Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Info for CSA Members

LOTS OF INFO HERE- please read carefully Thanks so much to everyone who attended the CSA member meeting last week- we had a great turnout, some delicious snacks (thank you!), and we even ended close to on-time. ;) I hope those of you who missed it can come out for a farm tour sometime (just call/email ahead of time). In the meantime, please check over these notes/minutes for logistical info. Anyone who was there, please post a comment if you notice I've forgotten something here, or if you have additional ideas/comments. THINGS TO KNOW IMMEDIATELY-super important; do not delay: 1. CSA STARTS THIS COMING WEEK. Shares start small and light (greens, radishes, herbs) and get progressively denser, heavier, and more diverse as the season progresses. We like to ease you into it- the season works that way. Saturday people: pick up at market Sat. June 9th, between 8 and 11 a.m. Pick up your box with your name on it; bring it back empty the following week in exchange for a full one. Always remember your empty box. You get two for the season. Find the Birch Point stall at the far east end of the main drag (sidewalk facing river). Tuesday people: pick up at the farm Tues. June 12th between 4 and 6 p.m. Bring your own cooler, bag or box. If you missed the farm tour, leave yourself a little extra time to check out the farm before or after picking up produce. Farmers available to answer questions. Wednesday people: See Saturday notes, pick up Wed. June 13. I don't know exactly where our stall location will be on Wed- I'll let you know as soon as I do! 2. ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES AVAILABLE now from Ware Farm- we'll take orders AT PICK-UP. Sign up when you pick up your first share, to get your berries (any amount from one quart to multiple flats) with your share the following week. Prices TBA, usually a little less than Ware Farm sells them by the quart at market. Be thinking of how much jam you want to make, or frozen berries you want to squirrel away. 3. BREAD SHARES from 9 Bean Rows, delivered here to BPF for Tuesday pickup, or to market for Sat pickup ($63 for 18 wks, starting the second week of CSA- email me for the order form). Starts the NEXT week, so RSVP ASAP on this one. Optional Add-ons available NOW: 1. CUT FLOWER SHARES from Birch Point- starting late July running through September- eight weeks of bouquets for $64 (at least an $80 value) for CSA members, or $80 for non-members. Email to sign up. 2. COFFEE SHARES from our friends at Higher Grounds: sign up for as many weeks as you like (1-18), to receive 1 lb of freshly roasted, whole bean coffee with your share each week. You choose medium or dark roast; Higher Grounds supplies different varieties for you to try each week. $10 per week, payable to Birch Point Farm (I'll pay Higher Grounds all at once). Email for a sign-up form; your coffee share will start the week after we get your form and payment, no matter how many weeks you sign up for. Optional Add-ons available LATER: 1. Birch Point Honey- bring your own jars, we'll fill them with honey from the bees at Birch Point, from beekeeper Greg Griswold. Price lower than at the store, depends on the season- we'll keep in touch about this one. 2. More organic fruit as the season progresses- probably no tree fruit this year, but certainly blueberries, and possibly other berries. 3. Canning/preserving shares: large quantities of canning tomatoes, beans, basil, pickling cukes, etc. As each crop comes in, you'll have a chance to order bushels or pounds, IF we have a big enough harvest that not even CSA shares can take up the extra abundance! 4. Birch Point Eggs- from the free range biddies (just FYI, they are on pasture, but their supplemental feed is not organic). Available to purchase weekly at CSA pickup, no egg "shares" per se. Check in weekly for availability. QUESTION for YOU: Who wants a copy of Asparagus To Zucchini (cookbook made by and for CSA members and farmers' market customers- a cookbook organized alphabetically by vegetable rather than dish category- a wonderful reference for "mystery" veggies in your share, as well as for familiar items)? In the past, we've ordered cases of these and offered them at cost to members and friends ($15-17-ish). Do we need another case? If we get at least 10 requests, I'll order one. RSVP. Question #2: Option to buy more