Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Survey says, new for 2012, and preparations underway

Hello from the rained on frozen fields,

January, a time for reflection on the past season and preparation for the season ahead. Thank you for your feedback, suggestions and great ideas for the farm for next season. Comments from the survey show that:

--you really enjoy the farm experience, and that people with children or grandchildren like the learning and experience that children have at the farm.

--you appreciate the fresh flavors and nutrition of well-grown chemical-free food.

--you're glad that the Pick Your Own field is included in the share price: you like the opportunity to pick your own flowers, herbs, hot peppers, and berries, both for the experience and for choosing the size and ripeness that you prefer.

--you received a lot of food for the money that was tasty and relished varieties that are not available in a store.

--you like the friendly atmosphere of the farm, the staff, and the mission of helping and employing people with disabilities, blended with the growing of sustainable food and preserving farmland.

--things you wished had happened differently: (us too!) that the potatoes would have done better (they suffered from the cold wet spring) and that the berries would have had more fruit (they didn't get the sunshine they needed to prosper). The beets were missed by some people (they didn't germinate well at all), and the squash and pumpkins were not real happy about 30 inches of rain in September, causing high losses to rotting and mold. The Asian pears were rendered inedible by stinkbugs. Okra lovers were disappointed with the variety of okra that we planted - it got woody very quickly, so we'll plant a different variety this year. Some of you felt overwhelmed by crops that did almost too well - sweet peppers, bok choi and Napa come to mind. Feel free not to take them if it's too much - we send the excess to the food bank.

So what's happening for 2012?

We will be a pick up site for a Fruit Share from North Star Orchard. Ike and Lisa Kerschner are long time fruit growers, enthusiasts and breeders of outstanding and well grown fruit. They have nine seasons of tree fruit CSA under their belts and we are excited to offer this opportunity to you--heirloom and modern apples, pears, plums, and more. For more information, pictures and videos on their farm and fruit share check out: http://www.northstarorchard.com/csa_fruit.php. Their fruit harvest begins in mid-August. Sign up and payment is through their site, we are simply a pick up site. More info in February.

We will continue to include the fruit (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, melons, berries, and our Asian pears) that we grow in our half and full farm shares.

We will patch that pothole in the driveway!--heckle us a little if we need a reminder :-) We get focused on the crops. We'll also try to make the driveway entrance more visible.

We'll be giving sweet potatoes another try this year using a clear mulch as an experiment. Past methods did not result in many sweet potatoes.

You've asked for seedless watermelons, so we'll be doing some trial plantings of them in addition to our regular favorite melons that do have seeds.

Sign up for the 2012 Season is Available now at http://goodwillathomefieldsfarm.csasignup.com/members

Word of mouth is the way most people find out about our farm and CSA. Please let others know about us and of course, sign yourself up if you haven't yet. You'll notice prices of everything seem to be increasing, but our shares will be the same price again this season. It's outstanding food for you at a great price while caring for your health and the community. If the lump sum cost of the share is tricky, feel free to break it down into months, there are five months before the harvests begin.

Your farmers