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Root Down Farm Ramblings

Wait List Share Sign Ups

by Erin and Steve on 01/25/22

Phew, we can now put 2021 behind us and focus on 2022. There is lots to do this time of year, but the work in front of a computer increases while the work with vegetables decreases!
Remember small farms are small businesses, so beyond doing share distributions and wholesale deliveries we are all dealing with tax related crap right now, pulling in accounts owed, filling in the rest of the profit and loss statements and balance sheets, completing w2's for employees and sending them out, field planning for the season and seed ordering, and filling remaining open shares. All but one of the things listed has a deadline, so we are just now getting around to it: the Wait List
If you just asked to be added to the wait list this year we may not have room for you until next season. If you have been on the wait list and received emails containing your place in the list then you will probably be able to sign up for a share if you want one...just look for an email by the end of this week.
We had our second highest retention rate this season, so there are not a lot of openings, unfortunately. Again, we would love to accommodate everyone, but are limited by our land and available help.
Thanks to everybody who supported the farm this past season, we hope you found some joy in being a member! Here's to another successful CSA season, our 12th one!

Winter Share #7of 7: The Final Winter Share and Bulk Sale

by Erin and Steve on 01/14/22

The final Winter Share pick up is upon us, and boy does it seem like time flew this season! We again grew more vegetables than ever before, and still sold out more quickly than predicted. Thank you to every person who showed support (and hopefully enjoyed their produce)! We have big plans for 2022 to get to, once we can fully put 2021 behind us...if that's possible ;) But the farm's New Year's Resolution is to grow more stuff...so hopefully we can make that happen!
We are again having our annual Winter Bulk Sale for everyone in the Winter Share, please check your inboxes for how to order.
This week's (final) share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, squashes, turnips, radishes, celeriac, cabbage, parsnips, onions, lettuce, kale, and more!

An Off Week

by Erin and Steve on 01/10/22

This week is a off week for the Winter Share so there is no pick up. It is, however, an "on" week for frigid temperatures! So there is no share pick up this week. Instead we are looking for windows in the week's weather to get things harvested for the final Winter Share pick up, which will happen next week (Tuesday the 18th and Thursday the 20th).
We are finally taking our Christmas tree down after having an extended holiday season. But it is time to turn out attention to 2022's growing season and what lies ahead. I am almost done with the seed orders and we gotta get going on building our new greenhouse (we outgrew the old one, so we have to take that one down first). So much to do!

Jan. 6th Snow Update

by Erin and Steve on 01/06/22

As of right now (12 noon) we are still planning on Winter Share pick up as normal today, Thursday the 6th starting at 3:00. The snow is supposed to start tapering off by that time. However, if roads are not great where you are the road crews may need more time to clean things up. Therefore, we will stay open until 7:00. If you for sure will not be making it today please text us during share hours in order to pick up your share Friday between 4 and 5:00pm. You have to let us know if you are planning on coming on Friday instead of today so we can have your share ready and bagged for you.

Winter Share #6 of 7- 1/4+1/6- 2022 A New Frontier

by Erin and Steve on 01/01/22

I can't believe it is already the New Year...and that year happens to be 2022! 2020 felt like a year we just needed to get through, but for me 2021 was the year to get back to "normal". Instead the New Year comes with the realization that things aren't ever going to be as they were just 2 years ago. This isn't a negative statement, but it is one filled with mourning and grief. It feels like something has been lost, and may be gone forever, but 2022 is the year to forge ahead into unplowed ground (sorry for the stupid metaphor, but it seemed fitting).
The farm has had multiple years where we've had to put our hopes into ground that hadn't been productive in decades. It's unnerving to plan for the future as a farm based on land you know little about beyond it's soil type and classification. But every time we plowed long time fallow ground we were gifted bountiful harvests in return for the work we put in. And in time this once unknown-to-us land has produced more and more with each passing season. So here's to 2022; may the future be bountiful for us all.
This week's Winter Share will be the second-to-last pick up. It will include potatoes, winter squashes, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, celeriac, cabbage, bok choy, radishes, onions, kale, head lettuce, and more!
Just a reminder share pick up is from 3 to 6:00 and the final pick up will be in 2 weeks.

The Hap-Happiest Time

by Erin and Steve on 12/26/21

Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday Season. Biggest take home from that first sentence is SEASON! That's right, the Christmas holiday has a season and it is exactly 12 days long, how awesome for it to be over almost two weeks! A perfect amount of time to eat, relax, be with friends and family (safely of course), and turn off the old brain! Enjoy!

