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Root Down Farm Ramblings

Final Winter Share pick up and Bulk Sale- 2/4 + 2/6

by Erin and Steve on 01/31/20

This week marks the official end to the 2019 season because it is the final Winter Share pick up! How exciting. Of course the 2020 season has also already begun via the planning and seed ordering we have already done, but now we can fully focus on 2020. We truly appreciate all of you who are part of our farm community and we love being able to provide the freshest clean vegetables you can get your hands on. So thank you to you all.
This week also marks the annual winter bulk sale we have for all our Winter Shareholders. You all should've received a reminder email about the final share pick up and details about the bulk sale and how to order if you want anything.
The final Winter Share will include: carrots, beets, winter squash, potatoes, winter radishes, rutabegas, parsnips, cabbage, onions, turnips, kale,  celeriac, kohlrabi, popcorn and more!

Winter Share #7 of 8: 1/21+1/23 Hello Winter?

by Erin and Steve on 01/17/20

Well I went to lengths to talk about how Winter doesn't officially start until December 22nd. Which is a fact (it ends on March 19th so if anyone around here is talking about "signs of Spring" they're full of it). But jeeeeeezzzzzzz Winter you could at least be here when it is your turn! I know some of you are rolling eyes or making audible noises in response to this, but I'm serious. You know how everyone seems to be getting sick this year and how the flu season is horrendous and on and on; I think it's partly because we need a real Winter here! So. Like I said before, Winter ends on March 19th so we have some time to shove real Winter in here before I start complaining that April should feel like Spring.
So here we are, and this week is fixing to be a bit cold so we are moving the Winter Share into the root cellar like we normally do. The root cellar is the smaller white building on the opposite corner of the parking lot, next to the tunnel that lines the edge of the lot. The share sign that is usually by the road will be by the entrance to the root cellar. It is a conditioned space, so the vegetables won't freeze during distribution, and neither will any of us!
This week is the second-to-last Winter Share pick up and it will include: carrots, beets, winter squash, potatoes, radishes, rutabegas, parsnips, cabbage, onions, turnips, leeks, kale, and head lettuce.

Information for Wait List

by Erin and Steve on 01/14/20

Hey ya-all on the wait list! Thanks for waiting. We just sent out our first round of emails to people on the wait list from Group A through Group C. To find out what group you are in you would've received an email from us last February telling you what group you are in. If you've asked to sign up for the share this past season, 2019,  then you have not been assigned a group yet (and therefor have not been emailed yet).
We know all this waiting can be a pain, but vegetables are mostly annuals so our business follows the seasons! (ie we aren't totally to blame, some blame goes on the nature of vegetables ;) We also had our best retention rate to date...thanks to all our wonderful members. Which means we do not have many spots available this season. Typically we have about 40 spots available, this year we have only 25.
So if you think you may be in wait list groups A, B, or C then check your inbox, and  if it isn't there then check your spam folder. If you've never received an email back from us, that means you've just gotten on the wait list this season (2019) and haven't been assigned a group yet. You will receive that information next month. 

Winter Share #6 of 8: 1/7+1/9 Another Winter Share and Waitlist Sign Up

by Erin and Steve on 01/02/20

Woohoo, we made it to what seems to be a mythical year, 2020. This warm up has been good for our high tunnel crops like head lettuce (which will be in the share this week!). It also means I'll be emailing the wait list soon. We used to do it right before Christmas, but it seemed a bit intrusive and so we will be sending emails to you wait-listers next week about signing up for the upcoming season.
As for the farm we are continuing our planning for the next CSA season, but also taking some REAL TIME OFF!! :) This may be a bit of an inconvenience to some of you, and I understand. But we need a break, a good winter's nap, so don't plan on getting a quick email response if you email. We'll respond...eventually.
As farmers we get a lot of questions about our Winter activities. And of course we do a Winter Share, but I always have felt I need to explain all the work we do in the Winter to everyone so they know how much planning (and also maintenance of everything) we do. But now I just don't care if everyone knows how difficult this job is, because I know. I'm not sure how many teachers get asked what they do with their Summers, but children are crazy! (you know that, you have some). So I'm sure Summers for teachers just aren't long enough when all that planning and preparing for next year has to happen along with some real rest. So I hibernate in the Winter. As Because I need to give more than my all when the time comes.
All right, that's enough about me and what I will be up to for the next month and a half (sleep). This week's Winter Share will include: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter radishes, rutabegas, parsnips, cabbage, onions, turnips, leeks, kale, winter squash, and head lettuce. And if you are wondering, yes, all our veggies are grown without supplemental heat; just what the sun provides in the tunnels.

Winter Share #5 of 8-12/17+12/19: Game On

by Erin and Steve on 12/14/19

Well it's time to get back at it after the week "off". We have a Winter SHare pick up again this week and it will be the last pick up of 2019! Now of course the Winter Share continues into 2020, but that's not 2019! On some level I can't believe it's gonna be 2020. I remember being floored when I realized one day that it would soon be the year 2000. But that was 20 YEARS AGO. Kids born in 2000 are almost of legal drinking age! Anyway here we are.
This week is also the last field harvest (specifically kale), but there is more goodies in the tunnels to help us through to the last Winter Share pick up. But that means we get to officially clean up the rest of the deer fencing and last of the row cover before we get hit with more snow, again. This is also the last pick up in the share room in the barn before we move into the root cellar. Thursday is looking brisk, so if you are planning on coming that day make sure to dress warmly.
We will also be starting to take a look at the waitlist for the 2020 CSA season in the New Year, so if you've been on the list a while make sure to check your inbox in January. We only have around 30 openings this year!
So this is what will be in the share this week: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radishes, parsnips, cabbage, onions, winter squash, rutabegas, turnips, leeks, kale, bok choy, and lettuce mix

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! 

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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