Though we have always followed the organic standards, we're pleased to announce that our three-year transition period has been completed, and all of our products are now certified organic!
The certification really changes nothing about our practices -- that transition period was due to an application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer before we bought the property, or we would have been certified from the start -- but it is a useful tool for quickly and simply communicating those practices to customers, especially in environments like the co-ops where we aren't present to answer questions in person.
In addition, by becoming certified, we're adding one more to the quantifiable number of farms that use organic practices. In much the same way that buying organic products sends a message to food producers and manufacturers, becoming certified organic sends a message to policy makers, researchers, and those who fund them that organic farming is important. We hope that as more people buy organic food and more farms become organically certified, the institutions that support agriculture will begin to spend more of their resources on creating and improving systems, seeds, equipment, financing, and regulation that is appropriate and useful for organic farms.
So, look for more of our products at the co-op with the shiny Vermont Organic Farmers logo alongside our own!
Well, the main season for 2014 is drawing to a close. This is the last week of summer CSA and the final outdoor market will be this weekend. We want to give a huge thank you to all of our supporters this year!
We were really pleased to be able to expand our workplace CSA program this season and bring our veggies to a bunch of new people. And of course, we love to see the same names and faces from year to year – some of our farm pick-up members have been with us since our first CSA season, when we had less than a dozen members and were working just an acre of leased land. Special thanks to the folks who donated to our Farm Share fund and helped make our CSA available to a member who wouldn't otherwise be able to take part. This was a really strong market year for us as well, and it's been satisfying to learn more of our market regulars' names and preferences.
After this week, there is a break in CSA for a week before the Stick Season share starts up on November 4, and the farmers' market will move indoors to Mary Hogan school starting November 1. We're still weighing our options with regard to the winter market – it's a great little market, and we love being a part of it, but with a baby coming soon it seems like a little extra down time wouldn't be amiss. We'll keep you posted!
Ok, now things are starting to slow down a little. The large part of the storage crops have been brought in, and everything tender in the field has been frosted. It's definitely not over yet, though - the crew spent the whole day processing Brussels sprouts today, and the broccoli is just starting to come in. This week the greenhouse got switched over from summer (tomatoes and eggplants) to winter (spinach, arugula, radishes, and salad turnips). Any tomatoes with a hint of blush have been put into the barn to ripen over the next few weeks; they won't be August tomatoes, by any means, but they'll be as good as what you can get in the store.
This has been a great potato year for us! Last year we ran short on potatoes before the end of our winter CSA, and so this year we planted quite a lot more. In addition, a few varieties we tried for the first time this year did particularly well, doubling or nearly tripling the yield per acre that we had expected. In fact, they did so well that we're facing the challenge of where to put them all! The potato cooler is already stacked nearly to the gills with about 6,500 pounds of potatoes, and more still in the field. We've been exploring some wholesale options and, at least, we are in no danger of running out.
If you're interested in stocking up on potatoes for the winter, let us know!
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