Taking Memberships for 2013 Summer/Fall

Farmer Steve

Farmer Steve
Proud Parent of Beautiful Onions


What is a C.S.A.?

Quite simply, it Stands for Community Supported Agriculture and can be the answer to todays industrialization of America's food supply by bringing the community closer to the source of their food supply.

How does it work?

If a person is interested in becoming a member of our C.S.A they would purchase a full or half share per season prior to the season's start. Pre-payment allows a small independent organic grower, like Steve Smith, the finances to invest in the equipment and materials he needs for the upcoming season. For as low as $15.00 per week your share of produce is distributed (each week) over a 24 week growing season (June through November) for your eating pleasure. Distribution may be achieved via delivery or picked up at a designated distribution site on a designated day at a designated time. Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. will notify it's members as to which method of distribution will be used for that season as the season grows near. We request minimally 24 to 48 hours notice if you will not be available on the distribution day so that we may make other arrangements with you, within reason. If we do not hear from you and your share does not get picked up on the day of distribution within the time slot specified, your share will be donated to a shelter or another community organization.

*Payment plans are available. Call or email and ask us for information about our "Early Turnip Discount."

Why Join a C.S.A.?

1. It Affords you the most healthy and nutritional produce


2. It supports your local farm and economy.

3. It supports the environment.

4. It allows you a relationship with your local farmer.

5. It allows you to have a voice about the produce and food

you eat.

Things to Consider:

1. Do you enjoy cooking with a variety of seasonal vegetables?

2. Are you willing to share the risks along with the benifits. The farmer may occasionally encounter challenges, such as weather related issues, pests and blights? Eating local and seasonal is different than buying whatever you want whenever you want at a grocery store. It will take some getting use to. However, eating local and seasonal is healthier and absolutely more in sync with the environment.

3. Are you adventurous? Do you like trying new and different vegetables and fruits?

Our Distribution Area:

Steve's farm is located in Anna Illinois, 30 miles South of Carbondale Illinois. Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A's distribution area covers Anna/Jonesboro, areas north of Anna such as Cobden and Makanda up to Carbondale, east to Carterville and Marion, west to Murphysboro. We also will distribute to the Lick Creek area and, of course, south, east and west of Anna within a 20 mile (or so) radius. (We are flexible based on the amount of interest we receive in a particular area and distribution issues can be negotiated within reason.)

Who is Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A.?

Steve Smith is the owner and Head Farmer. Steve has various friends who graciously donate their time when they can and we encourage our C.S.A. members to get a little dirty and come out to the farm and volunteer to work in the fields from time to time.

About Steve Smith

Steve Smith came to Anna Illinois from New York and established the farm in 1977, over 30 years ago, with a strong desire to go back to the land and organically grow vegetables. He succeeded, and became the first viable organic farm in Southern Illinois. Steve is truly a pioneer in organic farming in the region. He is dedicated to providing the Southern Illinois community with fresh, local, ecologically sound produce and he is always excited about sharing his knowledge with everyone, especially the next generation.

To contact Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. you may email: steve.hollowpumpkin@gmail.com or call (618) 614-2233

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's Growing Now

We though everyone would like to see what's growing on the farm this spring. We have a whole lot of garlic, spinach and the peas are just coming up. Once again, Ryan Campbell came out to help. Steve and Ryan spread compost and planted onions today.

Above is a picture of the garlic field.

Steve and I took a look at the Asparagus today and decided that they are just too thin this year to include in the C.S.A. shares this year. If you read the earlier post about growing asparagus you will remember that it usually takes three years from the time of planting before you would see an abundance of mature asparagus that is acceptable for harvest. These asparagus plants were planted last season. If you harvest imature asparagus you jeapordize the next years crop growth. It is best to wait until you have a majority of nice sized (diameter wise) asparagus. Good asparagus is well worth the wait. We may see some harvestable asparagus next season...let us hope.
We have our little greenhouse filled with many seedlings waiting to be brought outside for planting. Spring is really popping here on the farm.

One of our beautiful asparagus teaching us a lesson in patience.

