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Posted 2/26/2011 12:52pm by Betsy Austin.

Greetings and Salutations everyone!!

Here we are at the end of Febuary already. It is hard to beleive that March is right around the corner!! We are about 5 weeks out from our first veggie pickup of the 2011 season!! Things are starting to pop up all over..we have been busy planting. The intense cold the first part of the month slowed us down a bit {we had 3 nights running of 10 below zero!! Brr!!}, but the weather has been very good the last ouple of weeks..nice and sunny highs into the 50's lows in the mid 20's. The high tunnel is starting to green up again!! We have chard, kale, bok choi, mustards, and other assorted greens all transplanted and growing well. We have radishes, turnips, salad greens, and spinach all coming up well now. We have beets and carrots planted. We have scallions, lettuce, and more greens in the prop house that need to grow just a bit more before we transplant them. In the prop house we have onions and leeks started..more lettuces and artichoke ready to prick up into larger pots. We have already started the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant for the high tunnel and they are up and doing well.
Seeds have been arriving daily..we found several new things to try this season in addition to all our old favorites..several tomatoes..Creme Brule {ok so I picked this one beause of its name!!} green sausage, Nebraska Wedding, and lime green salad round out the tomatoes. I may have gone a little nuts when I was looking for peppers..tequila sunrise, albino bullnose, and another sweet frying pepper like the italian sweet except it is yellow instead of red..We are trying jicama in the high tunnel..we tried it a few years ago outdoors and got lots of vines but no jicama. Della and Breigh {from Buckhorn Gardens}have been starting all sorts of strange herby things again..some culinary and some medicinal. So many fun things to try..don't you just  love seed catalogues??

Although we have gotten a late start getting things going in the high tunnel we are still shooting for April 2 for the first veggie pickup..much will depend on what the weather decides to do in the next 4 weeks..our first week or 2 may be a bit short on some of our usual offerings..I will keep you updated on how things are growing in the coming weeks..we have some things that will be ready to harvest and some that will need a bit more time.

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.

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.

We also have a Tiny share in Montrose looking for a partner

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 March will be Saturdays 9:00 am - 12:00..these will be the last Saturday workdays until December..In April we will switch to Sundays until June. Please let me know what week you will be coming out..

Looking forward to spring!!

All of us at 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

 

 

Posted 7/1/2010 11:19pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Can you all beleive it is July already?? It has been hot and dry most of the week..a bit of wind here and there..some of the gusts were pretty bad..a few almost afternoon thundershowers..you know those ones that get close enough that we can smell the rain then they split and rain on the plataue and up Buckhorn..just a teaser!!
So many things are changing here..cool season crops are finishing up and the warm season goodies are growing and maturing rapidly..the peas are just about done..we have a few for this week and maybe a couple pounds of snow peas next week..it looks like we will have a few favas this week..the cucs in the high tunnel are starting to take off so we will have a few more of them..Elly and I picked the first 3 Japanese Black Treifele tomatos out of the high tunnel today..Many, Many more to come in the coming weeks!! Okra is growing well..will have the first little batch of it this week..
We got a good start on mulching potatoes during our workday Wed. {Thanks to Gail and Melissa for coming out Tues to help weed them!! Huge thanks to Mable for coming out Wed to help mulch!! } They are looking great..blooming and have little potatoes about the size of dimes forming..
Peppers and eggplant in the high tunnel have little itty bitty fruit forming..some of the tomatoes in the low tunnel are starting to set fruit..the melons and winter squash are starting to take off..beans are coming up..we picked about 8 baby summer squash Wed during our squash bug patrol..and it looks like we will be starting on our main garlic harvesting about mid month!!
We should be able to add a few new things to the line up on Saturdays..{just a few of each to start so please be kind and share!!}

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel; 
beets..just a few
snow peas
carrots
kale
swiss chard
cucmbers
okra
new zealand spinach {just a bit}
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
herbs..not sure just what she is picking from there..so many herbs are growing well outdoors now..

From outdoors;
garlic scapes
 green onions
peas
fava beans
lettuce {possibly}
bok choi
more herbs{not sure how many this week..many of them were damaged by the hail..


Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off
Note: if it is Friday evening or Saturday morning and you need to let me know to bag for you please call {970-249-9725} I check the e-mail Friday evening..usually about 6 pm or so..and may not get a chance to check it again until Saturday evening..


Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday weekend!!

