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January 30, 2018

There looks like there will be some winter weather on Friday, but it looks to be in the early morning so it should not disrupt the share. If things change, we will post to facebook, put a notice on the front page of the website, and send an email.

This Week's Share

Everything in storage continues to do well. The kale in the greenhouse is just barely hanging on, but we'll be able to pick bunches for this share. The spinach continues to outshine the kale and we should have some nice bags of it this week.

So Max and I have been tinkering around with Whole 30 (a whole foods based trendy elimination diet), and boy one thing I have learned, is even we don't eat that many vegetables!We have really turbo charged our farm based eating by taking some other things out of our diet and replacing them with farm food and in that way, it has been really insightful.

One place we were lacking a veggie influx was at breakfast. We started having baked sweet potatoes or left over roasted roots with an egg on top along with shredded cabbage and spinach. Another fav has been the recipe of the week. How have you been adding more veggies to your diet?

Recipe of the Week: 

Winter share taco salad

Ingredients: 
  • shredded cabbage
  • spinach, washed and spun
  • any combination and amount of chopped kohhlrabi, onions, carrots and winter radishes

Potential oppings of your choice:

  • a batch of taco meat or tofu
  • cooked beans
  • chopped black olives
  • chopped cilantro
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • salsa and hot sauce
Directions: 

Make a bed of spinach, cabbage and chopped vegetables and top with warm tofu or taco meat and whatever toppings you like.

Credit: 
Kerry

The Annual Crop Planning Email Part 1

A big melon harvest
Just a reminder of what to come, and to enjoy the cold and snow. Melon days are always scorchers and humid as can be. Why am I wearing long sleeves??

Dear Friends,

Just like that the first month of 2018 has come and gone. We are heading straight towards 2018’s shortest month with our eyes fully pointed toward the spring. Well, almost fully pointed towards the spring. We have two winter share distributions left and it really feels like we have turned the corner. The shine of the new year has faded into a dull glow and we are in full blown crop planning mode. When we’re not washing roots and picking spinach we are finally cracking into all those seed catalogs that we have been accumulating. It’s always a nice point of the winter when the thought of the upcoming season doesn’t make me want to cower under blankets in the corner. We’ve been noticing the days getting longer ever so slowly as the weather continues to smack us back and forth like a ping pong ball. Without snow on the ground, it’s easy to feel like we aren’t in the deep winter but as we all know so well the weather can change in a moments notice. We’re always just one good storm away from being snow bound well into March.

Creating our crop plan is a multi step, multi faceted project that goes a whole lot faster now that we have Hannah helping us get it done. Before we can decide what to grow for 2018, we first compile and analyze the crop records from 2017. Hannah takes all the hand written maps we have created over the course of the season and enters them into spread sheets where they can be sorted and grouped for easy viewing. Once that information is accessible,c we compare what we planned to do with what we actually did and note any discrepancies.

With that done we’re able to stop looking back for the moment and start to look forward. We have a fancy Exel spread sheet that allows us to put in a total number of CSA shares we want to grow and it will spit out row footages of all the different crops. This spread sheet is a mixture of formulas, hopes and prayers and experience. Originally created by Kerry’s former boss Dan, we have taken his intellectual property and made it our own over the years. Access to the crop planning spread sheets was one of the benefits of Kerry’s tenure at Brookfield Farm and it a gift that we also bestow upon our employees if they want it.

After the spread sheet gives us approximations of what to grow, we go through and compare those numbers to what we did last year. From there we come up with final numbers and from there the real fun begins. Now we have to take these fairly abstract numbers and make them fit into our finite farm fields. Making this task especially difficult is our desire to rotate fields between families between seasons. This can take between hours and days depending on how creative and decisive we’re feeling. I can tell it’s the hardest part of the process because I get the most relief upon it’s completion.

With the rough map done, we have to move onto the  task of picking varieties and than ordering seeds. At this point we start to get excited and feel like the end is in sight and we almost feel the warm spring air. We’re still in the early stages of the crop planning process, so I will write more about how we pick varieties next time when we’re actually doing it.

Your farmers,
Hannah, Kerry, and Max

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