Wow, does time fly. It's incredible to think that tomorrow begins our 4th week of deliveries, and to nobody's surprise, I've been remiss in keeping this blog updated. I'll do better, I promise!
Here's the latest:
I'm proud to say that so far this season, we have harvested, packed and distributed nearly 150 family-sized shares from our little farm. (Thanks to all of you, some of those deliveries have gone to Doors of Hope in West Sand Lake for distribution to families in need.) Considering 150 is about the same number of shares we harvested during the entire 2019 season, I'd say we're off to a productive start. As we continue to learn, build infrastructure, and remake our garden system though, I can honestly say that this year's expansion has pushed us past old limits and forced us to improve in many ways. We owe you all our constant thanks for your flexibility, feedback and participation in our CSA - none of this would be possible without you!
The gardens are still in pretty good shape, and we've already cleared some beds for succession plantings. Yesterday we planted a row of tomatillos, and today we will add dill, more pac choi, kohlrabi and more cucumbers. We've started to get a trickle of ripe cherry tomatoes already, and we are hoping to start adding many tomatoes to your shares as we get into the heights of summer. Onions are starting to bulb up, zucchinis are appearing daily now, and a test dig of potatoes this morning showed that we can start sharing new potatoes with you soon! Our shares tend always to be heavy on greens (they are good for you!), but you can be sure there will be more variety as the weeks go by.
Your shares so far have had more pork than chicken. Unfortunately, earlier this spring we had a great deal of difficulty in procuring and starting chicks for our broiler chickens.. the stress of COVID-19 on the post office, the closing of our favorite regional hatchery, and the highly erratic weather resulted in us getting birds on grass weeks later than we hoped for. The good news is that we've established a new relationship with a supplier in Schoharie, NY and are again receiving birds the same day they hatch - we have plenty of birds now out on fresh grass every day and they are growing beautifully on natural forage and locally sourced grain. The upshot is that soon you'll have a whole chicken with your share more often than not, but we are hoping you will enjoy trying many different chicken recipes this summer!
Vacations/Scheduling Conflicts and the like:
We will continue to try and accommodate delivery changes as needed, but we ask that you please give us at least 48 hours notice, and that you please continue to be understanding of our limitations. We process chicken for fresh delivery, and harvest most items the day of delivery. Since there's only four of us (and only 2 of driving age) sticking to a plan is pretty important to making sure every member gets a good variety and value each week. If you cannot pick up for any reason, rest assured that your share will be donated to Doors of Hope..
Keeping the "Community" in Community Supported Agriculture:
This year, with various delivery days and locations, we miss catching up with you all and enjoying the interaction of members on CSA pick-up days. To try and keep up the sense of togetherness, we are asking that you please share with us how you're using your share. If you have a recipe that you like, or an idea of how to get your partner to eat more kale, let us know and we will post it here for everyone's benefit! Thanks to everyone who has already shared - we will start posting recipes this week. Pictures are great too. If you're on instagram, consider posting your creations and tagging us @sollohubfamilyfarm!
We give you all our utmost gratitude for your support and thoughtful participation in this adventure in sustainable agriculture. Since you're onboard with us now you may agree that our nation's industrial food system is inherently broken. We agree with author Michael Pollan when he says that "eating is a political act," and we sincerely hope that our little CSA can stand strong as an example of a better alternative... thanks to you, we can at least give it a try.
Gratefully Yours, Mark