Winter 2017 season:
We are now halfway through our first ever winter CSA* season which runs for a total of 14 weeks and it has been both wonderful and challenging. The extreme weather this winter has had a huge impact on our crops and ability to be out in the fields for planting and harvesting. Despite all the torrential downpours, hail, and flooding our members have been enjoying a variety of winter crops such as Brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, beets, turnips, bunching greens, baby head lettuces, winter squash, radishes, sweet carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, cabbages, leeks, braising greens, kohlrabi, herbs, and baby greens to name a few. We also have 30 members that are receiving our beautiful weekly flower bouquets that include showcase our winter flower crops such as anemones, ranunculus, sweet peas, eucalyptus, sweet william, and more!
*The winter CSA is closed for registration
May-Nov. 2017 season:
We have new changes to our pick-up locations for the May-Nov. 2017 season. There are new site hosts in both Half Moon Bay & Hillsborough! If you have been waiting to change your pick-up location until you heard confirmation that there will indeed be pick-ups available in those areas you are now welcome to email me that request. The HMB site is near the intersection of Pilarcitos Ave. & Antoinette Ln. and the new Hillsborough site is near the intersection of El Cerrito Ave. & Wickham Pl. We also have a BRAND NEW pick-up location! We are excited to offer another pick-up location in the South Bay. We are offering a pick-up in Cupertino near the intersection of Stevens Creek Blvd. & N. De Anza Blvd.
We have an exciting new add-on option this season with our neighbor down the street, Steadfast Herbs. Steadfast Herbs make herbal medicine to provide preventative and holistic care. They grow their medicinal plants using organic farming practices right down the road from Fifth Crow at Root Down Farm. The share will include tinctures, teas, salves and more, along with information about the medicinal properties and uses of each remedy. A share consists of seven different remedies created to align with the needs of the changing seasons, one remedy delivered the last week of each month.
Fifth Crow Farm add-ons of weekly organic flowers and organic pastured eggs* are available again this season.
*We are currently sold out of full season egg shares but have plenty of June-August egg shares available (up to 1 1/2 dozen/member).
We have a new baby crow! Teresa had a little girl on February 23rd. Her name is Eleanor Joyce and we are so happy to have her here! Charlie is over the moon with having a baby sister and loves her “teeny tiny hands and feet.”
The older baby crows, Charlie & Naima, turned TWO on March 1st. Boy how time flies! They celebrated together of course along with their family & friends. Charlie and Naima sure know their way around the fields and can easily lead the way to the broccoli crop for a snack! Charlie often leads our field walks when planning for the upcoming CSA shares and farmers market harvest. He’s working on his disease & pest identification skills too 🙂
Our farmers’ market locations expanded this past year as well as some of the sizes of our stalls and locations within the market itself. We moved to a larger space at the College of San Mateo Saturday market, and at a couple of our Sunday markets including the Clement St. market in SF, and the Campbell market. We did a short stint at the Grand Lake market in Oakland on Saturdays and while we enjoyed being there this past summer and into the fall we stopped going for the winter. We may be back in the spring but it is a bit far from Pescadero and makes for a really long day for the marketeers so we shall see if we reappear there come springtime. We have been excited to be selling our produce at the infamous Ferry Plaza market in SF on Saturdays for the past four months and we hope to continue year-round at that market.
CA has experienced one of the wettest winters in recorded history as many of you are well aware of and my goodness has it been a doozy!! First, the winds took down some of our high tunnels that we rely on for season extension in order to grow crops in the cooler months. Then, one of the creeks breached its bank by our parcel down the road and our winter crops of lettuces, broccoli, bunching greens, and flowers were under rushing water (pic). We’ve also had mudslides along access roads to some of our parcels blocking our entry for a time and our fields have been so waterlogged that our crops began to rot in the fields before they were ready for harvest. The hard frosts have nipped at the tips of our crops too. We had to cancel going to markets more this year due to weather conditions than ever before. Needless to say it’s been challenging farming this winter but certainly not dull!
On the sunnier side of things we are growing a new trial variety of Artichoke alongside our beloved ‘Imperial Star’ crop called ‘Opera’ that produces violet-red to purple tinged tipped chokes. Other new crops will include dandelion greens, mixed chicories, mixed kohlrabi, a new variety of strawberry called ‘Sweet Anne’ that is described as not only being good tasting but also good to grow in organic systems being that it is disease resistant & requires less nitrogen uptake, Jack O’Lantern pumpkins (specifically for the CSA) and more. We are expanding our dry-farmed ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes this season along with our ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes, parsnips, ‘Sarah’s Choice’ melons, orange ‘Corno di Toro’ type sweet peppers, dry beans and more.
Our apple orchard provided our most “fruitful” harvest last year and our CSA members and loyal market customers were the beneficiaries! We grow 28 varieties of flavorful, delicate, and unique apples in our orchard. The varieties include ‘Arlet’, ‘Hudsons Golden Gem’ (pic to the left), ‘Sunrise’, ‘Chehalis’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘Pristine’ (pic of green apples) and ‘Spartan’ to name a few. We were able to put apples in 7 of the CSA shares starting in July and continuing into early November. We were really pleased to have been able to offer more apples for our customers enjoyment that they would otherwise not be able to find to buy in the typical grocery store and we are looking forward to another prosperous apple crop.
We had our first ever apple tasting and cider pressing at our September Field Day we hosted at the farm for our CSA members, farmers’ market customers, and restaurant customers. It was so much fun and the cider was lip-smackingly delicious!
Our flower production team totally rocked their flower growing skills last year by diversifying the selection of flower varieties we grow even more and by improving their flower drying facilities to create beautiful dried wreaths currently available for sale at our farmers’ markets. A couple of the exciting new varieties that were introduced into the crop plan last year were lilies and lisianthus. The flowers are tended to with such care, knowledge, and love that our bouquets will last up to two weeks in your vase at home!