THE HAUL: NOVEMBER 21st
CSA FINAL DELIVERY
The sign-up for Hunters Point CSA members is online NOW! We’re now accepting online applications for our CSA Winter Share. Deadline for registration is November 27th. Four monthly deliveries, December through March. Sign up here…
SHOUT OUT TO CSA SUPERSTAR MEMBER RICK HAMILTON:
Rick is always there to help and we are so grateful to have him be a part of our CSA team. Thank you Rick!!
Your shares will be available for pickup on Tuesday from 5pm – 7pm. Come for your share, and stay for Alewife’s trivia night. CSA members get 10% off drinks on Tuesday pickup days! Please remember to bring sturdy bags to carry your produce home.
NOTES FROM THE FARM:
End of Season Farmer Letter
“We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it. And to take good care of it we have to know it. And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.” – Wendell Berry
Here we are at the end of another harvest season! It has been a pretty good farming year for us. The weather cooperated (for the most part) with just enough rain during the summer months and a nice long warm fall. Now we finish putting the farm to bed, start planning our harvests for 2018 and tend to indoor farming activities like bookkeeping, tractor and machine maintenance and CSA program planning. I’ve tried to keep this letter short, but there’s always so much to talk about as we reflect on the season and talk about plans for next year. If you can’t make it through this whole letter, please know that we are super grateful for your membership and we hope you’ll join us again next season! You’ll be hearing from us periodically throughout the winter months with farm news and musings…
CSA Survey Responses
Thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s Member Survey.. We received over 700 responses so far! The survey will remain open for a few more weeks, so please log on and send us your feedback if you haven’t done so already. Your feedback provides valuable information for us as we start making plans for our program next season. I am still working my way through reading every single response. Overall, most of you seemed very happy with the program, so I think we’re on the right track after all these years! 93% of you would recommend our CSA program to a friend!
Based on your feedback, here are some changes already in the works for next season…
Advance notice on the contents of the shares. Many of you want to know what’s coming in your shares ahead of time! We never know for sure until the day before your delivery, but we will take our best guess on Fridays for the following week and post the list on our website and Facebook. Hopefully giving you a heads up on even a few items in the shares will help you with shopping and meal planning.
Addressing the variety of crops we grow. Did you know that our weekly planned harvests are pretty much the same from year to year? But ask any seasoned CSA member and they will tell you that they’ve never experienced the same season twice! With Mother Nature as our farming partner, no matter how good our planning, the actual harvests fluctuate based on precipitation, temperature, germination rate, labor constraints and more. We do our best to grow a wide variety of crops that will keep most members happy most of the time. Click to see our 2018 PROJECTED HARVEST SCHEDULE (pdf). This is a list of the crops we plan on growing next season and when you can expect to see them in the shares. P.S. We used this same schedule this year, 2017. As you can see, not every crop that we bought seed for, planted and tended was ultimately harvested. We do hear you about less cabbage and scallions next season!
More recipes and tips on storing & preserving your share….
We really want to help you in the kitchen to use your weekly bounty! Many of you expressed concern about food waste and time constraints. So look for more cooking tips & tricks from our farmhouse kitchen. (And maybe even some videos….)
Of course, there is a lot more in the works for next season. Stay tuned to our newsletters over the winter for a sneak peek at what you can expect to come in 2018…
A note on crops losses from Farmer Matt…
There are a few crops that did not make it into your shares, (or did not make it into your shares very often), that we wanted to tell you about. First is basil. For the past few years it has become harder and harder to grow basil for more than one planting because of downy mildew that takes hold of the crop in mid-July. A similar disease is responsible for damaging our cucumber crop. The sweet potatoes were a bit of a disappointment as the slips (the plants we start with) were delayed by the freight company on their way from NC, and many were rotted when they arrived here. The weak plants did not compete well with the weedy field and we were only able to harvest about 25% of what we had planned on. The broccoli had issues with bacterial soft rot and brown bead, two plant diseases that flourish in hot temperatures. This fall was not a good cool broccoli growing season. It was too hot for the broccoli to be happy and these disease took hold. A good portion of our planted winter squash suffered from a plant mold called phytophthora. We haven’t had too many issues with this disease in past years, but as climate conditions continue to shift, we find ourselves farming with a whole new set of challenges and new plant diseases we haven’t had before. Finally, we wish we had had more labor (and time!) to weed our carrot and beet plantings. Sometimes there is only a 2-3 day window to get the field weeded. If you miss it, weeds take over and that’s the end of it. This scenario happened a few times to our carrot and beet plantings, which is why you didn’t see them in your shares as often as we had hoped.
Farmers are perennial optimists and we look forward to learning from this past year’s experiences and implementing new strategies for these crops next season!
Here’s where things get mushy because we really love you guys. Like, really. We don’t want to be killing ourselves growing food for some wholesale account. What fun is that? We want to grow food for our friends, our neighbors, grandmas, uncles and even picky little kids. Because we believe that our health is everything. And we are what we eat, so we think we’ve got a pretty important job to do. The thing about farming is that it’s not just an occupation, it’s a lifestyle. We live and breathe the farm. It’s our life and you are all a part of it! So thanks for putting your trust in us to feed you and your families. I still pinch myself when year after year our members hand over their hard-earned money to us….trusting that we will come through for them with a season full of harvests. Let’s keep this good thing going, shall we?
XO Maggie, Farmer Matt, Galen, Zinny & the crew
THIS WEEK IN THE SHARES:
FRUIT SHARE MEMBERS:
Please remember just one bag per fruit share member (only).
FRUIT SHARE PICK UP INSTRUCTIONS:
If you have paid for the fruit share add-on, it will say “FRUIT” next to your name on the check-in list. Fruit Share members may take one bag of fruit per paid fruit share. If someone is picking up your share for you (a spouse, a family member or friend), you are responsible for informing them of the proper pick-up procedure for the fruit share. If you are not a fruit share member, please remind them not to take the fruit.
GEOF provides us with extra vegetables to seed our swap box every week. If there’s something in your share that you don’t wish to have, you can trade it for something inside our swap box. If you don’t like your swap options, then you can simply donate your unwanted item to the swap box, or take that item home with you. Please note swaps are to only occur with items inside the swap box and your own share. Only items in their full quantity may be swapped. Please be considerate of other members and try to limit your swap to one item per week.
Lewis Waite Farms: http://csalewiswaitefarm.com/register?csa=fc6f57e492f063c86abe88df66b02999
Looking for / Want to share – a recipe using items from this week’s produce? If so, please check out our Hunters Point CSA FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hunterspointcsa/
Join the CSA Member Group FB Page: Please share your Recipes, Cooking Tips & other ideas for getting the most out of your CSA on our FACEBOOK CSA MEMBERS PAGE!
And of course, GEOF’s website has tons of great ideas! http://goldenearthworm.com/cropswegrow/