CBCSA WEEK #18 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

It’s hard to believe that there are only a few weeks left in this season’s CSA! Potatoes, squash, apples, and next thing you know the winter will be upon us. But in the meantime, we’re excited to announce:

A Fall Social
Sunday, October 23rd
3.00pm – 5.00pm
Nostrand Avenue Pub (658 Nostrand Ave)

It’ll be a great chance to see your fellow members, chat, catch up and enjoy a Sunday afternoon in the company of community. Maybe you’ve been meaning to ask someone about a recipe they mentioned, maybe you want to know more about helping out with the CSA next year, joining for the winter season, or you just need an excuse for some day drinking. Either way, we’ll be hanging out, hopefully in the back garden (weather permitting), enjoying some snacks, drinks, and each other’s smiling faces! Children are welcome too.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

News from Windflower Farm

18th Distribution, Week of October 3rd, 2016

This week’s share:

Arugula Adolescent Lettuces

Braising Mix Chiles or Tomatillos

Cilantro Yellow Onions

Sweet Peppers Miscellaneous Tomatoes

Squashes Fingerling Potatoes

Your fruit share will be Bosc pears and sweet, crispy Empire apples from Yonder Farm.

It’s nearly time to sign up for a Windflower Farm winter share. The winter share is four once-a-month deliveries of our own organic salad greens (including kales, spinach, Swiss chard, tatsoi and others), plus winter squashes, carrots, beets, onions, leeks, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Each month, we also include apples and pears (if we can get them) from Yonder Farm, and either apple cider from Borden Farm or jams made from our own organic strawberries and blackberries. To make it even more interesting we’ll occasionally include our own popcorn, black turtle beans, garlic and dried chiles. The winter share is delivered on Saturdays to a location very near your current pickup site. We hope you’ll join us for the winter share. It keeps us off the streets of Easton, money in the pockets of my staff, and it’s really yummy stuff. Look for a sign-up form in the next week or two.

This week’s share is likely to be the last that includes all the makings of a good salsa. Summer has truly come to its end here; a frost last week left the lawn frosty and singed the tops of our low-lying sweet potatoes. We have nearly completed our fall harvests. In fact, all we have left in the field are sweet potatoes, leeks, bunching carrots and beets, storage turnips and fall greens. Red and orange foliage is popping up in the landscape. Your final tomatoes of the season may come as early as next week. And then it’s on to the crops of fall, starting next week with the likes of sweet potatoes, fennel, carrots and garlic, along with an assortment of greens.

There is a period of time each fall, between the final harvest of our storage crops and the start of winter, when we can complete a project unrelated to our crops. This year, it’s an expansion of one of our outbuildings. In modest stages we try to improve the infrastructure of our farm. This project will give us improved staff living quarters. So, this week, we’ll put the backhoe back on the John Deere and start digging. By this time next week, we should have poured the concrete piers and begun erecting the frame. If all goes well, we’ll have a roof and siding on before the first snowfall.

Have a great week, Ted

CBCSA WEEK #17 (A): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

Parker Pracjek from Umbrella House Apothecary will be joining us at this week’s distribution. Parker visited B Week members earlier this month and shared free samples of her lovely teas, salves, syrups and extracts. Bring some extra cash if you’d like to pick a few things up or consider ordering directly from the Umbrella House Apothecary website. Parker has kindly offered to deliver items to the distribution site in the future for those who might miss this Thursday’s distribution.

News from Windflower Farm

17th Distribution, Week of September 26th, 2016

This week’s share:

Bunched Baby Lettuce

Kale

Mustard Mix or Koji

Purple Potatoes

Chiles

Sweet Peppers

Sweet Corn (at most sites)

Leeks

Miscellaneous Tomatoes

and Squashes

The bean and corn season has come to a close here, and summer squashes and tomatoes are winding down rapidly. Temperatures have cooled considerably, and foliage has already begun to turn. In the Northeast, the farm season can shut down quickly. A near freeze Monday morning nearly caught us off guard. Next week, look for mixed baby lettuces, arugula, a mustard mix, winter squashes, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and the last of our chiles and cilantro (perhaps a last batch of salsa). In the final five weeks of the season, summer crops will give way to the crops of fall and winter: carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, winter squashes, cold-hardy greens and cabbage – all the makings for wonderful soups, stews and roasts. It’s a season of heavy lifting. Roots are dug from the earth. We might have the aid of a harvester, but generally its function is to loosen the crop from the soil around it or, at best, to pull the crop out of the earth and redeposit it on the soil surface. It’s bend-over work: pull it out or pick it up, put it into a tote or bin, lift the tote onto a wagon or pallet, tuck it into the barn. So, our bend-overs are tired. But it is just a passing part of the season, and soon enough we’ll have filled our barns and coolers and garage.

Fruit shares resumed last week and will continue for a total of six weeks this fall. This week, it’s Macintosh or Goldie apples (if you got one last week, you’ll get the other this week) and Bartlett pears. A variety of other apples and bosc pears and cider are all to come.

A gentle rain fell this morning. It’s been all too rare this season, and this one was light and short lived. But I think it was enough to insure the germination of our most recently seeded cover crops (this one a mix of rye, oats, peas and vetch) and boost along the young greens (arugula, braising mixes, kales, spinach, Swiss chard, tatsoi and choys) that will fill out your final shares of the season.

All the best, Ted and the farm team

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!