From the Farmer

Week 6 – 6/23/2014

CSA and Farm Reminders (friendly ones)

All Shares Please Sign-in – (egg, flowers, meat, milk, kombucha, and veggies) Please sign-in, even if you just get eggs, milk, flowers, et cetera!  There should be a sign-in sheet on a clipboard next to vegetable shares. 

Advance Notice for CSA Changes and Requests – changes or notices must be made at least one full day before your pick-up, by email (, voicemail (571-297-6900), or written note.  We will confirm.  We do not use Facebook for making CSA adjustments or for taking orders – hard as Deb tries, Mike is not on Facebook but he is in charge of CSA harvest.

Card and Debit Charging – we’re (still) working to rectify this situation.  Thank you for your patience.

Happy Gardening Hour – Thursday Volunteering
One of the things that drew me to this farm is to opportunity to be part of something unique, special, and better.  All of us at the farm feel this way and we suspect that is why you’re here, too. We love that many of you feel comfortable letting your kids hop on a bike and head to the farm stand.  This is the kind of thing that makes this farm feel like part of a special place.  We want to cultivate that together with you, too, and invite you to talk about how to do so.  
Thursday afternoon has become a time to work together at the farm.  This is a rewarding time for us.  There are a few rules for Thursday volunteer hours that in keeping will help live happily and sanely:
The Farm Stand is for shopping for food – and not for volunteer activities or for kids hanging out.  Volunteer activities are based in the garden itself.  Farm Stand is a duty free shopping free trade zone special economic zone (except for Virginia state and local taxes and other applicable fees and surcharges see small print for details).  Please help us keep the HGH energy in the garden itself.
All kids and young adults under 17 must be accompanied by a parent who is engaged with the activity.  No exceptions – parents must be present and engaged.  We are not staffed to run an afterschool program, good idea that may be.  We cannot be responsible for your kids in that way.
Volunteer hours are for volunteering, not just hanging out!  We need and appreciate the help in the garden and are ourselves focused on keeping the garden up.
Kids cannot be behind the register or doing “farm stand business.”  Nor are they the point person for what happens in the garden.  It is great that they can and do help, and their intention is excellent, but we will need to create a training program for this kind of thing so Mike’s favorite garlic variety doesn’t get pulled by accident.  We’ll work on that; in the meantime, ixnay on this stuff.
Happy Gardening Hours are from 4 pm – 7 pm.  We do not expect folks for the entire three hours, kiddos especially.  We LOVE to have them and will keep them busy for a good chunk of time – but once we finish the work for the evening that’s it!  We are not staffed at this time to keep them busy and occupied after.
Please help us with this!  We really enjoy having you all – kids and adults – love the garden as much as we do, and we want the farm and garden to be many things.  At the same time, we need find a balance that enables both parts of our mission: to be a special part of the community and also a viable farm.  As we grow we’re finding that there are often too many kids to manage on Thursdays, and this affects our ability to do our farm stand and garden business.  We need you here to work with them and us.
Reminders and Things to Bring: gloves, and hand tools if you’ve got your own.  Reusable water bottle (full).  Care for people and care for the garden. 
In your share this week
There are new items in your share this week: spring onions, carrots, red cabbage, and possibly, cucumbers.  Last week we were surprised to have enough summer squash to add to shares, and this week the cucumbers may follow suit.  We have two varieties early this season, a standard slicing cucumber and our favorite funky Diva, which we like to pick small.  These are sweet, crisp and seedless.  Might even pickle these since they’ll fit!  If not this week then we expect them for next week.
Also in your share: arugula.  You may notice some little holes in your arugula this week, like buckshot.  That’s exactly what it is – we’ve taken to shooting our arugula with shotguns.  That is a lie.  Our newest arugula succession was caught by a roving band of flea beetles, a challenging pest to control organically or conventionally.  This is only a cosmetic problem.  Once these are on a crop it would require some kind of strong pesticide and being the way we are we avoid this practice.  Instead we rely on cultural practices and beneficial insects to keep flea beetle populations down.  
Unfortunately, the insects got to this planting, but we are glad to announce that we will not, in fact, charge extra for giving you holy arugula.  

Be great,


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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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