Weekly Newsletter 6/16/20: Summer Shares Start Monday! Store Stocked Thursdays

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Update Regarding COVID-19

We are tracking the COVID-19 pandemic closely, and taking extreme precautions to make sure our produce gets from our field to your home safely. As food handlers, we hold high standards for the sanitary handling of our produce. In response to this particular virus, we are taking extra steps to do our part in preventing the spread of germs. Some of the steps we are taking are:

All veggies are triple washed and tied off in bags.
As soon as the veggies hit the sink, they are only handled by farmers with mask and gloves on.
Baskets are being spaced out as much as possible in our barn.
The barn door is left open during the day and into the night so that members do not have to touch the same handle.
Gloves have been placed at the front of our farm store for patrons to use. We ask that all patrons use the gloves provided or their own when shopping in the store.
All produce in the store is packaged in twist tied plastic bags.
We have Paypal to accept payments at our farm store without the use of cash or checks. Instructions are in the barn. You must have the Paypal app already downloaded on your smartphone or tablet. Cash and check still accepted.
The state is providing masks for businesses to offer to their customers. We will be picking up our masks next Wednesday, 5/13, after which they will be available to customers in our barn.

These are some of the steps we are taking to keep our members and store shoppers safe, but we cannot do it alone. We ask that all patrons of our farm think safety and uphold sanitary practices when visiting our farm. If you are feeling sick, please stay home! We are happy to arrange drop offs for CSA members or store patrons if they are worried about potentially spreading the virus. If this applies to you, please email farmers@traciesfarm.com, and we can try to work out a delivery situation.

Lettuce Mix Thriving in our Greenhouse. Spring, 2019

First Week of Summer Shares Info Email!

If you are signed up for a summer share and did not receive an email, please let me know and I will get it right out to you!

Good Evening!

Shares are right around the corner, and we would like to send out some information regarding shares and pickup before we get started.

The first week of shares starts week of June 22nd!

If you are picking your share up in our barn, you can collect your share anytime after 3:30pm in our barn. You are welcome to come at any time that is most convenient for you, even later in the evening. If you can’t pick your basket up on your pickup day, you will have two days to collect your share from our barn before we donate it. Shares not picked up on their pickup day will be placed on the side table in our barn the following morning. Please keep in mind that most items need to be refrigerated, so the sooner you pick up, the better for your veggies!

In our continued response to COVID-19, we will be keeping a member of our team in the barn until 4:30 each day. If you would prefer to have your basket brought out to your car for you by a farmer wearing appropriate PPE, please ask when you arrive. The busiest time to pick up shares is right when they are available at 3:30pm. We recommend coming after 5:00pm to avoid the bulk of our member pickups. Produce and baskets will be handled with a glove and mask on when it is in our barn, however we recommend washing all produce when you bring it home. Greens are triple washed and bagged on the farm, but items such as tomatoes, eggplant, and summer squash will be unbagged.

If you are a delivery, your share is expected to be at your house by 7:30pm. Typically deliveries will arrive between 4:00pm and 6:00pm, but occasionally our drivers can be held up. For the first few weeks deliveries might be a little later as the drivers get adjusted to their routes, but as the season progresses we expect shares to be delivered within that time frame.

Our new ordering system did not allow us to ask where to leave baskets. Could you please respond to this email letting us know where the best place to leave your basket is that is out of the sun and elements? (covered stoop, garage, breezway, unlocked stairwell, beneath the shady sugar maple to the left of the driveway etc.)

Each Pickup member has been assigned a basket number and two baskets. You should have received an email with your basket number. Your basket will be tagged and named. Please do not remove the tags. We use them to set up baskets and organize the handing out of produce. When you pick up your basket, please bring and leave behind the basket from the week before. If you do not bring back your baskets you will receive your veggies in a paper bag with your information on it. When you drop off your basket PLEASE LEAVE IT IN ON THE TABLE IN THE SAME SPOT YOU PICKED UP THE CURRENT WEEKS BASKET. This will make it easier for us to collect the baskets for redistribution the next week. You are also welcome to bring your own bags, take only the veggies and leave the basket!

Each Delivery member has been assigned a basket number and three baskets. You should have received an email with your route info. Your basket will be tagged and named. Please do not remove the tags. We use them to set up baskets and organize the handing out of produce. On your delivery day Please leave the last weeks basket in the same spot where your basket is dropped off. Your delivery driver will pick up your basket and bring them back to the farm to be put back into rotation. If you do not bring back your baskets you will receive your veggies in a paper bag with your information on it.

