Dear CSA members and regular customers – HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
I thought I’d take a moment on this precious morning off and catch up with each of you about the farm, your shares, and the future.
I want to start by thanking each and every one of you for your patience and kindness this year. Losing Bob to his recovery process has left me a little off-center, and this is not a familiar or comfortable place for me to sit. It’s so bad, I can’t even fake being on top of things. Please keep sending emails with reminder and questions. I’m going with the expectation that I’ll gain my sea legs sooner rather than later.
Then, there are my chicken issues. Man, those girls! We’ve gotten on top of the predators and the molting seems to be coming to an end. Production is up. We have 10 new chicks in their little castle on the back deck. Another 300 pounds of organic feed arrives on Monday – ca-ching! Once production exceeds those currently paying for eggs in their shares, I’ll let others know so they might add them to their weekly allotment.
We are pretty much keeping up with the schedule as described here. Two crops did not germinate very well: corn and watermelon. The corn fell victim to some contaminated compost we had delivered in March - this despite flame weeding the bed 3 times. We finally gave in and just covered the bed with black plastic and set our sights on what is working. Not sure what happened to the watermelon, but suspect it was just bad seed – happens sometimes. We work with 2 other micro-farms in Hapers Ferry and expect they will help fill in these gaps.
We’ve got a gabillion tomatoes out there, and some of you have gotten the first few ripe ones. If the sun could shine for more than 90-minutes at a time we’d all be swimming in red!
We’ve added about 30 new shiitake logs this year and hope to begin seeing better production this fall and next spring. The winters have killed about 20 of our original inoculants.
Our new beehive is abuzz with healthy activity. We will not be offering honey this year in an attempt to give them everything they need to winter-over. Send them your love!
About Your Shares & Orders
We fill between 5-10 shares and orders each day, Tuesday through Sunday. Rarely are 2 exactly the same. Because I know most of you, I am customizing your share. Then, we have small crops of specialty items that only allow for a few to get some each day. Everyone gets some of each crop, but sometimes this happens over the course of a month. For these 2 reasons, your share may not exactly match the email I send out detailing the contents.
Order customers usually make our life much easier by adding to our weekly cash flow, and (more importantly) help us move product without the stress and strain of going to farmers’ markets (which is how Bob busted his gut). Thank you so much for participating in the life of Stony Ridge Farm!
We plan to run the CSA through Labor Day Weekend. Then, we will move to nearly 100% orders generated from the newsletter. If you know you are too busy to deal with the newsletter, drop me a line and we can work out shares that run in 4-week increments. This will help us not over-promise while we see how harsh the fall weather becomes.
The farm stand will be open irregularly as we assess its efficacy. Time is precious, but breaks are pleasant. So, low key this year as we figure this one out.
We grow produce on 1 acre of land using hand tools and no agro-chemicals. This method feeds 40 households every week, May-September, and about 20/week in March, April and October. Bob and I eat fresh vegetables all year long. I work full time, Jessica works 20 hours/week, and Bob works about 15 hours/week these days.
I think this is miraculous!
Financially, we’ll break even this year. That’s ok because I invested heavily in tools this spring. We also rented a front loader to help move compost and mulch around the property in March. We’ll do this again in August. We really have no serious interest in owning farm equipment, but also need to create systems that are easier on the body. Renting and borrowing from neighbors seems to be a nice alternative to that expense. If you have a bush hog and would like to mow our pasture in August, please contact Lorrie.
So, thanks again! It’s pretty obvious we can’t do this without you!
In health and pleasure,