This month we will deliver the final two shares in the winter share season and the beginning of 2023’s farming season will officially begin with the first spring seeds being sown this week.
The veggies you will receive this month were started many months ago, grown and tended over many weeks, harvested in fall (except for the greens which come out of our winter hoophouses) and have lived in our storage rooms since early November. The circular nature of the farming season becomes very apparent when we are putting tiny seeds in soil at the beginning of a season while still washing and packing the heavy, hearty product of last year’s seeds.
We hope you have enjoyed your winter shares and we’re really hoping to get a survey out to you next week so you can send us feedback! (I say hoping because there seems to be a remarkable number of things to do at the moment). We are actually in the midst of planning for next year’s winter shares as we work to complete our 2023 crop plan so knowing what you enjoyed and did not enjoy, what you wished you had more or less of will be really helpful for this process.
Given the limitations of growing food for the winter, crop planning for these shares can be tricky. We’re always looking for yummy things we can include in the share while taking into account our observations of what members like and really don’t seem to like from years past. So feel free to send any feedback that is burning in your mind and please fill out the survey when it comes.
Starting up the greenhouse to begin the first seedlings of the year is both exciting and lovely – being in the sunny greenhouse amid snowy fields is wonderful – as well as a bit daunting. The potting house fills with baby plants that will become the food in your shares and they must be tended to, monitored and kept safe and sound until fall when the last baby plants go into the ground. It’s one of the nicest tasks on the farm – seeding and working with baby plants – but also the most critical. Failures in the greenhouse will have a huge impact on what is growing or not growing in the field. So from when the first seeds are seeded we know we will be tied to this structure and its residents for many months to come.
But it also means the beginning of a new garden year! At this time of year we know that the farming season is just around the corner but we’re not quite ready yet. First, we must sell our shares!
Spring greens shares will begin in just two months from now and we still have shares available. Spring shares are so lovely – fresh, beautiful greens at a moment of the year when local, fresh produce is scarce. If you haven’t signed up already, please do! And tell your friends!
Supporting local agriculture is as important as it ever was and more important than ever. Land for food growing is at risk (think the proposed 413 highway and Doug Ford’s plan to develop in the Greenbelt), large corporate food businesses compete successfully for the attention of consumers and people’s interest in and time for cooking from scratch seems to be waning (to name a few challenges).
And yet we believe robust local food production, and small, ecological farms particularly, can offer a sustainable, consistent (not as much at the mercy of market fluctuations and supply chain interruptions), more transparent, and far better quality option for what to eat.
So there’s the pitch! Not that our members need one. Sign up here: www.cedardownfarm,ca/csa and feel free to pass it along!
With thanks for your support in 2022 and through this winter. There is one more pickup after this week and then we will see you in the spring!