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

 

Posted 6/3/2010 5:19pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
The weather this week has been pretty good..we did have a bit of frost early{Sat. night I think}, but the rest of the week has been very warm..high 40's at night..edging up to 80 and above during the day..Not so much wind this week..nice breezes here and there..We have been doing the siesta thing mid day this week..getting out at the crack of dawn to plant, plant, plant..breaking until early evening ..then going out to plant some more!! It has been a bit hazy and cloudy the last few days so all our new transplants aren't out baking in the hot sun..so far they all look great..I think we have a little delTufo magic going on!!
Outdoors we have been busy, busy ,busy!! On our workday Sunday we got more beds ready to plant..Thank you to all of you who came out to give us a hand..we got a lot done..fed the chickens at least a gazzillion weeds!! So far this week we have planted more summer sqash, celery, peppers, eggplants, sliceing cucs..this evening we are finishing up the artichokes and Aunt Molly's ground cherries..Everything is really growing!! I think the potatoes grew at least 6 inches!! The peas are finally blooming..setting a few pods now..hopfully we will have a few before it gets too hot for them..the favas are blooming...the onions, shallots, and leeks have really shot up this week!! Mom has been working on weeding cabbages, favas, broccoli, and Cauliflower..Della has been working on her beds and getting the alliums mulched...Della and Mom went out to pick the rhubarb this morning..they didn't get but a few small bunches..it is getting a bit too warm for it to grow well..we may get a bit more in the fall after the weather cools..
It looks like next week we are starting into that lull in the veggies..we will still have chard, kale, carrots, beets, spring onions, green garlic, and a few other fresh veggies..we will try to fill some of the gap with larger bunches of herbs to preserve for the winter..cut flowers {mostly peonies}..bedding plants..Please bear with us while we wait for everything to grow and mature..

Special program on soils..Monday, June 7 10:00 am..We work with Dr. Ron Godin {CSU extension agronomist for the Tricounty area}on our soil fertility..The last five or six years he has come out to the farm to share his knowledge of our unique soils with our interns..This year we are inviting our CSA members and the folks from the Ridgway Community Garden. Please come join us for this very informative program. You will be able to learn about what makes up soils..what nutrients are needed to grow good plants.. what all the numbers on a soil test mean..how to figure out what your soils need..what indications your plants show to tell if you have a nutrient deficiency and much more..The soil talk will be followed by a question and answer time..We will have a potluck lunch afterwards and a tour of the farm.

We have the final information on the fruit share.. It will be one basic size..those who can use more fruit can get several shares..We need to know by June 15 who is interested..You will need to pay the total amount up front by July 15..to keep things as simple as possible for the folks at Ela Family Farm please make checks out to Circle A Garden..we will combine them all together and send one check to them..the information from Ela's is at the end of the newsletter{I hope} if you have any questions, please let me know..

June workdays..Wednesday June 16 and Wednesday June 30  5-8pm
If the workdays we schedule do not work out for you we can set up other times for you to come out..

June farm tour Saturday June 12  10:30 am..Come see how the garden grows!!

I have been adding more recipes to the website..some of the new ones use some of the things that are in season now..greens, spinach, radishes, carrots, and rhubarb. The recipe pages also have a searchable database by type of produce..there are over 200 recipes now to give you ideas on how to use your weekly veggies

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
beet greens
beets..just a few
sugar snap peas..limited quantities right now..please be kind to fellow members and share..
carrots
lettuce
kale
bok choi
swiss chard
mustard
salad turnips
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
herbs..not sure just what she is picking from there..so many herbs are growing well outdoors now..

From outdoors;
rhubarb  {the last few bunches; Della says we may have more once it cools off this fall}
green garlic
 green onions
more herbs
lambs quarter..a great wild edible that can be used in place of spinach
purslane..another great wild edible..very high in omega 3
cut flowers..mostly iris..but maybe some peonies..they are almost ready to cut..

From the propagation house;
bedding plants.. a few peppers..tomatoes...pansies..herbs..summer squash and more

Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours in the coming weeks.
Thank you all for talking us up..we are getting a few new members and many calls for more information!!
Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.
May have a new member looking for a partner to share with..also looking to join a pickup group in the Ouray or Ridgway area.

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


Hope you all have had a good week. Please let me know if you will be here for the workday  and if you will be joining us for the soil talk in June.

See you Saturday!!

