The season has arrived…

Happy April!  We are poised to launch another farm season, and as always, we are so thankful to you, supporters of this farm.  Your dedication to the farm and your trust in us bolsters us more than you know.  Thank you.

You will find lots of information in this newsletter, including some new things to look forward to this year.  If you are short on time, please at least scroll down to catch the “headlines” in bold.

Signs of spring at the farm. With this weather, the most obvious sign of spring so far this year is the arrival of our new apprentices.  This is week two for three new women and Jacinda returning for a second year.   We have an all woman crew for the first time (except for Seth!).  When you consider that we have all hens (no roosters), 87 ewes, and both dogs are females…it leaves Seth, little Griffin, one cat and seven rams to spread the male energy.   We welcome Nicole, Joanne, and Olivia who have jumped in wholeheartedly training on animal care, tractor operation and maintenance, seeding, and field planning.   The greenhouse is alive, brimming with young plants.  Onions, chard, and kale are hardening off and will be going into the ground next week.

High tunnel debacle. April Fools! Those of you who drive by the farm, especially on Woodside Road, may have seen the sad sight.  Last Thursday, in anticipation of the April snow forecasted for Friday April 1st, three of us put the plastic up on the high tunnel.  The ground had been fairly dry and clear of snow & we wanted to keep it that way to plant our spring greens. Seth of course had been watching the forecast closely & got up multiple times through the night to clear the snow off the plastic.  While we continued clearing snow through the morning, we experienced a heavy mass of wet snow in a very short amount of time, and right before our eyes, while we were pulling the snow off the plastic, the structure collapsed.  Sad.  I don’t think we needed another reminder that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, but we received one anyway.  The tunnel wasn’t covered under our insurance because in in 15 years of farming we’ve never lost a tunnel to weather.  Needless to say we’ll be looking hard at our coverage for this coming season.  Thankfully, replacement parts are available and en route to the farm, and now the apprentices can put “high tunnel construction” on their resumes, just like last year’s crew.

CSA Memberships are still available.  Please pass the word on to your friends, neighbors, colleagues.

CSA Payments Thank you to everyone for sending in your payments.  If you are on the farm payment plan, and haven’t yet done so, the April payment is $138.33.

Delivery to Portland We will be offering boxed shares delivered to Rosemont Market & Bakery on Brighton Ave.  Spread the word to your friends and family in Portland.  More info on our website.

Facebook “Like us” on Facebook to make it easier to tell your friends about us, build our local networks, and catch an update or photo as we post them.

New this Year …

  • Even with the high tunnel debacle, we are planting greens early in hopes of distributing greens in May. We will keep you posted.
  • A mushroom/tempeh/tofu share.  We are working with local producers of these great products & will offer a share that will provide tofu one week, tempeh a second week, and fresh mushrooms a third week; rotating each week from mid-June through mid-September.  Price and sign ups for this share will be coming soon.
  • Lobster shares available from Harpswell fisherman…details to follow.
  • Port Clyde CSF (Community Supported Fishery) share again this year
  • More recipes!  We’ll be updating recipes for you and bringing back information on how to make the best use of your CSA produce.
  • More cooking demos – early in the season, we’ll show you simple methods to braise and steam greens and prepare your veggies simply at home.

  • Eggs! Our chicken flock has lost a few members since they got their start one year ago.  After spending the winter cozy & safe in the greenhouse, they were set out on the far edge of the Upic field by Woodside Road.  We woke up last Sunday morning with our watchful neighbor on the phone and a passerby at the door alerting us to a fox visiting the chicken coop.  Our flock is still going strong, but we will plan to buy in extra eggs from neighboring farms this year for everyone who wants to buy them at CSA pick ups.   Many of you have told us how painful it is to go back to buying grocery store eggs (even organic or “free range”) after having our truly free-range hen’s eggs.  More info to come.

Jacinda’s Art Show – A Must See! Celebrate Earth Day Week at the Frontier Café with our very own Jacinda Martinez’s Sustainable Fashion Project at Frontier Café in Brunswick this Monday, April 18 at 7pm. Come hear Jacinda discuss the evolution and process of taking vegetable by-products from the fields and creating wearable art. She’ll show 18 dresses via slide show along with a description of how each dress was designed and what eventually happens to them. This is a one night only event, not to be missed.  One day you’ll be able to brag, “I knew her back when….”

Junior Counselors! Farm camp filled up in record time this year.  We do still have volunteer opportunities for kids 12-15 to gain great experience with their leadership skills and knowledge about farm work.  Email Maura if you or someone you know is interested.  maura@crystalspringcsa.com or 729.1112

New member orientations. Come out to the farm on Saturday, May 21st at 3pm or Sunday May 22nd at 1pm and learn the ropes. Tour the farm, meet the farmers and see how it all works. If you are a new member and can’t make these dates, don’t worry we will be on hand for the first few pickups to explain everything. Please RSVP Maura at seth@crystalspringcsa.com or 729.1112

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