Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2010: Newsletter and CSA Info

Yes, strange as it seems the fairer season is only seventeen days off. I almost can't remember the trees in their clothes. Their gnarled, naked bodies are getting old. But soon enough they'll be donning their budded underthings and somehow be reborn. Full-on green-garbed modesty will usher in summer and these wet, white fields will be a distant memory. Interesting how the seasons facilitate forgetfulness, and help us get on with our lives. I appreciate the changes after my time in Washington state, where the seasons are pared down to two: the wet, dark one and the too-short dry one. This winter may have been a long one in here in North Carolina, but we have so much to look forward to.

Not the least of which is home-grown goodness! Our greenhouse is growing more lush by the day. The broccoli is already dwarving the four-inch pots they’ve been transplanted into. We got a little overexcited and planted them a bit early back in January. They’re eagerly awaiting their day outside the plastic.

It looks as though we may have the window we need to plant outside by Sunday or Monday if the ground has a chance to dry out. Onions, leeks, kale, beets and some hardier greens will be planted out, followed by a few peach, plum and fig trees later in the week. Lettuces will go out around late-March under row covers to keep temperatures up a bit at night and deter deer.
I had the chance this past weekend to work some of the beds that will soon be planted, incorporating lime, Harmony fertilizer and compost with our BCS walking tractor. It is a wonderfully versatile contraption, great for intensively working smaller plots. The planting beds are getting nice and fluffy.

The barn is coming along nicely as well. The siding, roof and insulation are installed. In addition, we are now heating our house and greenhouse with wood, as the water stove is up and running. Moreover, the well is irrigating our greenhouse, so I now have time to do other things besides water plants. Like plan for our first CSA…

I suppose you all are wondering what our CSA will be. First off, we will have 20 families (or individuals) sign up for the program. After the initial 20 members confirm their membership a waiting list will be formed. Those topping the list will be given an opportunity to sign up if another member withdraws. Here’s what a subscriber can expect to enjoy:

• 22 weeks of fresh, naturally grown vegetables and herbs grown here, by us for you. The season will run from the week of Mother’s Day (May 9th) to the first week of October.
• The weight of the weekly basket will be between 4-8 Lbs depending on the season.
• The opportunity to help out and learn basic skills on the farm (if so
• A contribution to the local community and ecosystem by supporting a (near) carbon-neutral, low-waste and chemical-free food production system. The health of our water and soil is of utmost importance to us.
• Close proximity to Winston-Salem. We are 3 miles Northwest of Winston-Salem off Reynolda Rd. Scheduled visits are welcome.
• An annual member farm tour/barbeque.
• The peace of mind of knowing the source of your family’s food.

We have valued the above benefits at $650, to be paid upfront. (This works out to less than $30 per week.) Payment received prior to the harvest season ensures your place as a member and ensures we have the resources we need to provide you with the most vibrant and varied produce possible. Please contact me to see the latest 2010 Harvest Calendar.
Harmony Ridge will also offer a ‘Plus’ program. ‘Plus’ members will receive all of the above listed benefits in addition to the following:

• Locally sourced (really) free-range, vegetarian-fed eggs
• Locally sourced pesticide-free honey
• Locally sourced, seasonally available fruits and berries. All fruits will be as naturally grown as we can find.
• Potted herbs for trying on your greenthumbs at home.

We have priced the “CSA Plus” at $875. The added cost of the “Plus” program figures in the logistics of sourcing, including the time we spend picking fruit and traveling to acquire these goodies.

To assure your place in our CSA please email me at or call 336.922.5611 to arrange payment. You are welcome to see our operation before signing on.
A few more notes on the CSA deliveries. We will set our weekly drop-off locations once we know where our members are located. The two delivery locales will be strategically placed to ensure convenience for each member. Members will also have the option of picking up their produce at the farm in Tobaccoville. Those located outside the immediate Winston-Salem area will, however, be asked to travel to one of our drop-off spots. If you cannot meet on a delivery date, please arrange to have your share collected, otherwise we will donate it.

I’m sure there are some details I left out. Please direct any questions to me, Isaac.

Thank you all for your support. We are tremendously grateful for this opportunity to serve our community.