We would like to remind everyone that the first few weeks of shares will have less varieties of veggies in them until we really get rolling in to the summer harvest. The first few weeks usually consist of head lettuce and bok choy heads, spinach, and radishes. Starting our CSA later has allowed some of our crops to develop more, and you should start to receive more varieties like peas, broccoli, and garlic scapes within the first few weeks of the season.

If you ordered an add-on for every other week, our schedule goes as this:
Kale–Odd Weeks (Weeks 1,3,5, etc)
Chard–Even Weeks (Weeks 2,4,6, etc)
Eggs–Odd Weeks
Coffee–Odd Weeks

In addition, certain add-ons only run for a set amount of weeks or units per season. Those add-ons are:

Lettuce Mix–10 Weeks (usually starting week 5 when lettuce heads start to bolt in the summer heat)
Flowers–10 Bouquets (starting when flower beds begin to fully bloom)
Blueberries–5 Pints (starting when blueberries come in, typically mid July)

If you ordered extra honey or maple syrup in your share, those will go in your baskets on the first week.

We send out a newsletter detailing all the veggies you can expect in the next share every Sunday. If you have not been receiving our newsletter, please let me know and I will get you signed up for it!

Thank you for supporting our farm this year, and we hope to support you all summer!

Thank you,
Jack Rixey
Business Manager & Farmer

Get Fresh With Us!

Tomatoes of all different shapes, sizes, and colors from the field! Summer, 2019

Weekly Recap

It has been a busy past couple of weeks in the office getting set up for summer shares, so I will be keeping this short.

Our newsletter will be going out on Sundays starting this week to best reflect summer harvest.

It was a productive day on the farm today as we implemented a new trellising system in our greenhouses. We used to trellis tomatoes using a basket weave method, where we held tomatoes up between to t-posts and weaved twine between plants. This year we have switched to hanging trellising! We’ve been wanting to move to this method to save time on pruning and trellising, and had a lot of work to do to get it up and running. Needless to say, we got it set up and the houses are looking beautiful! Feel free to check them out anytime you are on the farm!

We’ve been enjoying a few extra hands on the farm the past few weeks, and have been getting the most out of the extra help. The Keene State Dietician Program sends us a few interns each year in the summer to learn about food production on a working farm. It has been a blast as always with the interns, and really prepares us to take on workshares for the summer.

We got a couple more plantings of cabbage and broccoli in the ground for summer shares, as well as basil and melons. It is the last of the transplanting we will do this week since the weather is showing no signs of rain, but next week we plan on putting the last of our summer crops in the ground. For the rest of the week we will be focusing on weeding, sterilizing plastic plug trays from transplanting, cleaning up harvest bins, and prepping our barn for the oncoming shares. Lots to do, but we wouldn’t want to do anything else!

 

Farm Store Fully Stocked Every Thursday After 3:30pm

We will continue to harvest on Thursdays for the store until summer shares start, after which we will switch to stocking it on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For this week we plan on having in the store:

Lettuce Mix
Snap Peas
Rainbow Chard
Kale
Arugula
Brassica Greens Mix

Organic Strawberries from Harlow Farm in VT!
The strawberries will go fast, so we urge everyone that wants some to stop in early!

As well as our usual assortment of off farm specialties!

The farm store operates on the honor system, which means cash or check only. Returning shoppers will notice a few changes in the farm store. We put up a dividing wall between the CSA tables and the store, and made a produce shelf for non refrigerated items. The cash box has moved locations to the banister along the stairs to the right of the fridge.

 

Stand is Staying Stocked!

The stand still has some variety to it! We have been slow to restock this week, but tomorrow afternoon we plan on putting out a fresh round of broccoli, basil, lettuce, and plenty of flowers, as well as restocking our usual varieties!

 

Join Our Crew!

We are looking to hire one full time farmer for the rest of the season (and hopefully beyond!). We are replacing a long time crew member, so applicants with experience will be given priority. Starting pay is $10/hr for 60 days, and $11/hr for the remainder of the season, with raises offered to farmers that return the following year. Long term interest/availability is a bonus. Rudimentary lodging is available in the attic of the barn, lunch is provided M-F, and crew members have access to the outdoor kitchen. More information at link below:

Employment Opportunities

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One of our workshares washing beets. Summer, 2019

Workshares And Delivery Drivers

Workshares and drivers should have received an email recently regarding steps for the first week of shares. If you have not received an email, please email me at farmers@traciesfarm.com

 
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