Fall and winter news

The kids helped to unload hundreds of native trees from our box truck this weekend.

The kids helped to unload hundreds of native trees from our box truck this weekend.

Here we are, at the tail end of one growing season, and so much of my mind is occupied still with planning ahead. Eleven years into this farming gig, and I am still surprised by this part of it. At least, when operating a very long season CSA, it does feel like we rarely pause or breathe in completely.

This fall is feeling especially full. We have a lot going on, both ON the farm and OFF. Choir songs to learn. Kids to teach. Cabbage to harvest. More apples to pick (we did pick a macro bin full of Goldrush this weekend though!).

The kids were so excited about the trees that we each planted one as soon as they were unloaded!

The kids were so excited about the trees that we each planted one as soon as they were unloaded!

To add to that list, we also picked up hundred of native trees this weekend (a generous gift from a neighbor landowner on the island), which we will plant through the fall and winter on my parents’ lowest acreage. These acres make an awkward little triangle shaped field that has been difficult to farm over the years because of its size and its tendency to flood in the winter (and once even in June!). After scratching our heads on how best to manage it for years, we decided to return to our naturalist roots and plant a mini forest there. We think that the vegetation will help prevent erosion (we’ve always had it cover cropped in the winter, which also works well) and provide habitat for wildlife (and wildlife is Rusty and Dottie’s #1 passion these days). So, we will be digging a lot of holes this fall and winter, and we are excited to watch the forest take shape.

Also, this fall, we are hosting our final CSA open house of the year! See more new on that below. And, we’ll be doing our 2017 CSA sign-ups! (More on that below too!) And Holiday Harvests! (Yes, more news on that below too!)

Busy busy. And it’s all good. It’s all so much growth and bounty. This season brings so many jewels of experience — food, final days of playing in the sun, golden sunlight. And also apparently some big rain and wind (so say the weather forecasts for this weekend!).

We hope you will join us for some of this coming fall fun … and more deliciousness in 2017 as well!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

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Fall pumpkin patch open house! Join us between 2-4 pm on Sunday, October 23! We will have pumpkins for you (sadly this year’s jack-o-lanterns have yet to ripen, but we have lots of pie pumpkins!), snacks, and trees to plant if you would like to help us start the forest! We thought that would be a fun activity for everyone. And, if you’ve never had the pleasure of digging in Grand Island soil, you’re in for a treat. It’s easy peasy.

Directions to the farm: From HWY-18, take the Dayton exit. Drive straight through Dayton and head south on Wallace Rd/HWY-221 for about seven miles. Turn LEFT onto Grand Island Rd. After the bridge, turn RIGHT at the first intersection, onto SE Upper Island Rd. Our driveway is the first on your LEFT. We’ll gather on our covered porch behind our house, which is the 2-story brown one to the back-right. If you get lost or have questions, call me at 503-474-7661.

~ ~ ~

Sign up for 2017! We’re officially taking sign-ups for our 2017 CSA season! You can find all the details and sign up now HERE. You can also sign up at pick-up.

The season will run from February 16 to November 16, for a total of 40 weeks. This is a slight reduction in the length of the season — after operating our CSA almost year-round for a decade, we realize that the farm and our family really need more of a true winter season to allow for more farm maintenance, building/improvement projects, family travel, and deeper rest (emphasis on the first two items on this list, but the latter two will be important too!).

Otherwise, the CSA continues in its current awesome-ness! We’ll be at pick-up on Thursdays 2-7 pm at the same great storefront. The weekly price remains the same too (but the total is lower because of the shorter season)! We are excited to provide our community with another fabulous year of fresh, seasonal, certified organic fruits and vegetables!

~ ~ ~

Fall Holiday Harvests are coming too! Put these dates on your calendar now:

  • 3-5 pm, Tuesday, November 22
  • 3-5 pm, Tuesday, December 20

Those are days when we will meet folks at the storefront to deliver pre-ordered vegetables. We offer this opportunity every year as a way to supply folks with produce for their holiday meals (Thanksgiving and Christmas, respectively) and/or to stock up during the CSA break. We’ll put the Thanksgiving holiday harvest list in the last CSA newsletter and email the Christmas list a few days in advance!

~ ~ ~

Now, finally, it’s time to …

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Delicata winter squash
  • Sweet peppers
  • Juliet tomatoes
  • Kohlrabi and Cabbage — Over the years, it’s been amazing to watch the general shift in people’s appreciation of different vegetables. For example, when we first started the CSA, kale was an oddity that we had to really sell to folks at market and the CSA. But now it feels like an absolutely essential staple to many people’s diets! Now, I think kohlrabi is making that shift. It may never reach “staple” status, but it is becoming well beloved. Our favorite way to eat it is raw. We peel it coarsely with a paring knife and then either slice up to use as a crudité (yummy with dips!) or chop fine and make a cole slaw type salad. It’s also amazing fermented like sauerkraut — on its own or alongside other fermentable veggies like carrots and cabbage.
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes

And this week’s extra goodies from the farm:

  • Ground beef — The last beef from our farm for the foreseeable future! $10/lb
  • Beef organs/bones — $6/lb
  • Lamb — Also the last lamb from our farm for the foreseeable future! Chops are $14/lb; roasts are $12/lb; ground lamb is $10/lb; organs and bones are $6/lb.
  • Eggs — Very limited supply!
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