Week #5 of 7: 12/14+12/16- Approaching the Solstice (Yuletide Greetings)

by Erin and Steve on 12/12/21

We are rapidly approaching the shortest day of the year, which also marks the first day of Winter. It is also know as Yule and the yuletide season, which is celebrating the changing of seasons. I celebrate this time by sleeping as much as possible! But this year there has been a shift in the farming world, and I had to get all the field and greenhouse plans set for next season so I could do ALL THE SEED ORDERING already! Yes, it's 2021, but I have seeds for this time 2022. Throw on 3 crazy wind storms in a week and a half, a horrible Bills/ Pats game, a power outage and wedding to get to and...maybe I'll sleep in January :)
I'm hoping you're getting a quiet moment to appreciate the changing season. Our last distribution of 2021 is this week, BUT remember we still have two more Winter Share distributions in January! This week's share will include: potatoes, squashes, carrots, beets, celeriac, rutabegas, leeks, scallions, onions, lettuce, bok choy, kale, parsnips, garlic, and more!

Down Time (aka No Share this Week)

by Erin and Steve on 12/04/21

This week marks the first week since last March that we have significantly reduced work hours for us and the farm crew. I know I've already talked about resting, but if any of you have experience getting overworked and mildly burned out, then you know it doesn't take just one weekend to recover. The shorter daylight hours help turn my brain off, which is a good thing.
But we are again planning for next season, and have already ordered seeds (not all of them, but most of them). With a field rotation plan, we already know where everything will be out in the fields. We have to update totals, and change up some varieties that are either no longer available or now have better alternatives. For example, cucumbers are a big focus for us and I hate it when we have a bad cucumber year. 2021 was a great cucumber year for us, and it is based in the seeds we focus on, and also on our growing techniques to ensure we have a crop in season. We had a few members come into the share room this season and say something like, "I was at the farmers market and no one has cucumbers, but you have cucumbers." And my response is, "Yep, cucumbers are actually very difficult to grow in our region. That is why we search for the best cucumber seed to fit our micro climate, and we are also very good at our job." Just a humble brag ;)
Anyway, as we look forward and plan for the future it is all based on experiences in the past. And in order for experiences in the past to be reliable sources we have to be honest about our observations (was a failure our fault, was it a weather related thing, are our neighboring farms experiencing the same thing, etc.). Being honest with yourself is the only way to be able to learn and grow (literally and figuratively).

Winter Share #4 of 7: Nov. 30th + Dec. 2nd- The Chills

by Erin and Steve on 11/27/21

We're back slinging Winter Shares after a week off! The Winter Share will continue pick ups in the share room in the BIG barn for the remainder of the season. I know some people remember picking up shares in the root cellar, but we don't do that anymore because of the small space. The share room in the big barn has been outfitted for the Winter Share pick up now, so we are all set.
There is also the new Erie County mask mandate in affect so make sure to wear your mask inside the barn while picking up your shares!
This week's share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, Winter squashes, turnips, bok choy, celeriac, leeks, cabbage, fennel, kale, parsnips, radishes, scallions, onions, lettuce mix, brussels sprouts, and more!

4th Annual Thanksgiving Market at the Farm

by Erin and Steve on 11/20/21

The 4th annual Thanksgiving Market at the Farm takes place on Tuesday the 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00 in the big barn! We love this day every year because we get to see all your smiling faces outside of regular pick up AND also the market is open to the public! Which means tell your family and your friends that they can come grab the goods, too.
PLUS, the Savage Wheat Project will be here slinging their goodies. So stock up before you miss out ;)
If you are wondering what a 'pop up market' looks like it's simple. We set up the share barn like a farmers market and sell veggies and apples for your Thanksgiving meal, or even just your fridge. **REMEMBER**we only accept cash or check (no cards). We will have potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, brussels sprouts, squashes (like butternut, acorn, kabocha, and pumpkin), celery, carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, leeks, scallions, lettuce, greens, cabbage, baby cauliflower, fresh ginger and turmeric, herbs, fennel, and apples from Bittner-Singer Orchards and more! Phew
So we hope to see you and yours there!

Winter Share #3 of 7: 11/16+11/18 First Snow Fall

by Erin and Steve on 11/13/21

**Remember the 4th Annual Thanksgiving Market at Farm will take place on Tuesday the 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00...more info to come**
Today is the first snowfall we've had this Fall. It is beautiful, and I kept telling myself to be ready for it! But those warm, sunny days last week had me reminding myself it's November a few times a day. But here it is and we're mostly prepared for it. There are a few crops in the field to be harvested still, and of course they will be able to handle the snowfall. I'm hoping our fingers will be able to handle it come time to harvest the rest of it. We also have to battle the deer this time of year. They are everywhere right now, since it is deer mating season (known as the rut). We've just gotta keep them eating stuff like cover crops instead of cash crops! And once it snows they get more adventurous.
But this coming week is looking a little reminiscent of last week, including temperatures near 60! This is what is in the Winter Share this week: carrots, beets, potatoes, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes, parsnips, greens, celery, cauliflower, fennel, kale, scallions, onions, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and garlic. Remember: This is the largest of all our Winter Shares...cause it's time to celebrate the harvest!!

