Winter Week 3. Midway through the Winter CSA Season

The short days and flirtatious snow let us know that winter is truly here. Thanksgiving brought us over a week of below-freezing temperatures, which made harvesting a challenge but sweetened up the roots and greens perfectly. At long last, we can eat all of the hardy greens! The kale and Brussels sprouts, and beets and carrots, as long as they stay in the ground while the air freezes, will convert their starches to sugars… an antifreeze of sorts… which benefits everyone who eats them.

Brussels sprouts in snow.

New Home Update:

My little house project begins in earnest next week! I’m quite excited, and very grateful to those who stepped forward with short-term loans to help me out with expenses. Huge thanks to Terry and Marianne, Jonathan and Rosy, Elizabeth, and Maureen! The first step will be to swap out the French door in the little house for a single-wide exterior door, remove the picture window, and reframe the wall. The French door will be moved to the double-door end of the shipping container, and become the entrance to my new office space and the big window will become my office view onto the perennial cut flower garden. Once the little house wall is re-framed, the little bathroom can be framed, and then the kitchen. Then it will be habitable. At the same time, I’ll order the insulation kit for the shipping container, and buy Cosmo a plasma cutter so he can start cutting out the window holes in the shipping container and weld the steel frames. Updates will be posted as they happen!

Almost Time to Start Planting!

I’ve ordered the earliest seeds to start, but the rest need to be purchased very soon. Also, greenhouse supplies and fertilizer need to be ordered. Work begins in the propagation house in January… Sugarsnap Peas need starting first on the heat mats (so they’re ready to plant into the ground in hoop houses in early March), and then the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and celery. And then the seedling train just keeps rolling until June.

Michael is patching together a transplanter, so I won’t have to do all the planting bent over. My body doesn’t enjoy that job anymore. The goal is to plant more plant babies in straighter rows that will be mechanically cultivated. Less work all around. With any luck, the first plants will go out into the field in early May instead of late June this year. And hopefully I’ll have extra help this season! Always hoping the magic works!

The nature of the CSA model is that I depend on CSA enrollments in order to purchase farm supplies in the winter, as well as to pay the farm mortgage and utilities, and to buy groceries. If you haven’t yet enrolled for 2023, and are able to, please don’t wait. It’s quite a few months until we will have surplus produce available to market outside of the CSA. Thank you so much!

2023 CSA Enrollment

2023 CSA Enrollment is open to everyone, and there are plenty of Summer and Winter Shares available. Here’s the store link

Also, the new and improved Flower Bouquet subscription is live. 16 bountiful bouquets, from fancy, flouncy tulips in early June to Sunflowers in September, and an Everlasting bouquet to brighten your winter. Here’s the Flower Bouquet link

I have decided that I need to simplify my crop plan. Sadly, that means discontinuing the Mystery Boxes. It’s just too much to keep track of without a solid farm co-manager. Instead, I’m offering a Pantry-Builder subscription! Bulk boxes of items that will stock your freezer and/or pantry. Bulk boxes of Sugarsnap Peas, Basil, Pickles, Garlic Braids, and more. Here’s the Pantry Builder link

AND, I figured out how to offer the purchase of Gift Credits through the Barn2Door store. Like a digital gift card, you can purchase credits in increments of $25 and gift them to friends and family. Then they can use the credits toward any items in our Barn2Door store, including subscriptions. Here’s the link for Purchasing Store Credits

Wishing you the happiest of holidays, and most restful winter season.

A luscious September bouquet at sunset.

Hard to believe that I’ll be starting the earliest crops for 2023 in just a few weeks!

With much gratitude,

Shelley

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