Dear CSA members:

This past week Green Gate Farms reached an important milestone. We hit the five-year mark of farming in Central Texas. We celebrated by buying 13 acres of raw land, which means we now own 32-acres of prime farmland. (This does not include the 5-acres we will continue to farm on Canoga Ave.)

Friday’s closing marked a year-long ordeal. The deal fell through several times and was resurrected only because we had on our side Kay Rogers, a determined real estate lawyer from Bastrop who is a farmer herself. Some of you have followed our ups and downs in acquiring this property. Now that we have finally closed, we wanted to share the good news as well as our plans for this land, which have been on hold for the past year.

About half of the 13 acres is tillable fields, allowing us more room for crop rotation and pasture for our animals. This spring we began growing produce on four acres . We faced a big learning curve dealing with Johnson grass, bull nettle, and tulip vines; grasshoppers and deer; lack of shelter and storage; and temporary irrigation lines. Very different issues than the ones at our intown farm on Canoga Ave.

This fall we were further challenged by drought and early freezes. The drought has delayed the burning of a dozen brush piles as well as the germination of cover crops we depend on for fertility.

One of the most remarkable features of the new acreage are two magnificent pecan trees. As you can see from the photograph, the tree is a thing of beauty and will now serve as the centerpiece of farm activities–CSA potlucks, yoga, music playing, and candlelight dinners. And a swing or two, of course.

We hope to start work on a barn in late January. We will likely construct the walls out of straw bales and host workshops with building experts as part of the process. Constructing a road is also a top priority for the new year, as well as starting an orchard. And deer-proofing our fences, of course.

Owing a piece of raw land – and one so protected and diverse as this one — is a unique opportunity and a big responsibility. Our goal when we first found this land was to preserve as big a chunk as possible to create a community of sustainable farmers. With this last purchase there are now six new landowners in the bend, sharing a combined 75 acres and having plans to grow good clean food for Travis and Bastrop counties.

Spring/Summer CSA members will have several opportunities next year to enjoy this remarkable spot on the Colorado River, including a potluck/campout and a music jamboree for Skip’s birthday at the end of May.

Sponsored Shares

Green Gate Farms’ Sponsored CSA Share Program is a new, innovative way to invest in your community’s health. Sponsored Shares, purchased by individuals and businesses, provide our organic vegetables to children battling diet-related disease.

Contact us today to sponsor shares and give the gift of health to those who need it most. Read more about Sponsored Shares here.

Truffles
Kestrel Lancaster, our farm’s baker and administrative assistant, is whipping up truffle treasures. Purchase online or at farm stand. Available flavors are traditional milk chocolate, peppermint dark chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate hazelnut.

Give the Gift of Health

Gift baskets tailored to fit any budget can feature organic produce, local honey, award-winning cookbook, gardening guide, new Green Gate Farms t-shirts, and more.

Click here for our complete gift guide.

Our Holiday Hours
The last day our farm stand will be open for this season is Saturday, Dec. 18, 10-2. Come by and stock up! We have plenty of eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables…

Final CSA shares will be available Dec. 21, 22 and 23, 12:00-7:00. If you haven’t already, please let us know which day you prefer to pick-up.

Though we are closed until March, vegetables keep growing, so please contact us with special orders. Send us an email for more info.

FARM STAND HOURS

Tuesday, 4-6
Friday, 12-6
Saturday, 10-2

Come stock up before we close for the season. Last day is Saturday, Dec. 18, 10-2.
Truffles and Gift baskets available!

This Week’s Share May Feature:

Though the freezes are taking a toll on our fields, we are chugging along. We’re determined to keep you well-fed until Christmas.

(13A out of our 14 week season)
Honey from our farm

Tomatoes: green, red and orange
Carrots
Potatoes
Turnips
Lettuce, Romaine or Red speckled
Cabbage
Hot Peppers
Green Garlic
Scallions
Kale
Dill or cilantro or parsley

Upcoming Farm Camps
Farm Camp for Kids
March 14-18

At Farm Camp your children learn firsthand where their food comes from. Activities include: planting and harvesting, taking care of animals, presentations from area experts, cooking classes, and more.

Our thanks to Gilda Grace, a new wedding boutique, for funding a camp scholarship.

Adult Farm Camp
Second Sundays all Spring
January 9th, February 13th, March 13th

Why should kids have all the fun? Now it’s your turn to experience life on an organic farm. Spend the day beside farmers learning the ropes.

Trying to decide what to do with your share?

Check out Mindful Bellyful, a food blog by member Emily Leuba-Jones.
See the delicious things she has posted, and send her some encouragement!

mindfulbellyful.blogspot.com

GGF Volunteer Sends Regards from China

GGF Volunteer Kert Peterson sent us stunning photos from an organic tea farm in China. We can’t wait for him to come home in February and share his stories.

more here