Winter Share #2 of 7: 11/9+11/11- The First Frost

by Erin and Steve on 11/06/21

Reminder **The Winter Share pick up is from 3:00 to 6:00** shortened from the Summer Share hours.
Well the frosts and freezes finally came this past week. For reference the first frost last year was in September. It averages around October 10th. But alas it is here, and those cool-weather-lovin-crops are going to taste sweeter for it. In case you are wondering why crops that can survive under 32 degrees get sweeter it is because they start producing sugars as a way to handle the freezes. That's right, sugars freeze at a lower temperature. Pretty amazing. Just another reminder Nature has developed solutions to problems way before humans ever did, and is usually better at solving said problems than we are. In fact, we often just copy Nature.
Anyway, as farmers we are lucky to be able to gawk at the wonders Nature provides as we work each day. I recently heard a statistic that Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors.
As for the Winter Share (oh yeah ;), this week's share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, squashes, sweet potatoes, greens, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, radicchio, radishes, scallions, onions, lettuce, and brussels sprouts!  

Winter Sare #1 of 7: 11/2+11/4- The Times They Are a Changin'

by Erin and Steve on 10/30/21

**Winter Share pick up hours are Tuesdays and Thursday 3:00 to 6:00**
The weather seems like it is now fully committed to Fall, and hopefully the rains will subside all week as predicted! What's better than a sunny, cool Fall day with all the trees changing colors? I even look forward to the day length shortening more. If you've been following along for a while you know I grew up in Michigan, but have lived in Vermont for a bit as well. Both states are in the same time zone! In Vermont the sun would set at 4:30 pm during the shortest days. I would get out of work at 4:00 and have a half hour of sunlight. For this I remember thinking, "Why didn't I notice how early the sun sets in the Winter?" It quickly occurred to me that it's because growing up in Michigan the sun never sets that early, because it is on the other side of the time zone...and the earth is round (believe it or not ;). So growing up I never experienced the sun setting so early, which made me feel better about the shock of it while I was in Vermont.
But now as a farmer I am pretty convinced my body is more in tune with the seasons than ever. I really do start sleeping more this time of year and my appetite increases this time of year as well. So I joke that I hibernate in the Winter. Ha.
Good thing the Winter Share is starting and we got the Winter grub ready for all! Winter Share pick up is on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:00. These are shortened hours from the Summer share pick up so please take note!
The first Winter Share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, winter squashes, greens, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, peppers, radicchio, radishes, scallions, onions, head lettuce, garlic, kale and chard. We will also have some locally grown fruit available (as you know, we grow all the vegetables in the share, but the fruit is largely grown by area farmers and is labeled as such).
The next Winter share is next week!

No Share Pick Ups This Week

by Erin and Steve on 10/24/21

There are no share pick ups this week. The Summer Share has ended and the Winter Share will begin next week, the first full week of November. So that leaves this week for us to finish up bulk harvests for storage, like carrots, but we already have all the potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, parsnips, and beets harvested and in storage. We also continue to harvest weekly for the Winter Share in weather windows.
It's the time of year for gloves, and weatherproof overalls, layers of clothes and coffee at every lunch. But the work will get done and hopefully these weary, season-worn farmers can start hibernating soon.
We are also already planning for the Thanksgiving Market at the Farm! It is planned for the 23rd of November, aka the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We're thinking it will be from 1 to 4pm that day, but we will finalize the time soon. It is open to anyone!
Also, if you had a Summer Share this season, don't forget to renew for 2022!
See you Winter Shares soon ;)

Summer Share #20 of 20: The Final Share of the Season

by Erin and Steve on 10/17/21

This week is the 20th and final pick up week for the 2021 Summer Share season. What a bountiful year for the farm; we are happy to have been able to share it with everyone in the CSA! We hope that if you are intending to renew for 2022 that you have already brought/sent in the renewal form and payment. If not we'll have more forms at the farm this week to fill out. Make sure to sign up now to reserve your spot for next season.
For everyone who has signed up for the Winter Share, the first pick up is the 2nd or 4th of November. We will send out emails at the end of this week.
The final week's share will include: carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, peppers, broccoli, fennel, radicchio, celery, greens, radishes, turnips, tomatoes, cabbage, and leeks.
The fruit share will include apples and pears.
Don't forget to order from Savage Wheat Project and also this week is the final pick up for Providence Creek Meat Share.
And the Thanksgiving Market at the Farm will be happening again this year! It will be on Tuesday November 23rd!

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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
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