I know you’re probably expecting this to be a bunch of small talk about how wonderful the holidays are- which they are!- but I actually have a meaty newsletter for you here. Dig in when you have a minute! 😊
This is my last email until you get the link to sign up on New Years Day! Please remember that it’s a “secret link" on purpose and we’re prioritizing our Returning Members before new members, please don’t share your private link, or wait until Feb 15th when we open up for everyone.
Woah, blind-sided?! I hope not! I mentioned this a few times in our blog this summer in hopes that you’d expect it. I didn’t want to surprise anyone!
Since 2019 we have offered you the same price for our CSAs, so it's been 3 years now. Last season we held our prices knowing that times are tough and we didn’t want to discourage any of our CSA families. After holding our prices for 3 seasons we need to increase for 2022 to reflect an increase in expenses for the farm, most notably for materials, labor, and fuel.
As I’m sure you can tell, this isn’t an easy announcement to make but it is a part of the necessary business end of farming. If you are in a tough spot financially, we want to work with you, please shoot me an email.
Prices for this season: Single Share $325
Family Share $495
Jumbo Share $825
Prices for the Fall Share & Apple Share have remained the same, at $95 & $50 respectively.
Above: Week 15 of our CSA from 2021. Pictured above is the Jumbo Share, which is nicely divided into two portions- each of those are a Family size of CSAs. Thanks to Rechelle for taking pictures for us last season!! :)
Bringing it back
We are happy to announce that the Give & Take box is back in business!
Some of our veterans know exactly what I’m talking about. It was removed from our program in 2020 when Covid and so much transmission uncertainty caused us to cancel it. With new guidelines from the CDC we feel comfortable bringing it back. Directly from the CDC website: "In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging." (Link to CDC article at very bottom).
For those who don't know- it's an empty box that we put out every week that is there to exchange produce. If you don't think you will use something but think someone else will, you can put it in the box to offer to the rest of the Members. If you see something in the box that you will be able to use- please take it home! The point is to work together to reduce waste. You don't need to add anything to take anything or vice versa.
Food Shelf Shares
Woah what's this?! We have been thinking and we're trying to figure out a way to get more produce in the hands of the food shelf. I have also had some of our Members reach out feeling the same and looking for a way to help.
One of our CSA families actually purchased a CSA for the food shelf for the last several years- shout out to Tim & Rheanna for being wonderful inspiration!! Ben & I were so impressed that we wanted to do the same- so we matched their donation and as a result the food shelf got their own CSA from both of us :)
In that same light, we're going to be starting something new this season... We are adding $20 Food Shelf Supporting Shares. You'll see it listed on our product page and can conveniently "add it to your cart" when you're checking out for your CSA if you choose.
We are MATCHING up to $1,650!! That means that if our CSA Members raise $1650 we will match it and contribute $3,300 to the food shelf in produce this season! This is above and beyond our normal bulk donations, and it won't be weighed on the same receipt so we aren't writing it off as a donation. So we would still bring them their bulk donations like normal. These CSAs are above and beyond their normal produce donations.
Wondering why Ben & I chose $1650? It's because that is two Jumbo Shares. So if our CSAer's raise that, we will double it and deliver 4 Jumbos to the food shelf every week. If we raise an amount in-between shares, we will round up to the nearest share size. If you're out of town you are still welcome to donate your CSA- this is independent of that.
The point is: we're working together to get MORE produce in the hands of those who need it most.
I updated our website with info for 2022 and have got the link below if you want to read more about it or get on the list!!
As you know, we're raising pigs for our CSA specifically. We're not selling pork to anyone who isn't in our CSA! We simply don't have enough to go around for all of our new members too, so we're taking care of our current CSA Members first! Last season when we announced the addition of our pigs to the farm we had a sign up list for pork. As you guys know- I'm fond of making sure that folks who have been waiting for something have first dibs. So I'll start at the top of that list. If you want to get on the list please click the link below and scroll all the way to the bottom.
If you want pork, get on this list please!
We had to drop several of our business CSA sites due to low participation. Covid has so many of us working from home..
We appreciate your understanding and hope that you'll consider a residential site if you were picking up at Daikin Applied, Upsher-Smith, or either of the Park Place East & West buildings.
The Winter Solstice was on Tuesday, what a beautiful full moon! I love this picture that I got, it was SO cold and SO bright. Check out the shadow from the cattle panels..
The solstice is plainly, the darkest day of the year. It's also the official first day of winter.
The solstice is a turning point for us & means that every day here on out, we will have more and more daylight! Literally!!
We bought all the bees… Honey Shares won’t be available right away this spring like they usually are. While we are sad to see our bee keepers & friends move, we wish Mike & Julie the best in their new adventures. They’re moving to So Dakota to be closer to their kids & grandkids.
We bought all of the supplies from them! So the hives and supers are still here, we have the bee suits (and lots of other necessary supplies) thanks to Kathy & Nora! :D We look forward to updating you in the spring on how the bees are doing!
For the honey shares- we still have some honey to sell but the product packages might be a little different. I’ll have info for you asap but I can tell you with certainty, it won’t be available to sign up for it at the same time as your CSA (Jan 1st) like in the past.
To our CSA veterans, you guys have seen us get our hands wet so many times trying new things. When we started our CSA 8 years ago now, it looked SO different. As the years go on we expand and are able to offer more variety with more expertise. I hope that you can apply the same optimism to our future honey endeavors with us.
As weird as it sounds, you guys are kind of watching our farm (and us) grow up. We got married young and started our family right away. We rented fields up until just last season and traveled from Elk River to Big Lake to Zimmerman to grow veggies, sometimes all the fields in one day!
For those who don’t know… I just turned 30 this past June. Ben is 32. While we might seem like we have it all figured out, we’re happy to learn everyday and with your support that’s possible!!
Thank you for being the most special part of our farm. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!
Stay well friends,
~The Farmer’s Wife
CDC article that I referenced: