Welcome to Week 18B of our Spring/Summer CSA – this is officially the last week of pick ups and the last week the farm will be open until September. Besides meat & milk pick ups, Green Gate will close until September 20, 2016 when our Fall CSA starts up. Our Fall Veggie and Egg CSA runs from Sept. 20 to Dec. 10 (12 weeks) – sign up online and grab your spot today!
We’ve really appreciated the influx of messages from our CSA members asking to secure a spot for Fall. On Monday we had volunteers help us plant about 1,000 melons (cantaloupe & honeydew) which should be ready late September. Yesterday Thomas & Skip got one whole hoophouse planted with Fall tomatoes. Tomorrow I’m “potting up” about 800 pepper plants for transplanting in the next few weeks. It begins again – so quickly!
Thanks so much for your support through this season. We won’t stop working hard to ensure an abundant Fall. Enjoy the rest of your summer and look for an email from us about an end-of-season potluck soon.
Dear CSA Members:
It took ten years but finally the inevitable arrived this season: your dedicated farmers are not able to complete the season as expected. We have faced drought and flood before, but never quite such an extreme spring as this one. Now almost a month without rain and triple digit temperatures, the tempestuous mix of torrential rains and gale-force winds seems in the distant past. At the river farm, we don’t have to look far for reminders (see photos adjacent).
Sometimes, what happens off the field is equally challenging. Erin and I spent the past year fighting to save the city farm. We succeeded but our staff had to pick up the slack. City Farm Manager Katie Tritsch carried the greatest weight and did an amazing job — from her work in the greenhouse and fields to managing staff and workshares to dealing with the daily headaches of making the farm run smoothly. Needless to say we are going to miss her greatly when she heads out on a year-long road trip in September. Katie stuck with us through some pretty rough patches and always kept smiling, even when I’m sure she felt like crying, especially these past six weeks while I’ve been almost completely out of the picture while recovering from surgery.
At the river farm, Ali Stone, our replacement for Jason, who moved on to farm in New York, also has done a remarkable job — with Thomas Schroeder at her side — fighting weeds that tower over them and keeping morale up when things got pretty tough out there, particularly after one of our employees got bitten by a rattlesnake and had to stay in the hospital a few days. We’re grateful that Ali will be filling Katie’s boots at the city farm this fall and Thomas will be taking Ali’s place at the river farm.
As a member of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program you inherently share these experiences with the farm, for better and for worse. You see the outcomes of our labor, our challenges, and our successes in your shares. We are incredibly grateful that you take local food and organic farming so seriously that you are willing to share the risks that come with each season. It goes without say but bears repeating: we keep growing, regardless of what mother nature and human nature throw our way, because we you haven’t given up on us. And, too, because farmers are optimists at heart. Each seed holds that promise for a new beginning. This fall will be amazing. We just gotta believe it. And so we are already planting as we speak.
This is why it’s with the heaviest of hearts I write to inform you that we’re ending our Spring/Summer CSA two weeks early. Our last distribution will be Saturday, July 23rd.
For some of you who pick up on Alternating A week schedules, this will be your last week to pick up. We’ll be sending an email via Farmigo shortly with details about what this means for your account and what to expect over the last two weeks: namely, storage shares!
Thanks so much for your membership through thick and thin. We hope you plan to join us for an abundant Fall season; no doubt the best time of year to farm in Central Texas.
Skip Connett & Erin Flynn
This is the last week of our Spring CSA (Week 10B), and we’re looking forward to our Summer CSA starting up next week. We already have delicious tomatoes, squash and peppers coming up – we’re looking forward to the tidal wave of delicious produce that’s about to hit us in the upcoming weeks.
Believe it or not we’re in the second to last week of our Spring CSA (Week 9A). You can definitely tell from your shares the transition to Summer is upon us. This week is still pretty leafy but we have lots of potatoes coming out of the ground, the beginning of squash and cucumber harvests, basil, and most importantly: TOMATOES! We’ll be selling hoophouse and yellow cherry tomatoes at the farm stand this week (Tues 3-6 & Fri/Sat 10-2) and we promise we’ll have them in the shares ASAP.
The wet weather has been keeping us cooler but the bugs are liking it, too. We’re hoping for a few more weeks of leafy greens, beets, carrots, etc. before 90-degree days are normal and spring crops begin to bolt. We’re also hoping our slicing onions and elephant garlic will hold on through the rain – the ones we’ve pulled so far are looking great (which is a significant improvement on last year!)
Please keep in the loop as there’s lots of farm news coming up! Assuming good weather we’re having a crop mob this Saturday 5/21 at the River Farm, we’ll soon initiate our SNAP CSA, our 10th Anniversary party is June 4th, and before you know it Farm Camp starts June 6th.
Thanks for your membership and continued support. Please spread the word of our Summer CSA & upcoming events to your family and friends. We couldn’t be here without you!
We’re excited about this week’s shares!
You’ll find: Kale, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Salad mix, Green Garlic, Radishes, Hakurei Turnips, Mustard Greens, and Dill. Lots of different flavors to spice up your salads and stir-frys. Make sure to remove the rubber bands from your bunched vegetables (it will help them keep longer). To maximize the freshness of your CSA produce and to keep it from wilting, keep your vegetables in the crisper drawer of your fridge and treat your bunched greens like flowers – putting their stems in water. CO2 helps keep plants fresh, so blow air into your bag of lettuce before twisting it up and sealing it to keep the greens from wilting.
We had a great time at our Plant Sale last weekend, despite the rain. This Saturday looks like it will be sunny and beautiful, so we are planning on holding a Second Plant Sale at our urban farm from 10AM-2PM. We have organic heirloom vegetable varieties to sell and are welcoming Austin Gasakamp and his tropical plants and herbs to set up at the farm as well! Come get the seedlings you need to plant your garden and some free farmer advice to help get you start growing your own food at home.
Good news: I’m seeing small green tomatoes on plants already, potatoes are getting huge at the River Farm, and squash is moving right along! Melons are getting started in the greenhouse this week; Butternut Squash was done last week.
Thank you for your help spreading the word to friends about our CSA! We still have CSA shares available. We need your help to spread the word online and in-person!
Thanks so much your continued support of our local organic farm. We strive to grow the best foods possible for you and hope to be your farmers for years to come!
P.S. If you’d like to attend the Earth Day event at Mueller Farmers’ Market or Maker Faire, we can provide you with tickets in exchange for helping at our table!
The only spaces on UT Austin’s campus where students can independently grow their own food – Concho Community Garden and the UT Microfarm – are being threatened! Both of these spaces have become essential for cultivating community and providing sustainability education on campus. Sign the petition to keep these farms from closing down, and help support Concho Community Garden by attending their 5th Anniversary Party this Sunday.
Last weekend’s Spring Plant Sale was a lot of fun despite the rain, but we still have many healthy, organic vegetable seedling remaining for sale. Along with Farm Stand this Saturday from 10AM-2PM, we will be selling heirloom seedlings. Grow your own garden full of tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, kohlrabi, lettuce, kale and rainbow chard! We will be joined by Austin Gaskamp and his incredible herbs and tropical plants (including coffee trees you can grow indoors!). See you Saturday!
Interested in a great use of the green garlic and swiss chard in your CSA? Vanessa’s Black Bean Soup recipe – which can be made vegan – incorporates some of our favorite seasonal vegetables and spices into a delicious plant-based main course that’s perfect for dinner for your whole family. Make extra in advance and freeze it, for a healthy dinner during the work week.