Summer CSA, Week 1

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Garlic Scapes!

  • Garlic Scapes
  • Salad Mix
  • Black Turtle Beans
  • Pink Beauty Radishes
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Onions
  • Dakota Black Popcorn
  • Potatoes- Variety TBD

Farm Happenings:

Welcome to the first week of the Summer CSA to all of our new and returning members.  The fields are filling up with happy, rapidly growing vegetables.  It’s looking like another great summer season is rising from the soil.

We have some news to report from our month off (since the end of the Winter CSA).   We’ve successfully built our new pole barn. For those of you who are joining us for the first time, we moved our farm from West Salem to Willamina this winter.  It has been a tremendous amount of work, including setting up new infrastructure like our propagation house, a pole barn, and setting up our new wash station (that’s coming next).  Not to mention moving all of the equipment and other material items that accumulate over the course of three farming seasons.

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Raising the barn trusses!

This month we also hired our first long-term employee, Eric, who will be working with us over the full course of this season.  Now that we are entering our fourth year as Osprey Farm, our farm is going through some growing pains as we transition from an operation that can be managed by just two people (Chloe and I) to one that requires a third set of hands.  Our hope is to soon be able to afford a full-time employee in order to keep the workload manageable for ourselves, especially in a season where we have to rebuild much of our infrastructure and redesign many of our systems for a new place with a new set of challenges.

When we began the CSA, three years ago, we were growing vegetables on an acre of land for about 25 families.  All we had was a borrowed truck, a couple of hand tools,  our past experience of working on organic vegetable farms, and a lot of energy.  Over the course of the last three seasons, we’ve been working to build something: A sustainable farm.  Not just environmentally sustainable, but also sustainable for the people (including ourselves) who make their living working there.

So this transition into being employers for the first time brings with it the challenges of paying a livable wage as well as that of managing the workload so that both employers and employees have time to rest and get rejuvenated—even during the busiest times of the year.   With the addition of our new employee, we have the chance of achieving a goal that we’ve had since the end of our first grueling season: going from working seven days a week, like we have for the past three years, to having at least one day off every week.

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Pepper and Tomatoes plants.

The problem is that we’re in an awkward stage where the farm doesn’t quite have enough income to afford full-time help, and in order to get to that point we need to grow our CSA.  And we need your help!

We’re going to try something new this year, which is to put on a promotional offering: A free share offering to anyone who would like to try out the CSA.  We’re calling it “Test Drive Our CSA” (nice and cheesy right?).

We need the help of all of you, our CSA members, to make this work, but we want to be able to offer something in return for your efforts.  So here’s what we’ve come up with:  If you refer someone to come get a free share at the CSA pick-up, you get a $10 market card.  That person has to email or call us to arrange a week to pick up their share,  and they have to actually show up .  If the person you referred makes it, you get a $10 market card to spend at our booth at the Salem Saturday Market or to use for extra items at the CSA.

In addition to that, if the person that you referred signs up for the CSA, we will give you a 10% discount on your CSA share for this summer season.  We’re really excited to offer this, because we’ve always wanted to give something in return to our members who take time out of their busy day to advocate for us.  Our goal for this season is to get 20 new  members before the end of the season.

We thank you all for your support this season, and we look forward to another great summer of vegetables!

Week 1 Newsletter - Winter 2014

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