CSA 2013 Newsletter Week 3 – beets & peas

Not much new to report this week – almost a lull in the heat. Everything continues along in the field. The second patch of beets, peas, beans, dill and cilantro has been weeded, and the peas and beets are finally coming in. I’m keeping at the salad mix planting, and we are doubling back to weed the crops that need it – onions, kale, squash and a few others. What are you waiting for and excited about? 

The kale was big enough to bunch this week and most of the damage is gone from the flea beetles attacking the lancinato (dino) and red russian kale. Head lettuce is almost done, 1-2 more weeks. The peas are just starting, same with the baby beets in this week’s box; carrots should be ready next week and green beans, squash and cucumbers are all a few weeks off, eggplant in the hoop house will be ready in 1-2 weeks as well.

The garlic is ready to get picked and despite several weedings, seems have to been slightly overrun – meaning smaller sized (but still delicious) garlic heads. These early fresh heads have soft skins and a fresher flavor than dried garlic; we should have garlic regularly throughout the season.

I gave the culinary herbs a break this week to let them size up, but we will continue next week with a rotation of cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, basil and parsley.

The head lettuce lasts just a couple more weeks, then the summer crops really start to hit!

Cherries! We will have cherries from fruit members for the next few weeks, maybe 3-4 weeks total. We are very fortunate to have a long term purchasing history with one of the few growers with a sizable cherry crop this year – First Fruits. Quantities are a little lighter than past years for the CSA because the price is incredibly high this year ($80/box wholesale!), but we feel lucky to get them at all – so enjoy them deeply.

 

Week 3 –

note: full members may get doubles, half members may not get all items

  • Rainbow Chard
  • Kale
  • Head lettuce – red butter & more
  • salad mix
  • radishes
  • early green garlic
  • beets
  • peas

coming soon:

  • broccoli
  • full size beets
  • baby carrots
  • beans – green, purple and yellow

CSA 2013 Newsletter Week 2 – spring greens continue

I hope you aren’t tired of greens yet, because this week we continue with the same type of vegetables as last week. We do have some beautiful new varieties of head lettuce, including green and red butter and green and red oakleaf. We also had radishes for everybody to get a bunch this week, the purple large round radishes are surprisingly sweet. If you find radishes too spicy, try cutting them very thinly and adding to a salad.

Don’t worry – we have plenty of summer crops ahead: corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers & more are all in store!

We got more kale this week, so everybody gets at least one bag. We also have early summer squash this week from Austin farms – our own squash is still a few weeks off. the garlic just isn’t quite ready, but we picked a little ‘green’ immature garlic anyway (full members). We have more spinach this week and the cilantro has sized up enough to bunch. we picked the kohlrabi, some hasn’t sized up so i’m not certain we have enough for everyone this week (if not we will give those who missed it kohlrabi next week). whats kohlrabi, you ask? check my past newsletters for more! we should have beets starting next week.

Some pictures from packing last week’s box and from the field!

 

Ironing out the kinks!

Please let me know if you had any troubles with the delivery last week. I want to correct any mistakes I may have made quickly!

Cherries! I have confirmed that i will be able to get cherries for at least one or two weeks. I won’t have them this week, but should by week 3’s deliveries. These will be delicious fruit from First Fruits in Paonia and we are lucky to get them!

 

Week 2 –

note: full members may get doubles, half members may not get all items

  • Rainbow Chard
  • Baby Kale (Bagged)
  • Spinach
  • Head lettuce – assorted mini sleeved  green & red butter, green & red oakleaf
  • salad mix
  • radishes
  • cilantro
  • early green garlic
  • summer squash (Austin farms)

coming soon:

  • peas (sugar snap &  shelling)
  • broccoli
  • baby beets
  • baby carrots
  • bunched kale, dino kale, red russian kale
  • beans – green, purple and yellow

Here Comes Harvest Season 2013!

Read on for first pickup details, what’s in the box and recent farm pictures…

First Pickup Details

Important: please read the details below and call or email if you have any questions. Farm phone number is 970-872-4413.

