It has been a long and quick two months since last I wrote you. Indeed, long and quick, with plenty of other paradoxical adjectives along the way. We have taken time to regroup, time for our family and time for a few home improvement projects, numerous sunny snowy and woodsy walks, and even a few hours here and there to connect with old friends in and out of town. And we have not slept in once (thank you, Sam). These, of course, were the hours that passed by so quickly.
The other hours, hours of office and computer work, drawing up a financial plan, a marketing plan, harvest projections, a garden plan, a field work plan, a greenhouse plan, a seed order – these hours are only slightly longer. Dreaming up our Farm Vision, both short and long term, is always a joy, and each of these plans helps us take steps towards achieving that Vision. When we keep our Vision in mind, we are blessed to always find ourselves engaged in meaningful work, even while toiling on the smallest and most mundane of our tasks, even in seemingly endless drawing and re-drawing of plans, even when we're indoors and on the computer more, and later at night, than we'd prefer, and even when running through our bookkeeping to get it ready for tax season.
Many upcoming hours will be spent out of doors, breathing in the cold cold air, working hard to keep our fingers and toes warm. We've found a more secure leasehold on better land, to help us transition to our eventual life-long land and more sustainable business size. Because, let's face it, income at 130% of poverty level is pretty gosh darn low. We're incredibly excited to now have access to 10 acres of prime agricultural land, along with running water and electricity for our seedling greenhouse!
The longest, and hardest, hours of the past two months have been in pursuit of a long term asset to our Farm Vision – secure land tenure. We have been on quite the roller coaster, with some of the highest highs and steepest drops I've ever experienced. I've held off on writing this newsletter since mid-December, thinking that things will settle down and I'll be able to write something concrete and exciting, but alas, 'tis not to be.
In mid-December, Jon and I found a property we loved immediately – plenty of arable land, lovely big stream running through, barns, and potential future house site. We put in a bid, almost signed a contract, but it ended up slipping through our fingers.
But I also experience hope – hope that beautiful, arable land is out there (if not yet for sale), in close proximity to Hudson. And, hope that funders or investors or government agencies or someone out there will work with us as our business becomes more and more sustainable economically. And, that we will all prosper under the bounty of vegetables this coming season, as Jon and I move to that lovely 10 acre parcel with a three year lease and a seedling greenhouse already set up with electricity, running water and a heater that does not require stocking it with wood at an unbearable hour of the night for all of March and April (!). It may be a temporary step, but it is a helpful transitional step, as we continue our journey towards our ultimate Farm Vision.
You may find our current commitment forms on our website, www.lineagefarmcsa.com/signup/. If you cannot access our website (technical difficulties abound), please email us for the forms – firstname.lastname@example.org. We're in the process of moving our website and adding meat and egg shares from other farms, plus online payment options, so stay posted!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year, Your Farmers Jen, Jon, and baby Sam
week twenty three (4pm start in Poughkeepsie this week)
This Week's Harvest:
Potatoes (sweet or white), Carrots, Rutabagas, Napa Cabbage, Daikon Radishes, Kale, Collards, Tat Soi, Spionach, Mustard Greens, Herbs and more!
Dear CSA Members, Neighbors, Friends, Family, Thank you, everyone, for sending your warm thoughts and condolences as my little family traveled down to Virginia to mourn the passing of my grandfather with my larger family. The funeral service felt just right to me, held outdoors at the cemetery in the small town where my grandparents grew up and lived, where they went to church and raised their family, from which my grandfather left for the War, and where my grandmother walked around town to invite people to their wedding after he returned safe and sound from that War. If I could speak with him one more time, I would want to thank him for bringing together so many family members I had not seen in too long, and had thought not to see for too long again.
Things are slowing down in the garden. We are hanging up the irrigation hoses, reeling up the fences, and bringing in the last of the harvests this week. We will be putting new plastic on the seedling greenhouse, replacing the yellowing, ripped four year old plastic. I just placed our order for 4 yards of compost-based potting soil for next season's seedlings. We are re-introducing ourselves to Excel spreadsheets, working up a plan for next season's garden. And we are looking forward to having time to paint the kitchen!
Don't forget to pick up your honey, if you ordered it. There will be an envelope present at all sites, where you can leave payment.
And remember to sign up for next season by November 30th in order to get an extra week of veggies next year! Here are the signup sheets:
2. Melt butter; toss with bread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden.
3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek; cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring well. Add celeriac and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
4. Place half of mixture in blender. Remove center piece of blender lid, and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth. Strain pureed mixture through a sieve over a bowl if you like; discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining celeriac mixture.
5. Return soup to pan over medium heat; stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve with croutons. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
By Irving Browne
A BABY lying on his mother’s breast Draws life from that sweet fount; He takes his rest And heaves deep sighs; With brooding eyes 5 Of soft content She shelters him within that fragrant nest, And scarce refrains from crushing him With tender violence, His rosebud mouth, each rosy limb 10 Excite such joy intense; Rocked on that gentle billow, She sings into his ear A song that angels stoop to hear. Blest child and mother doubly blest! 15 Such his first pillow.
A man outwearied with the world’s mad race His mother seeks again; His furrowed face, His tired gray head, 20 His heart of lead Resigned he yields; She covers him in some secluded place, And kindly heals the earthy scar Of spade with snow and flowers, 25 While glow of sun and gleam of star, And murmuring rush of showers, And wind-obeying willow Attend his unbroken sleep; In this repose secure and deep, 30 Forgotten save by One, he leaves no trace. Such his last pillow.