News and blog
Apologies, an automated pickup reminder was supposed to go out to you all yesterday but it seems to have suffered a technical glitch. So I thought we ought to send one out manually especially as this is the first pickup of the season. If you are still unsure about your pickup times, we've posted them below:
Madison: Starting Today for all Family Share (20week) and Every Other Week (10 week) CSA Member:
Great Harvest Bread Co. (University Ave)12:30PM-5PM
EVP Coffee University Row 1PM-5PM
EVP Coffee Sequoya (S. Midvale) 1:30PM-6PM
EVP Coffee East (Mineral Point Road) 1:45PM-5PM
EVP Coffee West (E Wash) 2:30PM-6PM.
All boxes will be labeled with your name, this is particularly important because some members have purchased an egg share add on which will be inside their box. It would be very disappointing for those members if they don't get their eggs so please look for the box with you name on it. We also try and reuse the boxes as many time as possible as they come at a significant cost to us, so please return you box each week so that we can use them again.
We hope to have a great share put together for you this week and we are really excited to see our CSA kicking off for another season as we hope you are too!
We are getting settled into our new home here is Wisconsin and heading headlong into our new venture. WHile we have learned a lot over the past few years and improved many things, starting over still kinda stinks. Mostly I mean starting from scratch again with our marketing which admittedly is not our strong suit to begin with. But at least this time we know that we have a track record to look back on. We would really appreciate it if you could send us a testimonial with your thoughts about our CSA /Farmers Market and produce. It doesn't have to be and thing long, just a sentence or two and if you prefer it to be anonymous just say so and we won't use you name. We feel that if we had a few testimonials from our former members it would really help us get a boost as we make a big marketing push down here. You can always post something on our FACEBOOK page as well. Thanks in advance, we will miss you :(
We hope the late Newsletter doesn't become the norm but it has been a busy few weeks and we were out of town this weekend (after the Farmers market of course). But here is this weeks edition of The Busy Bee Enjoy your share!
I am sorry for getting this weeks edition out so late. It hasbeen a little nuts and I got a bit behind pushing the Newsletter back a few days. Click here for some great pix of the farm and a cool refridgerator pickle recipe for your pickling cukes!
We hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We didn't get any time off but we did get a lot of work done and we had a couple beers on Thursday which is kinda like a long weekend for your FBT farmers :) This weeks Newsletter is up online for you here. You definietyl want to check out this weeks recipe especially since most of the ingedients will be in your share this week! Have a great week.
Don't forget to pickup your share this week!
Here is a copy of this weeks Newsletter for week #2. And specifically for our Bloomington Members here is a link to last weeks Newsletter from week #1 that we forgot to email out to you. Sorry about that!
We want to update everyone on the start of the CSA season. I am sure it is no surprise to any of you what a challenging spring it has been. In 10 years of farming we have never seen one quite like this. Our schedule was already 2-3 weeks behind when we got about 6 inches of snow in early May, and by the time we broke ground on May 8th we were about 4 weeks behind schedule and it hasn't gotten much easier since then. Even in a 'typical' late spring we would have had a solid 4 weeks to get field work done. This year we have only had about 12 days and at least 5 of them were days that we would normally never even consider being in the field. It has been incredibly wet and it generally dries out about 1 and a half days and then is too wet for 5 more. When we got in on the 8th we actually had about 5 decent days, and in those 5 days we had to do our best to do about 6 weeks of work (working ahead as well). We have actually done remarkably well at getting plants and seeds in the ground with almost 3 acres already planted. It has taken some tremendous effort and we are very close to being back on schedule with our field work. The biggest issue at this point isn't the rain so much as the cool temperatures. Without any heat the soil is still cold and the plants are growing very slowly if at all, many plants seem dormant. If you have tried to plant a garden this year I am sure you understand what we mean. It is really quite amazing how good the farm looks considering all the adversity we have faced. We have had some friends and fellow CSA farmers over that were actually jealous of how 'far ahead' we are. This issue is affecting every CSA, wholesale and market farmer in the entire upper Midwest. Even many commodity growers have given up on trying to get a crop in the ground. Only about 60% of the corn crop got planted in Minnesota and not much more will be planted this season and dairy farmers are paying over $400/ton for hay (more than 300% higher than normal) from out-state because they don't have any pasture for the cows and most alfalfa stands suffered high mortality this winter. It's an across the board problem facing all farmers.
We think that CSA farmers feel the pressure more than most. Every CSA farmer around knows that first box would be nearly impossible to get the first share together in time without sunshine it is almost impossible to to get a crop in just 4 weeks. We long for a fresh garden salad as much, maybe even more than you but we are just going to have to wait a little longer for it.