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

 

2010 Ela Family Farms’ Organic CSA fruit share

For Circle A Garden Members

 

Ela Family Farms is happy to be a part of Circle A Garden’s CSA offerings. We have been growing fruit in Colorado for over 100 years! We let our fruit ripen on the tree so you can enjoy the best tasting fruit possible.

CSA Fruit share $115

We grow many apple varieties, so each week you will receive a different apple and experience the order in which they are harvested. For example, you will learn that Galas are an early season apple while Fujis are one of the last apples off the tree.

Predicted Fruit Schedule

Aug. 19- Peaches

Aug. 26- Peaches

Sept. 2- Peaches

Sept. 9- Two fruits: Peaches and apples
Sept. 16- Two fruits: Pears and apples or Peaches

Sept. 23- Two fruits: Apples and plums or pears

Sept. 30- Apples or pears

Oct. 7- Apples

Oct. 14- Apples

Oct. 21- Apples

Oct. 28- Apples- Braeburn and/or Fuji apples. These two varieties are excellent storage apples. When kept cold, these apples will stay crisp and delicious for 4-6 weeks.

- Receive approximately 50 pounds of fruit over 11 weeks. Since every season is different, some flexibility is required. If we have a crop shortage, we will substitute a fruit dollar for dollar with another fruit or one of our organic artisan fruit products.
Posted 5/13/2010 5:47pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Well, we are still reeling from our frosty night last Thursday!! We were down below 20 here on the farm{it was 32 in town!!}. We were prepared for it to get down to about 26 here, but that extra 6 or 7 degrees was a shocker!! Did a bit of weather research this week..it just seems like we are way colder than our norms this year..{even cooler than last season!!last season March and April were cool, then May warmed up some..we had 40 degree nights and 60-70 degree days clear through until about mid-June} average temps for May are 43 for the lows and 71 for the highs..went back into weather history to see how low the lows were..found  23 degrees back in 1968, and a couple more low 20's back in 1915-1917..then way back in 1909 it got down to 17 degrees..We didn't set any records, but that didn't help our poor little plants!!I am hopefull that most of them will eventually produce but they have been set WAY back..we may end up with a gap in the amount of produce come June..many of the cool season greens in the high tunnel will be done and the plantings outdoors are just not going to be big enough to harvest..we will still have afew things..chard, kale, onions, green garlic, rhubarb, and herbs..will probably have beets, carrots, lettuce, and a few peas {from the high tunnel} as well..by July we will hopfully be back on track..we'll keep you posted on how things are looking as we get closer to June.

In the high tunnel, most of the cool season crops did well during the cold..the peas got nipped again {we were able to pick a couple of pounds of sugar snaps this week..they don't look the greatest, but still taste pretty darn good!!}..we lost 5 of the heirloom tomatoes and about the same number of cucs..we were able to replace the tomatoes and started more cucs in the prop house..the new zealand spinach is waiting for warmer weather to start really growing, but the malabar spinach and the purslane will need to be replanted. On the other hand we have about 5 tomatoes set on the cherry tomatoes an many of the other are starting to bloom!! The determinate tomatoes in the low tunnel got hit really hard, out of 38 plants we had only one that made it through without much damage..most of the rest froze clear back..some of them may go ahead and put out new growth..some are completly gone..we were able to replace about 1/3 of them so far..need to wait a week to replace the rest..we have some plants that were slated to go outdoors later this month and are just not quite big enough yet to transplant..I was soooo looking forward to fresh tomatoes by the end of June!! May still have a few then, but it will be July before we have a lot.

Outdoors things are really struggling..the alliums {onions, leeks,shallots,garlic,chives}and lentils all look great!! Many of our other plants are just not liking the weather!! cabbage and many of the peas may go ahead and produce..much later and maybe not as much as we would hope for..the broccoli and cauliflower may recuperate some but may not produce many nice heads..the lettuce we just planted will be ok, but the next succession that was out hardening off is about 1/2 gone..the bok choi we just planted is toast as well as the next succession of it..we have more letttuce in the propagation house just waiting until I get brave enough to kick it out and we started more bok choi..the favas have a few more frosted leaves, but I think they will go ahead and produce..thankfully the potatoes have not started growing much yet..they were still protected by their mulch..they are busy making lots of roots and a few of them have sprouts almost ready to come through the mulch..
Much of the tree fruit here on the farm is not going to happen this year..I think this last cold did a number on the apricots that Della was seeing last week..the plums are toast..the apples look like they may be another story though..many of them are still blooming..{Della says we may NOT have to thin the winesaps this year!!}..the pear tree is still blooming..we won't know for a while if we will have the apples and pears yet..they may have gotten more damaged than they look..
That's all the bad news..the good news is we have had RAIN today for the first time this year!! Haven't had any SNOW so far today!! And the weather forcast looks like we will be warming up just a bit during the next 10 days or so!! We have faith that the weather will even out a bit for the rest of the season and we WILL have another great season!!

