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

Carpool to the CBCSA Windflower Farm Weekend

Hi Everyone,

The CBCSA Windflower Farm Weekend is later THIS MONTH! August 27-28, to be exact. Let us tell you from personal experience you do not want to miss it! More details to come regarding this year’s activities, but in the past this family friendly event has included tours of the property, a potluck dinner featuring goodies from other local farms, breweries and the like, bonfires and music, camping and a big, scrumptious breakfast the next morning.

We recognize that getting out of the city might be an issue, so we’ve set up a carpool ride app to enable the fortunate and willing few to share spare seats they have in their cars. Those in need of a ride can also register their interest in obtaining a seat by joining the "wait list." Click here to share your seats or express a need for one: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/xmh2dv

Interested in sharing a rental car? Email the CBCSA family at cbcsa to see if anyone’s willing to share the ride (and cost) to Windflower Farm.

Hope to see you all there!

CBCSA Core Group

CBCSA WEEK #6 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,
News below from Windflower Farm. Don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for a weekend at the Farm, August 27-28. More details to come later.

Be well!

CBCSA Core Group

News from Windflower Farm

6th Distribution, Week of July 11, 2016

Hello from a cool and wet Windflower Farm! Although the week promises to heat up, a welcome rain over the weekend has cooled things down, wetted the earth, and given our crops a break from an otherwise dry season.

This week’s share:

Leaf Lettuce

Cucumbers and squashes

Collards

Garlic Scapes and onions

Your choice between Swiss Chard and Lacinato Kale

Hakurei Turnips and the underappreciated purple kohlrabi

The last of the potted herbs on Tuesday and bunched parsley on Thursday

This week marks the end of the first quarter of the distribution season. It’s the time when cool, early-season vegetables give way to the vegetables of summer. Our tomatoes are beginning. Don’t expect to see many (or any) this week, but they’ll begin to yield in quantity very soon. Our sweet corn is just around the corner, and peppers, red cabbages, garlic and basil, too, will be coming in. This is the beginning of an especially wonderful time of year in the Northeast to be a plant eater!

Blueberries will be in your fruit shares this week. I suspect that this will be the last week of fruit prior to our midseason break. Pete, our fruit grower, told me that crows have found his blueberry patch – counting more than 80 in one flock – and that they were doing considerable damage. Exasperated, he pulled out his double-barrel shotgun. When he pulled the trigger, the butt of the gun somehow slipped slightly on his shoulder, resting wrongly on a soft part of muscle, and causing him quite a bit of grief. He has been icing it all morning. All told, he killed just one crow. The other 79 circled their dead relative and buzzed him, causing Pete to retreat to his truck. He told me that it was the first time in his long farming career that he ever shot at a bird and doubts whether he’ll ever do it again. Jan made a delicious pie last weekend with her blueberries and was not surprised at all to learn of the crow’s fondness for them.

Flower shares will be bunches of snapdragons and calendula and miscellaneous other flowers.

We love collard wraps. Nate has picked out a recipe that appears to use virtually everything in this week’s share all wrapped up in collard leaves – see below. He and I will be using our “steerable cultivator” later today on some new lettuce and broccoli plantings. I’ll post a photo on our Instagram page later today. Please visit our Facebook and Instagram (@windflowerfarm) pages to learn more about the farm.

Have a great week! Ted

Central Brooklyn CSA

Twitter: @centralbklyncsa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CBCSA

Web: https://centralbrooklyncsa.wordpress.com/

CBCSA WEEK #5 (A): News

Hi Everyone,

A few announcements about this week’s pick up:

  • No News From Windflower Farm: No news this week from Windflower Farm, which likely means Farmer Ted and his crew are very hard at work. We’ll keep you informed as soon as we hear something.
  • Fruit Refunds: checks will be distributed this week to all members who originally signed up for fruit shares. Make sure to ask for yours if we neglect to give it to you when you sign in.
  • CBCSA Waitlist: know someone who missed out on signing up for this year’s CBCSA? They might be in luck! A very limited number of shares are up for the taking at a prorated rate for the rest of the season. Have interested individuals email centralbrooklyncsa with their name, email and phone number if they’re interested in hearing more.

