May 20 2008

Greetings after a Long Winter

At this point, we are wishing the English language had more words to express gratitude. Thank you all for all your wishes of support, your efforts for the community gathering at Frontier Café, and your generous contributions to the Farmer Seth Fund. We have been overwhelmed to be so bolstered by our community. Before this year we thought we knew a lot about community supported agriculture; as it turns out our understanding was just a drop in the ocean of possibility.
First things first… Everyone is wondering about the health of the farmer. Seth is feeling well. Springtime has brought renewal with work to be done around the farm, from lambing, to spreading compost on the fields, to turning soil. Seth is still not definitively diagnosed, although he continues to work with a rheumatologist who has been treating him for an elusive autoimmune disorder. To supplement this treatment Seth has been taking a holistic approach, getting support from Eastern doctors and herbalists, as well as pursuing a daily regimen of diet, exercise, and health-focused awareness.
Lambs You may recall last Fall our pregnant ewes grazed on high protien cover crops and while cleaning up the broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts stubble down in the fields. This diet left them in great shape to start the winter and the second half of their pregnancies. Their outstanding condition yielded a very successful lambing season with 76 vibrant lambs from 42 ewes. The ewes and lambs both went out onto pasture this past week to much fanfare. There is nothing that says spring more than lambs testing their verticles and ewes wrestling over clover tufts. If you walk the trails at the farm, you will be able to say hello and may be surprised at how big the lambs are, some already nearing 100 pounds. We plan to be at the Saturday Farmer’s Market starting the last weekend of June with your favorite cuts of lamb for sale.
Fields Those of you riding up and down Pleasant Hill Road will notice how different this season is from others past. Big swaths of lush cover crop and dark brown open ground has replaced our usual patchwork of vegetables. The difference is stark to us, looking out over big areas of order, so different from the welcome chaos of the regular season. We are trialing a few new cover crops this year, like sorgum-sudan grass, a jungly tall mass of stalks and leaves, and will be trying to use the sheep to mow them as much as possible. This will save us time and diesel all while leaving behind a great “digested” product for the soil. Many of you have surely read about the horse farmers who have gotten together to grow hard spring wheat in our fields. It’s been great fun for us to see their quiet graceful animals plow, harrow and plant. If all goes well they will truck their 1800’s thresher into the field in August to separate the grain from the straw. We’ll keep you posted, it should be quite and event.
Family… With the changes on the farm this year, Maura has decided to dedicate her time to the farm and the family, and take some time off from social work. It is amazing how quickly a list of things to do can develop. Griffin (who joyfully turned five last week) and Leila (now two and a half) have planted some apple trees behind the farmhouse and have been regular helpers feeding the sheep.
Website Please check out our website! www.crystalspringcsa.com We are updating and revising it into a resource for members of the CSA old and new. In addition to the nuts and bolts of how our farm works we have added a recipe section that allows you to find new dishes by vegetable (this is great for kohlrabi novices). You’ll also find links to other local businesses in and around Brunswick that we think are vital to keeping our community vibrant and unique. We plan on updating the site regularly so check back to see what’s new on the farm.
Enjoy the spring and we’ll be in touch again soon. We’ll see you around town and at the farmer’s market.

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