Work days for May will be Sunday May 16, Wednesday May 19, and Sunday May 30 All workdays will be 10:00 am-3:00 pm..with a potluck lunch..I am thinking maybe I'll make rhubarb dahl this time..and Micheal and Denice would like to make a salad of some sort..The refridgerator pickles Denice and I just started with the left over radishes should be ready by then as well..Come join us for the day or for a few hours..Projects will be either getting beds ready to plant or planting them.

Farm tour on Saturday May 15 {weather permitting} We will start about 10:30 am. Come and see how the garden is growing!!

Special program on soils..Monday, June 7 10:00 am..We work with Dr. Ron Godin {CSU extension agronomist for the Tricounty area}on our soil fertility..The last five or six years he has come out to the farm to share his knowledge of our unique soils with our interns..This year we are inviting our CSA members and the folks from the Ridgway Community Garden. Please come join us for this very informative program. You will be able to learn about what makes up soils..what nutrients are needed to grow good plants.. what all the numbers on a soil test mean..how to figure out what your soils need..what indications your plants show to tell if you have a nutrient deficiency and much more..The soil talk will be followed by a question and answer time..We will have a potluck lunch afterwards and a tour of the farm.

We are still working on adding a fruit share from Ela Family Farms this year..to simplify things on Ela Farms end looks like we will do only one smaller size share of fruit..Those folks who would like more fruit can sign up for multiple shares..we are not certain on the cost yet..what the weather does in the next 4 or 5 weeks will determine what the fruit crop will be..So while you are sending us those warm thoughts, please send a few up Steve's way!! We are hoping to get pricing information out to you by mid-May.

I have been adding more recipes to the website..some of the new ones use some of the things that are in season now..greens, spinach, radishes, carrots, and rhubarb. The recipe pages also have a searchable database by type of produce..there are over 200 recipes now to give you ideas on how to use your weekly veggies

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
beet greens {yes!! we almost have beets!!}
carrots
chinese cabbage
lettuce
spinach{will have just a little spinach now..it is almost done until fall}
kale
bok choi
swiss chard
mustard
green garlic
scallions
radishes{just a few untill we have ones from outdoors}
salad turnips
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
shallots

From outdoors;
rhubarb
green garlic
possibly a few green onions
more herbs

From the propagation house;
bedding plants.. a few peppers..tomatoes...pansies..herbs..we will have more as the weather warms.

Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, and mustard
choices from scallions, shallot, green garlic, radishes, turnips, bedding plants
choices from  carrots, rhubarb, chinese cabbage
choices from more greens and lettuce
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours in the coming weeks.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.
May have a new member looking for a partner to share with..also looking to join a pickup group in the Ouray or Ridgway area.

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


Hope you all have had a good week. Please let me know what workdays you are planning to come to, if you are going to do the farm tour in May and if you will be joining us for the soil talk in June.

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 5/6/2010 7:57pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
We are soooooo confused!! Weren't we supposed to be over the snow and cold thing sometime in early April?? We woke up Friday morning to 22 degrees..warmed up slightly..I think it got up to about 45..felt much colder than that though..Saturday morning it was 26 degrees..was a bit warmer out while the sun was shining..cold again Saturday night but only down to about 28..Sunday Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday it was much warmer..back up in the 70's..nights about 40..Been a bit breezy though the last 3 days..The wind today has a bit of a nip in it and there is a freeze warning out again for tonight...Not sure how our fruit is fairing..Della says she can see little tiny apricots on some of the trees..the plums,pears, and apples are still blooming this week..some of the blossoms were kind of brown and icky but most seem alright..time will tell..we've got our fingers crossed that it just thinned the Winesap apple so we don't have to!!
Most of the crops we had planted came through the cold well..the older leaves on the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions got a little nipped, but all have nice pretty new leaves growing..the cold set them back a bit, but they are looking good!! We were worried about the rhubarb freezing but so far it is looking good..Della picked it today..had to cull some because it was damaged, but still have quite a bit..we are making ketchup, chutney, and all sorts of goodies with what we culled out!!

