A Special Hello to our new CSA Members and a Welcome Back to our returning friends and customers, some continuing after years of support. We are so thankful to have such a great crowd of people to greet and interact with over the summer and fall. Some of our CSA members have become great friends. Mindy and I are always talking about trying to coordinate some of our CSA members into working together to accomplish some of our wider interests, such as environmental politics, social and food justice. Perhaps we can work with you this year to address some of these issues.
One project we are currently working on with funding from a LASA grant is to promote our CSA program to EBT (Food Stamp) recipients. Big Train Farm currently accepts Food Stamps for Vegetable Shares and Egg Shares. Due to the financial returns inherent in our CSA program (see this blog post for details) we want to help families and individuals make their Food Stamps go further by joining our (or other’s) CSA program. If you know of folks who receive EBT please let them know about our CSA, and if you receive EBT know that you can spend your EBT with Big Train Farm.
Well! Spring is certainly in the air now. Next week we are going to be planting a plethora of pleasant plugs into our fields and greenhouses. We currently have two greenhouses fully planted with lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes and beets. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash will be going indoors next week as well. Our onions will be going out into the field next week as well as our first plantings of kale, collards, swiss chard, and cabbages to be shortly followed by beets, carrots, basil, broccoli rabe, head lettuce, dandelion greens and squash. In the photo above you can see some of our early greenhouse tomatoes in the foreground with beets, celery, celery root, parsley and tiny brassicas in the background.
In the photo to the right, we have all the long-season bunching greens ready to go into the field (these are the kales, and other greens I mentioned). We plant these in a no-till method that uses the old tomato field from the previous year after it has been cleaned up by our chickens and then heavily composted and mulched. You can read more about our no-till methods here.
We have been using some of our new equipment that we have been working on for the last few years. A new compost tea brewer and sprayer is helping make our crops more nutritious and worth your hard-earned money. A tine-weeder and bed marker that I built helps us keep our fields manicured and easily marked for planting and is mounted to an old tractor to lessen the wear and tear on our bodies. The new land is doing well also and we intend to harvest all our potatoes, winter squash, and melons (yes, melons) from the new land on Snake Hill Road.
May is right around the corner! We have all our work-shares signed up and we are currently sold out of eggs. We still have plenty of vegetable shares to sell however so PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS about Big Train Farm. Also, we have plenty of fruit, meat, herbs, flowers, bread, and mushroom shares left to sell. You can sign up for any of these additional shares on our web-page. Hope the spring is treating you well and best wishes to you. Many, many thanks for supporting our farm and help making what we do possible. John and Big Train crew