Thursday, September 23, 2010

So far so good

It rained all night (4 inches), with more in the forecast.  The creek and river swelled up again.  The ground is just so saturated, the water runs down the hills and follows any valley or crevice it can, including low points in the fields.  I haven't had a chance to talk to Richard about how they look, but I'm hopeful that we didn't suffer much damage this time through.  I just spoke to Andrea and she's a little hopped up about the crew having to slog around in the mud to harvest what we can access.  No parsnips or celeriac today because we can't get across the river to them.

The last blog posting (fishing for compliments) worked almost exactly as planned.  Only one backfire - not a complaint about the CSA boxes, but a complaint about my complaint about CSA member complaints in the blog post.  Whew. 

But here's the good stuff, to keep it positive. I've shared these notes with everyone here at the farm - it did my heart good to see Richard's face light up as he read them,especially on such a dismal, wet day like today (a good day for listening to Mazzy Star and Leonard Cohen).

Subject line:  YOU ARE AWESOME!

Hello to all at Harmony Valley Farm CSA -
My family (including the dog) look forward to the bountiful boxes we receive every other week from your farm - and are always grateful for whatever is included.  So often people are motivated to criticize before appreciate - and this is unfortunate.  Well, we do appreciate everything you and your crew do - we also love the recipes.   After seeing the struggles you have faced this year - it is nothing short of a miracle that you have been able to fill the boxes week after week and year after year.  

We send you our respect, love and peace.

Subject line: nice things
Lill and I have been happy here in our third year with HVF. Highlights:

lots of edamame this year

lots of peppers

new things like lemongrass

choice items feel like surprise presents

the excitement at the pickup site where everyone's friendly and excited for their veggies and fruits

some great recipes to try with tips for new veggies

informative and polished columns in the newsletters

Thanks for all you do!

Subject line: love my farm!
I just had to write to offer my words of encouragement. I've been a member of the farm for 4 seasons. I took a break last year because I was unsure if I would still be living in the midwest following grad school and thus missed the boat on signing up with HVF. Let me say that this was the best possible way for me to realize HVF was the farm for me.
I must appreciate the time taken to send the most quality produce. To give me a variety of produce in each box, and enough to split a share between households which I have done each year I've shared a share. Working with another farm I was given a beet the size of a babies head as well as quantities of produce I was unable to split between households. 
I've appreciated the care the farm has taken to hire a chef each year who provides recipes that inspire me to use all of my vegetables.
Lastly I don't think my mother would have told you 15 years ago that I would like vegetables as much as I do today. I am a recovering picky eater who strives to like more foods. Without being a member of this CSA I wouldn't know how much I love summer squash or rhubarb. Nor any number of other vegetables and fruits I haven't eaten prior to joining the farm. 
So thank you. Thank you for inspiring me to try new foods. Thank you for growing good food. Thank you for providing me week after week with produce that I'm proud to cook into my meals and serve to my family and friends.

Subject line: You guys are awesome!
Hey Harmony Valley Folk,

I had your veggie share last summer and it was phenomenal! I recommend you to everyone because the quality and the variety of the vegetables was amazing. This summer I have the fruit share and it is also excellent. I think the mini peaches crisis from earlier this summer was blown way out of proportion and I definitely plan on continuing in the future. You guys do great work and I appreciate it! In fact, I'm sure the majority of people appreciate it but the grumpies are just more vocal. 

Chin up!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fishing Expedition

I need some fan letters so this here is a fishing expedition.

For perspective, I need to remember that we pack over 1,000 CSA boxes each week so a couple complaints shouldn't bother me so much. But boy are they vehement sometimes.

So if you are pleased with your farm and your CSA experience this season, if you understand the ebb and flow of a CSA season (and the differences you see season after season), if you are following along with our newsletters and our weather, and if you recognize the challenges your farmers face, please send me a note to share with Richard, Andrea and the crew. We could use your positive energy!
CSA (at) harmonyvalleyfarm (dot) com

Thank you for your support, from the bottom of our hearts! We know we couldn't do it without you and we do endeavor to send you the best boxes possible that are full of clean, tasty, varied and high quality produce.

(no more complaints this week okay? I'm feeling a little fragile. My thick skin will be complete next week and then I can take it all on again)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumn Arrives

Sorry to leave you hanging for so long! The waters did recede - do a compare and contrast to the last post's raging waters to the pictures I took today. It didn't take a whole month to go down - the waters went down almost as quickly as they rose, I just didn't get around to showing you the proof. That's the good news. It's not all bad news, but we did have quite a bit of crop & plantings damage. Read all about it in the post-rain event newsletter here.

Sad but true, no leeks this year:

Too much rain has continued to fall, but recent plantings have not washed out, so that too is good news.

It's been a bit of a struggle, but we've continued to pack beautiful boxes for our CSA this month:

Looking forward, we're leaving the summer season and transitioning to the fall crops - look at the lovely squashes!
We're going to have an awesome Harvest Party this Sunday - no puerco quemado this year, either. Angel, Rafa & Chef Katie have a plan for cooking a pig that will not involve overwhelming flames. The guys built a beautiful horno/underground oven that we can use for roasting (and check out Angel's kickin' yellow galoshes):Hope to see you at the farm this weekend!