box 18-October 20

by jennifer on October 20, 2011

Tuesday late afternoon…Jim is out on the tractor working in another round of cover crop that Veronica has tossed out. Julia and Lauren are dismantling the tomato trellis so that we may till in the blighted, frost damaged vines. Isaac is flame weeding the garlic that we planted a few weeks ago and Jonathon is on the Super A tractor cultivating the strawberries one last time. We are happy to complete most of these fall tasks in fabulous autumn sunshine, rather than the usual rainy conditions. The nightly frosts have created certain finality here at the farm. Clearly there will be no more tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and the like. From now on we will turn to the fall/winter section of all of our cookbooks and get in the mood for hearty soups, oven root roasts, and casseroles.Wednesday morning…. This is the last CSA box for the 2010 season. So sad, I know. For us it is bittersweet. We, too, mourn the loss of all the tasty summer morsels and a wider diversity in our diet. On the flip side we look forward to a few days off -together- and some time to reflect and ruminate over the season. For those of you who say “bring it on!” when the heartier fall veggies are mentioned, we still have some slots for the extended fall CSA; four more weeks of leeks, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, kale, and a whole host of other cool weather crops. Send in the registration form we have included with your box today. The first box will be Saturday the 30th or Sunday the 31st, depending on the day you chose.Jim and I would like to sincerely thank you for choosing our CSA this year. We hope you have been satisfied and will join us again for next season. It was the toughest growing season we have ever faced, yet in the end we were able to crank out an astonishing amount of tasty food. It was a humbling and eye opening season, reminding us that we can plan all we want, but in the end we have to be able to change and adapt to navigate the hand we have been dealt. A wide array of crops, multiple varieties of each, and lots of succession plantings helped make it so there was always a good mix of produce in your boxes. We have taken lots of field walks together, clip board in hand, brainstorming new and better ways to do things to try to be prepared for any sort of weather. I am already excited for next year.In planning for next year, we always welcome your feedback. Many changes we have made over the years stem from your opinions, comments, and suggestions. Though I didn’t devise a formal survey this year, I hope you will take a moment to give us feedback about what you liked, didn’t, or other suggestions.In your box today is a sign up form for the 2011 CSA, as well as the fall CSA for 2010. We highly encourage you to sign up now to save yourself a spot. A $50 deposit is all we need for now. The economy such as it is, we have found that many folks are feeling the pinch and budgeting for a CSA sometimes feels like a challenge. Many of our members have chosen to make smaller payments over a longer period of time in order to make it better work for them. You may want to set up a monthly auto-pay situation with your bank. Remember, going the CSA route saves you money in the end, as you get a substantial discount over market prices. And you are not only buying food, you are supporting responsible agriculture, strengthening the local economy, and investing in your own good health.We have several new pick up options for 2011:-Wednesday: all the same pick-up locations in Olympia (though the NRB is not guaranteed as of yet)-We are adding the option of pick-up at the Olympia Farmers Market on Thursday, Saturday, and SundayThe CSA aspect of our business is a very important one on a practical and personal level. Your early pre-season payments buys our seed & fertilizer and pays our early spring workers . You help get this whole ball rolling. We don’t usually see any money from Farmers Markets or store/restaurant sales until June-or later.On a personal level your early commitment makes us feel respected and trusted. The fact that you give money months before seeing a single (long awaited) carrot or pea is a testament to true Community Supported Agriculture.  Many farms across this country are forced to take out operating loans from a bank in the spring to cover their initial costs. We have the great fortune to avoid all of that and engage directly with you, future eaters of all this great produce.Please tell your friends, family, and co-workers about us and direct them to our website www.risingriverfarm.com for more info and a registration form.  Word of mouth is by far the best advertising. We could blanket Olympia with several trees worth of brochures and flyers, but your personal experience is by far more compelling (and sustainable!)ATTN NRB FOLKS: More than likely the method for choosing the 3 farms that can deliver to the NRB will be the same. Please encourage your co-workers to “vote” for us when the information day/trade show happens. We wish to continue to deliver to the NRB. Also let the Health and Wellness coordinators know your farm preference.Finally, Jim and I would like to acknowledge our fabulous crew. We could not do this alone. It takes quite a few hands to keep us from being taken over by weeds and to crank out all the beautiful and tasty produce that we do. Thank you Rigo, Rita, Isaac, Jonathon, Leah, Veronica, Julia, Lauren, Andrew, Jackie, Samantha, Sam, and Greg.What’s in the box:-Carrots-Beets or chard-Leeks-Kale-Delicata-Yellow onion-Red onion-Red cipollini onion-Shallot-Parsnips-A sweet and earthy root that looks like a carrot. Wonderful in soups, roasted with other root veggies, or made into “parsnip fries”.-Fennel-Potatoes

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