Now that we have a couple weeks under our belts, how's the CSA experience gong for you? Have you joined our Redfearn Farm CSA private Facebook group yet? It's a great place to get inspired to use the fresh seasonal produce that our other members are receiving or to shout out a question on how to use something new to you. Sheri tries to get back to questions there, but usually not before some other helpful members chime in with their own encouragement and advice. Random thought, if you see someone post something about cucumbers in their share, don't be too jealous. We're just beginning to harvest a handful of those, so a very very lucky few will be finding those in their boxes this week. The numbers will increase slowly until you probably get sick of those things. But for things like cucumbers and tomatoes we won't have enough for everyone all at once in the beginning. (still waiting on tomatoes, but they're not too far behind...). But that's something to keep in mind that everyone's box is different based upon their preferences, our availability, the inscrutable Harvie algorithm and the swaps the member made.
What if Items are missing?
Since every box is different, we do make errors packing them from time to time. We're around 98% but not 100% perfect. If you notice that you are missing an item, please just let us know. We don't take it personally. We want to know and we want to make sure you get all the value you paid for, so in those cases (when we know about it...you have to tell us) we'll put credit on your Harvie account. That credit will automatically go toward additional items you might purchase or swap charges in subsequent weeks. If we forgot a bunch of carrots, I'll just give you credit for next time that you can use toward extra items in the future. We won't be able to simply put your extra carrots in your box next week. For one, maybe we won't have carrots that next week but also we don't have a good way to denote that in our Harvie packing software so we'd be relying on memory or some external note-taking and most likely we'd forget to put your carrots in the box.
As farmers we've been mostly enjoying a continued stretch of unseasonably cool weather. Mostly enjoying it except for those pesky frosts that keep coming! We had another frost May 5 that was only annoying but could have been disastrous. We've been watching the weather and soil temperatures closely and it's just way cooler that normal, so Dave has been cautious about planting the frost sensitive crops outdoors. We've held back all the outdoor peppers and tomatoes and only planted a few exploratory rows of beans and basil. The beans and basil were killed and so would the tomatoes and peppers if we'd planted them. Talked to another farmer who lost all his tomatoes that night! Beans and basil are easy to replace. We sort of saw those as a gamble, but we aren't gambling with thousands of pepper and tomato plants that take many weeks to start again. So, the greenhouse is overfull with plants as we hunker down and wait a little bit more. Maybe late this next week, we'll get some of these warm season plants into the ground!
Items available this week remain pretty similar to last week as we keep waiting on the spring explosion of life that has normally already happened. We can't tell you enough, how glad we are for our many high tunnels. Growth there in an unheated tunnel is fast, so fast that lettuce heads planted a month after lettuce heads outside are now ready to harvest, while the outdoor lettuces are still a couple weeks away. Just a little more warmth is all they need.
A word on sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are harvested in the fall and they store for many many months actually getting sweeter as they store. We've come close to exhausting our supply of sweet potatoes until next fall. What we have left are the misfits. They're either skinny and small or had a chunk knocked out of them at harvest (or by a hungry rodent in the field). These are the sweet potatoes that we normally eat, saving the more perfect ones for you. So if you want sweet potatoes, we still have them but they won't look like the ones you find in the store. Sheri actually prefers the small ones for roasting as she doesn't peel them but simply slices crossways to roast in sheet pan meals to eat skin and all. Anyway, we'll have either damaged or small sweet potatoes available at a reduced cost until they're gone.
Extra Shares this week:
Bread Share is Rosemary Olive Oil
Cheese is Quark (a kind of soft creamy spreadable cheese)
"This is so awesome, how can my friend join the CSA?" Right now we're still not ready to take on new members. The early spring is the tightest period for producing enough for everyone, so we don't want to overextend. Our intention is to give our members the best possible variety and choice we can. When we see that we consistently have lots of amazing extra items left over after y'all have made your selections, we'll consider adding more members. When we do that, we'll let you all know and send referral links you can send to that friend or family member you have in mind. Then you'll even receive a referral bonus for your kindhearted effort. So don't stop sharing about your experience. Keep them wishing they'd joined. There will be an opportunity, but just not yet.
Go forth and enjoy green things!
Dave and Sheri