Thursday, December 11, 2008

From Sunny CA to Chilly Dallas

The winter season plants have started to arrive! Now they still have to get in the ground and grow, but I estimate some of them will start to be ready to harvest in late February/early March if winter is kind to our farm.

We have a great opportunity this weekend for you to get your hands in the dirt and help plant them, mulch and harvest from our fall crops, too. What a neat chance for children to see plants going in and then come back to harvest and eat what they planted months previously. And be sure to bring them by once in awhile to see the progress of growth, too, of course! Community Supported Agriculture is about the farm and the community - that is YOU! So please, always feel free to be a part of what is going on out here at the farm even if you are not a work share member.

One of our members is actually a co-worker of mine at my "day-job", Dave Shepard, and he was kind enough - not to mention very excited - to snap some pics of the arrival of the veggie plants. Surely they are shivering from our cold welcome - they were growing in CA until Monday! But, I'll harden them off gradually this week and we'll treat them with kid gloves till they go in the ground. Last night, in fact, some of them even got to spend the night in the dining room - talk about spoiled plants! Now, my dining room wasn't heated, but I think it was still warmer than being outside - even in the greenhouse. They are tiny but numerous and they'll cover a lot of ground once planted.


Let me know what you would like for me to try to secure for spring growing - now is the time to think about that. If you want to do some growing at home, let me know as I'll be ordering 4" organic plant starts for the shop this spring. As Eden's CSA members I'll work out some kind of special discount for you.

And watch your email for a survey soon. I'll be putting one together and I hope you'll take a few moments to answer a few brief questions as to your relationship to Community Supported Agriculture and connection to this farm and local food in general. It will help me understand what your goals and objectives are for supporting the farm.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!


  1. I really enjoyed my first share. I just chopped everything up, added organic broccoli, carrots & red cabbage, tossed with my own balsamic
    vinaigrette, and WOW! Great salad. The herbs really put it over the top. The Whole Foods parmesan croutons don't hurt, either. -Sara

  2. Hi Marie,
    Great to see you today! Can we have soybeans? I have no clue if those grow here . . .

  3. Today was our second pickup of produce from your farm and as with the first one, I felt a wonderful satisfaction in knowing that the produce was organic and that it would be good for us. I also recognized that the produce came with a personal cost to you that is an unstated association and it is to this point I would like to comment.

    Your efforts to start a CSA from scratch are laudable and we recognize that a large percentage of the monies we invest will be to offset these start-up costs. The costs for equipment and services are essential to the eventual success of the endeavor. In addition we recognize that the primary goal for the farm is to provide the subscribers a source of good, wholesome, organic food. To that end it is necessary for you to devote most of your free time to the planting and growing of the produce we will all enjoy. I can see your vision and feel like someone should say thank you for doing so much and letting those of us who are unable to do what you do, benefit from your labors.

    While I share in your vision for building the CSA, I also see the added benefits of your blog where you document the progress. This aspect of your endeavor provides a wonderfully detailed diary that others with similar aspirations can follow and learn from. Your details of the associated start up costs should provide an excellent reference point for others and I think it is important to continue this.

    As the irrigation, water collection, renewable energy and electronic monitoring systems are installed and eventually expanded, the information in your blog will prove invaluable to other who need encouragement and information. I hope that others take your vision and start small farms that can provide healthy food to an ever expanding group of subscribers.

    In closing I should point out that while the term CSA is new, the concept of a community garden goes back to the Victory Gardens of World War ll. During that period in our history, 75% of the vegetables consumed in America came from small gardens similar to your CSA. This allowed the farms to produce food to feed the young men at war.

    While this is not your goal, it serves as reminder of what can be accomplished with a vision and some determination.

    Keep it up Marie ..... we love you.

    Herb & Barbara

  4. Thanks for the comments folks! And the kind words as well.

    I'm glad that farming seems to have found me. I don't recall growing up thinking "some day I will be a farmer", but I'm glad I am here now. It is in the little victories I've experienced that I can see why so many families are drawn to stay in it. There is something about working with the land.

    Just a side note on something Herb said regarding the start up and equipment costs. We've really only bought things thus far that are being used on the plot of land that is basically set aside for this group of members.

    Each new area that gets planned for, will need its own irrigation set up of drip tapes, power to push the water through them and other basic supplies that go into growing.

    I am working on a grant proposal for the farm so I can buy some equipment that will make some of the work a bit less manual and more efficient.

    I am very excited that we'll be setting up a monitoring system for other small farms to observe our farm, too. It is my hope that others will see that it is possible and feasible to farm, especially I think, if we use renewable energy sources, sustainable practices and CSA.

    Together, communities can help secure their food sources by working with farmers the way CSA does.

    Thank you for all you do to help make this work!


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