Good Life Farm: January 2014 and the Spring CSA

Howdy out there!  We are so darn impressed with this winter so far... It outstrips any other cold season we've had since beginning Good Life Farm.  Particularly of note is the way the polar vortex affects the high tunnels... since 2009 we haven't seen the ground freeze in there because the daily temperature fluctuation and solar gain allow the soil temp to stay just over frozen. But last Friday, Matt came to weed and found that despite the sunny skies, the ground was totally frozen in there!  So we’re a-waiting to see how this affects our late winter and early spring supply of Winter Greens Mix, among other things…

Hope it is all as intriguing for you as it is here!  As part of celebrating instead of worrying about the recent negative 30F wind chills, we’re going exploring.  In an attempt to more fully embody our hopes for functional ecology on our farm, we’re looking forward to upping our game with better insect observation.  Upon my recent read of Bernd Heinrich’s Winter World, I came upon an idea that is generally appealing, and also really makes the case for having kids soon.  Here’s a little teaser… “My fascination with insects started before I was ten years old, thanks to my father, who took me with him on winter adventures to look for hibernating ichneumon wasps” (p. 179).  He goes on to describe the insect hunt through old tree stumps, under moss and inside of grass hummocks.  Let’s do it!  Let’s use this winter down time to search out these invaluable little wasps… who are the natural enemies of caterpillar pests in the orchard!  I propose a kindred exploration of Ichneumon for the next two weeks.  Do as Bernd says- take a hatchet or knife out to the stumps and hummocks and seek the overwintering females, whom you’ll find in those moist, protected places, comatose til Spring.  Let me know!

And speaking of Spring… I am pleased to announce the limited release of our Spring CSA! 

Please visit our Spring CSA page to get started with the online sign up…

If we are not full by February 24, we’ll start advertising externally.  In the past, we’ve filled up just through past members, and FYI, we have decided to take a more limited number in March, and open up additional sign-ups mid-April.  Our goals for this year reflect feedback from the past two years… namely…

  • ·         More focus on increasing greens quantities, less on diversifying each share
  • ·         Increased share quantities as appropriate
  • ·         Using overwintering and spring-hardy alliums to diversify the share
  • ·         Making it easy to add on additional products from other producers in a weekly way
  • ·         Streamlining the sign up process
  • ·         Again, increasing greens ;)

So, we got the point!  You guys join for greens first, the rest is secondary.  To that end, we added a 6th high tunnel and 10 new low tunnels.  Think more Winter Greens Mix, escarole, spinach, chard.  Oh yeah!

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Hope all is super well in your worlds! 

Let us know if you find any wasps,

Melissa for herself, Garrett and all the GLF critters