crammed in here' because of the way the calendar falls this year, but make sure to use this week's share for Thanksgiving and all the meals that surround it ;)
That being said, we are also again having the Thanksgiving Market at the Farm on Monday November 25th from 2 to 5pm. All of your family and friends and neighbors are invited. It will be set up like a farmers market so you pick out what you want and purchase it a-la-carte. There will be a list of the vegetables that will be available at the market on this blog next weekend. You can expect all the Thanksgiving vegetable staples to be available and tasting better than anything you can get at the store, per usual. Stay tuned for more info!
This week has been a chilly one, I'm sure you are aware. We are hearing stories from farmers all over who have lost crops due to this unusual weather (it got way too cold way too fast in case you didn't notice; like January in the beginning of November which is still a Fall month). Some large farms only getting 1/4 of their crops out of the ground before this arctic blast. Farmer friends in North Carolina had 48+ hours in a row under 32 degrees. I know you might think to yourself 'who cares?' but I'm talking about North Carolina! not Buffalo. So once again, we are thankful for this abundance we have and are able to share with the community around us, so let's give Thanks!
This share will include: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, celeriac, radishes, parsnips, cabbage, onions, winter squash choices, purple top turnips, celery, leeks, parsley, fennel, brussels sprouts, chard, kale, head lettuce and scallions, and apples from Bittner-Singer Orchards and McCollum Orchards.

Winter Share #2 of 8: 11/12+11/14 Baby It's Cold Outside

by Erin and Steve on 11/09/19

It's about to be January in November real quick! It seems like mid-November every year there is a little 'winter is coming' check that Mother Nature likes to impose (everyone remembers Snowvember, right?). Last year there was a little burst of cold at the end of this week. But this year THERE IS AN ENTIRE WEEK OF JANUARY WEATHER IN THE BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER! We're lucky to have most of our winter crops out of the big fields right now. But as you Thursday picker uppers saw, we had to harvest the brussels sprouts early because there is no chance this week. We also have green leafy things in the tunnels that are semi-protected, but we're still crossing our fingers that those more tender crops will make it through this week, because THERE IS AN ENTIRE WEEK OF JANUARY WEATHER IN THE BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER that we hadn't planned for.
So we are doing our best to make sure these leafy greens make it to the next few shares, because real Winter is coming December 21st...yes, this is still Fall no matter what retailers are telling you. So this cool blast is a great reminder to everyone: eat winter vegetables. Srsly. It is a great way to help mitigate climate change. Get ready this winter to eat winter vegetables.
But since it is still Fall, this is what is in the share this week: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, celery, salad radishes, kohlrabi, cabbage, onions, acorn squash, bok choy, scallions, parsley, fennel, chard, kale, brussels sprouts, head lettuce and leeks.

Winter Share #1 of 8 11/5+11/7 First Winter Share Pick Up

by Erin and Steve on 11/02/19

Very busy here at the Farm, and windy.  Excited to have the summer share done and ready for the winter share, did I mention the wind?  We are very thankful for the summer share season and for the wonderful members that joined us in the bountiful year.  We are looking forward to next season while preparing for the start of the winter share this week.  This weeks share will include:
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, Parsnips, Celeriac, Turnips, Salad Radish, Kohlrabi, onions, Squash, Leeks, Broccoli, Parsley, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Lettuce Mix, Spinach, Celery and B.Sprouts.

