May 5

Hooray! This is going to be a great year!

What a transition! Spring has blossomed from winter in no time flat this year as we raced from frost laden ground to workable soil in the matter of a couple weeks, giving us the shortest mud season in recent memory. Luckily, we were ready here at the farm and with our crack new crew we’ve been keeping pace with the coming warmth.

It’s good to be back in touch as I just realized we haven’t written a newsletter since January! In the months since, we have been working hard to fill the greenhouse with young plants, prepare for the arrival and breaking-in of our new group of farmers-in-training and remembering how a spring is supposed to feel.
Our biggest spring task before the apprentices arrive the first week of April is always seeding onions, leeks, flowers and celery in the artificial warmth of the greenhouse. We had help this year from my dad and a crew brought along from our neighbor Lucretia Woodruff. We started about 13,000 onions and leeks the first week of March, right after we put a new layer of plastic on the greenhouse.
We are very lucky to have a sharp crew of new farmers with us this year. Bethany, Douglas, Kate and Kelsey are all gung-ho and have been getting their feet wet in everything from the details of sheep nutrition to the challenges of running a tractor in a straight line at .14 miles an hour. They are all eager and hardworking and I am looking forward to a great season of fun and hard work shoulder to shoulder with them. I know you will all enjoy chatting them up on pick-up days here in June. In the past month, before the rain, we planted out all those onions from the greenhouse along with 2500 cabbage plants, 2000 broccoli plants, and almost a ton of seed potatoes. In addition we’ve been seeding beets, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, chard, kale, arugula, spinach and our exotic Asian greens varieties in the fields.
As May gets going we still have many shares left for the coming season. Please let your friends, family and neighbors know that we would love to sign them up for the best organic produce in town! On that note, those of you on the winter payment plan, thanks for your April payment, the last payment is due in June.
Farm Camp at Crystal Spring! This summer we will be running two one-week sessions of day camp for kids here at the farm. During the weeks of July 6th and July 13th, Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm, kids ages 6-10 are invited to join us here at the farm.  This year is a pilot year, with the potential to expand to more weeks next summer.   Kids will be mini-farm apprentices, learning about growing food and taking care of animals by participating in day-to-day happenings on the farm.  Maura will be directing the camp with the help of college-aged teachers and high school aged junior counselors.  We would like to offer the camp to our CSA families before we open it up to the general community.  We will register CSA members only until Friday May 15th.  After this date we will open registration to the greater community.  You can read more and register for camp at our website:  http://crystalspringcsa.com/farm-camp or contact Maura at maura@crystalspringcsa.com or 729.1112.
As the month of May progresses we will try to keep in touch with another newsletter to let you know what’s happening here and when to expect the first CSA harvest to begin. As a reminder, pick-up days are Tuesdays or Fridays each week from 3:30-6:30pm and as always you can change which day to come each week -as long as you only come once a week.
We will be hosting two orientations for new CSA members on Saturday May 23rd at 9:00 am and at 10:00 am here at the farm. It’s a great way to learn the lay of the land and see how everything works before we get started harvesting your shares. Check out the Upic field, the distribution barn and ask those need-to-know questions of Farmer Seth. Please park in the Crystal Spring Farmer’s Market lot and walk up to the farm. You can RSVP for the 9am or 10am slots via phone (729.1112) or email (info@crystalspringcsa.com).
See you soon!

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