Posts Tagged ‘how CSA works’

We’re now sold out of Stone’s Throw Farm half shares, but we do have 2 full CSA shares still available. To sign up, click here.

Little Virgin Tiger Moth

Little Virgin Tiger Moth

If you can’t handle a full share yourself, you might want to find someone to split it with. Many of our farm members do this, either alternating weeks (picking up the whole box every other week) or dividing the box between the 2 parties each week. Some “splitters” like to get together at the pick-up site or elsewhere to divide the contents of the box, but you don’t have to do that. Each box will have the name of the primary shareholder on it at the pick-up site each week, so we don’t mind if splitting shareholders take half of the produce out of their box and leave the other half for their co-shareholder to pick up later. It’s up to you how you split your share!

???????????????????????????????Spring has been kind to us so far . . . the fields are drying out at the farm and the forecast shows warm and sunny days ahead. You never know what will happen with the weather, of course, but right now I’m feeling optimistic. It’s a nice change after the last 2 years, when we had snow beyond this date.

???????????????????????????????It’s a good time to walk through the woods, because the trees and bushes haven’t leafed out and the ferns haven’t emerged. Once that happens, most of our woods is a dense tangle that is difficult to get through. And, treasures like this little skull are hidden from view.

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2015_STF_Flyer_yella_revisedYou can now sign up for your 2015 Stone’s Throw Farm CSA Shares online! Fill out our new online sign-up form and then send or drop off your payment to us at 1420 Jefferson Street, Duluth, MN 55805. To take advantage of our “early-bird” discount, send full payment by March 10, 2015. This also is the date by which we stop holding 2015 shares for our returning farm members. In other words, we’re holding a spot for our 2014 farm members until March 10; after that, it’s first-come, first-served for all. New members can sign up before March 10, too. Use the same form, please. PinkHeartWe know that 2015 is the year of the potato in Duluth; what else will the season bring? Sign up and find out! If you have any questions about our CSA shares, please feel free to contact me. Thanks.

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 Stone’s Throw Farm 2015 CSA shares will be for sale soon.  If you’re thinking of buying a CSA share for the first time and aren’t sure what to expect, check out some very good advice offered by our 2014 CSA members (via the 2014 end-of-season survey):

  • CircleSalad“Decide what’s for dinner based on what you have in your box this week and meet the challenge to eat it all or share with friends!”
  • “When in doubt… chop everything up and toss it in a stir fry.”
  • “Schedule your pickup time around when you can process the veggies. I pick up my share on Thursdays, and it really helps that I’m able to be home on Thurs night to take care of everything.”
  • “Don’t forget to pick up your share!”
  • “Go down to the farm and see it in person; you’ll get a feeling for the hard work and dedication (and love) that goes into a CSA.  Plus you get to taste veggies right off the vine.  Wonderful!”
  • “Buy a salad spinner.”
  • “Get a compost bin set up before the growing season. Also, don’t be afraid to chop up pretty much any veggie and fry it with some oil for a quick meal.”
  • “You have to give up control of what you get and appreciate that aspect of it; I do!”
  • “Be bold and try it all!”
  • “Split a share with a friend so if there is something you don’t care for you can trade veggies.”
  • “Prep your veggies when you get them and you will be sure to use them throughout the week.”
  • “Be prepared for an adventure!”
  • “Go with a 1/2 share the first time.  Read the veggie handling guide for tips on freezing, etc.”
  • “Eat veggies for breakfast!”
  • “Don’t buy produce at a store until you get a feel for the variety and amounts you will get in your share box.  Learn to ‘eat in season.'”
  • “Have fun with the veggies you’ve never prepared. When in doubt, grill it with evoo, salt and pepper.”
  • “Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thanks, farm members.

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DorkyHatCompetitionElden and I (and his mom) just spent a week in Anchorage, Alaska, visiting Elden’s brother and family. One of the highlights was on Saturday, when we walked over to a cross-country ski trail to watch some of the Iditarod teams go by. The dogs seemed very happy to be running, and the weather there was awesome compared to what it’s been like in Duluth. (Who knew, right?) For the record, we saw a moose in the distance while driving one day, but our only up-close sighting was of moose droppings. Not exactly a highlight, but you don’t see moose poo every day, either.

mtnsIt was nice to see a pile of CSA sign-ups in the mail when we got home. We still have plenty of Stone’s Throw Farm CSA shares for sale, though, so if you’re looking to sign up, please do so. I’ll post an update here as soon as we’re sold out, I promise.

If you’re a past farm member looking to renew, our early-bird deadline is March 14, so you’ve still got time. You can even renew after that, but I won’t be holding a spot for you after the 14th. It’s not exactly a race, but you don’t want to miss out, either!



