Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pre Buy Season for Vegetables (and Flowers!)

Every time I drive down Rte 137 to Belfast, I pass Thompson's Oil and their lit up roadside sign onto which the folks in the office (with the plastic letters) can post messages. These signs are ubiquitous in rural Maine. The maple syrup shacks have them, the granges, the gas stations and farmstands. Starting in September or maybe even earlier, the one at Thompson's announces "Pre-Buy Season is Here." Buying propane or heating oil is cheaper if you lock in at September prices. At least that is the hope.

Well, we have no marquee sign but this blog will have to do. I am taking a lead from this terminology and announcing that "Pre-Buy Season is Here" --for Village Farm vegetables.

We are happy and excited to be heading into our 4th year of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) here and hope that we will have the privilege of growing for YOU in the months ahead.

CSA is a way to support a local farm with your financial commitment in advance of the growing season. Yes, our CSA helps us pay for expenses that we incur in the spring but more than that, it creates a community of eaters and a community of farm supporters. We know where our vegetables are going before they are even picked. We do our marketing in the slower winter months and then get busy growing for the households that have signed on as members.

Purchasing a CSA share is also a commitment to your health! Many members have told us how many MORE vegetables they eat during the Village Farm CSA season. That is something to consider.

Any of you who have been CSA members know what fresh and flavorful, nutrient dense, and downright beautiful vegetables we grow around here. We wash them, cool them and let you select your week's sustenance each Monday(in Belfast) or Tuesday (at the farm) evening from June-October. If you have never been a member of a CSA, give us a call with your questions. We can provide as much detail on what we have grown and distributed in the past as you could possibly want and will let you know what to expect in 2011.

We might also add to our marquee sign "Find us on Facebook" as we have indeed, taken the plunge with the hopes of connecting to our customers, friends and potential CSA members in the way/place where most people seem to be. . . on Facebook. We hope this is not folly but we are going to give it a try.

That said, word of mouth is simply and truly the best form of advertising for small businesses like ours, so please, if you would, spread the word about Village Farm. We are hoping to grow our CSA from 63 to 75 households in 2011.

What else is new? We will be offering a flower share this year, downsizing/simplifying to offer just one share size, and growing roots and greens for a fall CSA share (more on that in a few months!) Remember flowers? That is a bee in there having morning glory nectar for breakfast.

That is the news from here.
Best wishes to one and all.
From all of us at Village Farm,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Shovelling Acres

Usually we refer to the +/- 4 acres of crops that we plant and cultivate and harvest but this winter we are into acres of snow removal. Prentice and the Ford plowtruck have kept the driveway passable with dozens and dozens of trips to and fro. I am not counting that in the snow removal calculations, however.

The only building on the place when we bought it in 2001 was a delapidated pole barn south of where our house sits now. At that time, we were happy to have a place to shelter and milk our small herd of cattle and to stash all of Prentice's wood collection (he was a cabinet maker before farming full-time, remember. . .) Well that 40x 60 pole barn is still delapidated. You might say more delapidated now than ever, despite some minor improvements for the cows' quarters. . . and with all this snow, and hearing of collapsed barns around, Prentice set to shovelling it off. It took him several hours over a couple of days. The roof was "spongy" underfoot (Uh-oh).

Then there are the hoophouses. We have both been somewhat maniacally shovelling up and down all sides of the tomato house and heated greenhouse lest the snow builds up above the hipboards = about shoulder height boards that anchor the plastic and form the top of the roll up sides. Yikes. So far (knock on wood) all is well but he have seen and heard of collapsed (hoop) houses and it makes a farmer want to cry.

We long ago stopped shovelling to the chicken tractor, outdoor water hydrant, even the cellar door has been turned over to King Winter's drifts. We do have the all-important snowforts however, and a path from the driveway to the front door. Shovel-shovel.

A few weeks ago Josey realized that he could climb up three graduated lumber piles then the old green house roof to arrive at the top of a fairly steep slope and the peak of the garage/shop building. Sledding has never been such a thrill. This week he has been jumping off the roof as well. Weeee!
Thankfully, there is always the hearth to retreat to after a wintry adventure.
Wishing you warmth and good company during these brighter and longer days of winter.
All the best from here,
Polly, and all at Village Farm