Monday, May 30, 2011
Hello to all of our C.S.A. members. The time has finally arrived! We will begin the 2011 C.S.A. distribution this week, on Wednesday June 1st from 4pm to 6pm at the Neighborbhood Co-op Grocery in the Murdale shopping center in Carbondale, IL. The wet sunless weather, that we have had for quite some time, has slowed some of the growth. However, as usual, farmer Steve has done a fabulous job of keeping the plants in good shape.
Our list of items that our members will find in their share bags this week is:
Garlic scapes, Green onions, Salad mix, Romaine lettuce, Rhubarb, Carrots, Oregano and Lemon balm.
Steve had told me that, soon, we will have Beets, Summer squash and dill to add to the share bags. It is hard to know what to plant and when to plant when the weather goes from cold and wet right to scorching hot. The plants get confused and so, In the cooler weather we planted broccoli and cauliflower...unfortunately due to the profuse rain they did not size enough to make it through and now the heat will take it's toll on them as well. We hope to have them for the cold crop shares.
The farm is looking good. Steve has begun to bushhog the whole place. The new greenhouse has shaped up and the summer plants are happy!
Thank you, Lisa Thomas, for the beautiful pictures you took at our annual gathering. Thank you to Betsy Herman and Cliff Connolly, who came out and volunteered to help.
Please check out the recipe page for a brand new rhubarb recipe!
Monday, May 16, 2011
We have many new members, and so we imparted some information about this season. We will, most likely begin our distribution on June first as usual. However, because of the wet and cool weather we will probably be working on a bell curve this season and begin with a lighter share bag
We do not use boxes to distribute our shares. We use reusable bags and our members rotate bags each week. We reminded the members who attended the gathering that in order for this system to work they must bring their empty bag with them, beginning with the second delivery, in order for them to pick up their full bag. Distribution will be at the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale in the Murdale shopping center, this season, every Wednesday between 4pm and 6pm. We thank Francis Murphy and the Neighborhood Co-op for graciously letting us use their space and cooler.
The beginning of the season members gathering is a casual gathering that allows the members to see the farm, if they have not done so already, meet some of their fellow members, ask questions and share a dish of food with everyone. Good food was certainly what we had and we would like to thank everyone who attended for making such yummy dishes. We also like to invite the folks who have helped on the farm so that our members can meet the people who are responsible for helping us get the farm/C.S.A. up and running each season. This year Phil Mendenhall showed up with his wife Vikki. They run a farm down the road from us and yet Phil has been out to the farm a number of times to help with the green house. Now that is community at it's best!
We also invited Mike Hatfield, his wife, Jessica , Orlan Mays and his wife Chastity to come out as well. Mike and Orlan are part of the Food Works Network and they are new farmers. Mike has a farm called Flyway Farm in Makanda, Illinois and Orlan is running and tending a community garden in Attucks Park in Carbondale Illinois. Farmer Steve has taken on a mentoring position in order to assist with Mike and Orlan's growth as farmers. We are constantly impressed with the skill and talent that both Mike and Orlan already bring with them.
During the coarse of the gathering a good question came up which was: "What will we do if the price of gas goes up above five or six dollars per gallon?" My first response was to say that we will cry. On a more serious note, one of the reasons for having a centralized distribution point is to use less gas. The other fear, I'm sure, of members in our C.S.A. is will we have to raise prices. Hollow Pumpkin Farm is trying to keep our prices as low as possible. We know that food prices have gone up all over the country and in our regular grocery stores. If you figure it out, Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A.'s produce is being brought to it's members for less than grocery store prices at this time. We will try to continue to do so for as long as we can.
One of the purposes of a C.S.A. is to have that community of members who may be interested in helping to keep the costs down. (example: Donating some time in the field with the farmer so that the farmer does not have the payroll expense.)
On a less serious note - I had a small window of opportunity to snap some photos of some of our new members and some who have been with us from the start. Thank You, everyone, who came out to the farm
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Well, much has happened over the past few weeks. Tornadoes and rain, rain, rain to name a few. Last year was a drought this spring brings an over abundance of water. Just goes to show you that nothing in farming is for sure folks. Steve said it has been a long time since we have seen a frost in May, and yet, we saw the past two nights bring us early morning frost. So, it looks like we are in for another challenging season.
Today, our friend Sarah Tezak out on the farm. She volunteered to work with Steve and work they did. Mulching the asparagus was the main focus today. Steve ran out and got a huge round bale of hay early this morning. Steve is hoeing and tilling the ground...loosening it up after the large amounts of rain which turns the soil into "Cement." So far the strawberries, lettuce and rhubarb are hanging in there. The green onions are abundant.
We want to thank Sarah for graciously giving her time to us to help on the farm. She brings a gentle grace to field work and we love her.
Just a note: We are having our beginning of the season Members Gathering on Sunday May 15th. It will begin at 3:30pm and it will be a pot luck. Please contact us to R.S.V.P and let us know if you will be attending. You may find directions on the info. section of our facebook page: www.facebook.com/hollowpumpkincsa, or you may email us at email@example.com
We hope all of our members will try to come...it is a time to meet your fellow members, see the farm and have good food, drink and conversation. It is also a great time to ask farmer Steve questions - so mark it on your calender.