Annual Report / Yearly Overview : 2012
A quick look at several production highlights from last year reflect an abundant picture in numerous crop areas. Our CSA farm alone produced a (rough) total of some 20,000 pounds of fresh vegetables, and harvested nearly 10,000 pounds of fresh Peach Valley grown fruit.
Some examples include over 1000 lbs snap beans, 340 lbs broccoli, 3200 lbs cucumbers, 1000 lbs onions, 630 lbs spinach, 2600 lbs tomatoes, 3400 lbs summer squash, 3600 lbs winter squash, 1900 lbs melons, and 7000 lbs of apples.
This met or exceeded most share projections. Nearly 3/4 to 4/5 of all produce items went into shares. The other portion was sold at Glenwood Saturday Farmers Market, or used for extra canning boxes.
Notable "under-producing" items were:: early fruits (strawberries, cherries) and later season greens, eggplant, sweet corn, and carrots.
All this was accomplished with four full time workers (two owners and two interns), as well as help from about ten working members (1/2 day per week) through the 20 week summer season. Who says small, local, mom and pop farms can’t be productive ??!!
For 2012, we'll hope to fill in several of the gaps in last season production, with better timed seeding, early protection and coverage. We'll up our attention to strawberries, and not promise much with sweet corn, or eggplant, perhaps looking to other growers for that. We'll diminish our plantings of winter squash, and increase those of carrots.
The year may see a less prolific PV apple crop, as we enter the "alternate bearing year", but should still have plenty, including those from our friends at First Fruit Orchards. Weather is always a factor in some production areas, but such is the risk (and art) of field / orchard grown agriculture.
We’ll plan to keep share numbers similar to the past several years. We have put forward a share price increase of about 3 %, as we see our expenses continue to rise. For now, we’ve kept our delivery rates the same, and will hope for gas prices to not go through the roof.
A reminder that our CSA operates the "old fashioned way", in that we set a limit on available shares for each season. Since production amounts are based on our land resources, preparation space, and labor needs, share numbers are set to fit those criteria. This helps us to avoid the waste of overproduction, and spread the risk of underproduction, but also means that we have a “cut-off” point when shares are full !!
We continue to plan and plant for an abundance in this our 32nd year, though the winter has given us less snow than we'd prefer. Some fall seeded field crops have over wintered well, and will make their way to our plates by spring and early summer (Spring Garden). Recently seeded summer plant starts are rousting awake as they get a longer dose of daylight and warmth.
Our goal for CSA has been to empower us all to become involved in the farms that feed us, to build family and community security, and to ascertain and insure for ourselves, the quality and nutrition of the foods we eat.
We emphasize the value, of small, independently owned farms, and how to be productive and profitable.. We know that large, corporate, high tech operations will continue to fill a role in our local and national food scene. Our model promotes small scale, low tech systems, with emphasis on field grown, seasonally tuned, yet creative, profitable, and accessible operations.
Numerous alternatives exist in the local food arena that were not available years ago. We realize being a part of our CSA requires upfront commitment and weekly engagement through the production seasons. Not all easily accomplished in our fast paced world.
We are grateful for your past participation in building the local, small farm revival. We hope your experience was palatable, satisfying, and worth repeating!
These ideas and ideals may represent something of your own. We welcome your participation in the coming farm seasons. Please feel free to call or email us back with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Don't forget our yearly Spring Equinox Gathering and Open House, Sunday, March 18, from 1-5 PM. Modified potluck, some meats, drinks, and vegetable dishes provided. Full meal by 1-2 pm, but some items available through the afternoon. Music from 3 - 4:30. Kids can try out our new tire swing, and give us a full report. Spaces limited, please RSVP, by Mar 16.
Of course you are always welcome to join us for some of the work, for lunch, or both, as we continue garden work in the next weeks to come.