Farm Happenings at Broadfork Farm
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Farm Happenings for May 16, 2020

Posted on May 14th, 2020 by Janet Aardema

Pictured above is an heirloom variety of lettuce that some members have gotten or will get in their shares. The maroon flecks are the natural speckling that this variety features. Many people new to this variety misinterpret the speckling as bad spots, since green lettuce leaves turn brown when they go bad. We think it's the yummiest variety that we grow, and we love the story behind the plant: Amish immigrants from Holland brought the seeds with them to this land in the 1700's. They wanted religious freedom AND delicious salads! The leaves are very tender and they do wilt faster than other varieties, but at least one Farm Share member enjoys wilting it on the stove top with other greens. Have fun enjoying these new foods!

   <-- We got new little stickers! We're dropping a couple into your box for this weekend. Enjoy spreading some BFF love!

According to 3 separate thermometers that we know are calibrated correctly, it was 29 degrees here at the farm on May 10. That's unprecedented! Our average last frost date here is April 15. We prepared by covering all sensitive plants with ag fabric as well as heating one of our hoophouses that doesn't normally have an active source of heat, but still about 100 tomato plants died because the growth point was destroyed, plus a host of damage to hundreds of other plants. We always seed more plants in our greenhouse than we plan to plant in our fields in case of damage such as this, so it's not a complete loss, but it is a set back. About 50 of our cucumber plants are not as vibrant as usual so our cucumber harvest is smaller than usual, but that's not related to the cold. On the other hand, the Salad Mix greens and Rainbow Chard have been very happy, and this week's Radishes are simply radishing. :) Cabbages and Broccoli and Kale have been very happy with the weather, and we will see how they fare at the end of this week when temps are forecasted to hit 90 degrees. What a week! We will have a temperature spread of 61 degrees! 

We continue to get questions from Farm Share members and customers like "I thought there would be tomatoes?" "Do you have any vegetables besides greens and roots?" We welcome those question askers to the world of seasonal eating in central Virginia! And the answer to both questions is that spring and fall are dominated by greens and root vegetables, and produce with seeds inside of them take a lot of time and warmth to mature. Tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and eggplant will be in season here once it's actually summer...late June or even July. Denser heads of things like cabbage and broccoli, and big root alliums like onions and garlic, are later spring. 

In case you missed the details below in the first week of your Farm Share, please read to the end.

- When you arrive at pick up: Find the bin with your name, take the contents, and leave us the empty green bin. We found it way too difficult to pack your Farm Shares in bags, and so we are using green bins as in the past.  

Check your label for any circled items that will be separate from the bag. (Ie: Tomatoes, Bread, Plants, Flowers.) Collect those items. 

- Loaves of bread, for those who have ordered one, will be in a crate/bin/labeled container of some kind, adjacent to bins of bags of vegetable shares, labeled with your name. Pick up your loaf if you are due one. (Some people have purchased a Bread Share for a loaf each week of the season. Some people order a loaf when they please.)
- You are responsible for collecting all of your items at the location you choose, and during the time frame indicated. 

Reminder: This software (called Harvie) allows you to customize your Farm Share. To make changes to your default share (configured by the system based on our available harvest and your preferences), you have to use this email or log in to Harvie. There are certainly options for swaps and extras today, and those options will get much bigger as the weeks unfold. 

You can make changes until 6:30 am the day before your pick-up day.  (We harvest on Tuesdays and Fridays, so the emails represent our best projection of what we will harvest the following day.)   
You can swap items for other items, and/or you can order extras of whatever is available. 
Make sure emails from us land in your inbox, not Spam/Promotions, etc. 
Payment plan reminder: 
As indicated during your sign up process, if you did not pay in full, here is the default payment schedule:
- 25% of the total share cost was charged to your credit card when you signed up (or maybe you paid by check).
- 25% of the total share cost will be charged to your card on file the first week of the season. (Harvie staff and Stripe credit card processing handle this...we don't have your credit card info) 
- After that, 50% of the total cost remains due. That means for any given week's share, you've already paid 50%. The remaining 50% of a week's share is charged to your credit card the day that you pick up that share, plus the charge for any extras you order for that particular day. That continues all season, unless you pre-pay your remaining balance. 
- You are welcome to pay your remaining balance in full or pay a portion at any time with cash, check, or charge. Hand your farmers cash, mail your farmers a check, or log in to your account in Harvie and click on "My Profile" then on "Payment Details" to make a payment at any time. (That is also where you can check your balance due at any time.)

The software we use does not have vacation weeks built in. Instead, if you can't pick up a particular week you can reschedule that week's share for a future week in this software (Harvie), or you can have a friend or family member pick up for you. Just forward this email to them so they know the details. 

We are all still very healthy and well and continuing diligent hand washing, social distancing, and extremely limiting the activities any of us are involved in off the farm. We're taking our health very seriously, your health very seriously, and are also grateful that this is not a food-born disease. We are strictly following the governor's orders about our activity, as well as the Va. Dept of Ag's rules about farm business and farmers' market logistics. Any questions at all? Reach out! 

Blessings on your meals, and wash your hands often ~

Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew (Julie, Caity, Karen, Ray, Diana, Rachel, Mare, and the kids: Sylvie, Joren, Elletta, and Beckett)
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