Hi Veggie Lovers!
WEEK 24 is the FINAL PICKUP for 2020!
Team Laughing Stalks pickup Dec 15
Kicking Assparagus Crew pickup Dec 22
Spoiler Alert: If you would like to keep your bag contents a surprise, you’d better STOP READING NOW!!
Your Week 24 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:
Shoots Medley, assorted types, 1/2 lb in a compostable clamshell
Russet Potatoes, unwashed, 4 lbs
Carrots, 3 lbs
Onions, 3 lbs
Bonus: Assorted Squash and Pumpkins!
Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!
About your Veggies & Farm Update:
This final red bag is all about comforting staples! As you know (or have noticed) we don’t grow many storage potatoes. I haven’t even had potatoes listed for sale all winter as we lost a bunch to flooding and really only grow them for the main season anyway. But we also grow some Russets, or Mom does at least. We had more than we can eat and had hoped to get you some on the last week, so here they are! Mom’s Russets are beautiful and though they are coming to you unwashed, they are not very dirty and won’t take much scrubbing.
I don’t believe in channeling sub-par produce into our CSA. We worked on a large CSA farm and I noticed that “Put that in the CSA” got used as a dumping ground for sub-par production way too much for my liking. I KNOW our CSA members are our most committed, most loyal and understanding customers. That’s why we have offered our “Green Top” carrots (damaged by the flooding this year) for sale and used the regular carrots to finish out the weeks of the Veggie Lovers Club. The regular carrots had “greener than usual” tops this year anyway, it was a challenging growing season. You’re getting our top carrots, because our members get first dibs. (Though I’m well aware that you would be happy either way!).
(Side note that the “Green Top Carrots” are a really good value. We are selling them unwashed for around $1/lb which is less than half of regular price, they are not very muddy at all and most of them have a lot of useable non-green part. If you want some with your last pickup or on Dec 22 feel welcome to put in an order!)
Cabbage! I’m foregoing my personal stash because I would rather see them eaten and enjoyed than rotting in storage and me not being able to keep up with them and them going to waste/compost. They are keeping ok but have lots of grasshopper damage which is letting the rotten win!
(If most people saw what storage veggies look like before they are cleaned up for sale, they would be disgusted! “The rotten” is a real battle. It’s common to find huge gooey moldy messes in the storage bins. We go through our crops regularly in storage, which is ironic because they often decrease in value despite the increased labour and we lose some (shrink) in storage. Veggies in the winter tend to be cheaper but they should actually be more expensive.)
I am so proud of my onion boundaries this year! Seriously, we could have sold the whole crop while that onion food safety scare of the summer was going on. I said no many times and limited how many were going to market despite the high demand, and now you get a good portion to end the CSA year with. Can you make anything delicious without an onion? I don’t think so!!
And SHOOTS! I laugh and say that we are now in the business of selling packaging to people, but we truly are. Case and point: Halloween Candy. We are willing to pay MORE for something when it’s in a format we want. You could probably buy the equivalent in full-size chocolate bars for less than half of the cost of the entire box of “snack size” bars. Our shoots would cost $1.50 per unit less without the clamshell and locally-printed label. BUT– we are selling over 40 clamshells a week out of Chez Angela, which is exponentially more volume and sales than when we attempted to sell small bags of shoots there in 2018 (flop!!). For each clamshell sold the farm gets $10 and Chez Angela gets $5: It’s working well and we look forward to resuming it in February!
So, this week you get to try a “Shoots medley clamshell” and if you like it, make sure to find them in your favourite local bake shop again in February after our break. (We have decided against making the commitment to a Spring Shoots Program this year. That could change but I’m not opening registration until closer to the time as things have been really unpredictable this year and I don’t expect that to change with the symbolic flipping of a calendar page. Rest assured, if we decide to run a program you’ll be the first to know!).
BREAAAAAAAKKK TIME!! The farm will be closed and I won’t be regularly checking messages from Dec 23, 2020 – Jan 31, 2021. We are really looking forward to it! This year has been emotionally heavy and I am SO EXCITED TO STAY HOME!!
I’m intending to give you a holiday card at the pickup, but if I forget I’ll pop it in the mail for you!
It feels like there should be something special in this final newsletter. So I’ll share a story which really illustrates why I love you and why I love what we do, and then I’ll share a secret that you can look forward to!
“Dancing is just as important as washing carrots, anyway”. – Teri Jenkins
Last year I identified my top 3 core values as Health, Community, & Lifestyle. I think about those values first and foremost. Prioritizing my health is huge, always, but especially right now. It means eating well but it also means being intentional about what I consume and how I spend my time.
Mental health matters, and it only takes me a small side step to recognize how critical my daily habits and practices are to my overall well being. (ie last Wednesday I broke, mired in technology/internet/cell service woes. I have wasted a lot of time lately struggling with technology. Like this weekly blog post. Every Tuesday morning I have to face writing a blog post which has become joyless due to our poor internet connection (has gotten worse lately). It often ruins my day before my day is even started. So this week, I took my awesome Monday afternoon energy and channeled it into this. It went better and I don’t want to heave my computer out the window. AND they are coming to hopefully fix the internet tomorrow!! Woo!!)
So this morning when I found myself getting carried away by the seriously good vibes on Skratch Bastid’s latest Rock the Bells mix, I embraced it. I danced up a sweat, I danced through the storms in my mind and going on in our society, and came to a place of joy and connection.
So it may have taken a little longer to get those carrots washed, but I was so filled with Joy during the process that I know they were washed with the love they deserve. (They’re SO SWEET!!)
I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow food for people, to put all of the love and care into what I do, and that the community we serve sees value in that. It takes people like you VALUING what we do for us to be able to do it. As far as veggies go, we can’t compete on price or efficiency, we know that. We put love and good intentions and mindfulness into what we do, and I’m endlessly grateful that you can taste the difference love makes and make supporting what we do a priority in YOUR family.
“Growing food for people” is how I describe what I do. I don’t say I’m a farmer or grower or market gardener. “Growing food for people” more accurately captures what is actually going on here. Inherent in it is the connection to our community, and the energy that goes into maintaining that connection. When folx are shocked that I recognize them after one or two pickups, I always shrug and reply, “It’s my job!” (& truly sorry if you’re one of the people who it took me a long time to recognize… I have had to really work on and practice that skill to be decent at it!). We are deeply connected to the food that we grow and we’re picky about who we share it with. You’re our people. At this point, the CSA feels like a big group of family that we share food with.
…If that doesn’t give you a big fuzzy warm feeling for the holidays!! It actually gives me chills: Like, I shiver all over in disbelief when I come to the present moment realization that we’re living out our dream life, and I’m here in this farmhouse kitchen writing to you about it. I don’t take it for granted for one second. We are so so grateful for you and for this community, please know that!
Thank you! We are deep in dreaming and plotting for 2021. A secret project that I am finally prioritizing this winter is publishing something. It will likely be a collection of writing, recipes, veggie info/tips, etc. I am taking some space during our break to turn this idea into reality as it’s been rolling around in my head for years. I’m not calling it a book, just “publishing something”. Definitely self publishing. But I hope to have it ready for the start of the next CSA season!
Thank you for being our people, for reading my weekly newsletters, for making us a part of your life!
All the best as you navigate this totally weird holiday season, we’ll be thinking of you and all the hard decisions and suspended traditions.
Root in and it will make you stronger!