It was a hard call to make but delaying the start of the season is the only option we have. We will have to postpone the start for 2 weeks. Instead of the 1st week of June we will have to wait for the 3rd week. The first pickups will be scheduled as follows:
Lakeville/Farmington - June 18th
Minneapolis/West Saint Paul - June 20th
Bloomington - June 22nd
If there are any changes to that schedule we will be sure to let you know. We are however very optimistic about the rest of the season and should have no problem having the whole 20 week season as planned despite this challenging start. If you haven't already done so, you can keep current by following our FACEBOOK page.
We would like to make it up to you and invite you to the farm on June 15th (2 Saturdays from now) for a little pre-season picnic. We would love the chance to see our returning members again and to meet our new ones. We are really proud of the farm and we want to give you a chance to come see it for yourselves and pick our brains a little bit if you want. We will send out another email very soon with more details about the picnic.
It has kept us up at night mulling this call and we are truly sorry to have to make it but this is the story of farming, the best plan and good management doesn't amount to a hill of beans when the sun don't shine. Together we will just roll with it and this season will turn out just great.
Keep an eye out for any emails from us as they will likely contain important information about your CSA share.
Thanks for you understanding and support,
John and Lidia
It's that time again! Time to sign up for the 2013 season from Fazenda Boa Terra. As many of you are aware we have been going through a lot of changes since our land lease fell through. We have to sincerely thank all of you that offered support through a difficult time. A common sentiment was that it would be for the best and things would be better for us. You couldn't have been more right! While we have a few kinks to work out we are settling into the Northfield area and we couldn't be happier about it. There is a great community of young and veteran farmers alike in the neighborhood all of whom have been very welcoming. We have even struck up a few partnerships that we think can make membership at our CSA a lot more fun.
First, we are going to partner with Humble Pie Farm to bring you a broader selection of fresh herbs and cut flowers at your regular pickup site. Please visit their website to learn more about the farmers and sign up.
Another exciting partnership we just made is with Budding Farmers at SEEDS Farm. it is so new that we aren't up on their website yet as we just singed the deal. This is a great new program for the kids. You can find a lot more specifics information at Monica's website but it is a great way to teach your kids about the food they get in your share each week. They will receive a really cute binder and receive a new packet each week for 10 weeks. the packet will feature a vegetable in your share which will include information about the vegetable, kid friendly recipes, crafts. We got a sneak peak at the materials and I have to say, it is really stinkin' cute!
The most important thing we have to say is that we really want to be your farmers this year! We are still in our early-bird period with a discount for $40 off the share price which you will see at checkout. The LSP CSA Directory just went live and shares are selling fast. So don't miss out and join us for our best year yet!
Click here to begin your renewal process. Or just copy and paste the link below into your browser:
We look forward to having you back this season.
John and Lidia
Well happy New Year to all. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Ours was busier than most actually, despite the general lack of celebration. We didn't have much time for Christmas as we were finishing our move to the new farm and packing up the house and getting everything into storage until we figure exactly what our living arrangement will be this year. Having land to farm is the most important thing and that issue is solved, housing is rather insignificant in relation. If you are worried about us being homeless don't concern yourselves too much, we have started the New Year in Brasil with Lidia's family and by the end of the month we will have something shored up. Besides just before sitting down at the computer we woke up from the first siesta I can remember taking in the longest time plus the long daylight period is quite refreshing.
It's not all churrasco (Brasilian barbecue) and siestas though. we take advantage of the time off to get a lot of work done. We put the finishing touches on our production plan, go over all the numbers and create our annual budget, create the supply order, work on the website and deal with all the little things that don't seems to make their way to the front burner in the height off the madness that is the farming season. With the turning of the New Year we are ready to roll for the 2013 season.
We have things updated and we are now officially taking enrollments for the 2013 CSA season. We encourage you to sign up early, signing up early is great for us because it means money in the bank that we can use to buy supplies and invest in equipment. It's great for you because you can save $40 off the full price of a share when you sign-up early. Plus it's your best bet to reserve your share as we expect to fill up early this year. If you are ready to sign-up and save just click on Early Bird Sign-up and you are on you way. Returning members can save an additional $20 as our thank you for your continued support of our farm. Just click Returning Member and enter any email we have on file and reserve your share for 2013. All discounts will show up when you checkout online so don't think the price you see at the start is what you will pay!
We forgot to transfer a few files from the main computer but if you prefer to signup by mail let us know and we can direct you on how to do that. If you would like to apply for financial aid for 2013 the click on Financial Aid and send the old form to the new farm address listed on the financial aid page and we will be able to help you out.
If you haven't heard already we are offering a unique add-on package from our friends at Humble Pie Farm. They will be offering a certified organic flower and herb share this year. They are independent producers that will piggy back off our distribution network to offer their products. We will still grow herbs such as parsley, dill, basil and cilantro but they will offer a broader array of culinary herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage as well as fresh cut flowers. A share with them is of course optional but will be a great way to add even more value to our veggie share and help out a wonderful couple of young farmers.
We are expecting to have a 'knock your socks off' amazing kind of year and hope you will join us! Please let us know if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you in any way we can.
John and Lidia