Welcome July!

IMG_4962 copySome interesting new items in the share this week…

Say hello to garlic scapes!  This is the flowering head of a garlic plant and looks like a curly-q scallion. Use them as you would a scallion. The give a great sweet garlic flavor when minced into dishes of salad dressings. We like to brush them in olive oil and toss them on the grill until almost black – carmelized garlic goes with everything!

Also delicious is garlic scape pesto.

Baby cabbage makes an early appearance. We plant our cabbage at tight spacing and they grow smaller faster. These “one meal” size heads are great for a quick slaw or stir fry.

Our first zucchini have come in. We will add quality and variety in the weeks to come.

What’s in the Share this week?






Garlic Scapes

Baby Cabbage

Summer Squash

Farm-Raised Chicken?

Kristin and Tom, our super-star farm hands are raising pastured chickens for sale here at the farm. These birds are fed fresh grass, organic grain, and Crystal Spring water.  Roasted or grilled there is nothing like a farm-raised bird. Pre-order birds for your freezer starting this week. A $5 deposit per bird will reserve your order. Finished price will be $4.50/lb. +3.50 for slaughter and packaging.

Fashion in the Raw

Many of you will remember the lovely Jacinda Martinez who was here at Crystal Spring Farm a few years ago.  Where is she now?  Check out this recent article in the Portland Press Herald to learn about her vegetable-based fashion design. She makes stunning art pieces from farm produce.  Follow this link for the full story.


Regular Hours This Week!

The High Road

IMG_9969The road ahead this season looks good. It’s crazy that it takes almost the end of June to be able to say that, but that’s farming. If we really looked closely at the just how little effect our planning and skills have on the outcome of a season none of us would probably do this for a living!

With a few warm nights and a solid rainfall under our belt temperamental southern crops like peppers and eggplant are  finally in flower and it looks like they are back on schedule. We have been picking strawberries very hard this week and hope all of you enjoy this crop for the time that we have it. If you indulge in the grocery store version of this during the off-season make sure you taste your first local berry with our eyes closed. There is nothing quite like a native strawberry picked in season. Fruit set in this crop is exceptional and we are hoping for at least a couple weeks of abundance. Flowering of most of our fruit bearing crops look really good right now as if these plants came to an agreement that is now safe to pour all of their energy into feeding all of us. Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and cucumbers are all exploding with new flowers, optimistically showing their hand for the months to good eating to come.

Mushroom Shares

Mushroom shares start this week! Look for them when you come for your share…

Take Me to Your Leader…

The extraterestrial looking Kohlrabi make its first appearance this week. This will excite many of you that we have introduced/converted to this vegetable. Those of you who are new to it, get ready. Sweet and crisp it goes on everything!  This of it like a large round carrot and slice, she or julien it onto everything.


Don’t forget about our recipe listing by ingredient on the website. Look in the right hand sidebar. This is a great place to get started with new produce or find a different way to enjoy old favorites.

Make Hay While the Sun ShinesIMG_9951

We were able to cut 14 acres of hay this past week in-between the rain showers and deliver it to farms in Brunswick and Harpswell. This hay will feed local cows, sheep and horses on our IMG_9953neighbors farms. The first cut of hay fields starts a clock that moves slowly but surely towards the fall. We sell our first cut of hay so that we can cut these same fields later in the summer for our own animals. If we are lucky we can cut some of these fields 3 times and have plenty of forage for our sheep and over-wintered cows. If the fall comes early or September is filled with wet weather we can’t always cut what we need, leaving us in a pickle. This year the gamble is especially risky as we waited intentionally late so as to avoid having to make forage during blueberry season which will monopolize our time the last week of July and the first week of June…

What’s in the Share?










IMG_9946The formula is slowly coming into balance here at the farm. Just as our harvest started last week the heat and a little water from the sky came together with our warming soil and regular sun to get things going. Maura and I left the farm for a few days to attend my cousins wedding down in Georgia (it was hotter here on Friday!) and came back sunday evening to taller more robust fields of crops. This was heartening as last week’s harvest was lighter than we would have liked, due mostly to the low temps and below normal rainfall.  We are slowly starting to build volume and diversity for your shares.  This week we add salad turnips and broccoli with strawberries and summer squash coming next week.

IMG_9950Upic Builds

Our Upic field is filling up with crops and growing steadily towards the first harvest out there. Our first couple plantings of beans are in and up, tomatoes have a first trellising and we seed our new star, edamame this week. Sugarsnap and snow peas will open the field this year, usually on or about July 4. Look to the newsletter for news of more crops out there and when/how to start picking these favorites for your share.