Ryan Campbell spreading compost

below: our bounty of spinach and Farmer Steve, himself, in the trenches spreading compost.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Proud Grandpa Moment

O.K., so this is not your typical C.S.A. news but Grandpa Steve is very proud of his 3 week old grandson Asher John Smith-Fulia. Now Steve is a Grandpa times three and perhaps one of them will take the mantel and continue to advocate for a healthy food supply! Maybe farming will become a good way to make a living in the future and our youth will want to be farmers! We can only hope. In the mean time we just hope Asher, Stacy and Jesse are happy and healthy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Growing Winter Crops in Southern Illinois

Hello to everyone from Hollow Pumpkin Farm/C.S.A. We have finally unveiled our Winter/Spring section of the C.S.A. You may go to the Details and News page and view the information.
If you have ever noticed when you walk into the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale, Illinios during the winter months you do not see many local vegetables being sold. The reason for that is it is difficult to grow a consistent and large enough crop here in the winter time. Many if not most farmers down here have not attempted to grow winter vegetables, for the most part, because of the challenges it brings. With the high tunnel grants that have recently been awarded, many farmers here in Southern Illinois have begun to extend their seasons. Hollow Pumpkin Farm is one of many farms that was awarded this grant and so we will have extra covered space to experiment with. It is still an experiment with many challenges ahead. Growing winter vegetables here in Southern Illinois, even with greenhouses, is tricky business and requires a bit more work than during our primary growing season. Timing, frosts, covers, heat, intensive mulch and bringing water to the green houses are but a few of the issues.
We have built our Winter/Spring section of our C.S.A. around these issues. Instead of a weekly distribution we will be distributing every other week but giving you a share that will have enough vegetables to cover the week in between the distribution week. Vegetables grow a bit slower in the winter, even in the greenhouse, so we left a weeks gap in between distributions to let the plants have more growth time. Many of the seasonal winter crops will be those that can be stored in your refrigerator for a period of time as well as cabbage which also stays well. (See Details and News page.) The bottom line will be that this first year will be an experiment and we will make any necessary adjustments for the following years to come.
What it means for Southern Illinois is that we will finally be seeing local seasonal produce in the winter. We wish all the farms and farmers, down here, lots of success in their winter production and season extension, and happy eating to all during the winter months!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Transplanting: The next step

At this time of year, Steve seems like he is constantly seeding and transplanting seedlings, probably because he is. Transplanting is the next step in starting plants from seeds. Steve takes the small seedlings that he planted and nurtured out of the recycled sterilized cream cheese containers before they become root bound and too tall and transplants them, one at a time, into sectioned trays. He keeps these inside our small side greenhouse that he keeps warm with a wood burning stove. When they get big enough he will put the trays outside, as I wrote in our last blog, to get used to the weather prior to planting them in the ground. The temperature that you need to keep the seedlings at will vary depending on the type of plant you are growing. if the temperature is too high or too low the plants will stop growing and/or perhaps damp off (die). Tomatoes and peppers like more heat around 70 degrees F to 85 degrees F. Celery likes it cooler around 68 to 70 degrees F. Even a few degrees make a huge difference so look up the germination tempurature of each plant prior to starting seeds. Steve keeps a close eye on the seedlings and adjusts the tempurature if it seems the seedlings are not growing or are damping off. It is a bit more difficult with using the woodburning method for heating than it would be with a controlled thermostat but that is what we have.
There are so many tasks to be done this time of year to prepare for the season. Ryan Campbell has been coming out once a week to help steve in getting all of those tasks done which included pruning all of our fruit trees, fixing and straightening fences, mending wooden crates, weeding the greenhouse, harvesting the over winter greens gathering wood and cleaning up areas of the farm to get ready for tilling. Steve will be opening up a field we have not used for a while this season. We will have more space to plant and more need for volunteers to come and lend a hand! We are so very greatful to Ryan for his generous donation of his time and his ongoing interest in the farm.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Your Future Veggies: How we start seeds

We are all excited about the 2011 C.S.A. season and there is nothing better than to wake up every morning and turn on the lights for the little seedlings Steve started. The photos are of the parsley and broccoli seedlings. As you can see, Steve starts the seeds indoors. He sterilizes the dirt and the containers (we recycle plastic cream cheese containers etc...) he plants the seeds and keeps them warm with a small fire in the wood stove until they start to come up then he moves them to a light source. We use a few fluorescent bulbs and some bricks to raise the seedlings closer to the light. They love it! He keeps them watered and waits until they are up enough to transplant to larger containers and ultimately they will be planted outside. Before he plants the seedlings outside he takes the containers and puts them on a table outside so the seedlings will get used to the wind and weather, in other words to toughen them up or make them hardy.

Steve demonstrated how to start seeds at the seed swap in Carbondale recently. People have been asking about the ratios in the potting soil he makes. Steve uses two parts soil, one part Perlite and one part sand. Remember to measure by volume and not by weight.

*Perlite can be found at Lowes.

These will hopefully be on your plates at some point this season. I, for one, am ready to be eating fresh local, organic vegetables and herbs...the fruit comes later folks!

We are keeping a good thought about this seasons weather. We have planted a large variety of produce this year so your bags will be filled with a bounty from Hollow Pumpkin Farm.