We are almost through with plants in the propagation house..we started the last few things this week..summer squash and zucchetta..the basil is almost big enough to prick up..Now we just have to keep all the plants watered and cared for until we can get them planted out!!

In the high tunnel, everything came through the cold with flying colors..even the tomatoes!! A few of the snow peas got a little nipped, but they are much taller than everything else!!
The determinate tomatoes in the low tunnel look great..I think they have grown a good 4 or 5 inches since we planted them out!!
Outdoors we get a few more things in each week..this week we planted out lettuce and bok choi and weeded some of the early plantings..Denice, mom, and I have been working on getting beds ready to seed..salad greens, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, parsnips, salsify, scorazera, kohlrabi, greens, and more..
I don't think the peas grew much at all this past week..they look so small compared to the ones in the tunnel!! Lentils are doing well, a couple leaves on the favas got nipped, but they are doing well also..the potatoes are barely starting to sprout..a little slower than I anticipated, but we should be starting to see them peeking out of their mulch layer soon..

Work days for May will be Sunday May 16, Wednesday May 19, and Sunday May 30 All workdays will be 10:00 am-3:00 pm..with a potluck lunch..I am thinking maybe I'll make rhubarb dahl this time..and Micheal and Denice would like to make a salad of some sort..The refridgerator pickles Denice and I just started with the left over radishes should be ready by thne as well..Come join us for the day or for a few hours..Projects will be either getting beds ready to plant or planting them.

Farm tour on Saturday May 15 {weather permitting} We will start about 10:30 am. Come and see how the garden is growing!!

Special program on soils..Monday, June 7 10:00 am..We work with Dr. Ron Godin {CSU extension agronomist for the Tricounty area}on our soil fertility..The last five or six years he has come out to the farm to share his knowledge of our unique soils with our interns..This year we are inviting our CSA members and the folks from the Ridgway Community Garden. Please come join us for this very informative program. You will be able to learn about what makes up soils..what nutrients are needed to grow good plants.. what all the numbers on a soil test mean..how to figure out what yoour soils need..what indications your plants show to tell if you have a nutrient deficiency and much more..The soil talk will be followed by a question and answer time..We will have a potluck lunch afterwards and a tour of the farm.

We are still working on adding a fruit share from Ela Family Farms this year..to simplify things on Ela Farms end looks like we will do only one smaller size share of fruit..Those folks who would like more fruit can sign up for multiple shares..we are not certain on the cost yet..what the weather does in the next 4 or 5 weeks will determine what the fruit crop will be..So while you are sending us those warm thoughts, please send a few up Steve's way!! We are hoping to get pricing information out to you by mid-May.

I have been adding more recipes to the website..some of the new ones use some of the things that are in season now..greens, spinach, radishes, carrots, and rhubarb. The recipe pages also have a searchable database by type of produce..there are over 200 recipes now to give you ideas on how to use your weekly veggies

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
beet greens {yes!! we almost have beets!!}
carrots
chinese cabbage
lettuce
spinach
kale
bok choi
swiss chard
mustard
green garlic
scallions
radishes
salad turnips
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
shallots

From outdoors;
rhubarb
green garlic
possibly a few green onions

From the propagation house;
bedding plants.. a few peppers..tomatoes..broccoli..pansies..herbs..we will have more as the weather warms.

Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, and mustard
choices from scallions, shallot, green garlic, radishes, turnips, bedding plants
choices from  carrots, rhubarb, chinese cabbage
choices from more greens and lettuce
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours in the coming weeks.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.
May have a new member looking for a partner to share with..also looking to join a pickup group in the Ouray or Ridgway area.

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


Hope you all have had a good week. Please let me know what workdays you are planning to come to, if you are going to do the farm tour in May and if you will be joining us for the soil talk in June.

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/29/2010 6:28pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!! Don't you all just love Colorado weather!! After a week of planting and playing in the nice warm, sunny weather{we have been down to shorts and t-shirts this week}, it was rather a shock to wake up this morning to MORE SNOW!! It was starting to stick about 6:00 this morning and by 10:00 we had about 3 inches again..at least the wind finally quit blowing!! Yesterday it was blowing pretty good when we got up..and just picked up speed as the day wore on..I think it finally died down about 1:00 this morning..unfortunatly the plums, pears, and some of the apples were in full bloom this week..not sure how they will fair the next couple of nights..it is supposed to get much colder again..Isn't May supposed to be like Saturday??

