Food in the winter…

Transitions are always bittersweet. The end of the growing season is always welcome in that it offers us a break from the long hours and heavy lifting, both literal and figurative. We always miss the energy of the season and the satisfaction of having all of you so happily take home your share each week. The romance of not having to harvest 200 pounds of greens, 600 pounds of carrots, etc. each week and instead starting the day by the fire listening to the radio is pretty alluring right now though. The great part is that by March we’ll have dreamt up another year; raring to go again, just waiting for the snow to melt.

More Food… It has been a great year and the harvests of many crops were beyond our expectations. Two crops in particular did so well that we are offering all of you a pre-Thanksgiving distribution of potatoes and butternut squash. Everyone who would like can come to the farm on Tuesday evening November 23rd between 5 and 7 pm or Wednesday November 24th between 9 and 11 am and pick up 4 butternut squash and a 4 lb bag of spuds.

Eggs… Many of you have asked where you can get our organic pastured eggs this winter. After much interest from all of you we have decided to offer a winter egg share. Once a month from December until May each share will get two dozen eggs packaged and ready for pickup here at the farm the first week of every month. Like the vegetable CSA, we would ask for your prepayment for the whole winter. The price of the share will be $54 (6 months x 2 dozen @ $4.50/dozen) which is a bargain for organic eggs from any source. If two dozen isn’t enough for your family, buy two shares! We guarantee our eggs will stay fresh and tasty all month as they are not washed, like eggs in the grocery store. Washing eggs removes the outer coating on the shell, allowing air and moisture in the egg to escape, and bacteria to enter. Unwashed eggs can be kept for 3 weeks without refrigeration safely if they are not washed and many weeks more if refrigerated. We often sell eggs to folks leaving for sailing trips who have no way to keep them cold. Our birds will spend the winter housed in the greenhouse with access to the outdoors everyday and a diet supplemented with fresh hay and or alfalfa silage to keep their yolks packed with omega 3’s and bright orange. We need at least fifteen of you to make this plan work so let us know soon!

Winter Farm Share? Well this is the first week without a farm pick-up. Do you miss us yet? Maybe, maybe not, but we have an opportunity for you to continue your connection with this farm and with great Maine produce over the winter. Our friends at Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine will be delivering a winter share to the farm every three weeks starting Tuesday, November 16th. The winter share has vegetables but also adds great local produce like frozen berries, dry beans, grains and even specialty items like sea salt and honey. This is their second year of offering a winter share and they have been able to partner with great farms from all over Maine to provide a diverse, high quality share that will keep you excited about local food even in the dead of winter. For more info and a sample share description follow this link

Our superstar farm apprentices leave this week, taking with them hands-on experience, spreadsheets of data and strong backs to start the dreams of their own farms somewhere out in the distance. We had a great group this year and I hope all of you enjoyed chatting with them each week. We’re lucky to have Bethany and Jacinda with us this winter to help with sheep as they plan their next moves. Jacinda is going to spend January on a farm in rural Brazil! Both of them will be available for baby-sitting as well (our kids love them) if any of you are looking ( and Adrien and his partner Giselle are looking for some farmland in the area and Emily is headed to Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine to help with their winter CSA.

Thanks for all of your surveys. We have been reading through them and looking at all of your suggestions. Having your ideas fresh in our minds as we make budgets, seed orders and hiring decisions over the next couple months helps guide towards an even better farm for next season.

CSA sign-up for 2011. Many thanks to all of you who have signed up for next year’s share. It’s been a great year and we hope to make next year even better. Your commitment to a share this fall helps us plan for the coming season. By signing up now you also get on our winter payment plan which divides the share cost over three payments in February, April and June. As always, payment in full is great too.

Turkey for Thanksgiving. If you are looking for a locally raised turkey The Turkey Farm in New Sharon is still taking orders. These are naturally raised pastured birds and the best part is they deliver right here to the farm the day before Thanksgiving (the same day as our squash potato pick-up!). Check out the website for more info…