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Root Down Farm Ramblings

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!

Summer Share #19 of 20- 10/12+10/14: Two More Share Pick Ups

by Erin and Steve on 10/10/21

Yes, this is one of the two remaining pick up dates for the 2021 Summer share season. It's been a very productive year for the farm, which always makes the exhaustion that comes at the end of a season for the farmers seem more worth it ;)
We know the school year is in full swing, but don't forget to renew your share for the 2022 season if you are a current member. This is the time to make sure to secure your spot for next year. People on the wait list start signing up for open shares in January.
This week's share will include potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, onions, cabbage, beets, carrots, broccoli, turnips, peppers, radicchio, fennel, salad greens, radishes, tomatoes, celery, and garlic.
The fruit share will include pears and apples

Summer Share #18 of 20: 10/5+10/7 Renew Your Share!

by Erin and Steve on 10/03/21

**Just a reminder we are renewing shares for current members for the 2022 growing season right now! That's right, if you are a current member right now is the chance to reserve your share for 2022. We start filling shares from the wait list in January, so don't lose your spot!
This week marks one of 3 weeks left in what we consider the Summer Share. The last pick ups are on October 19th and October 21st. We will again send out emails before the last pick up week for reminders...including purchasing a reusable farm bag ;)
The light in October is very different from September, an the first frost of the Fall season is looming. There are still crops we are harvesting that can't handle frost (think peppers and eggplants), so if you love these crops and are committed to eating seasonally like we are, then make sure to enjoy them while they last. Tomatoes fall into this category, too.
This week's share will include: potatoes, winter squashes, onions, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, salad turnips, radishes, eggplant, peppers, radicchio, fennel, bok choy, spinach, brussels sprout crowns, salad greens, celery, and tomatoes.
The fruit share will include grapes, pears, and apples
Don't forget to order your Savage Wheat Project goodies, too!

Summer Share #17 of 20: 9/28+9/30 2022 Share Renewals Start this Week

by Erin and Steve on 09/26/21

**All current members: it's time to renew your shares for 2022!! Check your inbox for details. We'll also have renewal forms at the farm during share pick ups**
In more good news, the reusable bags are finally back in stock! Woohoo! The farm's own reusable bags, made of recycled cotton, are now available in 2 designs. It is really important to us to find a bag that is 1) the right size for the mix and match, 2) made from a renewable resource, and 3) made from a material that was diverted from a land fill. The bags are furthermore, not made with ANY PLASTICS AT ALL! That means no micro plastics or micro plastic fibers are shed in the course of the bag's use, and the bag itself is compostable. Pretty awesome. They are $10/each
This week's share will include: potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squashes, onions, salad turnips, radishes, eggplant, peppers, fennel, kale, char, radicchio, celery, salad greens, bok choy, head lettuce, and TOMATOES! Yes, tomatoes in all caps because they are still coming outta the field. If you think you're tomatoe'd out then I say 'Phewy!' Fresh tomatoes only taste good while they are in season. This is the 11th week we've had them...out of 52 weeks in a year. This is your time to seize the tomato because only red foam balls parading as tomatoes will be available (at say a grocery store) once they are out of season.
The fruit share will include apples, pears, asian pears, and peaches
Don't forget your Savage Wheat Project order!

