CBCSA WEEK #16 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi CBCSA Members!

Hope this message finds you well, and still enjoying your veggies! As your volunteer coordinator, I wanted to remind you that the season is slowly drawing to a close and that some of you have yet to complete your volunteer obligations! As you may recall, each member is asked to complete 2 distribution shifts, or otherwise contribute some time to helping our CSA continue to thrive. Thank you to all who have already joined us for your shifts, and I hope you had fun and met some of your fellow members!

There are still distribution shifts to be filled now through our last day in November, but there aren’t enough spots for everyone. That’s ok! We’re happy to have people contribute other skills they have to help with outreach, events, communication or whatever other ideas you might have! So, please go ahead and sign up at http://signup.com/go/jiaQqD or email me to discuss other volunteer opportunities.

Remember, if you don’t fulfill your volunteer hours this season, it will affect your ability to register next year, so reach out, sign up, and let’s all work together to make a happy, veggie-loving community!

There’s no news from Windflower Farm this week aside from looking forward to your fruit shares commencing again.

Best,
Lisa, your CSA volunteer coordinator

CBCSA WEEK #15 (A): News from Windflower Farm

News from Windflower Farm

15th Distribution, Week of September 12, 2016

This week’s share:

Romaine Lettuce

Lacinato or Red Russian Kale

Bok Choy or Koji at most sites

Carrots

Snap Beans

Sweet Corn at most sites

Sweet Peppers

Red Onions

Miscellaneous Tomatoes

And squashes or cucumbers

Fruit shares will resume next week, that is, week #16, and will run continuously for six weeks.

We have just finished bowls of Mexican beans and rice made by my son, Nate. The vegetables, of course, came from here, and they are all in this week’s share. While we ate, Nate described the progress he had made on a project we started recently. Two years ago, we were able to rent an additional 24 acres of farmland from our neighbor, MaryJane. It’s good land, it’s all within reach of our irrigation system, and it is now enclosed by an 8’ deer fence. One of the best things to come of now having a more farmland than we need to produce your vegetables is that we can dedicate a greater proportion of land to cover crops. Cover crops are plants grown solely for the purpose of improving the health of the soil. They enable us to break disease and pesky insect cycles, suppress weeds, and grow our own fertility. One of our summer cover crops was a mix of oats and peas, which produced lush plantings with beautiful lavender blossoms in three separate fields. We have been keeping it mowed and will let the debris protect the soil during winter. These will be the first fields we’ll plant in the spring. Fall cover cropping is now underway. Nate’s recent emphasis has been on wrapping up our mixed rye and hairy vetch plantings. The rye we sow is the same seed we’d plant if we wanted to grow the grain intended for rye flour. It’s a winter annual that produces a good deal of biomass. Hairy vetch is a legume which has the capacity, with the help of bacteria living symbiotically within its roots, of converting atmospheric nitrogen into plant-available nitrogen. Between now and June, the rye will provide the carbon and the vetch will provide the nitrogen that will be the primary foodstuffs of next year’s crops. It’s rice and beans for the soil – a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein. Later in the fall, once we’ve lost the window for planting vetch, which does poorly if not given the time to develop a good root system, we’ll plant rye alone, and meet the crop’s nitrogen needs in those fields with an application of compost. If we are to meet our fall cover cropping goals, it will be because we’ll have covered the entire farm by the end of October.

Best wishes, Ted

CBCSA WEEK #13 (A): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

A few notes for this week. 1) we are running out of plastic bags – consider donating spares and/or bringing reusable bags to transport your shares. 2) we lost quite a few green containers last week. Please bring these back on your next pick up date as we use them to measure portions and only have a few left.

See you tomorrow!

News from Windflower Farm

13th Distribution, Last week of August, 2016

This week’s share:

Lettuce – two heads

Sweet Corn

Beets

Beans

Scallions

Tomatoes

Basil

Peppers

Thank you to all who made the trip to our farm last weekend. It was the highlight of my summer. An image or two can be found on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

The Dog Days are coming to a close: vacations are ending, school is getting under way and the hot, humid, buggy weather that ruins summer greens appears to be behind us. Collards, arugula, the various kales and choys, and mustards of all sorts fall victim to the ravages of flea beetles and the hot, dry conditions of August, and by the end of the month we will normally have harvested or tilled under everything from that family of greens. All of this contributes to the farm looking fairly vacant. (Our garlic and onions and many of our carrots, beets, cabbages and potatoes have been harvested and tucked away.) In the meantime, during the last three or four weeks, in a part of our farm set well apart from the location of our early season greens, we have planted a wide assortment of late summer and fall greens. Direct-seeded salad mixes and arugula are emerging nicely under row covers, and transplanted kales, chards, choys and lettuces are enjoying the cooler nights. The planting goes on: just today, in addition to three kinds of lettuce, we planted bok choy, Koji, Tokyo Bekana and two varieties of Swiss chard. And on the transplanting docket for Thursday are purple mizuna and collards. After this August hiatus, an assortment of salad and cooking greens should find their way into your shares for the balance of the season.

