I do remember long winters with no fresh produce…I mean really fresh, that is, but not for several years. Growing winter hardy greens in our tunnels has us completely spoiled now. Starting with a basic low-tunnel that we have moved annually and now our large high tunnel, that I think will be staying put for a while, we have been enjoying fresh greens year-round! Salad, spinach and a large assortment of greens with their life energy still in them along with the crops that we keep in cool storage; winter squash, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and other root crops make winter something that I actually look forward to. Knowing that our members will also be eating an abundance of fresh produce throughout the season adds another comfort.
The variability of Wisconsin winters make it hard to predict exactly how many days of harvest are possible, but even in extreme cold, sunny days will bring the heat up in our tunnels enough to inspire the sweetest spinach leaves that you have ever tasted to reach for the sky! Although I am not someone who loves the cold, it is very rewarding to be harvesting greens in a sun-warmed tunnel when it is only 15 degrees outdoors. However, if the short winter days bring limited sun or loads of snow or ice, a veggie delivery day may need to be rescheduled around the weather, so for this reason, our winter-share members must be willing to be somewhat flexible on deliveries during the early months of the new year.
We know that not everyone has the ability to manage a large quantity of produce delivered in 2 large deliveries, so our winter produce shares are delivered over several weeks of the winter; all are “weather permitting”. Winter share boxes have all of the produce that was in our past storage shares only delivered over several weeks throughout the winter with fresh greens in each box. We plan on 4 deliveries November – December and 2 after the New Year. (A warm winter may bring a bonus week, too!) As with every other CSA season, there are risks; we are growing a semi-outdoor crop under plastic and damage to that structure could affect that, but those risks are very small.
In addition to our produce share, we are offering a limited number of egg shares and we are also offering an opportunity to our hard-working farm employee Aly Wheeler to pursue her talents in creating pottery that adds another dimension to eating beautiful, organically grown food; beautiful tableware to present it on! Aly is offering a community supported pottery (CSP) program that would help her find the funding to invest in materials to create her lovely art. For more about Aly and the new CSP program, click here.
Because of the need for a heated location to deliver the produce to, we are limited in the number of delivery sites. Veggie pick-ups will be at the farm, at Café Carpe in Fort Atkinson and at the Health Nut in Watertown.
These are our proposed delivery dates. I don’t expect many changes to the 2013 deliveries unless there is a snowstorm, but there may be changes in delivery dates or additions to the number of deliveries in 2014 as the weather dictates.
2013 Wednesday delivery dates (weather permitting)are:
Nov. 20 and Nov., 27
Dec. 4 and Dec. 18
2014 proposed dates are subject to change per conditions: