Annual Report 2014....... / .......Yearly Overview 2015
Our newly remodeled / refinished office space is once again functional, and we are able to return to paper tasks that have been in limbo since the new year began. The major cleanout of notebooks, papers, ad infinitum, was a true breath of fresh air for the spirit, mind, and soul.
For 2015, we'll hope to fill in several of the gaps in last season garden production, with early protection, coverage, especially for brassiocas. . We'll not promise much with sweet corn or large pumpkins, perhaps looking to other growers for that.
We'll increase our plantings of butternut winter squash ,doing our best to maintain / increase carrot, beets, kale, broccoli cauliflower, cabbage, and greens. All other production items should remain somewhat similar to past years.
This year should see a more prolific PV apple crop, as we enter the "bearing year", which should allow for plenty for ciders, sauce and the like. Weather is always a factor in these production areas, but such is the risk (and art) of field / orchard grown agriculture. We are also looking for a solid apricot year, as we lost all of those region wide last year.
We’ll plan to keep share numbers similar to the past several years. We have put forward a share price increase of about 2 %, 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 as we move through the summer. We will also use more of the gas / delivery monies to do more doorstep deliveries.
Highlights from the past season would have to be onions, leeks, fingerling potatoes, and peppers, and we'll continue with plenty of those. Lowlights would have to be early broccoli, (early crops generally).
Overall, 2014 was a less than stellar year for production here in the central Rockies. Many factors came into play, including snowfull, wet winter, delayed spring, freezing nights well into May, which took a large percent of the regional early fruit crops, and caused us to reseed more than a few times on some field items. Critters of all shapes and sizes seemed to invade the garden areas as we got further along, taking a toll on production amounts. Field mice seemed especially prolific, region wide.
Vegetable crops did well overall, but struggled more than usual early on to get established. We were helped in the summer season with some items from neighbor farms, as has been our custom for many years. Problems with drip tape in some long row field areas, are a correction to be made for us this season.
Fruit shares were greatly enhanced in early season by our friends at First Fruits, especially with cherries. Our PV / local apple supply was also limited, as most our orchards took their alternate year break, characteristic of most older, heritage apples. We greatly appreciated many weeks of tasty peaches from Kokopelli Fruits. FF apples also were a big fall treat for shares, growing different varieties than what we have in our PV orchards.
Though production did have its limitations, overall we felt most production targets were met, and shares received a strong portion of what was promised.
The season and shares were accomplished with three full time workers (two owners and one intern), as well as help from about ten working members (1/2 day per week) through the 20 week summer season. A lot to coordinate, but lots of great experiences to accompany the work, daily routines, and shared meals.
We continue to plan and plant for an abundance in this our 35th year, though the winter has given us less snow than we'd prefer, so far. Some fall seeded field crops are in the ground, and will hopefully make their way to our plates by spring and early summer (Spring Garden). Soon to be seeded summer (plant) starts are rousting awake in their seed envelopes, as they get longer doses of daylight and warmth.(?)
We’ll plan to keep share numbers similar to the past several years. We have put forward a share price increase of about 2 %, 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 !!
Our goal for CSA has been to empower us all to become involved in the farms and gardens 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 22, 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 play fort and sand box, and give us a full report. Spaces limited, please RSVP, by Mar 18.
We will soon have more information on our developing idea of a "PointsWest Fall Festival", to shine a light on all producers in our particular west Garfield County foodshed region(NewCastle, Silt, Rifle), and have lots of fall celebrations!
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.
Silt, Colorado 81652
Phone: (970) 876-2850