We’re officially sold out of Stone’s Throw Farm summer CSA shares and expecting 5-9 inches of snow today. After last year (50+ inches of snow in April), I thought there’d be no way we’d have another snowy April so soon, but I guess I’ll just plan on it for next year. It’ll warm up later this week, but we still have around 6 inches of old snow sitting on the vegetable fields . . . which will take a little while to soak in after it melts, since the ground is already saturated with the other 2 1/2 feet of snow that just melted! As a precaution, I did start some of our veggies a little later than I normally do — no need to have plants bursting out of their pots and trays before I can get them into the ground — and I’m glad I did. Onions, leeks, scallions, celeriac, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, and beets are all in progress and will be happy for sun and warmth in the hoophouse later this week. Lettuce, eggplant, and parsley will be right on their heels, with spinach, snap peas, carrots, and so forth on hold until the ground is dried out enough to work the soil without damaging its structure. So begins our 5th season at Stone’s Throw Farm!
Stop by Clyde Iron between 5-8 pm this Friday to check out what local CSA farmers have to offer at an Open House, then stick around for the always entertaining Farmers Take the Stage, 7-9:30 pm. Hope to see you there.
Elden and I (and his mom) just spent a week in Anchorage, Alaska, visiting Elden’s brother and family. One of the highlights was on Saturday, when we walked over to a cross-country ski trail to watch some of the Iditarod teams go by. The dogs seemed very happy to be running, and the weather there was awesome compared to what it’s been like in Duluth. (Who knew, right?) For the record, we saw a moose in the distance while driving one day, but our only up-close sighting was of moose droppings. Not exactly a highlight, but you don’t see moose poo every day, either.
It was nice to see a pile of CSA sign-ups in the mail when we got home. We still have plenty of Stone’s Throw Farm CSA shares for sale, though, so if you’re looking to sign up, please do so. I’ll post an update here as soon as we’re sold out, I promise.
If you’re a past farm member looking to renew, our early-bird deadline is March 14, so you’ve still got time. You can even renew after that, but I won’t be holding a spot for you after the 14th. It’s not exactly a race, but you don’t want to miss out, either!
I’m excited about the upcoming growing season and happy to answer any questions you might have. Please call or text me at 269 9094 or email stonesthrowmn at gmail.com.
As I’m starting to gear up for CSA renewals next month, I thought I’d remind myself how appreciative our Stone’s Throw Farm members can be and share a few super-sweet comments from our 2013 end-of-season survey with you:
I thought you all did a wonderful job–thank you. It was more exciting and wonderful than I imagined!”
We’re planning on [buying a CSA share again] next year. We tell all of our friends and it has changed the way we think about food.”
The [snap] peas were FANTASTIC. Each pod was absolutely perfect and incredibly delicious.”
I joined this year after being with a different CSA last year. I was really impressed by the variety and amount of produce . . . I especially love kale, and the variety of beans, and peppers. I was also so impressed by how clean things are. A very user-friendly experience all around.”
We will never tire of the spicy salad mix. It’s what I look forward to the most every season!”
The newsletter helps me keep a pulse on the natural ebb and flow of farming as it relates to weather, precipitation, insects, etc. I enjoy fresh produce for many reasons and being aware of how Mother Nature affects farming is important to me.”
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the spinach! I’ve always been a spinach fan but the quality of your farm fresh spinach is so superior to the store-bought stuff, that there’s hardly any comparison!”
We enjoyed the share this year, especially your newsletters each week. They were very informative and provided great information about the veggies. It helped us identify the veggies we have never seen or used before. We tried several new items this year, thanks to you, and we loved them.”
The pork was amazing. The pigs were very happy and friendly and my 2-year-old loved them.”
We have been thoroughly pleased with our share this summer! I bragged and talked about it through the whole season. It felt like Christmas every week. I’m already looking forward to next season!”
Me too, anonymous farm member–thanks to your enthusiasm.
Behold a beautiful autumn salad made up almost entirely of vegetables included in our final Stone’s Throw Farm summer share box of the season, way back in mid-October. Salad artist: friend and farm member Alisa DeRider. Looks good enough to eat!
I love it when farm members send me photos or stories of what they did with their veggies — otherwise I have no idea what happens to them when they leave the farm. For example, after she got her canning tomatoes, Jane sent me a photo of her Stone’s Throw Farm tomato sauce simmering on the stove (as well as enthusiastic & encouraging notes on a regular basis — not that she’s the only one to do so!). I’m happy to receive any and all recipes that people have tried and liked, and I really appreciate it when farm members respond to questions I’ve posed in the weekly newsletter (e.g., how do you like this new variety of ___?)
Once a year, I get to see and taste what the professionals would do with some of our produce at Farmers Take the Stove. Your friendly neighborhood chefs cook up the best local foods dinner around using ingredients donated by local food producers. Some of us amateurs bring our best dishes, too. This year’s meal is coming up on Thursday, November 14, at Peace Church in Duluth. Get all the details (or contribute to the cause if you can’t make it) at lssfa.org.