Summer Share #16 of 20: 9/21+9/23- Bulk Harvest

by Erin and Steve on 09/19/21

**Next week will start share renewals for the 2022 season. We'll email you with details**
This week the farm to-do list largely consists of harvesting as much as we can as the weather allows. You might think to yourself 'Oh that's it?', and the answer is yes, but bulk harvests take our crew half a day. It also takes half a day to harvest for each share, plus almost half a day to pack for our wholesale accounts, plus 2 half days for share distribution (which doesn't take the entire crew, but still). But if 'harvest potatoes' is on the list, we'll do as much as we can do in the time available. So let's say we get 4 beds, or 1600 bed feet, of potatoes harvested and bagged in a half day then that's a ton of potatoes picked up and we still have to do that 4 more times before all the potatoes are out of the ground. Some crops take longer to get out of the ground, like sweet potatoes, and some crops get washed before they're bagged. That always adds a lot more time onto the tail en of harvest.
But we are on schedule with the transplanting and seeding that needs to happen for the Winter Share greens as well. That involves turning high tunnels over, aka tearing out the tomatoes growing in the tunnels. It's a sad day when we tear out the heirlooms, but it has to happen in the name of winter lettuce and spinach. **BTW I think there are only a few Winter Shares left if you want a share make sure to sign up this week before we're full!**
This week's share will include potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squashes, zucchini, onions, radishes, salad turnips, eggplant, hot peppers, head lettuce, salad greens, fennel, bok choy, radicchio, kale, edamame, celery and tomatoes of course! Enjoy the tomatoes while they last. I refer to out-of-season shipped-from-who-knows-where tomatoes as foam balls.
The fruit share will include raspberries, plums, peaches, pears...and maybe the first apples of the season??
Don't forget your Savage Wheat Project orders too!

Summer Share #15 of 20: 9/13 + 9/15 The Final Weeks of Summer

by Erin and Steve on 09/12/21

It's difficult during a pandemic, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, for my mind to stay inside our little 'farm bubble'. 9/11 for me took place at night. I was living in Sydney, Australia at the time and was watching the nightly news with my apartment mates when we found out what was happening in New York. At the time we turned on the TV only one of the towers had been hit, and we soon watched the second plane hit on live TV. I was living with 4 other Americans who all immediately started calling home. Everyone was getting through to family and friends, even waking some people up because their families were on Mountain Time. Everyone got through to someone but me. I was the only one with family on the east coast and there was just busy signals for every number I called. It was really strange for me because as we all know now, busy signals disappeared with the onset of the cell phone. There was limited information coming from the news on the TV, especially from reporters in Australia. But coverage soon changed to American TV and I found out that the planes that hit the towers came from Logan International (the airport in Boston) where I knew my dad was flying from that morning. He was supposed to be on a flight to Chicago I think, I can't remember now. He usually never flew out of Logan; it was usually LaGuardia or Newark. So I went to sleep that night, wondering how I would fall asleep, but assured I was going to talk to my dad the next morning. It was still the night of 9/11 in the US, and I did talk to my dad then. He ended up renting a car with some others and they drove to their destination.
I was in Sydney for another two months before I came back home. In that time my dad was volunteering to help clean up Ground Zero. I told myself then that the next time a national disaster happened I was going to be there to help clean up, now that I was home. And I did. I was in New Orleans after Katrina hit 16 years ago, helping to gut and clean out homes that had been ruined by the storm, but salvageable.
And here we are, 20 years after 9/11 and we just pulled out of Afghanistan, and Ida just hit New Orleans (of course amongst other locations including NYC). I'm hoping people are still feeling called to duty to help others during difficult times instead of pointing fingers. I'm hoping people are still feeling empathy for others during difficult times, instead of pointing fingers. I'm hoping people still feel a sense of resolve when we are collectively going through a difficult time instead of pointing fingers.
To now completely change my thought process and maybe crawl back into that 'farm bubble', we are still signing people up for the Winter Share. We have 29 spots left. The Winter Share includes greens every week through the end of January as well as winter squashes, root vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and fermented and frozen farm produce (like turmeric :). This is most likely the last week to sign up for it! So bring your payment and verbally sign up this week on your pick up day this week.
We will be starting renewals for the 2022 season in October.
This week's share will include: potatoes, summer and fall squashes, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplant, kohlrabi, onions, kale, celery, head lettuce, greens, and tomatoes.
The fruit share will include grapes, peaches, plums, and pears.
Don't forget you Savage Wheat Project orders, too.

