Spring, New Pick-up Times for CSA & Fish?

Spring has come and feels like it’s almost gone here at the farm with the trees, flowers, peepers and farmers rushing to catch up. Never in twelve years of farming in the northeast have I even dreamt of seeding peas on the 12th of March (or carrots, beets and parsnips on the 20th). To be this far ahead of the calendar is exciting but also a bit unsettling. For now I’m sticking with optimism for the year to come.

Speaking of optimism, our new farm crew has been here for a week and they are jumping in to the daily operations with gusto. We are very lucky to have Bethany returning from last year, well rested from her travels to India and help with lambing over the winter. New this year we also have Adrian, Jacinda, and Emily. Adrian spent last summer working with Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus (they supply our fall apples) and is hoping to use his experience here, along with his MBA, to start his own farm in the coming years. Jacinda worked for a large CSA in New Jersey last year and hails from New York City, by way of rural Pennsylvania. Emily spent summers in Maine at summer camps (as camper and counselor) and most recently has been working for Chewonki and Ferry Beach Ecology School doing farm and ecology education. I see another great year ahead working with focused and talented people.

Some of the first fieldwork we hope to be doing together this week is transplanting broccoli, cabbage, and greens. While the exceptionally mild weather this month will allow us to get ahead we know that changing weather patterns will throw us a curve ball at some point. To try and keep things even and regular from your end, as members of the CSA, we spent the winter doing research and this summer will be putting up three field green greenhouses, known as high tunnels. These will protect our tomato crop in the summer and improve and prolong our greens crops in the fall, all with the hope of returning you more produce for your share.

Local Fish. In addition to your vegetable share you will also be able to buy and pickup at the farm a fish share this year. Crystal Spring and Port Clyde Fresh Catch (Maine’s first Community Supported Fishery) have teamed up to offer the first CSA/CSF connection in Maine. Like CSAs, CSFs provide fisherman prepayment for their seafood at a set price, allowing them some financial security in a changing seafood market. We are really excited about this relationship and hope that you will be as well. How does it work? You can order a share week to week or for several consecutive weeks and each Tuesday your seafood will be delivered here to Crystal Spring, where you can pick it up with your vegetables. The cost is $20 per week and the seafood you will find in the share over the summer will include: Sole, Haddock, Pollack, Monkfish, Cod, Hake, Redfish, Lobster, Crab, squid and more. For more details and a sign-up form go to www.portclydefreshcatch.com

Expanded pick-up times for the CSA. This year, due to popular demand we will be expanding the pick-up times for the CSA on both Tuesdays and Fridays. You will now be able to come to the farm from 2-7 pm for CSA pick-up.

CSA shares still available. Please spread the word to friends, neighbors and co-workers. If you would like brochures let us know and we’ll mail them out to you. You can also direct prospective members to our website www.crystalspringcsa.com

Thanks to all of you who have made payments towards your shares. This is the grease that keeps the wheels turning!

Crystal Spring Farm Day Camp seeking middle school participants. We have an afternoon program (1:30-4:30) for kids entering grades 6-8 to experience farm life that runs June 28-July 2. We also have a girls only week for girls entering grades 6-8 August 9-13th, 9am-3pm. Ther is some space still available in our day camp for 6-11 year olds July 12-17. For all the details and registration info see our website. http://crystalspringcsa.com/farm-camp or email maura@crystalspringcsa.com

Great to see all of you at our lamb open houses in March and April!