Summer Share #22 of 22! 10/29+10/31 The Final Summer Share of 2019

by Erin and Steve on 10/26/19

That's right we've reached share pick up #22 of 22. That means it is the FINAL Summer Share pick up of the 2019 Summer season. With the abundant year we've had it's difficult to remember how horrific the Spring really was! So this week is the last time we'll see some of your smiling faces until next year. But we are doing the Thanksgiving Market at the Farm again this year, so maybe we'll see you then. The Winter Share starts next week, so if you've signed up for that share we'll see you then. (Just FYI the Winter Share is still Tuesday or Thursday, but from 3 to 6).
If you've never been to the Thanksgiving Market at the Farm, then think about stopping by this year! The share room will be open to you and any of your friends and family on Monday November 25th from 2 to 5pm with all the vegetables you'll need for your Thanksgiving supper. We'll have an exact updated list posted here the week before.
Otherwise, don't forget to renew your current share for the 2020 CSA season (if you are a current member this is your time to sign up for the summer share, fruit share, spring share, and meat share). We've got renewal forms in the share room if you need one, but we've also sent out a reminder email with the form attached.
It looks like this week is gonna be the start of some cold weather. So we've got the harvest schedule all ready and rearing to go finish the last of the harvest of all the more tender crops. Here's hoping the weather on Halloween is decent for all the trick-or-treaters.
The final share pick up will include: sweet potatoes, winter squashes, carrots, beets, cabbage, watermelon and daikon radishes, parsnips, onions, kale, chard, kohlrabi, salad turnips, celery, leeks, brussels sprouts, spinach, and scallions.
The fruit share will be a share-and-a-half again this week and will include apples and pears. Tis the season!

Summer Share #21 of 22: 10/22+10/24- You Don't Know What You Don't Know

by Erin and Steve on 10/20/19

**Just a reminder to get your renewal forms in before the close of the season (which is next week!).**
We encourage questions in the share room during share pick ups. It really is the easiest time to ask anything because Steve or I are in there for every pick up. Sometimes it's difficult to know what to ask, or sometimes you don't know how to ask it. For example, a woman looked at our beautiful purple bok choy last week and made a face at it. She said something to her friend while shaking her hand in the direction of the bok choy. But then it happened. She asked about it. How wonderful ;). She was confused why it was the color it was and if the weather had made it do that. If you've been in the share long enough you know that vegetables come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes. So the answer was and is that it is a different kind or "variety" of bok choy that is naturally purple. And already this season you've seen white and green bok choy. And you know other veggies like carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, onions, radishes, turnips, and kohlrabi (to name just a few) have a purple-ish "variety" as well as other colors. It's natural, and it promotes diversity in our fields and in your diet. It is important to "eat your colors". If you have never heard "eat your colors" you should google it right now. It's a great way to make sure your getting the nutrients you need.
It's also important to keep in mind that what ends up on the tables in the share room is all intentional. We've planned for it all, including for there to be purple bok choy these past few weeks, and for you to eat it, and for you to possibly ask questions about it. So go ahead and ask me. Just try not to make faces at the vegetables, they might just make one back at you.
This second-to-last share will include: sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets, fall and winter squashes, salad turnips, watermelon radishes, kohlrabi, fennel, radicchio, chard, kale, onions, bok choy (but don't go asking for any purple bok choy because it's all gone now), cauliflower, spinach, garlic, and leeks.
The fruit share will include apple cider, apples and pears.

Summer Share #20 of 22: 10/15+10/17 Steve's Birthday

by Erin and Steve on 10/12/19

Just so everyone knows, it's Steve's Birthday on Tuesday the 15th. We are also still renewing shares for the 2020 season for current members until the end of the month (which is also the end of this year's Summer share :0). So make sure to bring your payment. If you were unable to print out a form we have plenty in the share room for you to use. Also bring any questions you have about signing up, too. Steve has been in the share room a lot lately because I am still getting better from my bout with bronchitis. My allergies are severe this year and are adding to the problems, so I'll be in and out again this week.
We are spending our time still harvesting, harvesting, harvesting. We are bringing in the weekly harvests for the Summer Shares, plus checking off bulk harvests for the Winter Share. This past week we got the last of the sweet potatoes out of the ground, did the majority of the carrot harvest (over 2500lbs) and got our garlic in the ground. It's a lot to do, with smaller tasks having to get done when we are able. Up next is the rest of the potatoes. Wish us luck.
As for the share this week, it will include: sweet potatoes, winter squashes, potatoes, carrots, beets, cauliflower, salad radishes and turnips, peppers, eggplant, fennel, cabbage, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, scallions, head lettuce, spinach, salad greens, and brussels sprouts!
The fruit share will include apples and pears.

