Our CSA is about food justice!

We are about eating around a table with friends and family, with people from all cultures and communities.  We are about welcoming all people to a table filled with food that was grown in their community, by people they know, in a way that supports the life of the animals and plants, air and water that surround us.

We are about access to good food for all people.  We want that to be a reality here.  So, since the beginning of our farm in 2010, we have offered our CSA

 

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CSA dinner in the front yard of the farmhouse!

 on a sliding scale.  We thought we might take a little more time to talk about that.

A sliding scale system of payment means that each person or household that signs up for a share gets to choose how much they pay for that share, within a recommended range.  We also work with people to make payment plans, and accept EBT.  This year we will be starting additional scholarships for those for whom the sliding scale is out of reach.  And, we always offer work trade.

The goal is to provide healthy food, encouraging a healthy environment and a healthy community.  A community in which those whose work is more highly valued by society pay according to their ability and those whose works is undervalued pay also according to their ability.  We all make it happen together.

We appreciate how much everyone in our CSA and community have put in to make this a reality.

For those new to this system, please ask questions.  Tell friends who need affordable food.  We look forward to offering scholarships this year in addition to the sliding scale.  Don’t let cost be a barrier!

In Solidarity,

Dana, Aaron, Wendell and Alder

 

From Spring Plowing to Winter Snow!

This is yesterday…

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This was last Friday… (it plays right side up)

Well, needless to say, we didn’t get back to plowing on Monday, like we had planned.  That’s how it goes sometimes.  Leading the way, you see Dandy, our new horse.  He is a 14 year old Belgian gelding bought this winter from our friends at Welcome Table Farm, where he has been serving faithfully for the last 10 years.  We are excited to have him on the team and looking forward to this season.

Draft Power means life and death

 

We lost our old horse friend and co-worker Otto this Spring to old age.  Tom, our beautiful new Belgian-Percheron gelding came to us this spring from an Amish farm in Minnesota.

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Dana driving, Shan running the plow behind Tom.  Plowed ground on right, disked ground on left.

We were able to take Tom straight to the field this spring, plowing with him a week after his arrival–that is amazing for a draft horse new to a farm!   He had a wonderfully slow “plowing gear.”  We appreciated his willingness to work and his companionable nature.

This fall, we woke up one morning with Tom across the street in the neighbor’s yard in some distress.  We brought him back, but he continued to act strangely.  We called our mentor Betsey who told us to call the vet who came and announced that we had a case of severe colic.  Tom was 5 years old.  We had brought him across the country.  We liked him.  We decided to take him to the hospital, on the vet’s advice.  He didn’t make it.  We felt like we had lost a family member.  He was a great horse.

IMG_1358 We were glad to have the time we did with him.  Losing both Otto and Tom in one year left us feeling bereft.  After some grieving time, we decided to buy a horse from our friends at Welcome Table Farm.  Dandy will be joining us at Around the Table shortly.

Strawberries!

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The sweetest month of the year is here!  The Shuksan strawberries are ripe for picking.  If you cannot wait until Saturdays at the Poulsbo market to get a pint (or two or three), feel free to stop by the farm stand any other day of the week to get your fix.  Don’t wait too long, though, since Shuksans are typically only ripe for about a month every year.

Activity on the farm is getting busy as the weather warms up.  Snap peas are in full swing along with garlic scapes, flowers are blooming, and the first garlic of the season was harvested yesterday.  The potatoes were also hilled for the first time last week.

We are also back at the Bremerton market on Thursdays between 4-7pm.  It’s a great spot for a summer evening picnic with plenty of space for kids and pets to play.

New items coming up next month – cucumbers, fresh garlic, summer squash, basil, and beets.  Looking forward to seeing everyone at the markets and farm stand.

 

 

 

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Tomatoes in the ground! Strawberries flowering!

We have finished building our new caterpillar tunnel in the field and have already filled it with tomatoes.  More tomatoes and cucumbers are planted in our greenhouses.  We’re lucky to have them all under cover this year as the rain continues.

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The Shuksan strawberries are out there braving the weather, with white blooms all over them.  We’re looking forward to the first fruits of the spring.

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Emily Tzeng of Local Color Fiber Studio gave a class to the interns at a group of farms in the area on raising sheep and natural dyes, which included the opportunity to dye an item of your choice.  Emily is also helping us out on the farm one day a week.

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Looking forward to sugar snap peas, garlic scapes and carrots to be ready soon for the CSA boxes.

April Showers Bring…

In spite of the continuing rain, spring has brought us a new horse, a new market season, a new apprentice and the first wedding of the year.  We bought an Amish trained horse named Tom–a 5 year old Percheron Belgian cross.  And, he’s already been out in the field harrowing new ground, digging potato furrows and cultivating strawberries.

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The Poulsbo Farmer’s Market has started on Saturdays in its new location.  Our new apprentice, Shan, and our new baby, Alder, arrived in time to help with the first market of the season.  Come see us and pick up some delicious veggies.

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One of our fellow farmers got married April 2.  It was a pleasure to do her bridal party flower design.  For such an early wedding, we brought in flowers from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Dharma Ridge Farm, and the result was stunning.

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We’ve renovated our farmstand and are looking forward to opening it soon.  Look for the grand opening celebration including an open farm day some time in June or July.

Spring will be here before we know it…

We have less than a month until the first Poulsbo Market on April 1st at our new site at Gateway church.  Our new apprentice Shan will be arriving in a few weeks.  And on May 4th we will start a new market (for us) in Bremerton!  It’s on Thursdays at Evergreen Park on the water.  The CSA begins May 10th!

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With all that coming up, the weather can be a little disheartening.  But, trusting that your onion, pea, broccoli, spinach, kale, beet and lettuce starts will make it is part of being a farmer. We still get excited about the new varieties we’re trying.  We look forward to working in warmer conditions and eating the fruits of that warmth!

 

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We had a sad loss a few weeks ago of our trusted draft horse Otto.  He was a wonderful team member on our farm.  We see a lot of both ends of life on our farm.  This year, we had the stark juxtaposition of the birth of our second boy Alder Martin and the death of our friend Otto.  Wendell (our older boy) has been processing through these events with us and is holding up admirably.  We are looking forward to a new kind of growing season with two kids now (You forget how much work infants are.)  We are in the process of finding a new horse, but will probably have to bring over a friend’s team to get the spring plowing done.  Never a dull moment.   We say goodbye and welcome at the same time.  We look forward to seeing everyone again at the markets and CSA drops and introducing you to our new family member and our new horse, when he or she arrives.

 

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