It’s been such a pleasure being your CSA Coordinator this season! I’ve enjoyed planning your shares, creating beautiful boxes with a diversity of flavors, and writing this weekly newsletter. It’s been fun for me to learn quirky facts about veggies, taking photos of the farm for you, and looking up delicious recipes to explore new ways of cooking food & hopefully inspiring you. It really makes me wish I had a kitchen to cook in! One of these years I’ll be able to cook the food from the farms I work on but until then eating raw veggies straight form the fields will have to do (not a bad life). I’ve enjoyed the relationships I’ve built with many of you this year, I look forward to building more next season, and by this same time next year I expect all of you to be my best friends! I’ll be keeping in touch throughout the winter so keep your eyes out for these REALLY important emails 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving & thank you for supporting all of us here at the farm ~~Casey
A note from Teresa…
Hello CSA members,
Another season draws to a close and again we find ourselves both relieved for the slower pace of winter and these shorter days, and still scrambling to get the farm “tucked in” for the winter. We hope this season was a good one for all of you and that your CSA share met expectations- our goal being that we surpass those expectations of course. As with every year some things went astoundingly well (we had beautiful crops of romanesco, green beans, peppers, lettuce, and more) and other things didn’t do so hot (our winter squash crop was a near failure- just enough for you all, but not much beyond that, and strawberries tanked way earlier than usual). But…. that’s why diversified agriculture is critical to food security. Because we grow such a diversity of crops the near complete failure of some crops didn’t sink the farm. In fact, though we won’t really know till we catch up on all the bookkeeping we’ve been putting off… it still seems this year was one of the best years yet in terms of production and income (despite our rent expenses nearly doubling, and an increase in a number of other fixed expenses).
There were heaps of big changes this season. We’ve finally started offering full health insurance coverage as well as upping the number of sick days we offer to 5 more sick days. Maybe next year we can manage to pay a couple holidays too. We’re now leasing an additional 50 acres from POST land trust which will are slowly bringing into production and will hopefully allow us to do a lot more crop rotation and summer cover cropping. The 8 acre parcel that we started to lease over a year ago from Westland Nursery (where your sweet corn and dry farmed Early Girls came from) finally became certified organic and lots of our over wintered crops are over there so we can rest more of our Home Ranch fields this winter. We’ve settle into the new pack out we started leasing from our neighbors last August and it has made a huge difference in the comfort and safety of the crew as they wash and pack produce coming in from the fields. We added more full time staff to our flower production crew who did a stellar job this year cranking out some really beautiful bouquets and “new to us” trials of lisianthus and lilies.
And oh of the changes to come… Charlie and Naima are now 20 months old!! Hard to believe and Mike and I are expecting a little girl in mid-February. Also about to become a dad is Raul Ruiz, our Field Crew Leader. His partner is due Dec. 2nd and after many years of commuting from Santa Cruz, he’s moving to Pescadero soon to live on the farm.
This winter we will be trialling our first ever Winter CSA. Hopefully this will help us provide steadier employment year round and help with CSA retention rates. We’ve also been offered an opportunity to go the famous Ferry Plaza Market on Saturdays. It’s only a temporary winter slot, but we hope we can show them our stuff a bit and convince them that we belong there if a year round spot opens up. So come see us at the Ferry Plaza on Saturdays!!
Now to dig in to the winter tasks- fixing fences, fixing broken market equipment, hiring for next season, catching up on bookkeeping (ugh) and hopefully taking it a little slower for a couple months till the daylight comes back. Happy Holiday Season, thank you, and we hope to help feed you and yours next year too.
Teresa, Mike, & John