2014 CSA potluck

We’re excited about hosting our annual potluck & produce tasting for CSA members on Saturday, September 27 starting at noon. We’ll start by setting out food, then eating & socializing; this event is a great way to meet other members. Afterward we’ll tour the farm & digest a bit.

Members: Please RSVP no later than Thursday Sept. 25 by commenting on this post, sharing what you intend to bring, so the menu can be balanced by all attendees without a lot of coordination on our part. If you’re not sure yet, even a general category (main dish, side, salad, dessert, etc.) is helpful for planning. Feel free to add more specifics later, if you wish. If you’d rather not use your full name, that’s ok as your email address (required to comment but not displayed on the site) should identify you to us. Read on below for more details & guidance.

FOOD CONSIDERATIONS

  • We have members with a variety of food preferences & allergies (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). We would like to be as accommodating as practical in making the potluck welcome to everyone who would like to come. However, the collective list of member food avoidances & allergies includes virtually everything EXCEPT vegetables. So, here’s our proposal: If you are planning to come and have special dietary concerns, please RSVP ASAP by commenting on this post (anonymously, if you like) with a description of your preferences/needs, and in the case of allergies, degree of sensitivity. In that way, when deciding what to bring, others can take into consideration the needs/preferences of members who are actually planning to come. Not all dishes necessarily need to meet all needs, but we hope to have appropriate & sufficient food available to feed everyone who is here. One consideration for extremely gluten-sensitive members: We bake routinely with wheat & rye (which we grind ourselves), so unfortunately we cannot guarantee a complete absence of residual gluten in the environment of our house or food that came from our kitchen.
  • Keep in mind the basic food ethics of the farm. For example, we’d strongly prefer that nothing brought onto the farm include GMO ingredients, highly processed foods, or factory-farmed meats. We’d prefer that animal products in general either be from a producer that you know and trust (and preferably who avoids/minimizes feeding GMOs to the extent economically feasible) or if from a distant source that they be certified organic. If you’re not certain what is GMO and what isn’t, there are numerous websites with information about that, such as this one.
  • Please let us know in advance if your dish needs any special handling (has to be kept cold, has to be reheated, etc.).

WHAT TO BRING

  • Your potluck dish. Basic labeling could be a good idea, especially if ingredients aren’t obvious (such as chicken broth in a soup). Also, serving utensils would be helpful, as we have a limited quantity of these.
  •  We’ll provide water to drink, possibly iced tea; anything else is up to you.
  •  Please bring your own (washable, not disposable) plates, bowls, cups, utensils, and napkins. We’ll have limited quantities of such things for anyone who forgets. We don’t use disposables here and would prefer that others didn’t either. Aside from the ethics, there’s the practical concern that we don’t have an easy way of getting rid of smelly trash smeared with food such as disposable paper plates. We generate very little trash ourselves (none containing food wastes) and bring a dumpster in only once every year or two to get rid of what dry trash we do generate.
  •  For touring the farm, we strongly advise close-toed shoes.
  • And, of course, bring a big appetite!

2014 CSA distribution #19

Minimalist newsletter this week, as Eric is doing double duty while Joanna is away celebrating a family wedding. This means that herbs will be limited on Monday, and Thursday’s survey, which usually goes out Monday afternoon, will be delayed until Monday night or Tuesday morning. Because of cool weather (and possibly an early frost this weekend), share contents are especially uncertain.

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Bird list & natural events, August 2014

Although the second half of August felt pretty miserable due to heat and humidity, and we’re glad it’s over, the first half fit the rest of this summer’s trend in being cool and comfortable. Rainfall was below average, also continuing summer’s trend, but not desperately so, and it was reasonably spread out through the month.

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2014 CSA distribution #18

With the arrival of September, we begin the slow transition to fall crops. The first fall leafy greens appear this week, for full shares, in the form of saute mix. Collards & mustard to follow soon. Some ripe red Anaheims will also start showing up, so from now on all hot peppers will be in the herb bag, with sweet peppers loose, so you can tell the difference. The latest Climate Prediction Center forecast suggests a colder air mass is coming our way. The big question on our minds: When will we get the first killing frost?  Continue reading

Bird list & natural events, July 2014

July was extraordinarily cool, especially as compared to the blast furnace of 2012. As pleasant as the working conditions were, it was also quite dry (less than 1/3 average rainfall) and we’re quickly re-entering the drought conditions that so worried us earlier in the year. You can clearly see this in the annual precip graph for Columbia, maintained by NWS, which shows how we’ve flirted with drought all year (other than one dousing in early April) and are now something like 4″ under average since the rain shut off in early July. We can see the vegetation transitioning to that yellow-tinged hue of dry summers, and the ground is rock-hard with cracks showing through. Still, a lot of neat things were happening in our ecosystem, as this month’s photos document. Continue reading