Next week’s shares will likely include cilantro, chiles, onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, escarole (or baby choy), and sweet corn (or beans). Kales and Swiss chard will return to your shares the following week. Your fruit share will resume in the second half of September.

Have a great week, Ted

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CBCSA WEEK #12 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

The Windflower Farm Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday! Below are some details on what this is going to look like. Make sure to RSVP to the Windflower Farm ASAP by emailing the number in your party to tedblomgren@gmail.com.

Saturday:
Members are welcome to arrive any time after noon.
2:00 pm: First Windflower Farm tour (with a tractor and wagon ride)
3:30 pm: Snacks
4:00 pm: Second Windflower Farm tour (with a tractor and wagon ride)
5:00 pm: Cocktail hour
6:00 pm: Potluck. Please bring a dish to share!
Afterwards, bonfire and bands

Sunday:
8-10:00 am: Breakfast
11:00 am: Davis Family Farm tour: learn about raising pastured chickens for eggs
12:00 pm: Bordon Farm tour: learn about their dairy farm and their robotic milker
1:00 pm: Northern Cross Vineyard: learn about making wine and wine tasting
2:00 pm:

Visit other local attractions, such as the:
Washington County Fair: http://www.washingtoncountyfair.com/

Local wineries: http://upperhudsonvalleywinetrail.com/
, http://hudsonvalleybounty.com/Winery-Vineyard/Washington-County-2

Local breweries: http://hudsonvalleybounty.com/Brewery

Local cideries: http://www.saratogaapple.com/

Swimming holes (directions will be provided)
Saratoga Race Track: http://www.saratogaracetrack.com/

When: Saturday, August 27 – Sunday, August 28
What: Tours of Windflower Farm, Potluck Dinner, Live Music, Bonfire and Camping

Where: 585 Meeting House Rd, Valley Falls, NY 12185

RSVP: tedblomgren

Bring: Your camping gear to make a night of it on Windflower Farm and a dish to share at Saturday night’s potluck dinner

How: Share spare car seats or a need for one on our special car pool link: cbcsa

CBCSA Windflower Farm Open House – THIS WEEKEND!

Hi Everyone,

The Windflower Farm Open House is this weekend! We hope you’re planning join your fellow CBCSA friends in beautiful Upstate New York. Here are the logistics:

When: Saturday, August 27 – Sunday, August 28
What: Tours of Windflower Farm, Potluck Dinner, Live Music, Bonfire and Camping

Where: 585 Meeting House Rd, Valley Falls, NY 12185

RSVP: tedblomgren@gmail.com

Bring: Your camping gear to make a night of it on Windflower Farm and a dish to share at Saturday night’s potluck dinner

How: Share spare car seats or a need for one on our special car pool link: cbcsa

Hope to see you there!

CBCSA WEEK #11 (A): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

IMPORTANT DETAILS about the Farm Weekend below! Make sure to RSVP to the Windflower Farm directly by emailing the number in your party to tedblomgren@gmail.com.

Also, don’t forget to share spare seats or need for one on our special car pool link: cbcsa

News from Windflower Farm

11th Distribution, Week of August 15th, 2016

This week’s share:

Snap Beans

Romaine Lettuce

Sweet Corn

Carrots

Potatoes

Scallions

Tomatoes

Red Cabbage

Basil or Parsley

Squashes or Cucumbers

Andrea’s haiku this week is an ode to intertwined carrots and can be found on Instagram.

Please come: Open House at Windflower Farm, August 27-28. More information can be found below.

At least once every year, and more than that if something interesting like barn-building is going on, I mount the old Woods backhoe onto my John Deere 6400. This weekend’s backhoe work had to do with relocating our outhouses to fresh earth, which I do about now every year because our open house takes place at the end of August and Jan likes them to be fresh. And so I spent a good part of the day yesterday, between downpours and flashes of lightning, digging away. And Jan and Nate spent the day re-leveling, cleaning and decorating the newly relocated structures. In total, we relocated three outhouses. The procedure is straightforward: I put the pallet forks on a second tractor, a John Deere 5425, and lifted the outhouses off their old foundations and out of the way. I then dug new holes with the 6400, placing the fresh soil removed from the new holes into the old holes. I then smoothed the soil, sowed grass seeds and mulched with straw. In a month or two, you’ll have few clues that something sat there before. Because there was more fresh soil coming out of the new holes than needed to refill the old ones, I distributed the soil to a new flower bed beneath Jan’s studio windows. I then used the 5425 to set the outhouses in their new locations. And after a few minutes with a level, a pry bar and some shims, the outhouses are ready for another year. As I write, Jan is completing the project with new lighting.

