Anticipating early & late frosts

Learning to understand and predict local weather is a really important skill for properly managing our diversified farm. There are so many ways that weather conditions can hinder or help our work, and general forecasts don’t always cover what we need to know. Case in point,  predicting when we’re going to have a frost in our valley regardless of whether it’s regionally expected.This skill can mean the difference between significant crop loss and success at extending/completing our growing season. You’d never know it from the muggy, high-80s conditions this week, but we saw last week’s three nights of frost coming. Continue reading

Using share #2’s spring vegetables

We ended up packing a surplus full share on Monday, realizing after packing but before delivery that we had forgotten a household’s honeymoon absence. So we decided to have fun pretending to be CSA members and making a point of cooking with the share contents for a couple days, instead of using the seconds, extras, and preserves we normally eat this time of year. Here’s a detailed look at how we used our share, hopefully providing some insight and inspiration for members on using similar spring produce for the next few weeks. We tried to focus on vegetarian recipes that are quick/easy to make. We ate through the entire share in less than 2 days; bigger shares will be coming soon enough!  (Note this was a standard share without extras; those who asked this week got extra green onions, saute mix, and kale.) Continue reading

2014 CSA distribution #2

Finally, fresh spring produce! Regular, weekly shares start this coming week, after a two-week gap imposed by the cold spring. Perennial herbs will be a prominent feature of this share, plus it will include overwintered green alliums and the first spring-planted greens of the year; overall, the share will be reminiscent of 2013’s share #3 (also delivered in the 3rd week of May). Continue reading

Posted in CSA

Bird list & natural events, April 2014

As one might expect, April threw a little bit of everything at us, from rain & hail to deep freeze to hot dry days to absurdly splendid ones. Lots of birds showing up, lots of animals becoming active, lots of plants and trees springing to life. It’s a good month for photography and outdoor distraction, so this will be a fun photo essay of things we’ve seen as part of our normal lives working the land. Continue reading

2014 CSA distribution #1

We intend to deliver the first CSA share of 2014 on Monday April 28 and Thursday May 1, featuring a combination of storage crops and overwintered crops, some of which will depend on conditions. After this share, there will be a multi-week gap while new crops continue to grow. We tentatively expect regular weekly deliveries to begin the week of May 19, but it could be a week sooner or later than that depending on vegetable growth (check our webcalendar if uncertain). Read on for useful information on upcoming farm events, our new Twitter feed, and more.

Members: Please be on the lookout for an email from us several days in advance of the distribution; the email will contain a link to your share customization survey. 

A few memberships are still available for 2014; sign up by Friday April 25 to get in on the first share. See the 2014 membership info for more details 

Continue reading

Posted in CSA

Bird list & natural events, March 2014

March continued the cool, dry trend of this winter, useful for getting outdoor work done but of increasing concern for the coming growing season. It turned out to be a nice birding month, with reasonably stable weather making it easier to observe consistently. A month that began with lows below 0 ended with highs around 70, clearing demonstrating the seasonal changes underway as we appreciate the gentle warming of spring. Continue reading

Farm tour April 6 for potential & current members

This coming Sunday, April 6, we will be hosting a free farm tour for current & potential CSA members. This will be a great chance to learn about the farm if you’re considering joining, and to reconnect with us if you’re returning from last year. With planting now underway, we’d really like to finalize the membership, so please spread the word to anyone who might be interested (and check out this recent nice piece on local CSAs in the Columbia Tribune) Details below the break. Continue reading

Posted in CSA

2014 CSA preview

The first vegetables of 2014 are underway in the greenhouse, the garlic is waking up in the field, and with the soil rapidly warming, meaning a flurry of planting and transplanting will be happening in the next few weeks. Given the late arrival of spring and the cold soil temperatures, we’ll probably be on a similar schedule to 2013 (another cold spring), with the first distribution happening around early May. The planting plan is similar to last year, with the caveat of uncertainty that always accompanies farming.

We have membership openings available for 2014, as there’s always turnover from year to year as people’s situations change, especially in a community as dynamic as Columbia. If you’re considering joining this year, check out our 2014 CSA information, and you may also be interested in our 2013 CSA survey results to see how members felt about last year. You can officially join up by filling out the online survey at the bottom of the CSA information page.

Below, we’ll highlight some other items of interest for potential & current CSA members. Continue reading

Posted in CSA

Dropping organic certification, part III

Our farm has been certified organic for 5 of its 7 years in business, including our transition from a market & restaurant focus to a CSA, but we’ve decided to drop our certification for 2014 and the forseeable future, effective March 15. This decision has been developing for a long time, and was the topic of countless hours of discussion over the last year. This is the third of three posts in which we attempt to discuss and explain some of the myriad experiences and reasons behind this decision, though we can’t possibly cover everything.

PART III: The benefits of dropping certification Continue reading