First harvest pickup and delivery dates –

  • Farm Pickup starts Friday June 21st – 3-7pm
  • Marble/Redstone pickups starts Saturday June 22nd – Sat AM pickup
  • Gunnison delivery starts Saturday June 22nd @ Gunnison farmers market – Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Crested Butte delivery starts Sunday June 23rd – 11am @ 421 White Rock

Pickup/Delivery Details

  • Farm pickup members – pickup is at the farm on Powell Mesa (just down the hill from our home at 34830 Powell Mesa Rd.) on Fridays from 3-7 pm. A whiteboard lists the items you get for your membership type (half/full, fruit) – grab a box or bags if you need them, then pack your box from the produce in the deli coolers or table area. If you can’t make it to pick up during the regular time, please call. I will box your produce up and place it in the walk in (please close door hard until it clicks).

All other areas – Each box is labeled with your name and veg/fruit size (half/full) – if anything is wrong in week one please call so we can correct. Please return the boxes and totes for reuse. Totes collapse with two thumbs pushing tabs in, cardboard boxes can stay intact and stack neatly.

  • Gunnison – Mark from Thistle Whistle Farm will be bringing your boxes to the Gunnison farmers market.   Please thank him and buy some of his yummy veggies.
  • Crested Butte members – Hosted by Stacee Vanaernem at 421 White Rock. Deliveries are Sundays @ 11 am.  If you can’t meet the truck, please send a friend; if we don’t see you we will leave your box on the shaded porch on the right of the building. Please help keep Stacee’s porch as neat as possible between pickups, thanks!
  • Marble/Redstone – standard pickup time is Saturday mornings, your boxes will be inside the walk-in, first door on our right – please close door hard until it clicks. All boxes will be labeled with an [M] for Marble and have the same color. If you know exactly when you are coming please email or call ahead so I can meet you and help load the boxes. Contact Gina (ginacousino@gmail.com) to find out your pickup slots, call me with questions or for directions.

What’s in the Box?

This spring featured some cool weather and even though my planting was on schedule or early, several crops are a week or two late – including peas, baby beets, carrots, and radishes. some of the early kale has damage we have to pick off.

What we do have ready is tons of beautiful, tender head lettuce including green romaine, red & green crisp head, red and green butter lettuce and red and green oak leaf – at least ten varieties that we will harvest for 4-6 weeks. We have nice sized rainbow chard without any of the usual early leaf damage. We have delicious, tender spinach and cilantro – we will be bagging these two to extend their harvest until the later planting comes in.

We have some culinary herbs ready including garlic scapes (Garlic scapes are the curling tops of garlic plants, which are as edible as the garlic bulbs), early (green) garlic,  oregano, chives and parsley – you will get one or more of these in your early box. Also in this weeks box: crunch bok choi from rain crow farms in paonia.

In short – please be patient – lots of greens this spring, enjoy their freshness and vitality – lots of squash, cucumbers, peppers, corn will arrive later in the season, and possibly a week or two later than usual. the early boxes will be a bit smaller than usual, but we will make it up to you later in the seasonn.

Fruit members note: there are no cherries to be had, so we won’t have fruit for several weeks. We do have a good peach, nectarine pear and apple crop and possibly plums. Don’t worry, you will get your full $$$ value of fruit, just a little more a little later in the season. Once again, please be patient!

Week 1 –

note: full members may get doubles, half members may not get all items

  • Rainbow Chard
  • Baby Kale (Bagged) – full members
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choi (rain crow farm)
  • Head lettuce – assorted mini sleeved g. romaine, g. oakleaf, r. oakleaf, g. butter
  • garlic scapes
  • oregano
  • chives – full members
  • salad mix
  • radishes  – full members
  • cilantro
  • early/green garlic – extra for full members

coming soon:

  • peas (sugar snap, then shelling)
  • kohlrabi
  • tatsoi
  • baby beets
  • baby carrots
  • bunched kale

 

June 1, 2013 Farm/Harvest Updates – I believe I am ahead!

SO MUCH has happened on the farm in the last few weeks it is startling.