Summer Share #14 of 20- 9/7+9/9 Back to School

by Erin and Steve on 09/05/21

**Don't forget to sign up for the Winter Share by bringing your payment with you to pick up your share!**
The school season is built around growing seasons, as I'm sure some of you know, but some may not. The reason for the Summer vacation for schools is so that kids could be at home during the growing season to help out on the family farm as a lot of families were farmers. Now the percentage of farmers per capita is around 2%. The school calendar never changed with the times, though. So Summer break has turned into "Summer vacation". But this year this week that marks the date a majority of kids are returning to school is a big shift on the farm as well. We've mowed our first and second plantings of tomatoes, are onto our fourth and final planting of zucchini and cucumbers, have started flipping our high tunnels to house winter greens, and are working on bringing in the acre of winter squashes in the field.
This week's share will include: potatoes, kabocha winter squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, onions, carrots, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, kale, chard, celery, salad greens, head lettuce, tomatoes, spaghetti squash and the last of the melons!
The fruit share will include: peaches, plums, nectarines, and raspberries
Don't forget your Savage Wheat Project orders

Summer Share #13 of 20- 8/31+9/2 Time to Sign Up for the Winter Share

by Erin and Steve on 08/29/21

That's right, the time has come to sign up for the Winter Share. All the info you need to sign up is in the email sent out to all current members. We usually sell out in about 3 weeks, so make sure to sign up as soon as you are able.
This past week and weekend(s) of heat have been a bit brutal for us so we are looking forward to the cooler week ahead. Of course I can't talk about the weather without thinking of everyone on the Gulf Coast being impacted by Ida right now. It made landfall on the same day Katrina hit 16 years ago, and it's hard to think about what some people are going through right now.
As for the farm we keep chugging along the best we can, getting as much done as time and weather and our collective energy allows. Right now focus is on the start of the Winter Squash harvest. If you follow us on Instagram you saw that we already harvested the spaghetti squash. We plant a whole acre of winter squashes, so we have a lot more to harvest! Next up is the acorn squash amongst others, like the delicata and some kabochas. You might have also noticed we have already started our storage potato harvest (they are no longer considered 'new' or uncured potatoes), and finally finished the onion harvest (all the storage onions are currently being cured in the greenhouses; they will last all winter share long). The seasons are starting to turn, too, and you will begin to see the return of some of the brassica crops like kale, arugula, and radishes which means that broccoli can't be that far away! On the flip side, peak tomato, summer squash, and cucumber season is past. We will continue to have them, just in lesser quantity from here until they are gone. These seasons are fleeting, so enjoy them while they last!
This week's share will include potatoes, squashes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, melons, onions, peppers, cabbage, spaghetti squash, salad radishes, tomatoes, head lettuce, edamame, and escarole.
The fruit share will include grapes, peaches, nectarines, and pears. Don't forget to order from the Savage Wheat Project, or grab one of their grab bags.

Summer Share #12 of 20: 8/24+8/26 Some Reminders

by Erin and Steve on 08/23/21

That's right, here's some shop talk:
**Winter Share sign ups will be starting next week!! I'll send out emails to remind you, but the Winter Share runs for 7 weeks from November until the end of January. In order to sign up just bring your payment with you to share pick up (next week) and say you want a Winter Share. Info coming atcha soon ;)
**If you want to buy tomatoes or pickling cucumbers to preserve, right now is the time to do so. They are peaking. We don't have tons to sell, so the best time to buy is when you see them. Please don't wait until mid to late September, there won't be a lot of extras then.
**A reminder that WE GROW EVERYTHING IN THE CSA SHARES. Why in all caps? Because sometimes I have to scream it (in a nice way, of course) a few times in order for people to hear me. There is a lot of skill and some freaking gosh darn talent involved in running this farm. Also a lot of time, and  sweat, too. The only things we do not grow are the fruit in the fruit share which is explained on our website under the fruit share tab. Sometimes people then get confused that we grow melons. Melons are annuals, they grow like cucumbers and work in our farm rotation so we grow them and include them in our Summer CSA veg share. They are not perennials like stone fruit, tree fruit, and brambles, which are all in the fruit share.
**The share this week is HUGE and will include: potatoes, squash, carrots, beets, onions, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, cantaloupe, lettuce, watermelons, and tomatoes
**The fruit share will include peaches, plums, and nectarines
**Don't forget to order your Savage Wheat Project goodies

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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