Outhouse relocation marks the beginning of preparations for our open house – an event to which you are all invited. Each year for the past ten or so, more than 100 CSA members from the city come visit the farm and either camp in one of our fields or stay in a nearby B&B. We open our farm to you, as a member of our CSA, because we want you to know where your vegetables, cut flowers, eggs and some of your fruit comes from. We’d like you to have the chance to learn how your shares are grown, and who is actually performing the work. The event takes place over two days. On Saturday, you’ll set up your tents, tour the farm, sample local beers and wines, enjoy a potluck supper (please bring a dish to pass), listen to live music, hang out around a bonfire or play board games, and gaze at the stars made possible by a dark night sky. Please BYOB. On Sunday, we will serve you a farm breakfast comprised of the freshest eggs you’ve ever had, blueberry pancakes and other farm goodies. After breakfast, and after camp has been broken, we’ll tour some neighboring farms. You might visit the Davis Farm, where your eggs are produced. You might visit the Borden farm, makers of an excellent apple cider, and now home to the county’s first robotic milking parlor. There are four vineyards within three miles of here and a Sunday farmers’ market to visit. There is an excellent river to swim in and beautiful, quite roads to bike on. And there is the Washington County Fair, which has carnival rides, fair food, and all kinds of livestock and farm-related exhibitions. Please consider joining us for the weekend.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP with the number in your party to tedblomgren@gmail.com.

Have a great week, Ted

CBCSA WEEK #10 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

A quick note about pets at distribution: Unfortunately, non-service pets are not allowed at Hebron SDA Church. Please leave your pets at home or with a friend/partner outside the church. The church runs a food pantry/kitchen and it is against code to have animals in/around the areas (including our distribution site) where food is stored/prepared/eaten.

News from Windflower Farm below and more details pertaining to the Farm Weekend, August 27-28, to come later in the week. Time to start dusting off your tents and sleeping bags and organize a car pool to Upstate New York! Don’t forget to share any spare seats or need for one on our special car pool link: cbcsa

News from Windflower Farm

10th Distribution, Week of August 8th, 2016

This week’s share:

Carrots

Potatoes

Scallions

Tomatoes

Basil

Squashes

Sweet corn

Broccoli or Onions, depending on the site

Cabbage or Cucumbers, depending on the site

Much to our surprise and good fortune, many of the members of our staff keep coming back each year, several for as many as nine, ten and eleven years, representing a significant investment in our farm and a growing reservoir of know-how about how the farm functions. So, to make it a more interesting work experience for them and to make a better farm for all of us, we created a series of coordinating roles. Andrea, who you have probably heard from, is our membership coordinator. She also works on another small farm (to keep it interesting) and runs a micro-size herb farm of her own (to make sure there is never a dull moment). Victoria is our distribution coordinator. Hers is the only position that is not new. She is the mother of two, an avid homesteader and beer maker, and keeps the packing shed interesting with all kinds of word games. We always have a small number of newcomers, and they start by working under Victoria’s supervision in the packing shed. This year’s team includes Mallory, Kristoffer, Dagny and Wyatt. The starting wage on the farm is $12/hour.

Salvador is our weeding coordinator. He is the one who showed up with his brother-in-law one day ten years ago and said, “you really need our help.” And I did! And our farm has been forever improved by his and his family’s presence here. His wife, Candelaria, who works by his side every day, makes incredible tamales. Martin, Salvador’s brother-in-law, is our harvest coordinator. He comes to us from Mexico each year with his wife and Martin Jr., the oldest of his five children. Martin is expanding his own farm in the mountainous country southwest of Mexico City, and we talk a great deal about growing onions and cabbages (his biggest cash crops) and farm economics. They also grow corn, beans and squash, the three sister crops that sustain the family. Sara is our social media coordinator. Her dad’s chickens produce the eggs in your egg share and his maple trees are the source of the syrup that are sometimes in winter shares. She is our chief transplant tractor driver and Jan’s partner in pulling together your flower share. She is also a photographer and potter. Mack coordinates our cooler. She began working here as a kid, just graduated with a fine arts degree from FIT, and is now looking for a job in interior design.

Nate, my oldest son, is our payroll coordinator (which makes him quite popular) and our soil health coordinator. He has embraced cover cropping as the foundation of soil management here (his fields of oats and peas are impressive). Naomi is our delivery coordinator. She is the one that site coordinators get a call from when our truck is stuck behind a double-parked Fresh Direct van and will be late. Jan is my farming partner and wife of 25 years. She is in charge of flowers and serves as the general manager around here. What is left for me to do, you might ask? Well, much less, of course, but, in delegating these chores I am able to do a better job with my key chore, producing a good harvest. I focus on greenhouse scheduling, field preparation and pest management. No small business survives if its owner cannot build a good team and delegate, and that is what I am trying to do. I plan to farm for another fifteen years or so, but when I leave the farm, I’d like it not to skip a beat.

Have a great week, Ted