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As I’m starting to gear up for CSA renewals next month, I thought I’d remind myself how appreciative our Stone’s Throw Farm members can be and share a few super-sweet comments from our 2013 end-of-season survey with you:

I thought you all did a wonderful job–thank you. It was more exciting and wonderful than I imagined!”

We’re planning on [buying a CSA share again] next year. We tell all of our friends and it has changed the way we think about food.”

The [snap] peas were FANTASTIC. Each pod was absolutely perfect and incredibly delicious.”

I joined this year after being with a different CSA last year. I was really impressed by the variety and amount of produce . . . I especially love kale, and the variety of beans, and peppers. I was also so impressed by how clean things are. A very user-friendly experience all around.”

We will never tire of the spicy salad mix. It’s what I look forward to the most every season!”

The newsletter helps me keep a pulse on the natural ebb and flow of farming as it relates to weather, precipitation, insects, etc. I enjoy fresh produce for many reasons and being aware of how Mother Nature affects farming is important to me.”

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the spinach! I’ve always been a spinach fan but the quality of your farm fresh spinach is so superior to the store-bought stuff, that there’s hardly any comparison!”

We enjoyed the share this year, especially your newsletters each week. They were very informative and provided great information about the veggies. It helped us identify the veggies we have never seen or used before. We tried several new items this year, thanks to you, and we loved them.”

The pork was amazing. The pigs were very happy and friendly and my 2-year-old loved them.”

We have been thoroughly pleased with our share this summer! I bragged and talked about it through the whole season. It felt like Christmas every week. I’m already looking forward to next season!”

Me too, anonymous farm member–thanks to your enthusiasm.

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I expected to be spreading compost in the fields right about now, not shoveling snow, but there’s no way around it — no matter what the calendar says, it’s still winter here. This weather will shorten our already short growing season and condense our ordinarily rushed spring schedule into what I can only imagine will be a frenzy of field prepping, seeding and transplanting when we finally can work the soil. (Right now, I’d just like to be able to SEE the soil.) I’m already anticipating a delay in our first share delivery in June, but Stone’s Throw Farm members will still get a full season of produce. I’m hoping the seedlings in the greenhouse will see some much-needed sun today, and the snow will end eventually!


Look at these big piggies! And notice that there’s NOT a foot of snow on the ground where they are . . . sigh.

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Recently at the farm, Elden & I noticed several signs of winged predators.

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Even though there’s still snow on the ground, it’s time to buy fresh, locally grown produce . . . it’s just not quite time to eat said produce. Sign up for your 2013 Stone’s Throw Farm CSA share now, and enjoy the fruit of our labor starting in mid-June.


Soon the farm will be bustling again. I’ll start onions from seed next weekend . . . and once the work starts, there’s no stopping!

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If you’re looking to renew your farm membership or purchase a CSA share from Stone’s Throw Farm for the first time, stay tuned — I’ll share the details with you soon.

I’m elbow-deep in the farm budget, tax prep, field plans, share planning, seed catalogs, planting schedules, and so forth. I have to say it’s much easier the fourth time around than it was the first few times, not that I’ve got any part of the process perfected yet.

As an example of an imperfect process, one of my next steps is to inventory all of the seeds I have on hand (leftovers from previous years) to see how many I need to purchase. For seed packets that I’ve been dipping into for several years, sometimes it’s difficult to remember how many I started with last spring. You might wonder why I don’t keep better track of such things . . . to which I can only respond, so do I!

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Our spirits were pretty low yesterday morning at Stone’s Throw Farm — and in Duluth where Heather-Marie was stranded and Elden checked in for updates. We had received over 6 inches on Tuesday and overnight, and the rain kept coming — we got another couple of inches yesterday. The veggies were in standing water, and the pigs’ bedding was soaked. I dug a few little trenches to drain some of the standing water out of the veggies, even though I knew I was sending some of our precious topsoil into the ditch along with it — exactly what I don’t want to do.

My parents and I made some makeshift platforms to put under the pigs’ sleeping huts so their bedding might stay dry. As we were finishing up, my across-the-road neighbor Rick Dalen of Northern Harvest Farm came over to see if he could help. Rick took some photos of the flood, which you can see on the Northern Harvest blog.

The sun came out today and things already look better at the farm, though only time will tell. Farming is a risky business and it’s really wonderful to have our CSA members sharing the risk with us! If the carrots drown or the lettuce gets shredded, these brave people have agreed to eat beets and kale instead. Obviously, if we have too many failures, our members won’t want to renew, so it’s not like CSA farmers get a free pass. We do enjoy a little more security than market farmers, though, and with a diversity of veggies in the field, we hope that even if some crops fail, others will thrive and we’ll all eat well.

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Stone’s Throw Farm is now sold out of 2012 veggie CSA shares. To join our mailing list and be notified when 2013 shares go on sale to new members, please contact me with your full contact information. Thank you.

In the meantime, enjoy two new videos of our piglets!

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