Egg Share Starts this Week

If you signed up for an egg share please grab a dozen and check your name off the list. We will usually have extra eggs available for sale as well.

Mushroom Share Starts Next Week!

It hasn’t been a slow start just for us. Oyster Creek Mushroom in Damariscotta has also had a pokey start due to weather. The share will start next week (and go an extra week this fall). The great news is if you would still like to add a mushroom share go for it! Follow this link to sign-up online.

What’s in the Share?IMG_9949




Salad Turnips

Asian Greens

Gelato Full-Circle

For the past few years we stocked Gelato Fiasco flavors in the farm store. Josh and Bruno, who own this local company, have used our watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe to make their amazing frozen concoctions in years past. We love their Gelato as well as their commitment to using local milk and ingredients. This winter we were especially thankful to know them when we got a call that winter weather and trucking mishaps had left them with an oversupply of milk and cream.  Thinking on their feet they gave their local farm a call, hoping we could find a use for a large quantity of beautiful dairy products. We trucked right down to their Brunswick kitchen and loaded over a thousand pounds of dairy onto our trailer in the middle of one of the many brisk February days. Not everyone would be excited by a truckload of dairy products, but I knew our winter pigs would be! The cold froze the milk solid and we were able to share it with our winter friends, thawing a few gallons at a time.

almost there

IMG_9514The rain of the past couple days is so welcome.  As Texas dries out we are starting what we hope will be the process of catching up with moisture lost over the past couple months. It is so unusual to have prolonged dryness combined with cool the temperatures we’ve had this spring.  We are still running behind for the simple reason we have not been able to plant much.  Greens, our major crop this time of year, don’t mind cooler soil but depend on water for their small root systems.  Root crops, nightshades, and onions need heat in order to develop (as well as water!).  This double whammy of dry and cold has kept the greenhouse full of plants waiting to go out as we all waited for heat and rain. April brought us three inches (four is average, and some of that was snow)!  May was California-like with only a half-inch of rain instead of our usual four minimum. Needless to say we are happy we have irrigation systems and have spent many evenings running water here and there to keep young seedings rooting in dusty ground.

There’s always a silver lining…IMG_9573

While all of the rain has been a challenge to our vegetables the bees pollinating our blueberries have been enjoying the uninterrupted sunny days.  Bees don’t fly on rainy days so with all this sun they have been working hard. Wild blueberries begin to bloom in mid-May and there is a tight 3-4 week period where each flower must be visited by a pollinator to create a berry. While there are many native pollinators about we also bring in bees to help maximize the potential number of berries.  This year we trucked 72 hives from Swan’s Honey in Albion to spend a month in our berry fields. An exciting trip, we try to load the bees in the late evening when they are calm and likely to stay in the hives.  After sunset I arrived in the fields with the humming flatbed and before sunrise I unloaded the hives which woke up and quickly got to work.

With the immediate water debt behind us, we are very enthusiastic to start harvests and the CSA next week. Look for our weekly newsletter on Mondays which will detail what you can find in you share along with a recipe and news from the farm.

When Do I Get My First CSA Share?

We start next week!  (The week of June 8th):

Brunswick members: Tuesday or Friday 2:00-7:00, come either day – just once during the week.  You do not need to commit to a day or let us know if you change days.

Portland Area Delivered Share: Wednesday afternoon delivery.  Check with your site coordinator for the time and where to find your farm box.

Portland Area Delivered Share Orientation

For our Portland Area members, we welcome you to come to the farm, meet your farmers, and see where and how your veggies are growing!  A great chance to learn the ins and outs of the upic field.

Sunday July 12, 4:00 p.m.

Saturday July 18th 4:00 p.m.

Egg share

Here’s how it works… You will have a dozen eggs waiting for you each week when  you come to the farm for your share or in your delivery box.  The eggs are from our friends at Sparrow Farm who raise their hens on pasture, ensuring they have a diverse diet and orange yolks. The share runs for 20 weeks (June 16-October 27) and is $110. Click here for the link.

We will have eggs available for sale ($5.50 per dozen, same price as egg share) each week as well if you do not want to commit to the egg share.

Mushroom share

Here’s how it works… You will have a fresh mushrooms each week when  you come to the farm for your share or in your delivery box. Oyster Creek Mushroom Co. raises and wildcrafts these for us.  Each week she provides a different type of mushroom.  The share runs for 18 weeks (June 16-October 13) and is $207. Click here for the link.

Email Contacts!

Please check to see that your your share partners and family members are receiving this email.  If they have not, anyone may be added to the list by following this link.