Thursday, July 2, 2015

"A Year Of Blooms" - What's Inside the CSA Calendar & Resource Guide?

Is it really July already!?  Time to turn another page in the calendar…the 2015 HVF CSA Calendar that is!  Our new calendars are finally here and have been at your sites for the past few weeks now.  If you haven’t had a chance to pick one up yet, we’d like to encourage you to do so.  Our hope is that you’ll enjoy the beauty of this calendar, but also consider this calendar to be part of your connection to your farm and an important resource guide.  If you are thinking…. “I really don’t need another calendar to hang on the wall,” I’d like to mention that this calendar is more than just pretty pictures and dates to hang on your wall.  It is actually a very useful tool to guide you through your CSA experience this season.   We had extras made, so feel free to take more than one per household if you’d like to have them in more than one location.  Read on to find out what’s inside!
Our CSA calendar is our way of connecting you to our farm throughout the entire year.  Yes, there are pretty pictures to look at each month and hopefully you’ll enjoy the theme of this year’s calendar-- “A Year of Blooms.” Throughout the season we captured pictures of different flowers in bloom.  Some of them are from fruits or vegetables and others are wildflowers.   Our hope is that you’ll keep this calendar handy and hang it in a convenient place where you can enjoy its beauty, but also refer to it regularly.  Beyond the pretty pictures, you’ll find that our calendar has been customized to include our delivery schedule.  If you’re a little unclear about all this ‘Green Week’/ ‘Brown Week’ business, refer to your calendar.  We’ve laid out the entire delivery season complete with color coding for the different delivery weeks.  You can even go a step further and mark your specific delivery dates on your calendar.  We also highlight that time of year when our delivery schedule changes a little bit around the holidays.  This can be a tricky time to remember when you are supposed to pick up your shares, so we encourage you to reference the calendar so you don’t miss out on anything!
Some of the most important and useful information in the calendar is in the very last pages.  If you flip to the back of the calendar, you’ll find all of the site locations including site hours and contact information.  If you need to contact your site host for some reason during the season, it can be very handy to just flip to the back of the calendar for this information.  You’ll also find one of Farmer Richard’s favorite pages in the calendar.  He admires the “Don’t Rip That Box!” page and hopes everyone will take a minute to review these important guidelines for breaking down the CSA boxes.  If the boxes stay at the site and are broken down properly, we will be able to reuse them again instead of having to throw it away after a single use.
Having a CSA calendar in your kitchen might be a handy idea, especially on delivery day when you’re putting away the contents of your shares.  Another important piece of information in the calendar is our “Storage Tips” section.  If you’re not quite sure how or where to store a particular item in your box, just flip to the back of the calendar and refer to the list of vegetables.  This list will answer most of your questions, but we’ve also provided a few recommended resources for storage information that you may find additionally helpful.
I hope you’re starting to see that this calendar really is more than just dates on the wall.  We actually consider it to be a CSA Resource Guide.  In the front of the calendar you’ll find important reminders about how you can make the most of your CSA experience.  Please take a moment to read this brief information so you are fully informed about the details of pickup day, how to use the Choice & Swap boxes, etc.  When everyone follows the guidelines we have smooth and successful pick up days and everyone leaves with the shares they signed up for!
Finally, we acknowledge that learning to eat “out of the box” is a transition and we want to remind you that you are not alone in this adventure.  Page 3 of the calendar and resource guide highlights a few resources you might find helpful to guide you as you learn about storing and preparing the different vegetables in your box from week to week.  It’s a good place to turn to if you’re stumped by a vegetable and looking for more information or places to turn to for recipes.
If you haven’t picked up your calendar yet, or you’d like another one, please look for them at your site this week.  We appreciate your support of our farm and hope you are enjoying  your seasonal eating adventure!
--Farmers Richard & Andrea, Capt. Jack The Dog, and the Entire HVF Crew

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