June 2014 Letter

June 17th, 2014, 6:25 pm

Greetings Hope’s Edge CSA members,                     June 13, 2014

I am taking advantage of a heavy rain this afternoon to write this letter welcoming you to the 2014 version of Hope’s Edge Farm CSA. This letter is also a means of informing you of starting dates, pick-up days, potluck schedules, and farm news. I suppose the fact that I am writing to you via snail mail rather than using an electronic form of communication says something about my age and my preference for simpler technologies. Using snail mail is also my way of supporting my local postal delivery person.

I have been receiving a lot of “electronic” mail recently asking when the CSA would begin and my response has been sometime around the third week of June. Until now, however, I have been unable to nail down a specific date. My crew and I have been working long hours seemingly non-stop all spring preparing ground, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, putting on row cover, taking off row cover, husbanding/midwifering sheep and cows, etc. In spite of the fact that we are now receiving heavy rainfall, it has not been a particularly wet spring. But it does seem like it has been colder than recent years. I mention this as a possible explanation for the slow growth of some of our transplanted seedlings. Despite the fact that our planting dates have been consistent with other years, our lettuce, scallions, and parsley, for example, have been slow to grow. A fact which I suspect may be due to cold soils and hence a slow awakening of soil life. This slow growth has in part been one of the reasons that I have been unable to decide on a start date. We cannot begin distributing vegetables until they are ready.

The recent spate of warm (hot) weather has however awoken the soil bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes which in turn have given the lettuce, peas, chard, kale, strawberries et al the jump start they needed. Things are growing and we are looking forward to the first week of produce beginning next Monday June 23. The first Tuesday pick-up will be the 24th and the first Friday pick-up will be the 27th. The season will run 18 weeks with the last market on Friday October 24th.

That hard-working crew that I mentioned earlier includes Amanda Labelle, returning for a third consecutive year, Bradley Dickanson, a young future farmer, and Thena Webster, an experienced gardener from Vinalhaven. They are awesome!! I am still looking for one more additional helper 2-3 days a week. Anyone interested?

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The following information is IMPORTANT.

TUESDAY AND FRIDAY SHAREHOLDERS: The pick-up time is from
11am (please DO NOT come earlier) until late evening. If for some reason you cannot come on your assigned day, your share will still be available for up to two days later. After that, your share will be recycled.

MONDAY SHAREHOLDERS: Monday shareholders have the option of picking up their share in Rockland on Park Drive, across from Hamilton Marine between 10:30-11am. If you miss this narrow time slot you can pick your share up at Avena Botanicals barn by 7pm. You will be notified when cut flower, strawberry, cherry tomato, and pea-picking seasons are upon us. It will be up to you to come to the farm for these items.

ALL SHAREHOLDERS: At the top of this letter is written the pick-up day you requested. PLEASE LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PICK UP YOUR SHARE ON ANY GIVEN WEEK. This way we avoid over-harvesting and wasting food.

At the end of this letter is a schedule of potluck get-togethers for the season. These events offer you an opportunity to meet other participants and a chance to enjoy the farm in a relaxed and convivial way. Please post this schedule and try to come to one or all of these events. For those of you who use Facebook, you may “like” us and in so doing receive updates on what’s happening on the farm such as pot luck reminders, colorful photos, recipes, and more.

Directions to the farm for those of you who have never been here are given at the end of this letter. Follow Morse Road past a pair of corrugated metal buildings. On your right you will see yet another building with brightly painted murals on the doors. This is the pick-up shed. Come on in. Welcome to Hope’s Edge CSA. I am looking forward to seeing many of you again or to meeting you for the first time. We are looking forward to feeding you food and beauty during the coming months.

POT-LUCK SCHEDULE

Tuesday June 24th  6pm
Friday August 1st    6pm
Friday Sept.  12th    6pm
Sunday Oct 19th     4:30pm

DIRECTIONS
FROM CAMDEN VIA 105. Take 105 into Hope Center, continue two miles past Hope General Store. Turn left onto Ludwig Rd. Travel one quarter mile to Morse Rd on left.
FROM APPLETON/SEARSMONT VIA 105. Travel approximately 3 miles from 105/131 intersection. Turn right onto Ludwig Rd. Continue as above.

Your Farmer,
Tom

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