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CSA:The Next Best Thing to Owning the Farm!

Posted 3/24/2014 11:39am by David Zemelsky.

CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) is very big in the world of locally/sustainably-grown food.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, here is how it works.  The CSA,once you've joined, enables you to get incredibly fresh, reasonably priced, delicious food every week from our farm.  Members show up on a day that they choose (either Wednesday or Thursday) between the hours of 2pm and 7pm for a 21 week period starting at the beginning of June.  Upon arrival at our shed, there will be instructions on how much of each food you can take.  There are two sizes you can choose from.  The Small Share feeds between 1-2 people and the Regular Share is for 2-4 people.  Based on surveying members who have been with us in the past, the portions are very ample.  Additionally, we have only received extremely positive (and somewhat flattering!) compliments, so I know we're pleasing people out there.  The concept of CSA has been around for over 20 years, but only recently has it been gaining in popularity.  Probably, this is a result of a growing awareness of the importance of locally grown food and its superior nutritional and culinary traits.  From the ecological side, CSA only helps small farms like us both plan on the size of a crop and a guaranteed income.  It's presence sends a loud signal to the large food machine that people are interested in knowing everything that they can about where their food comes from.

To sign up, go to the menu choice marked CSA and choose the registration for Summer 2014.  It is a very quick process.  Our address for sending in the deposit is on the instructions.

Meanwhile, in other news, we are happy to report that our two new houses are now ready to plant with wonderful greens.  For a while, it seemed that they'd be full of snow till June!  Out in the field, there are several places that we protected from the snow and rain, that are now also ready to plant.  They will be planted with kale plants-the kind that grows into a large leafed glorious plant that will make you soar up in the air with delight (guaranteed!).  Additionally, we'll be planting beets and chard as soon as the ground can be worked.  My guess would be by beginning of next week at the latest.

For the Tomato Enthusiast, we'll be planting our first wave of tomatoes early next week.  That deserves a few words about our methods for growing tomatoes.  First off, we graft tomatoes.  This is a method by which the top of one plant is taught to grow on the bottom of another plant in order to increase production and resist many of the diseases that tomatoes fall prey to.  Secondly, we grow all our tomatoes in a hoop house in order to protect them from too much rain.  That too, will help with the disease problem.  We say around here that"tomatoes don't like to get their jackets wet."  By keeping them in a hoop house, the only water that they receive is water that we give them through small irrigation hoses(driptape) at the base of each plant.  Thirdly, we feed them what they like-a healthy blend of compost, alfalfa and organic fertilizer.  Fourth, we prune each plant in order to produce better looking and bigger tomatoes.  Lastly, we salt all our plants with seaweed.  That's right-salt them.  The fruit absorbs the seaweed and incorporates the salty goodness of it in each fruit.  You can taste the difference.

here are some photos of our ginger getting ready to be planted in a few weeks.  Hope you get a chance to sample real fresh ginger this season.