CSA Week Eighteen

We’re finally here, at the end of the summer CSA.  I always can’t quite believe it when it arrives — sometimes it feels sort of like raising a child;  how can something that is sometimes so full of challenges in the moment still go by so fast?  But, somehow, it always does.  And then we miss it.  For those of you who want to continue on with four more weeks of fall salad greens, winter squash, onions, garlic and much more, there are still some spots available in the fall CSA.  And for those of you who need a break from the never-ending river of veggies, we hope you’ll be a part of the farm again next summer!

Many of you have asked why we don’t have more bulk items for sale this year (usually in the fall we offer such bulk items as carrots, potatoes, kale, turnips, winter squash etc.)  The full story is that this actually was a pretty challenging year, growing-wise, for the farm.  The weather appeared gorgeous for much of the summer, but between the wet spring (when the seed potatoes rotted in the ground not just once, but twice)  to the heat spells that simply cooked three separate huge plantings of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and more, there were lots of veggies that we would have loved to give more of but were unable to, much less have enough to sell for winter storage.  We’re sorry, and we’ll definitely miss having enough for our personal winter stores, too.   Thank goodness some things that we always wanted to share more of did great (Tomatoes!!  Eggplant!!  Peppers!!).  But that was mostly due to  factors we  actually had some control over—like building new hoophouses.

In some incredible news, the Monohanako pottery sale fundraiser was a HUGE success!  After all was tallied, Monohanako donated $3200 to the CSA Financial Aid Fund.  In addition, it inspired another wonderful CSA member to contribute $500 toward the fund.  Completely, totally, amazing.  This will allow us to make the CSA possible in 2014 for so many Mid-coast families for whom it otherwise might not be.  Thank you to everyone who made it a success.

We hope to see many of you out at the farm on Sunday, October 20th (rain date of Sunday, October 27th), starting at 1pm.  Bring a potluck item, a plate/cup/silverware to feast  with (though we’ll have extras here if you forget), a blanket or chairs to sit on, and apples to press for cider if you so wish.  There will be a tour of the farm at 2:30, but other than that we’ll all just hang out, eat good food, crack open garlic bulbs to get ready to plant, and enjoy the day together.

There are some significant thank-yous I’d like to  note.  First of all, our crew this season was wonderful:  Ben, Patrick, Zoë, Corinne, Reanna, Christine and Davis.  You all helped make this season, which was a challenging one in many other ways, a success.    And fun.  Thank you.  Second, the grandparents:  Mimi, Papa, Mema and Grandpa.  Without your commitment to caring for Eli and Cecilia, this farm could not exist in the fashion it does.  Our kids—and we—are so incredibly lucky.  Third, thank you to every single one of our CSA members.  This farm would not half as strong without you.  From your spring CSA payments that make it possible for us to buy seeds and start the farm for the season, to the enthusiasm for the vegetables that so many of you share with us on a weekly basis, to the members who show up to help harvest garlic or sort greens or unpack the delivery van… in countless ways this farm would not be what it is without this CSA community.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We’ll see some of you next week, and some of you next year.  I’ll be sending out a survey within the next day or two to get a sense of what worked well about the season and what could be better for each of you, before memories fade.  In the meantime, we hope that you get a chance to enjoy some wonderful meals with wonderful people this week.

Be well,

Reba and Bill

Week 18 of 18:  Mesclun Mix, Carrots, Beets, Winter Squash (Carnival, Acorn, Delicata or Spaghetti), Yellow Onion, Garlic, Green or Red Pepper, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, Decorative Gourds (non-edible!)

This week’s recipes:  Seared Fish with Beet Salsa, Everyone’s Favorite Kale

Week 18 notes from the Appleton Creamery Cheese CSA

This is a chicken, egg, pork and beef week.

This picture shows so many of the things that make the CSA so important to me.  See how many you can spot:  Our apprentice Patrick, helping members and packing bags behind the pick-up table;  The Financial Aid Fund pottery sale going on along the back wall;  Our dog Mica, the official farm greeter, making his rounds (even though his whip-like tail gave me a panic attack around the pottery);  Bill and I getting to hang out with one of our most outspoken and enthusiastic CSA members, four-year-old Amelia (forever famous for naming the bull ‘Fifi’).  The end of the CSA is definitely bittersweet for me — I’ll so miss all this activity and community right at our doorstep!

This picture shows so many of the things that make the CSA so important to me. See how many you can spot: Our apprentice Patrick, helping members and packing bags behind the pick-up table; The Financial Aid Fund pottery sale going on along the back wall; Our dog Mica, the official farm greeter, making his rounds (even though his whip-like tail gave me a panic attack around the pottery); Bill and I getting to hang out with one of our most outspoken and enthusiastic CSA members, four-year-old Amelia (forever famous for naming the bull ‘Fifi’). The end of the CSA is definitely bittersweet for me — I’ll so miss all this activity and community right at our doorstep!

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