Exciting Changes for our 2011 Community Supported Agriculture Program!
Hello, Farm Friend,
There are many changes happening on behalf of 2011 shareholders at Angelic Organics this year. I share these developments with you below. If you are already signed up for 2011, you have these great things to look forward to. If you’re still wondering whether to join us, consider the myriad benefits for shareholders below, some of which are new this year.
1) You are welcome to our surplus seedlings. Many of you have already come to the farm to pick up a beautiful selection of transplants. We will offer this program probably two more times this spring.
2) You can receive up to a half bushel of canning tomatoes in late summer. (These will need to be picked up at the farm.) We’ll let you know in our weekly newsletter when you can pick up your canning tomatoes.
3) You can pick up juicing carrots at the farm in the fall. We’ll inform you in our weekly newsletter when they become available.
4) You are welcome to our U-Pick patch, where you can pick fresh flowers, string beans, herbs, etc. We’ll keep you posted in our newsletter as to what’s available throughout the season. (We’ve had this patch for years, but it has been under-utilized. We plant it for shareholders, so we will encourage you to use it. The U-Pick garden is a great experience for kids!)
5) The farm will be orderly. Last fall, Jesus Briano and Eduardo Casique spent hundreds of hours organizing our farm shop and machinery inventory. This winter, April Morris and Matt McIndoo (and more recently, Jesus and Eduardo) have been working to organize kitchen and loft spaces, helping to transform them into welcoming, inspiring and useful places. For instance, our crew will now have a warm and dry place to eat breakfast and lunch together. Yesterday, Haidy and I counted 9 distinct spaces on the farm that are currently being transformed or revived to support a more functional and more social farm culture and workplace. These gargantuan tasks make a big difference in how the farm looks, feels and functions. Angelic Organics is experiencing a renaissance!
6) You will glide down our new driveway. Due to heavy and frequent traffic, our long driveway has been squishing into the mud. It was a dirt path when my parents moved to the farm in the 30’s, and they just started adding crushed rock to it, as needed and as they could afford. It has never had a firm base. The Learning Center and Angelic Organics are going together to add 5 inches of rock base and then 5 inches of finer crushed rock over that. The whole driveway will be elevated above the grade of the surrounding fields, and slightly ditched. (This improvement will cost the farm and the Learning Center combined $28,000.)
7) Your vegetables and herbs are grown Biodynamically. We have been raising our crops Biodynamically for years according to Rudolf Steiner’s indications for farming, so it’s not a new development, but we want you to be mindful of this important aspect of our farming practices. Biodynamics is not just a gift to the earth; it also imparts special qualities to the food it produces. Here’s an <<excerpt>> from the film The Real Dirt on Farmer John, in which I explain a bit about Biodynamics. For more about Biodynamics, visit http://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics.html . You can also learn about Biodynamics in our very own Farmer John’s Cookbook.
I’ve mentioned the following developments in prior emails, but want to remind you:
8) Let’s get to know one another! We have implemented a shareholder hospitality program, in which we will personally host small groups of shareholders on the farm throughout the summer. Many of the dates are already full.
9) Half shares are now available, for those who want to receive vegetables from our farm, just not so many. Enjoy every other week delivery, starting in mid-June, along with the 20 week shares.
10) You will benefit from the higher quality of vegetables that our new coolers will ensure. We’re now able to maintain several different environments with specific humidities and temperatures, an important option for tailoring conditions to suit the needs of the specific fruits and vegetables.
11) We’re dividing our farm team into smaller crews, each with a crew leader. This will create smaller, more cohesive teams, which will enable us to better monitor and ensure the quality of your vegetables.
- more broccoli, more cauliflower, and more sweet corn
- about the same quantity of beets, but with more of the red and white chioggias and more of the orange beets
- about the same quantity of chard and kale, but with more color variety of both
- more potatoes
- less winter squash
- probably twice as many tomatoes per shareholder as last year, not because we are going to plant more but because we will implement our organic blight control protocols much earlier than last year
- probably a lot more onions
13) You will save money. According to the Consumer Price Index, the average increase in vegetable prices in the grocery store over the last year is 8.9%. The cost of our 20 week vegetable share has risen about 1 1/2 % over the last year. If the price of vegetables continues to rise this yr, you will save even more. Years ago, we did a cost comparison between our CSA shares and comparable vegetables from the store. My memory is that the shareholder savings were around 2/3 to 3/4, vs the price of the vegetables available in the store. Here’s an interesting UMass sponsored analysis of CSA cost savings (and many other details concerning CSA membership) based on a study of 3 CSA farms in Massachusetts: http://www.umass.edu/resec/faculty/lass/docs/csa2.html
This link describes our program in detail and offers a convenient way to sign up: http://www.angelicorganics.com/share.php
Here’s a link that goes directly to our signup form, for people who were not Angelic Orga
nics shareholders in 2010: http://angelicorganicsfarm.csasignup.com/members
Here’s where you can sign up, if you were an Angelic Organics shareholder in 2010: http://www.angelicorganics.com/Signup
If you have signed up already, we look forward to growing food for you this upcoming season, and serving you innumerous new ways!
Farmer John and the Farm Crew