Summer Share #19 of 22: 10/8+10/10 Share Renewal Starts this Week

by Erin and Steve on 10/05/19

Well, we got our first little frost of the Fall and that means it's time to RENEW YOUR SHARE FOR 2020!! Yes, all you current CSA members will be sent emails shortly with instructions on how to renew your share for next year. This is your big chance to renew because come November we will start signing up people on the waiting list to fill any vacancies ;)!!
The first little frost means that the vegetables out in the fields will actually start becoming sweeter. "Whaaaattt?", you ask. Plants will actually naturally start producing their own sugars to help prevent themselves from freezing when the temperature drops. It's a self defense mechanism for survival. Yes, mother nature has her own natural anti-freeze and it's called sugar! How amazing. And how wonderful for us veggie lovers, too.
So read your email in full (Srsly!) for all the info you need to renew for next year and come to the share with your payment in hand and ready to take home these guys: potatoes, sweet potatoes, buttercup squash, pumpkin squash, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, salad turnips and radishes, sweet peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, fennel, bok choy, kale, cabbage, edamame, garlic and head lettuce.
The fruit share will include seedless table grapes, apples, pears and maybe the last of the peaches! 

Summer Share #18 of 22: 10/1 + 10/3 In Stride

by Erin and Steve on 09/29/19

**FYI We're starting share renewals for the 2020 season for current members next week!**
Sometimes in the dead of Winter, when it has been white and even drab outside for a while it's hard to imagine that things will ever be green again. And then Spring turns to Summer and things start greening. In that same vein, sometimes when the summer is super hot and dry and the bugs are annoying it's difficult to imagine all the green ever changing. Well here we are. The leaves are starting to change and the nights are getting chilly. And the rains have started (grrrr).
So the farm is in full harvest mode. We have 2 more weeks of putting plants in the ground in the tunnels and then it's all harvest. This is why I growl at the rain. It makes it difficult to harvest things, as you can imagine. A lot of our big harvests require the use of a tractor and an implement to lift or pull things from the ground. If the ground is too wet, then the tractors can't get in the fields. So here's hoping for a beautiful Fall. Don't worry, I won't remind you that there was no Fall last year (remember it just rained, and rained, and rained, and the leaves on the trees weren't even a thing, and it was wet, and miserable, and cold, and gross). 
So here's to a great Fall ahead of us, right?! This week's share will include: potatoes, fall and winter squash choice, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, salad radishes and turnips, flowering broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, celery, bok choy, and kale.
The Fruit Share will include peaches, plums, pears and apples.

Summer Share Week #17 of 22: 9/24 + 9/26 Climate Strike

by Erin and Steve on 09/23/19

I hope people were able to voice their concerns or listen to others about climate change this past weekend. There is a week long climate strike happening around the world right now and I hope we can come up with some solutions soon to help mitigate climate change. Nothing like an 89 degree day at the end of September (preceded by2 other 80 degree days) to hit the point home.
I spent part of my weekend at Urgent Care, which is why this blog post is late (sorry). My sinus problems due to allergies were horrible in the thick air this weekend. Then on Sunday I started having problems breathing because of it. But all is well and I have a brand new inhaler to carry with me.
So the share this week is plentiful and I hope you are all enjoying the abundance of your share. This week will include: Hella Broccoli!, potatoes, spaghetti squash, delicatas, and buttercups, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, onions, peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, cauliflower, brussuls sprout tops, flowering broccoli, edamame, bok choy, tomatoes, acorn squash, greens, garlic, and a Jack-O-Lantern for everyone.
The fruit share will include grapes, peaches, apples, plums and pears.