Lots of people suddenly wanted to help out on the farm and we had several huge planting days, with eight or more people helping out.

We had two consecutive visits from large groups of Crested Butte CSA members trading for their produce – coming down for the weekend they put in long days paying off most or all of their summer produce & fruit! Many huge tasks were accomplished, including planting the two large hoop houses we use to grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons and more.

Then a couple of other large crew days at the farm and everything was in. Soon I had my direct seeding completed as well. Interestingly, I was a little behind on planting just a month ago as cold, wet weather kept us out of the fields in April.

The big task for the next few weeks is WEEDING and my weeding crew is up for task, continually crossing the field with hoes to keep down the burgeoning weed populations… for the most part weeding is complete by July –  once most crops are established, their planting pattern forms a canopy that keeps weeds from growing.

First Harvest Update

Note that I will email with complete details and call each of you to confirm your membership type and details foor the first week of pickup/delivery.

Currently first harvest is planned for the following dates:

Farm – Friday June 21st; Marble/Redstone & Gunnison – Saturday June 22nd; Crested Butte – Sunday June 23rd

That means there is still time – if you have not signed up yet or have a friend you think may be interested there is still time to sign up before the first harvest!

Come Visit

We encourage all of our out of town CSA members to plan a visit at least once during the growing season – and local pickup members are encouraged to walk into the fields!

For now here’s some pictures so you can see what’s been going on, click any image to start a large slideshow:

 

Spring 2013 April Updates

So much happens in the spring, its hard to keep track of everything. Don’t forget to sign up for the CSA before summer is here!

Here is an overview of spring tasks:

  • greenhouse work, everything is looking great and we are almost done with the planting
  • field prep – everything is disced down once and some areas are being prepped for cover crops while others are readied for planting
  • hoop-houses – cleanup old plastic that finally died, cover with new plastic; clean out old plants, re-dig plant holes & fill with compost – ready for planting
  • extra early planting: potatoes & onions
  • early plantings: broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, peas, scallions, salad mix, cilantro, chives & more!
  • set up the irrigation system, set out pipes, clean out mouse nests

Here is a little gallery of recent farm photos to get you dreaming of summer; click on any photo to see a large slide show. Enjoy the pictures!

SIGN UP NOW for the 2013 CSA Season

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my huge stack of supply/seed catalogs

Its time! I finally got thru all the seed catalogs and all the seed boxes to figure out what I needed this spring. I’m hopeful we will have a better irrigation season than last year and this year I am focusing on the CSA and limiting my wholesale offerings. It promises to be a bountiful year.

The greenhouse is fired up, and thousands of baby broccoli, kale, cabbage, chard, onions, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes are already sprouting. The field is still too wet to get out into, but I’m already developing a list of tasks and priorities for the coming crunch time – between now and mid april I have to get everything ready for planting.

i'm excited about this improved tuscano kale called 'black magic'
i’m excited about this improved tuscano kale called ‘black magic’

I am happy to announce that I am now accepting sign ups for the 2013 season! I welcome your membership! Remember – joining a CSA is a great deal, but it’s also a big responsibility – you are going to get a lot of fresh vegetables every week, all summer long – are you ready for veg-abundance? If so, read on!

I am proud to announce that I am keeping prices the same for the 2013 season. Here are the details:

Full Membership – $575
Half Membership – $350
Fruit Half – $100
Fruit Full – $200
Delivery (CB/Gunnison) – $120

This year, I am encouraging everyone if possible to pay by check if possible, saving us the roughly 3% fee we pay for paypal or credit card payments. I am happy to accept these forms of payment and want your membership, but if you can pay by cheek, that’s the preferred method!

If you can pay in full before June 1st I will have a surprise gift for you, with a value of roughly $25 for half boxes and $50 for full boxes.

Signing up for the season deposit – $150, non refundable, then 50% balance due June 1st, remainder due July 15th.

Ready to sign up?

