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  • Writer's pictureThe Farmer's Wife

2024 Season is Fast Approaching!

Greetings All,

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! We really enjoy getting to see family during the holidays that we don't get to visit with often. We didn't have our traditional Christmas Bonfire because of the rain but the kids really enjoyed being able to see all their extended family.


Fun, geeky fact for you- Winter officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere on Dec. 21 with the winter solstice – the day with the least amount of possible daylight and the longest night. So we're only about a week into winter so far! That's ok though because now that we're past the solstice, we'll continue to gain daylight hours through the end of winter :)



Here is a picture of our kiddos at the Christmas party after caroling for scouts. I'm not sure if they could have gotten anymore candy on those gingerbread houses! "Tis the season


IMPORTANT DATES: January 1st we open our CSA Membership for 2024 for our Returning Members only. That's you! ;)


We only let our Returning Members join us during January so you're able to sign up for whatever you'd like!! You get first pick on everything. Starting February 1st, we open our Membership to our waiting list and from then on out it's FCFS.


I create a new page on our website that has a secret URL. So I give that link to our Returning Members only. That way, you call still sign up for whatever you want all through January, but there is a "dummy" page on the website for everyone else to see.


***If you go onto our website Jan 1st to sign up, you won't be able to find it!! You have to follow the special link in the email I will send out New Years Day.


WHY SO SOON?


You might be wondering why we open it up so early in the winter? It's actually common practice to offer sign-ups in the middle of winter. Most farms around us accept Memberships in November or even earlier, but we wait until January because it simply helps keep our books straight for taxes. That way, we're earning our income during the calendar year that we are growing it. By offering our CSAs for sale in the winter months, it frees up more of our time in the spring when things really start to get busy again.


As many of you know we do everything here "in house". Meaning it's just me on the other side of the computer! I keep the website up to date and help get everyone signed up in the spring and keep up to date with communications all season long.


Right after we start up the greenhouse, Ben keeps me busy seeding and transplanting in the greenhouse (SO excited to get my hands dirty again soon!). That's a big part of why we start January 1st, so I've got more time to help Ben when we're getting the ball rolling in the greenhouse in the late winter. There is always snow on the ground when we start up the greenhouse! Maybe not this year, we'll see, lol.

EXCITING ADDITIONS

We added a couple of new sites in the northern Metro area! Andover has a new site off of Raven Street NW (Halfway between Bunker Lake Blvd NW and Andover Blvd NW, off of Crosstown Blvd NW)!


We also added a new site in Princeton! Which is off of Woodland Drive (just a mile north of 95, right off of N Rum River Dr).


SAD CHANGES


We are so sad to be closing a few of our sites for the 2024 season. We are closing both of our St. Paul sites. One of our hosts moved and then we only had one site within half hour of that end of the cities; it just wasn't feasible logistically to drive that far out of the way. I did everything I could to rearrange the routes, the pick up day, I tried everything and still couldn't find a solution. This is one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make as a farm.


We pride ourselves on being a family operated business and honestly everything is personal with us and our CSA. It's an extension of ourselves, and when we have to make business decisions it really burns. We've known and admired our hosts for almost a decade. Some of you are thinking "duh" it was a no-brainer decision. But in reality, it was so difficult I find it hard to even share about. We will sorely miss our families in St. Paul and wonder if one day our paths might cross again.

The Dancing Bear Chocolate site is also closed. We appreciate their hospitality over the years and look forward to maintaining a relationship with them. We weren't able to work out logistics for 2024 due to space concerns and our route changing. We do have 3 sites in the neighborhood there and are hopeful to offer some convenient options to Members in our area. The map below shows the other 3 sites that are available; all are Tuesday pick up options.


Our Dayton site closed as well. We appreciate our hosting family for having us there for a season but we both agreed that the sunlight problems were too much trouble. There wasn't a good shady spot (as the sun would move throughout the day of course). So it just wasn't feasible. We do have a spot over in Rogers that isn't too far though, we're hoping those handful of folks will find Rogers to be an acceptable alternative.


FRIENDLY REMINDER


For those of you who purchased produce at the end of the season, please check on your produce! Remember, you want a well-ventilated area that's away from heat sources or fluctuating temperatures. I even have a little fan going in the basement to keep ours good because there isn't a ton of ventilation in our 1933 farmhouse basement.


If one squash goes bad, it'll soften all of them around it over time as well. Same goes for any variety of produce really, so it's super important to be checking on your veggies and making sure they're still good! If you find a squash with a soft spot, cut it off and cook it! Ben & I actually just made some more butternut soup to freeze the other day because our butternuts weren't holding up like the other varieties. Good to have on hand for a lazy winter day!! (IF we ever get any "winter" days haha!)



PORK

It's odd how things have changed for us. For 3 years we had a waiting list, and this season we raised enough hogs (and then some) to have a surplus. The perspective changing from "I'll get in touch with you as soon as we have availability" to needing to sell them on a set schedule is quite different... Something that I wouldn't have foreseen being as challenging since there was never enough pork to meet demand in the past.


Packages-

We are hoping to get an option for some sort of pork package lined up. We've looked at a few options and need to make sure it's a viable option for us logistically. We are fairly confident that we can make it work for us and would like to roll out some options in the coming months.

I have a link here that will bring you to the Add-on page. At the very bottom of that page is a form for the Pork packages & just general info and availability. If you'd like to be the first to know about packages, add your email to that mailing list and we'll be in touch! I'm sure we will announce it to our CSA in the spring as well but if you're not planning on signing up for our 2024 CSA you won't get any info on packages unless you get on the email list there.


**We still have 5 hogs here that aren't spoken for! So if you've been hemming and hawing about signing onto a whole or a half (or need more), now is a great opportunity! Once these hogs are gone, we don't have any butcher dates until next September.


THANK YOU!!!

Food is our love language. It's spoken in every corner of the world and is always a sure, clear way to say "I love you!" Think of all the fond memories baking with Grandma or roasting veggies with your own kids. I think back to my college days when I'd dig into the fridge at mom and dads- mom always had my favorites in the fridge for when we'd come home to visit. To me that says I LOVE YOU!! Loud and clear.


We love what we do and appreciate the opportunity to grow for so many of your families. Being a part of your own family's love language is very special & something we don't take for granted.


Thank you for letting us be a part of your family's memories and nutrition- in the most special way!!


I hope you all enjoyed your produce as much as we enjoyed growing it for you <3


We will be in touch in a few short days with the CSA Sign up Link!!

Warmly,

~The Farmer's Wife

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