produce-- At the meeting, a couple of members asked about the option to purchase additional items at Tuesday CSA pick-up. Normally if we have extras, we'll offer them as optional extras, no charge. I try to compose shares in a way that will meet most people's needs (and we've gotten feedback about shares tending toward too-big) , so we try not to overwhelm you with TOO many optional extras. However, what do you think? If we were to offer extras to purchase (extra salad mix comes to mind), what would you want? Who's interested? Just soliciting your thoughts for now. Reply here or on the blog. Currently, your option is to come to the farmers' market, where you'll find all (most) of the items that you already got in your share, available to purchase on Saturdays or Wednesdays. COMMUNICATION/ STAY CONNECTED: 4 things to know: 1. Farm Blog: check it and/or follow it. Nearly all farm communication is via email and blog. (you're reading it right now) Sign up to "follow" the Birch Point Farm blog here: Click on "Join this Site" and enter your information. This is the way to receive weekly updates- what's in your share that week, announcements about optional add-on orders, farm events, etc.. YOU can post recipes, ideas, etc. here, too. 2. Email: I'm not going to send weekly emails- just nice newsletters once a month or so. Email me whenever you have a question. 3. Facebook: I'll post photos, announcements (only those that also go out on the blog; no need to join facebook if you don't want to), etc. If you visit us at the farm or at market and take photos, please share them- either post them on the blog, or to our facebook page (Birch Point Farm). 4. Web Site: It's a mostly-static page, intended to supply basic farm and CSA info. Please send friends here when they're looking for info about CSA or directions to the farm. VOLUNTEER/GET INVOLVED: 3 things to know: 1. Volunteers always welcome. Bring your skills, your energy, your favorite weeding tools. Just call or email first to let me know when you want to dig in the dirt. Non-garden volunteers also welcome: carpenters (fix windows, steps, hoophouse door, etc), firewood stackers, data-enterers, painters, lawnmowers- all invited. Seriously, if you have a penchant for lawn-mowing and weed-whipping, I've got many bags of extra salad greens for you. If you want to set up a regular schedule to volunteer, email or call. If you want to drop by once in a while, Friday mornings/early afternoons or Tuesday mornings are our harvest days, and the more the merrier. 2. Children's Garden: Any kid or (adult who likes kids) is welcome to the Children's Garden! Thanks to Shelly Charron (farm investor), and Colleen Losse (farm investor and my neighbor), the garden is up and running - also thanks to Matt Hess, who helped construct the gorgeous branch-trellis (that will soon be covered in, I think, cherry tomatoes). Coming: a sensory garden (think smell, touch, taste, etc), edible flowers, art space, etc. This is the spot where it's safe to walk, sit, pick, eat, plant, and otherwise get to know the plants. Stop by during CSA pick-up Tuesday afternoons, to help plant, weed, harvest, or just hang out in the bean teepee or soon-to-be sunflower house. 3. Major Farm Work Parties: We hold five per year: 1. Potato planting and Maypole dance, traditionally May 1 or so. 2. Hot Crop Planting Party (transplanting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil), traditionally the first week of June. 3. Garlic Harvest Party- sometime in July, depending on the weather and garlic maturation rate. I'll be in touch closer to the date. 4. The Great Pumpkin, Squash, and Potato Harvest Party: sometime in late September/early October- get all the squash and pumpkins out of the field before the frost! This may be an all-hands-on-deck work party; depends on how much warning we get before the first fall frost 5. Garlic Planting, traditionally on or near Hallowe'en or Dia de los Muertos, so it may be a costume party. The bookend to the season- garlic planting concludes fall planting and seals the deal for next year. OK, that's it for now- if I've omitted anything, I'll send a follow-up (or you can post a comment if you think of something I missed). I also sent you this in the body of an email msg. Thank you so, so much for being part of the farm this season! I look forward to seeing you at your first pick-up day!

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