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2012 CSA Newsletter – Week 12,13, etc…

The Farmers Update

As I write this we are packing week 13. Week 12 still had a huge variety of vegetables – cilantro, parsley, carrots, beets, broccoli/cauliflower, kale, chard,  corn, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, onions and squash. This week we will have some heavy boxes, but a few things are ending – the cucumbers are gone, we gave the kale a break this week but will have some more before the end, chard is gone, peppers and eggplant are almost gone, corn is done.

The last few weeks…

We’ve got more leeks this week and one more time this season, perfect for potato leek soup! Also lots of yellow onions and soon the red onions; we’ve got some herbs for the end of the season – including  the lemon grass in this week’s box. Lots of potatoes coming in, and a few pumpkins. We do have some garlic, the crop was small this year (probably weather related) – My winter squash crop was a bust, almost nothing made it; fortunately Glenn Austin and the Greg at the trading post had better luck, so I will resort to buying the squash for the last few weeks. Everything in these last boxes is designed for storage – keep the onions, potatoes and squash in a cool, well ventilated, dark spot and they will last for months.

The end is coming!

The end of the farm season that is, not the end of the world, although some are predicting that as well. You will probably be able to tell from this week’s box that the season is in steep decline. Because of the lack of water and the heat of summer, fall has come a bit early to the western slope. The tomatoes are producing more that I remember in the last decade – even the field grown romas are coming on in force – we can barely keep up with picking them! If you find a lot of tomatoes in your box these next few weeks, just freeze them if you can’t use them all! I freeze whole, ripe tomatoes in gallon ziplok bags. In the winter these are easy to peel (just dunk in hot water and the skin slips right off), chop up and add to any dish.

Because of the early decline, i’m going to condense our final deliveries and pack the rest of the fall crops in the next three heavy boxes (weeks 13-15). I’m packing these final boxes much more than usual, essentially doubling up for the last few weeks, saving on the delivery effort, but still getting you all your fall crops.  I wanted to mention that we are winding down more quickly than usual, the CSA was still a great value for your membership dollars this summer – according to my past calculations, we hit the ‘retail price value’ of the membership around week 10 or 11 – after that everything else is a bonus. Also this year, a bunch of crops came in early, thus front loading our season. I am considering starting a week earlier next year, more on this over the winter.

The final pickup dates are as follows: Crested Butte – Sunday September 30th, Marble/Redstone & Gunnison – Saturday September, Farm – Friday Oct. 5th.

Crested Butte members, please bring any empty boxes/totes back to the delivery spot by the following weekend so we can pick them up. Marble/Redstone members please get your boxes back to karen or gina and we will get them back; Gunnison members, please bring your boxes/totes back to mark the following week.

Thank you for your membership this year!

In the Box

Most items are 1 each for Half, 2 each for Full. A few items are Full only. Boxes may vary slightly, we do our best to even out the distribution.

Broccoli/Cauliflower  – still a little more…
Onions  – still more
Kale – ends soon!
Peppers – ends soon
Eggplant – ends soon
Carrots – last week
Tomatos
Potatoes
Leeks 
Herbs – lemon grass
Winter Squash – acorns this week, delacata, butternut next
Fruit

Gala & Honeycrisp  from First Fruits, a few more varieties coming

 

 

2012 CSA Newsletter – Week 10 & 11

The Farmers Update

I don’t have time for a long update, as you can probably tell how late this email is. So, i’ve loaded up some photos with captions below to give you a visual update.

We have around 6/7 weeks left (cb/gunnison/marble customers will get a double final box the weekend of oct. 6th, farm pickup customers your last box will be friday oct. 12th). over the next few weeks you will see the number of different items in your box decrease, but we will make up for some of that with weight – lots of tomatoes, potatoes, onions and soon squash. We also have a small corn crop that should come in this week. I hope you have been enjoying the season, thanks for your support!

In the Box

Most items are 1 each for Half, 2 each for Full. A few items are Full only. Boxes may vary slightly, we do our best to even out the distribution.

