Hello All, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break! It's hard to believe it's already December; that went too fast!!
Ever wonder what your Farmers are up to in the off season? What off season?! :P
We are good at staying busy, as there have been tasks all summer that have needed our attention, but they get put on the “when the snow flies” list. That’s now.. even though we still don’t have any snow!
It's a relief being able to get so many things crossed off of our lists. We sure did get lucky this fall with this awesome weather! It was such a warm fall that we were able to do a lot of our field clean up with ease and comfort, where most seasons there is already snow on the ground just a week or two after the CSA season wraps up.
Winterizing equipment, storing supplies, working fields, prepping animal spaces for the cold, even planting, in addition to light home projects and decorating!! We are really enjoying our time leisurely taking on these tasks now that the heavy lifting for the season is done.
Meet Luna <3
WE GOT A PUPPY!!! She is a sweet little Golden Retriever. She has a silly personality already, likes the kitties and chickens, but doesn't chase them or bite at them which is super important. She seems smart & catches on quickly.
We are already signed up for puppy classes. If you know me personally, you probably know I've been pestering Ben for a couple years now for a puppy, haha! I have to remind myself, we have only lived on this property for a year and a half. Before that we lived in town and knew we weren't ready to take on a puppy when we were still getting established (no permanent farming space at the time). We also knew we needed to wait until the off season because potty training and just regular commands too, take a lot of time and effort. Our spring and summer are spoken for already ;P
So basically it's been a long time coming... And we are so lucky to have this little lady join our shenanigans around the farm here!! I can't wait to share more pictures!!
We planted garlic!! As you know, the garlic bulbs themselves are the seeds. We had several varieties that we planted, so we’ll have to see how they all do. Here is a picture of my trusty sidekick keeping an eye on the garlic (and the freshly worked fields with mice running around!). We planted this several weeks ago, before the ground froze.
This is an experiment where a lot of factors will come into play. Even though the bulbs are similar in size, some of the varieties had very big cloves, so one bulb only yielded 4 cloves, whereas some of the bulbs yielded 10 cloves. Doing the math, of course having 10 cloves sounds way better than only 4, right?! Well, it depends on who you ask. Quality wise, I would think the larger cloves would be better because when a recipe calls for a clove of garlic you don’t want to cut up 3 or 4 to produce “one” cloves worth. But some of the smaller garlic cloves can be stronger/ more concentrated.
Like I said, it's an experiment (with 5 varieties) to be sure! The goal here is to be able to get enough garlic harvested and dried to be able to add it into your CSA Shares and also keep enough seed garlic for the following season. So there is some serious math there to be played out, but that's only once we get an understanding for the varieties we want to pursue after next fall. We will report back in the spring when it comes up!
CAER FOOD SHELF
GUYS, TOGETHER WE DONATED 4,281 POUNDS!!
As many of you know, we work closely with the food shelf in Elk River (CAER- Community Aid Elk River). We deliver produce there every Thursday throughout the harvest season. In addition to the produce we are donating, we also bring your donated CSA Shares straight to the food shelf! They distribute on Thursdays so we coordinated our schedules to harvest for them Thursday mornings. It worked great for all of us!!
I chose to share this (below!) because it's a great way to put your contributions into perspective, and something you should be proud of!! Whether you personally donated or were a part of our farm & CSA which donated produce, you helped contribute to local families who needed it!!
At the farmer's market in Elk River they have bins out for day-end collection from farmers. According to numbers published by CAER, we donated more produce than the entire farmer's market in Elk River, combined. With your partnership, we're able to get food into these family households!! THANK YOU for being a part of our CSA & donating with us this season!!!
NEXT SEASON JUMP ON BOARD!!
Holy smokes, right? We're really coming up on the New Year fast. With only a few weeks left I want to touch on some specifics about Membership for 2022.
The most important thing to remember: We will start taking Memberships on January 1st, and you will have priority to sign up for whatever you'd like anytime all month long!! **This will include pork, more details to come on that.
Then starting February 1st, we open our Membership to the waiting list from last season, which just-so-happens to be over 290 people. We actually started a new waiting list (so if anyone gets on it now, like today, they're actually waiting in line for 2023 shares).
As the years go on and we continue to see so many of the same families signing up again, and again, it just solidifies our drive and ambition even more. We love being able to farm as our livelihood and being able to grow for all of your precious families makes it even more special for us. Thank you for joining us this season!!
I will be sending out another email newsletter in the coming weeks with more info on 2022 CSA Shares & Pork availability. Spoiler alert, we're bringing back the Give & Take boxes! More on that soon :)
STAY WELL FR
~The Farmer's Wife