Summer Share #16 of 22: 9/17+9/19- Taking Time

by Erin and Steve on 09/15/19

**Don't forget to bring your payment for the Winter Share and sign up at this week's Summer Share pick up**
Throughout the week things come up that make me think to myself 'That would be a good thing to blog about'. Unfortunately memory can be fleeting and I rarely remember the ideas when I sit down to blog. The one (of many) things that stuck with me this week is an incident in the share room that made me want to remind everyone to slow the heck down. Apply it to everything, everywhere, all the time. I need to do it, too.
Anyway, Steve and I were actually able to leave the farm this weekend so I apologize to anyone who was expecting a post earlier. But harvest season is in full effect and we needed to take a small respite beforehand. 
So enjoy the bounty. I know the shares are big right now, but that's a good thing!! This week will include: potatoes, winter squash choice, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplant, hopefully broccoli (iffy because we are in-between plantings), hot peppers, kohlrabi, spinach, salad radishes and turnips, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, edamame, bok choy, celery, head lettuce, and escarole.
The fruit share will include organic raspberries, peaches, plums, pears and apples.

Summer Share #15 of 22: 9/10+9/12 WINTER SHARE SIGN UPS START!

by Erin and Steve on 09/08/19

The Winter Share will start signing up current shareholders during share pick up this week. Please bring your payment (the share costs $240) with you when you sign up in the share room. We typically fill up in 3 weeks so don't delay! Visit the we 'shares' tab on the website and scroll down to the winter share link and click on it for more info. Or bring your questions with you to the share room.
As the weather cools for the season (but not for good, this week is looking pretty warm) we keep focusing on the harvest and less and less on weeds and bugs. It's a relief of sorts, but the time crunch is still there. We are going to start topping the brussels sprouts this week. We take the tops off the plants so that it will shift it's focus to making larger sprouts. It's a similar concept to taking the garlic scapes off. So look for brussels sprout tops in the share. If you think they sound crazy I guarantee that if you give them a legitimate shot you'll end up loving them. We are still bringing in the fall and winter squashes, as some of you on Thursday witnessed Steve driving the tractor back and forth from the fields on Shimerville and Roll Rds to the barn carrying bins and boxes full of squashes. We will soon focus on the sweet potato harvest followed by the potatoes, and all the winter roots. It'll take from now until the end of October to get everything out of the ground while also doing everything else we have to do for the CSA and wholesale accounts. The beginning of the end of the growing season has started...I'm trying not to get tired just thinking about the work!
This week's share will continue with a full load. I know the shares have been large these past few weeks, but let's enjoy it! How amazing is this region we live in to provide such abundance and variety? I'm always in awe of it every year. This week's share will include: potatoes, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, summer squash, cucumbers, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, scallions, onions, salad radishes, bok choy, melons, head lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and those brussels sprout tops!
**The fruit share will be a share and a half this week due to the late start. It will include table grapes, peaches, plums and pears (and maybe apples??).

Summer Share #14 of 22- 9/3+9/5: The Crazy Continues

by Erin and Steve on 09/01/19

***Just FYI, we will be signing up Winter Shares starting next week. More info coming to your inbox soon!***
The crazy harvest days continue this week. I'm pretty sure that this coming week will be the last weeding we'll have to do for 2019.That's a direct result of temperatures dropping. Nighttime temperatures are important this time of year because if they start dropping below 50 degrees the tomatoes start to protest. Also the fall and winter squashes start coming in from the fields, but the summer squashes and cucumbers are going to be plowed in because they are done for the season.
So it's on to harvest, harvest, harvest for us mostly from now until Thanksgiving. Of course it can be fun, but it is the heaviest time of the year for us. And there is a time crunch involved which adds to the crazy. Here we go!
This week's share will include: potatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplant, bok choy, kohlrabi, winter squash, kale, chard, broccoli, melons, tomatoes, celery, escarole, spinach and choice of salad greens.
The fruit share will include organic raspberries, peaches, nectarines and plums.

Root Down Farm
5850 Shimerville Rd 
Clarence Center, NY 14032

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
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