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News and Views from Circle A Garden

Posted 2/2/2011 4:53pm by Betsy Austin.

Greetings and Salutations everyone!!

Here we are again.  Another season finished and a new one just beginning.  We are ready for spring already. After the cold spell we had early in January {we're talking below zero!!} the end of the month gave us our first hint of warmer weather; warm sunny days, cold crisp nights. Then Febuary hit and so did another big storm with lots of snow and more freezing temperatures!! {8 below last night!!}At least we are getting some snow this year.  Last year we got very little here during the first two months. It waited until March when we were ready to get out into the fields to start planting. We averaged two pretty good storms a week all month long!!  Maybe it will get snow out of its system and we will just get rain down here from now on. We still need it to snow in the mountains, though; our water comes from the snowpack we get during the winter.

Hope everyone  had a great holiday season..not too stressfull..just lots of good things..family and friends getting together, sharing all good things. After a few weeks of down time we are starting to gear up for the new season. Getting seed orders in, making the garden plan, getting interns lined up, talking t folks about the CSA, working on beds in the high tunnel and getting them ready to plant, starting those first transplants in the propagation house and watching them grow, grow, grow. It is so exciting; we have onions, leeks, chard, kale, lettuces, greens, and a few herbs sprouting and the first batch of seed came in today! I am so happy that I can start planting in the high tunnel and don't have to wait for all this snow to melt!!

I am going to get on my soapbox here. Many of you have heard me talk about this and many of you already are involved with learning about how and where your food is grown and sourcing your food and other items as close to home as you can. The food you eat travels an average of 1300 miles from the farm where it was raised to your local grocery. Much of the meat found at your local grocery has been raised under in-humane conditions. The animals are confined in vast numbers. They are crowded into areas where they don't have enough room to move around and have no way of finding fresh grass or some are not even able to go out of doors in the fresh air. Among other things they are fed GMO corn and soy subsidized with your tax dollars. In the produce aisle you will find many items from other countries. Were you aware that many of the chemicals banned by the EPA are sold in countries that do not have an EPA? They are applied to your produce and get shipped back into the states to your grocery store. How many food recalls will it take before we all realize that our industrial food system is broken? How many of our children will suffer before we the people will demand a better way? So........
I would like to encourage everyone to commit to making a few minor changes. Join a CSA, shop at your local farmers market, get to know the folks who grow your food, ask questions.{where was it grown and under what conditions}. It won't be easy, it will take more time and effort but in the long run will be worth it. Start small; start with one or two items that you normaly purchase at the grocery store; see if you can find someone that you can look in the eye and ask those questions; and go from there. If you have already started please continue your food journey by helping someone else begin. Get involved!!

We need your help!! In order for us pay as we go for our early season expenses we need to have our members sign up now and make a first payment. We can charge our puchases as we have done in the past , but would like to get to the point that we don't need to. Our farm expenses for the first quarter this season are going to run about $10,000. [seeds, fertilizer,misc supplies $1500;potting soil $300; utilities $1000; taxes $800; insurance $3,000; and the rest is labor [your farmer needs to make an attempt at a living wage!!]. We need 50 members to sign up now
and make a first payment to make this happen.

We anticipate that veggie pickup will start the first Saturday in April..just about 8 weeks from now and counting down!!

So....if you have already signed up and made a payment..THANK YOU!!

If not..and you are going to return for another season of great vegies or would like to become a new member..Please sign up now!!

Please let me know if you need someone to share with or are wanting to join one of our pickup groups.
Note: We have a member in Montrose who is looking for someone to share a Mini. Let me know if you are interested and I can hook you up with her contact info.

If you would like a tour of the farm, please let me know..Can't see much much going on yet out in the field, but things are starting to happen in the propagation house and the high tunnel.

Returning members will need to use this link;
circleagarden.com/members/returning   It should give you a place to type in your e-mail address {the one you used this season} It will send you an e-mail with a secure link that you can use to complete the signup process..{this verifies that you own the e-mail address}.. for those of you who are sharing..use the e-mail address of the primary user{should be whoever did the signup for this season}..If you have any problems please let me know..I did a test run and it looks like it all works, but..I am very new to all this and ....who knows when my little netherspere gremlin will pop up!!

New members will need to go to the website { www.circleagarden.com } and use the member signup.

Workdays for Febuary will be Saturday mornings 9:00 am- 1:00 pm.
 Febuary 5, Febuary 19..come get a head start on your work requirement {or play catchup from last season!!} We will be working in the tunnels getting them ready to plant.
Please let me know when you will be joining us for a fun day!!

Note to John..Thank you so much for your kind words on Local Harvest!! Not sure we can live up to all of it but we will give it our best try!! {I tried just sending you an e-mail but it keeps bouncing back}

Looking forward to spring!!

All of us at Circle A Garden