CSA pick-up #20!!!

Well, we made it! This is week #20 for the CSA, and this will be our last distribution for the ’09 season. Hard to believe that the first pick-up was waaaay back on June 9th! Your final share of the season includes the following:

2.5 lb bag of red and green cabbage
2 lb bag of carrots
1 lb bag of parsnips
1 lb bag of beets -OR- turnips
1 0.4 lb bag of Swiss chard -OR- Red Russian kale -OR- vitamin greens -OR- 1 bag of kohlrabi -OR- 2 daikon radishes (whew!)
1 bunch of cilantro -OR- dill

We’re winding up with roots and cabbages, as is appropriate for this neck of the woods this time of year. Apologies for the wacky array of greens choices, but we had to take what we could get out there. We rode the wave of end-of-season greens for as long as we could, but the unseasonably cold weather this past week did most of them in. Covering crops with row cover works well to protect them from spot frosts, but five or six nights in a row well below freezing plus a couple of days where the temps never got out of the thirties? Too much! We’re happy to pass along what we can, however, and we’re really thrilled and surprised that we can send everyone of with some herbs. Cilantro and dill in late October? An unexpected treat!

As the season wraps up, Sonya, Lydia, Kate and I want to thank you all–and by “all” I mean our regular customers at the Portland and Bridgton markets and our wonderful CSA members–for your support of the farm this season. It’s been a long, tough season, but we love doing this and we love knowing that we’re nourishing the folks in our community. For you CSAers, if you haven’t yet filled out the end-of-season survey, please take a moment to do so and e-mail it or snail mail it back to us. It’s very important that we have your take on the season–what you liked and disliked, what worked and what didn’t–so we can improve our farm and your CSA experience in the years to come. In a future blog post here, I will break down the survey results and discuss any trends that we notice.

A few of our CSA members have already asked about joining us again for next season. What we will do is e-mail all of our members this season with a renewal form. This will probably happen sometime in early November. If you’d like to join the CSA for next season, you can just fill out the renewal form and mail it back to us with a modest deposit (last season it was $100 for returning members). Again, details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks once we’ve caught our breaths!

A few of you have also asked what we’ll be doing now that the season is done. Can we kick back and relax now? Well, yes and no! There’s still plenty to do around here: chickens to care for and get ready for the winter, beds to mow, gear to stow away, wood to cut and stack, paperwork and prep for next season, etc. Sonya has also begun a stint at the L.L. Bean call center in Lewiston. She’ll be working there a few days a week until almost Christmas, so I’ll be Mr. Mom at home, keeping an eye on the farm and hangin’ with Lydi. In a change from last season, we’ll also still be marketing into the off-season. I plan to continue traveling down to Portland for the Wednesday Monument Square market to sell eggs. I may go every other week, however, and I’ll post dates when I’ll be there here on the blog. Same thing for Bridgton, where they are starting a winter market each Saturday in the Community Center behind the Magic Lantern Theater. But enough about work…we do plan to relax and travel, too! We’re planning a road trip getaway, beginning in Florida for Christmas (both our dads are down there) and continuing into the new year with a westward push. We’d love to get all the way to the west coast, visiting friends and family and seeing the sights along the way.

Another plan I have for the off-season is to jazz up this website. I’d like to add more content, especially photos, and improve the layout. Our friend, Ezra Ball, got the site up and running for us and understands this stuff much better than I, so I’m sure I’ll be bugging him for assistance and guidance. As for the blog, I plan to keep on posting stuff about what we’re up to and any other noteworthy food- or farming-related tidbits that come my way. I can’t promise weekly postings–every couple of weeks might be more realistic–but please keep checking back!

Our farm potlucks will continue, too. We plan to have another one sometime in the first half of November, then probably take a break for December and January and pick them up again once we get back from our travels. I’ll announce dates here on the blog, and we’ll send out e-mail announcements as well.

Speaking of meals, I want to mention a community bean suppah that’s coming up on Oct. 24th at the Casco Village Church of Christ on Meadow Road (rt. 121) in Casco. Proceeds from the meal will benefit the local food pantry and other community social programs. The costs are $7 for adults and $4 for kids under 10, and the meal will happen between 5 PM and 6:30 PM. And, 20 pounds of Summit Springs Farm carrots will be part of the feast! For more info., check out beansuppah.org.

Finally, one final plea for your leaves! We still need mulch to get our newly planted garlic beds set for the winter, plus for our perennial herb plots. If you’ve raked and bagged your leaves, don’t take them to the dump! Bring ‘em here to the farm, and we’ll put them to good use! If necessary, we can come and pick them up, too…just let us know.

Thanks again, everyone! Enjoy the veggies!

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