Farm Happenings at Willowsford Farm
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The New Normal

Posted on May 22nd, 2020 by anon0001 anon0001

Welcome Farm-ily, both new and old!

In the span of just two months, the landscape of the Farm has changed completely. Brown has given way to green on all sides, empty coops are filled, and employee cars surround our buildings. The same two months have also wrought sweeping changes outside our fences, as Covid-19 reshapes daily life in Willowsford, the DC Metro area, and the nation. 



News outlets everywhere that once highlighted problems in the food supply chain are now reporting a wave of support for small farms and food co-ops. This hopeful trend of re-localization brings joy and purpose, not only to Willowsford Farm, but to the smiling faces of our colleagues throughout the mid-Atlantic. A decentralized food system is not bulletproof, but it is significantly less vulnerable (and healthier) than one overly reliant on fewer, larger suppliers at a geographic distance from the end consumer.

One beautiful thing about our kind of farming is that every season is different. We could be growing the exact same crops, but due to variation in conditions (weather, pests, crop diseases), the outcomes can be completely different. While some might find this frustrating, many of us who pursue farming as a livelihood find this to be part of the joy. Because we need to constantly adapt to ever-changing situations, there is never a dull moment.



If you have spent much time outdoors this spring, you may have noticed that despite a very warm winter, it has been an abnormally cool May. While we typically expect our last frost in mid- to late-April, this year we saw 28-degree temperatures in mid-May. Because of this, many of our spring crops are maturing much slower than they typically would, and we saw unexpected losses in some of our early plantings of summer crops. This is a prime argument for diversified farming systems – with several crops that each thrive in different conditions, we are more like to have a harvest regardless of what weather challenges we are facing. As cucumbers and tomatoes struggle in the colder temperatures this spring, our cold hardy crops like lettuce, broccoli, arugula, and beets stand strong and continue to grow.



That is really what farming is – pivoting and adapting as conditions require. It is the same challenge that we all face this season, in one part of our routine or another. By joining our CSA and the local agriculture movement, you’ve turned toward a new relationship with your food.  You’ve chosen connection in addition to convenience, and quality over all. Our greatest hope is that it will change your outlook on the importance of your food sources for years to come. We want to add value to the meals you prepare by giving context to each component. Like any journey, this one will take time. There is a learning curve to seasonal eating, to letting our recipe choices be guided by ingredients rather than the other way around. After awhile, these habits become the “new normal”. We’ve put together a quick CSA guide full of tips and tricks to help you get started on the right foot. Download it here, and let the season begin!


Eat Well and Be Well,


Ashley, Collin, John, Lex, Alexandra, Nate, James, Rory, and all the hens, hogs, and dogs

Important Reminders

We respectfully request that all members utilizing the Farm Stand for pickup adhere to the following social distance guidelines:

  • Most importantly, if anyone in your household has a known exposure to COVID-19 or is feeling unwell, we ask that you reach out to us via email to hold your share or make alternative arrangements.
  • For both our health and yours, please consider wearing a mask.
  • Send only one family member from your vehicle to the Farm Stand to retrieve your items. The Farm Stand is not open for shopping; neither our tractor toys or our ambassador hens will be present at this time.
  • We will have traffic cones spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart indicating 10 spots for a pickup line at the Farm Stand. If all 10 cones are occupied, please wait in your vehicle until a spot becomes available. Our staff members will do everything possible to keep the line moving as efficiently as possible, while still looking out for everyone's best interest.
  • Please do not touch anyone else’s CSA box, or attempt to retrieve your own items. Our staff will hand them directly to you to minimize contact.
  • In the event that you miss your pickup, please email us within 24 hours to request that your share items be held for retrieval at the next Farm Stand pickup date. Unclaimed shares will be donated to area food banks.

For our members retrieving items from Pin Oak Park:

  • Please note that this location is NOT STAFFED or monitored by Willowsford Farm crew. If you have concerns, contact us via email to adjust your share location.
  • Use good sanitation practices and common sense to maintain a safe pickup site for yourself and your neighbors. Avoid touching items not labeled with your name.
  • White crates are property of the Farm; please remove your items in their bags and leave the crates for us to collect, sanitize, and re-use.
  • Due to the lack of climate control or refrigeration at this site, shares not retrieved from this pickup location will not be stored for pickup at a later date. The Farm crew will be happy to assist you with rescheduling your share(s) prior to pickup, should the need arise.

Meal Plan