February 2016

February 27th, 2016, 3:19 pm

Greetings Friends                                                                                                                         February 9, 2016

 

Early February is a propitious time in the agricultural calendar in that it marks the half-way- point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In pagan times February 1st was celebrated as the beginning of spring; the day being given the name Imbolc. The etymology of the word Imbolc has an agricultural connection as its Gaelic translation is “in the belly” or often times “ewe’s milk” as this was traditionally the season of lambing. In the pagan calendar February 1st was also the day to honor the fertility goddess Brigid. Christianity later subsumed this day, making it St. Brigid’s’ Day and then incorporating it into Candlemas Day, February 2nd. Candlemas falls 40 days after Christmas and simultaneously honors the presentation of Jesus in the temple and the purification of Mary (a 40 day purification period following the birth of a child was required before a woman could enter the temple). Today we celebrate February 2nd as Groundhog Day which brings us back full-circle to a “pagan-like” celebration associated with a change of season.

Regardless of your relationship to paganism, Christianity or large rodents, this time of year, early February, means that we are one step closer to a lunch of tomato and cucumber salad. Well perhaps you may consider this connection between early February and ripe tomatoes as somewhat of a stretch, but for me this is the time of year when my mind’s eye begins to see not only fruits but also leaves, roots and particularly seeds of all kinds. The little miracles that we call seeds have arrived and are waiting patiently to be planted into warm soil where the hidden life within will quicken and there my friends is the miracle.

Early February is also the time to send out this invitation to the 18 week vegetable party that we are once again throwing this summer. Besides Tomato and Cucumber other invited guests include Strawberry, Fennel, Eggplant, many members of the Brassica family including everyone’s favorite Kohlrabi. Also attending will be Carrot Peas and Garlic. And you can be sure that the beautiful Flower sisters will make an appearance in their finest attire and unique scents. This is only a partial list of some of the honored guests that you have come to know. Attending this party is an opportunity to be nourished once again by these old friends. It is also an opportunity for you to reacquaint yourself with their unique shapes, colors, flavors, and textures. It promises to be the event of the season- one not to be missed. To secure a seat at the party table, simply RSVP by sending us the reply (sign up) form with your payment.

In addition to the above mentioned VIVs (Very Important Vegetables) you may also want to make a weekly connection with this party’s non-vegetable attendees Appleton Creamery Cheese, Heiwa Tofu, and Back 40 Bakehouse bread.

So, come party with us! If you love vegetables, you will not be disappointed. By the way that large rodent referred to above did not see his/her shadow last week. Winter is over! Tomatoes will be coming soon.

 

Your Farmers,

Tom and Amanda

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

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