February 2015

February 20th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Greetings Hope’s Edge CSA members                                                                                               February 15, 2015

 

It’s already mid-February! How did that happen? The Sun has now moved more than half way back to its equinox position from its southern most journey to the Tropic of Capricorn. Which raises the question: is the Sun a “snow bird”? Mid-February, means that I have to begin seriously considering the up-coming growing year. In just two short weeks I will be in the greenhouse planting onions, shallots, leeks and scallions. It also means that I need to nail down my help for the coming growing year. Mid-February means that it is time to write this letter and update our flier and send it off to you in hopes of cajoling you to join us for yet another year in Natures’ seasonal cycle of germination and growth, death and decay –while in between these two bookends she provides us with nourishing roots, leaves, flowers fruits and seeds. But of course I’m getting way ahead of these seasons of green and brown. Currently, the fields which will produce all of the afore mentioned nourishment are under several feet of white. Beneath this white blanket sleeps the garlic and strawberries waiting patiently for the Sun to continue its Northern trek and send “old man winter” packing. I have to admit though, that I have a soft spot for the “old man” and am not yet ready to see him go. I still have some books to read and some sleep of my own to catch up on and besides it is so beautiful and I haven’t gotten all my skiing in yet.

Nevertheless, it is mid-February –believe it or not- and so here is the cajoling letter and the updated flier inviting you to join us once again for another season of sweet peas, juicy melons, ripe tomatoes, cool cucumbers, crisp lettuce, and tangy arugula… more cajoling?; how about orange carrots, red peppers, golden beets, yellow beans, purple eggplant, pink radish, rainbow chard, and green greens…more?; new potatoes, baby turnips, spring onions, summer squash, winter squash and fall cabbage. How about all the flowers you can pick? Enough cajoling!! You get the message. A plethora of produce is waiting to emerge from these snow blanketed fields. Do you want a share of this abundance?

As in the past, in addition to our vegetable share, you may also wish to purchase a weekly cheese share from Appleton Creamery and a Tofu share from Heiwa Tofu. And NEW this year, Amanda LaBelle is offering a processing share. Information regarding each of these add-ons is included in this mailing.

I say; “it’s already mid-February!”, while you might say; “it’s only mid-February! There’s still a lot of time between now and June.” But, in the coming weeks the sap will start to flow and it will be sugaring season. Then.as the temperatures begin to moderate all this snow will begin to melt and it will be mud season. Next the crocuses and daffodils will peak out from beside those walls with southern exposures and it will be spring. Hope springs eternal here at Hope’s Edge Farm and spring is a hopeful season. It is a season of renewal, of expectations and visualized abundance. Come celebrate this vision with us.

Sincerely

Your Farmer Tom

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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