Our first two pickups are THIS WEEK! Thursday at the Westy from 5-8 p.m., and Monday, at the farm, 2-7 p.m. (in our white cooler down the left hand driveway fork) Please call or e-mail if you have any questions about pickup times, locations, etc. Please also bring payment if you have not already done so, thanks!!
It's hard to believe that it's already that time of year. But, we have been at for a couple of months now, since long before the snow melted, traversing the snow drifts surrounding our high tunnels, battling the voles that each year take up residence in our hot bed, which keeps our infant seedlings warm at the start of the farm season. The weather has been generally agreeable and we are pretty much on schedule now, despite a late-May frost and on-and-off drought.
Over the next twenty-three weeks (that's nearly six months!), we look forward to getting to know each of you, the people who are eating the fruits of our labor. We love to get to know our members, so please don't be shy! Ask us questions about our farming practices, our eating habits, our dog Lena. Tell us about the great recipe you made with last week's produce! We love the CSA model because of its community-building aspect. Before Aaron and I started farming seriously in 2012 (and still some years in the winter off-season), I worked for Gimme Coffee (which is where I first met many of you!), which first introduced me to the concept of a Third Place -- a neutral, informal, accessible place outside of work and home where people find community, sharing food, drink, conversation; building relationships. There really was no Third Place in my Massachusetts hometown, and the abundance of these in Ithaca -- and the community that results -- is one of the things I really love most about this city.
Aaron and I use this weekly email as a way to communicate to our CSA members what we've been up to on the farm, what challenges we're facing (it's different every season, and also the same), what members can expect in the coming weeks, and maybe most importantly, what produce you will be getting and what you can do with it!
This week, we want to talk a little bit about free choice. We have found over the past four years that a lot of our members have come to us because we offer free choice CSA shares. We're really happy about that, for several reasons! First, we want everyone to eat more vegetables. They're gorgeous, delicious, and allow for full creativity in all of your meals.
Here's the deal for those of you who are new to us: we will be at the Westy (516 W. State St, Ithaca) from 5 till 8 with all the veg you need for the coming week. Bring your own bags if you can, but we always have extra plastic t-shirt bags in case anyone forgets.
You'll then go to our produce stand and take what you need for the week. I always tell people to pretend you're shopping at Wegmans/Tops/GreenStar/Aldi and take what you would take if you were on your weekly grocery rounds. Then next week, adjust your load to fit your needs. If you were overwhelmed, scale back. If you ate more than you expected, take more! It takes a few weeks for people to really learn their eating habits.
The most important thing to remember -- especially in Week 1 -- is to not stress out! Take what interests you, and try some new things you might not be so familiar with, too. Google is my favorite cookbook.
Anyway -- see you in just a couple of days. There will be drink specials inside at the bar, and our partner farms will be there too, to answer any questions you have about their add-on CSA shares.
And now for the important stuff -- here are the vegetables you can expect to see this week: (this list subject to change!)
Lettuce (Salanova lettuce (cut it at the base and all the leaves are baby salad mix sized -- it's super cool!)
-- Aaron and Kara