Broccoli/Cauliflower  – still a little more…
Corn  – possibly more next week
Onions  – getting bigger, we will have these throughout the rest of the season, nearly every week
Cucumbers – time for cucumber salad (still more coming!)
Basil – last chance for pesto making
Kale – ends soon!
Peppers – more varieties coming soon
Eggplant –
Carrots – lots more coming
Tomatos
Potatoes
Leeks 
Salad mix – that was it
Herbs – hope you all got a good mix this year, just as bit more of the culinary herbs
Cabbage, red
Squash, summer
Fruit

Nectarines from First Fruits
small gala apples from Delicious Orchards

Coming Soon

Fall apples & more pears, possibly plums

 

2012 CSA Newsletter – Week 8 & 9 – it feels like fall already

The Farmers Update

A little over a week ago we passed the quarter cross day – half way between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. Those living close to the earth can sense a shift around this time and the season begins falling inevitably into the end of summer. This year, like everything else, fall feels like its coming early. The ditch water is off (and the pond is nearly empty), and the nights and mornings are cooler. Everything seems to be shifting in the field and on the farm.

Abdias is heading back to France, and the students on the crew are heading back to school. The broccoli is just done; the kale and chard seem less abundant (finally!) and the salad mix is done for now (we do have one more section we may be able to pick next week). And the tomatoes are coming on big time!

Fall crops coming on

We picked nearly 300 lb. of tomatoes this week and that means everyone will get a good bit. Early varieties include many roma types  (great for sauce or salsa because they are fairly juice-less) and a good bit of heirloom/slicers – deliciously flavored. We pick all our tomatoes at a pink stage – if we wait until they are fully ripe in the field, they are more likely to have damage and to get damaged when packed in the boxes we deliver. Farm pickup customers may see a bit riper tomatoes along side the less ripe ones. Put these tomatoes on the counter and they will ripen up nicely in a few days. Most of the tomatoes are coming from one bed we have in the hoop house. The four beds in the field are just starting to ripen. Expect lots of tomatoes this fall!

Also in the hoop house an amazing array of peppers, the colored bells are still a week or two off, but lots of yellow bell and lots of anaheim types – great roasted which brings out their sweetness – you can roast a few quickly in the oven or toaster, you will be amazed at the change in flavor.

The Onions are really sizing up and a big patch of leeks awaits the pitchfork. we started picking the potatoes this week – we will have the first potatoes in the box next week and then again for the last month or so of the season.  Summer squash is also starting to increase, but i planted a good amount (after loosing the first planting to a late freeze) so we shouldn’t have TOO MUCh for you! Winter squash still a few weeks off.

Basil bags and also parsley in the boxes this week again, and we have plenty of basil for pesto if you want it please email or call, it will all be over soon so make your pesto and get it in the freezer now!

Payment reminder!!!  All balances are now due.   Please pay your balance, if you aren’t sure if you have a balance, please email or call me – 970-872-4413. Thanks!

In the Box

The turkeys love the field in fall.

Most items are 1 each for Half, 2 each for Full. A few items are Full only. Boxes may vary slightly, we do our best to even out the distribution.

Beans (green, yellow)  -ends soon
Broccoli – that was it
Corn  – a bit more corn from Austin farms, we all love it! my corn is 2 weeks off.
Onions  – getting bigger, we will have these throughout the rest of the season, nearly every week
Cucumbers – time for cucumber salad (many more coming!)
Artichokes – ends soon
Basil – more basil coming this week
Parsley 
Kale – ends soon!
Peppers – more varieties coming soon
Eggplant – another flush  in 2 weeks
Swiss Chard – may end soon
Carrots – lots more coming
Fruit

White Peaches from First Fruits
Pears, green bartlett from Delicious Orchards

Coming Soon

Fall

Pictures from the farm

2012 CSA Newsletter – Week 6 & 7 – the season rolls on

The Farmers Update

Everything is humming on the farm at this point. Harvest is in full swing, with many hands working at the long harvest tasks – picking the beans, picking the cucumbers, picking the broccoli… the list goes on and on, and the harvest seems endless. But eventually, the heat beats down and we shift to washing produce in the shade of the packing shed – washing, bundling, bunching, bagging & packing.  This week we picked more broccoli than we knew what to with – remember, if we give you too much of something to use, consider freezing part. Most vegetables just need to be blanched (steamed or boiled briefly) then thrown in a freezer bag. This week we also had delicious sweet corn from Austin Family Farms. We will have this again for one or two more weeks. Their olathe location is much warmer than the valley and their corn is a month ahead of mine. And given the water situation, i may not have a corn crop anyway…

