From the Farmer

Week 27 – 11/19/2014

Well, we’re here again: last week of CSA for the season.  Sniffle.  I can’t really tell you how nice it is to farm here.  We really have it good, and you, farmily, are why. 

There is something extra good about Community Supported Agriculture.  The agreement we make at the beginning of the season – where you give us “seed money” and we buy real seeds with it – it is a good partnership for a farm.  But the best part may be that when we see you each week there is no money exchanged.  Unless you get behind on your payments, in which case Tiny may be paying you a visit, money is no longer an integral part of our relationship.  We just get to grow food, we say Hi, and you take food home to eat.  What else does there need to be?  We’re part of the same community and it is genuinely good to see you each week. 

This Week’s Share

As an extra thank you for such a good season we have a bonus share for you this week.  We anticipate taking weeks off during the season and did not need to do so this year!  You will notice that several of this week’s items are Tentative.  The cold this week is keeping us from harvesting crops in the field.  With the subfreezing temperatures and wind-chill, this isn’t a case of us wearing our little girl gloves; harvesting frozen vegetables will damage them such that they won’t be useable.  If conditions permit you will see them in your box; they remain frozen and you will not. 

What’s Next

This is when we sell the chickens, pack up the greenhouse, head home for Thanksgiving and take a nap.  Winter shares start the week after Thanksgiving – Wednesdays.  We will write with what is available for preorders. 

Is there some way I can tell you what I thought of this year?

Yes!  Survey!  Conversation!  Tell us what you think, how it’s been, what’s good and what’s not, if you plan to come back and why or why not.  We want this to work for you as it does for us, so please do take the survey here.  Your experience can help us get better.  Complete the survey and enter your name (independent of your answers) to win $45 to use at the Farm Stand or on your next share.

When can we sign up for 2015 Shares?

Soon; we will open registration in December.  If you know you’d like a share, you can email us.  We will open registration to you first – returning members and Willowsford residents.  We will send you information after the Thanksgiving holiday.  We’re looking forward to next year already and hope you are, too!

What is this about Winter shares?

Several shares are available through winter: milk, bread, chicken, beef and pork.  There will also be weekly pre-orders for soup, baked goods, dairy items, meats, other Farm Stand goods, and, yes, veggies.
You can sign up for winter shares any time, they run from December 3 – March 18.  Pickups are Wednesdays only at Sycamore House and Boat House.
You can also make pre-orders for any week, regardless if you have a share.  We will email a weekly list of what is available.  Try it all!

Will there be vegetables in Winter?

Yes.  This winter is an experiment for us, and rather than committing to a weekly share we will be offering boxes to pre-order weekly.  This will allow us to feel our way through things, as we’ll be assessing what crops survive winter, weather outlooks and harvest schedules, and price and share value.  We hope to use this winter as a step toward more robust winter growing next year. 

Are winter shares and pre-orders available for pickup at the Boat House?

Yes.  You can sign up for winter shares any time, they run from December 3 – March 18.  Pickups are Wednesdays only at Sycamore House and the Boat House.

Will there be a Holiday Market again this year?

Yes there will, Tuesday, December 23rd.

Finally

It’s been a very good year and that credit goes to Deb, Alice and the Farm Crew.  Most of you know Deb and Alice from the Farm Stand, but most of their work happens behind there, up at the Farm.  Deb manages the Farm Stand and special orders, cares for the Farm Garden – with your help! – loves up and manages the goats, meets with goat-clients, sets up and moves the herd from site to site (and does this as far away as Fairfax and even DC), and shares everything she loves with all of you every week.  Alice is here am to late every day, keeping babies cared for in the greenhouse and tunnels, and keeping the crew on top of field work, animal care, and harvest and packing for CSA and the Farm Stand.  They both have remarkable strength, skill and care.  And they both are rejuvenated every week when you come back for CSA or for the Farm Stand.  It doesn’t take much for any of us to see if you’re glad to be at the Farm Stand – even on days you’re rushed or stressed – it is rewarding to know that you enjoy what you come to the Farm for each week.

Have a good, safe, full Thanksgiving, a restful winter, and we look forward to spring greens and strawberries next season.  Be great.

Mike, Deb, Alice, Bella, Radish, goats x 10, Camilla x ~250 and Popcorn, via coffee can and string from inside the warmest room in the house

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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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