See you tomorrow!

Best,

CBCSA Core Group

CBCSA WEEK #4 (B): NO News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

We hope you all are well and enjoying the spoils of your CBCSA shares! A few announcements and notes:

  • No News Yet: we haven’t heard yet from the farm about the contents of this week’s share, but we are imagining it will be similar to last week. Enjoy!
  • Fruit Refunds: checks will be distributed this week and next to all members who originally signed up for fruit shares. Make sure to ask for yours if we neglect to give it to you when you sign in.
  • Volunteer Commitment: every CBCSA share is required to volunteer for 2 distribution shifts or another approved activity (ask us if you have an idea or desire to help with events, outreach, etc) during the season. CBCSA cannot run without the commitment of its members, so please sign up soon if you haven’t done so already. It’s the embodiment of the “community” aspect of community shared agriculture (csa) and a great way to meet fellow members. Consider signing up for 2 shifts in a row on the same day if you want to fulfill your requirement all at once. Here’s how you sign up:
    1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/qEuFJX
    2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
    3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
  • Egg/Fruit Cartons: please return cartons at your next pick up. Windflower Farm recycles them for future distributions
  • Unable to pick up your share? Email cbcsa to swap with or have another CBCSA member pick it up for you. Friends and family are also welcome to pick up your share. Unclaimed shares are donated to the church’s food pantry at the end of each distribution.

Lastly, stay tuned for a separate email from Lewis Waite Farm CSA about ordering specialty products (meats, cheeses, breads, jams and the like). Lewis Waite delivers on B weeks and allows you to place orders up to a few days in advance, which is perfect for those last minute summer picnics and barbecues!

See you soon!

Best,

CBCSA Core Group

CBCSA WEEK #3 (A): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

News from Ted at Windflower Farm below.

SAVE THE DATE for this year’s farm weekend, August 27-28 in beautiful Upstate New York. All CBCSA members are invited to Windflower Farm for tours, camping and joviality with friends from the CSA. More details to come later this summer.

Lastly, a friendly reminder to half share members with full share eggs and/or flowers to stop by every week for their additional products.

See you tomorrow!

Best,

CBCSA Core Group

News from Windflower Farm

3rd Distribution, Week of June 20, 2016

What a difference a week makes! Hello from a hot and dry Windflower Farm!

This week’s share:

Red Leaf Lettuce

Green Romaine or Oakleaf Lettuce

Garlic Scapes

Your choice of two between Swiss Chard, Arugula and Choy

Scallions

Radishes

Bok Choy

Spinach

Potted Herbs

Strawberries and rhubarb will be in your fruit shares. We will begin sending fruit share refunds this week. Please be patient; because of the number of refunds and the ongoing work of farming, the process will take a couple of weeks.

Flower shares will be starting soon. Jan says that they are running behind because of the challenging spring weather.

We’ve been irrigating nonstop this past week. It hasn’t rained for two weeks and no rain is in sight, so we irrigate around the clock. We’ve invested quite a bit in irrigation equipment over the years, making it a lot easier to get water to our crops. We have two ponds and a deep, high volume well to draw from. And that is good news because rainfall this spring has been 8” below normal. We use drip irrigation on much of the farm, an Israeli technology that makes very efficient use of water, but we also use a good deal of overhead irrigation. We have invested in two irrigation reels over the years. These are sprinklers that travel the length of beds by themselves, irrigating whole swaths of crops a half-acre at a time. Nate and I share the workload: he irrigates the back fields from the ponds and I irrigate the front fields and greenhouses from the well. Yesterday he ran drip irrigation on a field of onions and garlic and then on another of cucumbers, melons and squashes. This morning he set up the reel on a field of beets, spinach and carrots. Now he’s irrigating a field of sweet corn. For my part, yesterday, I ran an irrigation reel through a field of mixed crops, including herbs, greens and popcorn, then ran drip on our pepper, cucumber and tomato greenhouses this morning, and I’m now running a reel through a field of lettuce and broccoli. It’s a tight schedule – it takes nearly a week to get through the whole farm. There is a slim chance of rain tonight, so we’ll continue to irrigate. Tomorrow it’s on to a flower field and then the cabbage…

Have a great week!

