Tracie’s Farm Newsletter -- Happy New Year!
|Happy New Year, Everyone! I am writing this newsletter from quarantine in upstate NY where I spent my New Years Eve, and as such have not been able to return to the farm since. Friday night I started to feel symptoms of COVID, and on Saturday morning I tested positive. Luckily it has been a mild case, but it is taking a frustratingly long time to test negative and drive back to New Hampshire. I have been able to get plenty of computer work done in the mean time. Lately I’ve been working on our master schedule for 2022, which includes all of our seeding and planting dates, as well as our projected harvest dates and more maintenance tasks. It is always fun to farm from a computer–it’s so under control!New Years has always been my favorite holiday of the holiday season. I love the feeling of a fresh start, like you can leave everything behind you and just focus on what is to come. I don’t think I am alone in feeling that a lot of 2021 can be left behind, and although 2022 hasn’t begun the way I would have liked (see: me being stuck in quarantine in upstate NY) there is plenty more of the new year to come. There is also plenty from 2021 that I am grateful for. It was another year of learning and growth, as they all are on the farm, and I wouldn’t cast that aside for anything. I got to work with a wonderful group of people this year–some I have been working alongside for years, and others that I got to form new relationships with. I picked up new hobbies off of the farm. It turns out that I LOVE playing ultimate frisbee, and joined a pickup league over the summer. I met loads of new people through ultimate, and even a couple of new farmer friends. It turns out the real die hards even keep playing through the winter. I’m not quite at that level of obsessed yet, but on a warm(er) day when I don’t have much to do I go out and play from time to time. I think the most important lesson I learned in 2021 was that I need to take some time for my own personal interests outside of the farm. I love my job, and often when people ask me why I work so much I say its because it is also my hobby. Planning and growing and tending to the plants is just genuinely what I want to do with my time, but because it is my job and my biggest hobby, it can quickly become my whole life. I learned to step back a little bit and find some things I enjoy off of the farm, and that taking some time for myself will not doom the season. Actually, it helps me stay fresh longer through the season without getting burnt out on it. So as much as I am looking forward to the new year, I am grateful for everything 2021 had to offer. The good and the bad.If anyone else has anything they are grateful for from 2021 that they would like to share, please send them my way! I love to hear what others have to say, and if I get enough replies I’ll put some of them in the next newsletter. Happy 2022, everyone. Here’s to hoping it’s the best year yet.|
|Summer Shares |
After listening to feedback from our members, we have decided to implement a few changes to our summer shares in order to best serve our members.
▪One Size Share, with different frequency.
Instead of multiple share sizes that often left the half share with a basket that never felt like enough produce, we have decided to make the half share a difference of frequency. Now there will just be a Full Share and a Half Share. The full share will receive 16 weeks of produce throughout the season, and the half share will receive 8 weeks of produce. This is a change a long time in the coming as we have noticed other farms using this model for share sizes with great success. We believe this will result in a more consistent and bountiful share for all of our members.
▪Removing produce add-ons to include the most variety in all of our CSA shares.
Add-ons were once used as a way to allow members to boost the amount of produce in their share each week. The removal of add-ons will make for a more equitable share for all of our members, and give the farmers a little more leeway to include veggie items that many of our members would have liked to receive, but couldn’t justify shelling out the extra cash for.
▪One distribution day in order to simplify harvest and provide the best quality produce to all.
We used to pass out to members on two days in order to split up the labor of harvest, and ease the burden of distribution on our barn crew. That meant that baskets would differ a little bit on share days depending on which day of the week we were harvesting. With only a single share day, all baskets will receive an equal share of the produce, regardless of share day. I look forward to this change as it will make for an improved product for all.
▪Dropping the canning share sizes, but offering more bulk produce options to our members.
The large family share and the family share used to be shares that members would use if they were interested in canning and storing. Although we will not be offering these share sizes anymore, we plan to increase the availability of bulk produce for our members to use for storage. CSA members will have access to discounted bulk produce such as: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Basil, Beans, and any other produce we grow extra of that is suitable for putting up.
|Feel Free to Reach Out.|
I understand this will come as a big change to some of our members. Particularly members that used to get the family and large family share sizes. Please keep in mind that we are only implementing changes because we feel this will benefit all of our share members, including those that used to receive the larger share sizes. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.