This week the water is going to be shut off! This is the earliest I can remember the water going off in the twenty years we have been growing vegetables in Western Colorado. As I mentioned, our three acre feet of pond water will allow me to run an extensive drip system and a few sprinklers. I’ll also be hoping that the afternoon clouds and rain showers persist all thru august. You may see a different mix of crops in the box by late august, with fewer greens and salad – and more of the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions and potatoes i have plenty of. Some local growers will have irrigation water longer than us, so hit them up at the market or your local health food store.

Since we are nearly at the half way point of the harvest season, I think its time to look forward to the rest of the season – here is what to expect:


Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage – we should have these for at least another week or two. our fall crop depends on water, so we may not have one unless it rains
Chard & Kale – should continue for at least a couple of weeks, then will end unless it gets rainwater
Beans – these continue for a couple more weeks – enjoy them while we have them!
Beets, Carrots – plenty more of these to come until almost the end – 5-7 weeks more at least
Salad Mix – we should have salad mix for several more weeks, but may not have it as long as most seasons
Onions, Potatoes – we have a strong crop of these full size onions in 2-3 weeks, then onions every week until the end. potatoes will mostly come for the last 4-5 weeks, we will have some early potatoes in a week or two.
Garlic – already picked, we just have to process, we will start putting in boxes soon. medium sized crop.
Peppers, Eggplant, Tomatoes – these crops are just starting to kick in and will increase dramatically over the next few weeks. a very nice planting, and almost all on drip, these crops don’t need too much water anyway. The tomatoes are just starting – peppers start with giant jalapeños (freeze what you can’t use) and semi-hot anaheim (long slender) types – great for roasting or grilling. Bell peppers will come in a few weeks later.
Cucumbers, Summer Squash – we should have plenty more cukes, plus summer squash starts in earnest in the next week. We will keep these drop watered thru august.
Winter squash, Pumpkins – we have more of some varieties than usual, but the late freeze did put a dent in the quantities. i should have plenty for the csa, but may not have extra for ‘winter’ boxes
Artichokes are starting to come in, we should have these for a few weeks

Payment reminder!!!

All balances are now due. If you did not pay in full, please make sure you pay your balance asap! I will be sending out reminder emails with your balance. Please pay your balance, if you aren’t sure if you have a balance, please email or call me – 970-872-4413. Thanks!

In the Box

Most items are 1 each for Half, 2 each for Full. A few items are Full only. Boxes may vary slightly, we do our best to even out the distribution.

Beans (green, yellow & purple)
Broccoli – ends soon!
Onions  – getting bigger…
Cucumbers – time for cucumber salad (many more coming!)
Artichokes – (some of you got cukes some got chokes this week, next week you will get artichokes if you didn’t get them last week)
Scallions – the end of the scallion crop
Basil – more basil coming this week
Bulb Fennel – Full member only this week
Dill Heads –  (coming this week) – chop up fresh and use in soup, sauce or salad instead of fresh dill greens
Kale – we will keep picking kale & chard until/if it dries out too much!
Cauliflower –   a bit more next week – orange and purple still to come, not a huge crop this yearSalad Mix – still coming
Peppers – lots of little hot peppers, and a few first bell peppers –
Eggplant – we picked a few of these this week, expect many more in 1-2 weeks
Swiss Chard – plenty more until they dry up!
Carrots – bunches
Salad Mix –  did you notice we have had salad every week so far? we love salad too! salad loves water, we have a little water we can use for a bit more salad  – expect a few more weeks.

Fruit

Plums (Shiros) from Ela Family farms
Cherries (last of the season) from First Fruits

this week:

Plums (Santa Rosas) from Delicious Orchards
Peaches from Delicious Orchards

Coming Soon

summer squash
more of the same!

Pictures from the farm

Click to enlarge.