2016 Season

Hello Everybody!

week 3

It is almost unbelievable that we will soon be entering into the 2016 season! Many of you might think that since our main CSA season begins in June that we have a long time before we have to start thinking about it, but we are already hard at work.

Crop planning has begun for next year’s bounty and our first crops will be started in January. That means we have to order the seeds in about 2 weeks!

Along with seeds we are buying many of the supplies we will need to grow great food all year long including compost, organic fertilizer, potting mix, irrigation parts, fuel, tools, hardware, and row covers.

On top of these supplies we have to pay for our organic certification and are working on several large farm improvements that add significantly to our expenses. You may be sensing a trend.

The trend is that we are spending lots of money during the time of year when we have little income. We will always do what we can to even out our income and expenses, but still the peaks and valleys remain.

Simply put, the money all goes out at the beginning of the year and then comes back slowly throughout the year. So we have to make sure we have enough seed and supply money to kickstart the season as well as some dollars to live on until income picks up again.

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This is where you come in (our CSA member). By paying upfront early you carry us through the low income/high expense period at the beginning of the year.

We love growing produce for you and we love giving you a really good discount. We love producing high quality organic produce for a great community of veggie lovers.

But this relationship is both beautiful and practical. We do our job and you have to do yours (which is pay us as early as you possibly can).

This helps us offset some of the early expenses and ensures a more bountiful season for all.

We will begin accepting CSA sign-ups for our 2016 Season on January 1st!

Write that on your calendar or make it a part of your New Year’s resolution.  Our website will be updated and ready for you on New Year’s Day, so don’t hesitate to sign up early!

We greatly appreciate your support. Let’s make this the best CSA season yet!

With gratitude,

Jeremy and Ashli

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Project Season

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Dear Friends,

We hope that you are having a joyous holiday season, enjoying time spent with loved ones and plenty of delicious food! Jeremy and I actually got to take FIVE DAYS OFF (!!!!!!!!!!) over Thanksgiving. We had a delightful time in Portland with my family and are consequently all energized for what is shaping up to be an exciting winter.

It is now project season at Excelsior Farm. We have been looking forward to this time of year for quite awhile, and after months of harvesting, washing, packing, and selling produce we can now attend to some other farm business! Since the main growing season is over for us (we’re not focusing on winter production very much at all this year) we can sink our teeth into a number of projects that we’ve had lined up, such as this beautiful Propagation Station.

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Ashli’s little bit of heaven

You’ve seen hundreds of pounds of produce come out of our farm. Well, each vegetable started as a little seed, and a fair amount of our vegetable seeds are sown into flats to be transplanted. Considering that these transplants are the foundation of our farm (we are VEGGIE farmers, after all, and those veggies have to come from somewhere!), where and how we we start our plants is really, really important. At least, so we learned. After starting tens of thousands of trays in the barn on makeshift tables, always trying to work around other piled up projects and never having enough space, my great vision for the coming season was to have a dedicated propagation space. If not for the reasons mentioned above (that whole “foundation of the farm” thing), then for my own mental health. So Jeremy and I designed this lovely workspace, where everything has a place and a consistent work flow is possible. I’m smitten.

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Our earliest garlic variety is already popping up nicely

On the theme of propagation, Jeremy is also working to convert one of our small hoop houses into a dedicated Propagation House for keeping the trays of little plants all safe and cozy while they grow. We learned the hard way this year that we can’t skimp when it comes to starts; if we’re going to have vegetables to harvest and sell at all, then our seedlings need premium care.

If you haven’t noticed, our projects are generally on the theme of maximizing efficiency so that we can continue turning out quality vegetables with as little unnecessary work as possible. We’ll always work hard, but we also need to work smart. Our propagation systems have been big weak spots for us, and frustrating to boot, so we’re putting a lot of effort into smoothing them out now to save ourselves a lot of work and heartache later.

All of this, and so much more, happing on the farm right now! Stay tuned for even more fun projects as the winter progresses.

Pregnancy update: I’m already just three months away from my due date! We had a wonderful ultrasound last week, and we both are so grateful to have a healthy wee person in there, coming along just fine. What fun to get a sneak peek!

We continue to wish you well, whatever the weather (we’ve had quite the sampling of cold, warm, wet, and dry over the past couple of weeks!)

Best,

Ashli and Jeremy

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We went out with a bang at our final farmer’s market