CSA MEMBERS: You may notice that there is no balance at the bottom of the email this week. We have one final update to perform on the spread sheet and then those balances will be consistently present. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, if you need to know your balance, send us an email and we will gladly pass it along.
Stockbridge Farm Members: No pick up this week! The next pick-up will likely be March 12th.
NO MARKETS THIS WEEKEND. We are sorry to say that we are farmward-bound this weekend. Expect to see us back next weekend at both Ann Arbor and Eastern.
New Members and returning members! Thank you for signing up to be a farm member and welcome (back) to the farm! In every email you receive henceforth, you can scroll to the bottom to find your balance.
This is still true!!:
CSA Y'all! Thank you for excusing my relentless marketing but in case you missed it: This is the time that signing up to be a member of our farm has the greatest positive effect on your farmers!CSA's help share the burden of cashflow variability and seasonal unpredictability with the farmer. For us, it makes a huge difference to know that people are committed to eating our vegetables and the early investments take some of the stress out of all the early season improvements that we are making. So what is the CSA? In short, members open an account with us, receive a bonus for their commitment, and then use their accounts at market just like cash. You can find more details here. And let me say, if this is something you are considering, now is the time! We won't let you down!
Recipe: Roasted Turnips, Sweet potatoes, apples, and dried cranberries!
Here is a link to a recipe I recently discovered while trying to get creative with our remaining storage crops. It combines a nice assortment of seasonally available produce into a delicious dish! Changes to make? I recommend replacing the brown sugar with honey at a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, the granny smith apple can be replaced with whatever tart apple is is currently available (read: ask your farmer!) I also suggest using your oil of choice in leiu of cooking spray. If you are feeling fancy, you can always toast some walnuts to top this off. Yum Yum!
Let me know how you like it!
Food for thought:
The excitement of the new farm season is palpable. All our bustling to prepare the greenhouse is really paying off. We have seeded our onions, packing our hopes and dreams for onion glory into each of the 128 tiny cells, in each of the 100 or so flats of onions that we have seeded. We have also rebooted microgreen and pea shoot production, started up some scallions and lettuce and have great plans to get tomatoes, beets and a wealth of herbs going before Monday rolls past us. In the same plant family as the onion (Amaryllidaceae) we are adding shallots this year.
We grew shallots a few seasons back but nixed them from the list while we simplified our lives during our transition from New Jersey to Michigan. We think it is time to add them back into the mix and we are really looking forward to their rich flavor. I haven't done much cooking with them but they are a well-loved delicacy. Their gentle flavor- like a mild, sweet onion, without the bite, is one of the reasons. Another is that, as it turns out, they have more pectin in them than an onion. Pectin is the substance in plants that adds firmness to cell walls. As it breaks down during the cooking process, it adds body to the sauce, similar to the way gelatin would, and creates a stable gel at room temperature. Huh! Ya learn something new every day!
Last weekend, while I was still away at the MOSES conference (which was amazing and inspiring) wind raged through the farm. Jim was on it. The biggest factor in preventing ultimate destruction with a windstorm is dogged attention. Hourly, Jim braved the gusts, tapping in rebar, tucking down plastic, adding soil or weights. We came through it okay, thanks to him.
And staying on the educational kick, this weekend, I am participating in a soil nutrient and fertility class up in Howell. Participants (that's us!) get to bring in their soil tests and review the results with the help of the "professionals". I am really looking forward to gaining a better understanding of what's going in our soil and building a long term fertility plan for our farm.
Lately, my mind has been continuously drifting to long term planning and on more topics than just the tangible. My perspective zooms out and I find myself exploring whether we are on the path we think we are on. This brings us to consider whether we are meeting our goals of sustainability and wildlife habitat creation, if we are fulfilling our commitment to making food affordable and accessible, and whether we will be able to create good jobs. This is typical of my mind, especially for this time of year, and this year is no exception. If anything, this phase of reckoning is more pronounced this year than others. I think these thoughts are coming up with such intensity this time around for a few reasons. At MOSES I ended up attending sessions that led me to think deeply about how our farm interacts with the environment and society. Simultaneously, we are participating in a year long class that helps us consider whether growing produce for a wholesale market is a worthwhile endeavor for us. This class has involved us working on rewriting our business plan, a process that merits introspection and reevaluation. Also, through all of our interviews, we are coming into contact with all kinds of people that are interested in growing food, having a relationship with their food source, and building community around it. Talking with them about what we are doing and where we are going has been thought-provoking and invigorating. And a final possibility, we have to also consider, as our business is growing, there is more room for deeper thought (yes!). At last the vice-grip of the beginning years is loosening a little.
This great annual zoom-out is typically paired with concern and existential crisis. What is enough and are we even capable of doing enough? There is so much to be done, we need help! And then, and thankfully this time, quickly, the reminder comes into focus, we are not in this alone, we are building community around these ideas, like many people around the country and the world are, etc etc. All told, I think that we are on the right path. Each year, as we learn more, meet more people, try more approaches, listen to more perspectives, our world grows and so does our capability.
All of this makes me very excited to be here, participating and doing my best. I really feel like this is the beginning of the 2019 season. I am ready!
I will miss seeing all of you at market this weekend and am looking forward to getting back out there next Saturday. Eat well until then!
Helen writing for the Lake Dividers
- Looking to join our CSA or renew your membership? Find more details here. The basics? Open an account with us, get a bonus, and use your account to purchase produce with us at any of our markets. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.
- We are hiring! We have 3 full-time and 1 part-time positions opening up for the 2019 season. You can find details about the jobs on our website here. If you or anyone you know may be interested, please send us an email or pass along the information.
- We are accepting workshares both on the farm and at market. Please email for details.