Ted

CBCSA WEEK 2 (B): News from Windflower Farm

Hi Everyone,

News from Ted at Windflower Farm below. Also, a great piece attached from Just Food on Caring for Your Share that we thought you all might find useful.

We look forward to meeting our B Week members tomorrow (and to seeing our weekly members as well)!

Best,

CBCSA Core Group

News from Windflower Farm

2nd Distribution, Week of June 13, 2016

Hello from a cold and blustery Windflower Farm!

This week’s share:

Leaf Lettuces – two heads

Garlic Scapes

Swiss Chard

Scallions

Happy Rich

Bok Choy

Spinach

Potted Basils or parsley

My son, Nate, tested a delicious recipe that is comprised of items from this week’s share. You’ll find it below.

My nephew, who worked with us here for several years, is now in his third year of farming on his own. He visited recently, not to glean farming tips – he has already learned everything I have to teach – but instead to spend time with a woman he dates who works for me here. Still, we shared a few moments together, farmer-to-farmer. And during those moments he shared the observation that farming is an emotionally charged enterprise. We put a lot of ourselves into the crops that make up our shares, I agreed. I chalked up the emotional roller-coaster ride he’s on (something akin to a CSA farmer’s performance anxiety) to a farmer’s working relationship with the weather, that most highly unpredictable of partners. We agreed that the weather this spring has indeed been challenging. In performing a quick online search for occupations affected by weather, I was somewhat amused to find that Wiki-Answers doesn’t even place farming in the top ten. The work of meteorologists and sightseeing pilots were numbers one and two on the list, as they are undoubtedly affected by the weather. The truth is that nearly everyone’s work is somehow affected by the weather.

The better question is, what occupations are utterly dependent, day-in and day-out, on prolonged good or at least moderate weather for their success? None of us would doubt that farming ranks high on that list. And the weather here this spring has not been good: cold, windy weather has prevailed, but it has been interrupted by a week of hot weather and a period of more than three weeks without rainfall. As I write, all of our greenhouses are buttoned up so tight you might think it’s the middle of April. I mention this because crops are developing more slowly than usual this year. And I want you to be forewarned that the salad greens phase of the season will be longer than normal. I want to temper your expectations, but I do not want you to give up hope. We have taken several steps to mitigate against bad weather. Many of our crops, including most of our salad greens and our squashes, cucumbers and melons, are growing under a protective layer of fabric, which reduces wind and cold and evaporative losses. And others grow under protective greenhouse-like tunnels. These include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and our earliest cucumbers. And then there are the cool-weather crops – onions, potatoes, cabbages and garlic, to name a few – that actually thrive under these conditions. Although I have not been able to relax this spring, it is because we have taken these proactive steps that the emotional roller-coaster ride is a little more fun.

Have a great week, Ted

Sautéd Greens with Figs

(Adapted from “Simple Garlicky Greens” on p. 40 in Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas, Sterling 2012)

1 bunch each of chard, kale, and broccoli rabe (Happy Rich), or your choice of other greens

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 to 2 garlic scapes, diced

¼ cup sliced red onion

¼ cup pine nuts

½ cup Turkish figs, quartered

¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins

½ tsp salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Destem and rinse the greens, and cut into strips. The broccoli rabe can be included as stem and all, cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat the coconut oil in a stir-fry pan and add the diced garlic scapes, red onion, and pine nuts, cooking for about 3 minutes or until lightly caramelized. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for about 3 more minutes, then add the remaining ingredients, stirring frequently, and cook a final 3 minutes, adding water or broth if needed to keep the greens moist. Recommended to serve with rice, quinoa, or potatoes.

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Caring for Your Share.pdf