In the propagation house we've pricked up a few more things..the basil is just coming up..Della and mom got the winter squash and melons started..

In the high tunnel we let the heirloom tomatoes out of their walls of water and got their trellis dropped down..this morning we had to re-think their remay covering..we took it all down and doubled it up so they hopefully will stay nice and toasty the next couple of nights..I chickened out on letting the cherry tomatoes out this morning..they are about 6 inches taller than their walls of water so we just did the double covering on them as well..maybe next week we will let them out!! Then we covered all the greens, lettuce, peas, radishes,turnips, spinach, and anything else that we could to keep them a bit more toasty tonight.
Yesterday morning Micheal, Mom, and I planted the determinate tomatoes in the low tunnel..3 red varieties, a black one, a bi-colored one, and an orange paste variety..This morning when I looked out the window, my heart fell to my toes..I wasn't sure just how cold it got last night {the forcast said 38 degrees and rain this am},but they came through like champs without any extra covering!! This morning,though we pulled out all the old blankets and sleeping bags we have on hand for covering things and tucked them all in..looks like we had a slumber party last night!!

Outdoors we have been plugging along..Monday and Tuesday we got the broccoli, califlower, and the late cabbages planted..the sunchokes, favas, and lentils are coming up..the peas are about 3 inches tall..the garlic is starting to look more impressive..the onions, shallots, and leeks are starting to put up nice new green leaves..the raspberries are coming up..the grapes are budding..Yesterday afternoon Micheal and I went out and got a good start on pruning them..Della and mom have been working on the herb beds..doing a bit of weeding and planting more plants

We are still working on adding a fruit share from Ela Family Farms this year..to simplify things on Ela Farms end looks like we will do only one smaller size share of fruit..Those folks who would like more fruit can sign up for multiple shares..we are not certain on the cost yet..what the weather does in the next 4 or 5 weeks will determine what the fruit crop will be..So while you are sending us those warm thoughts, please send a few up Steve's way!! We are hoping to get pricing information out to you by mid-May.

I have been adding more recipes to the website..some of the new ones use some of the things that are in season now..greens, spinach, radishes, carrots, and rhubarb. The recipe pages also have a searchable database by type of produce..there are over 200 recipes now to give you ideas on how to use your weekly veggies

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
carrots
chinese cabbage
lettuce
spinach
kale
bok choi
swiss chard
mustard
collards
green garlic
scallions
radishes
salad turnips
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
shallots and maybe a bit more garlic

From outdoors;
rhubarb {Della and Denice ran out this morning in the snow and picked it before it could freeze tonight!!}

From the propagation house;
bedding plants..tomatoes..broccoli..pansies..herbs..we will have more as the weather warms.

Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, and mustard
choices from scallions, shallot, garlic, green garlic
choices from  radishes, turnips, carrots, rhubarb, bedding plants, 
choices from more greens and lettuce
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours in the coming weeks.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.
May have a new member looking for a partner to share with..also looking to join a pickup group in the Ouray or Ridgway area.

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


Hope you all have had a good week

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/22/2010 9:05pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
We couldn't ask for nicer weather this week until yesterday evevning..70-80 degree days..40 degree nights..lots of sunshine..little to no wind..THEN..yesterday as we were finishing up for the day, the wind started howling..lasted just long enough for us to get the kids under shelter and the greenhoused all closed up..and it quit!! A little later it was breeezy with a few drops of rain here and there..THEN.. we woke up this morning to a little bit of snow..It was a bit blustery and chilly this morning, but cleared off nicely..a bit breezy at times and much colder than it had been earlier in the week..It is supposed to be much colder tonight..we'll have to see what happens with the apricots..if we didn't lose much of the crop last night we may lose it tonight..and I was so looking forward to cots this year!!

In the propagation house we are busy pricking up and starting more transplants..cucumbers for outdoors, okrafor the high tunnel, more lettuce, basil, tomatillos, sunflowers..Della is getting ready to start melons and winter squash this week.

In the high tunnel we are pretty much through planting until we harvest more of the early season stuff..mostly we just weeded and admired every thing..the tomatoes are about ready to come out of their walls of water..they are just about ready to start trellissing..most all the peas have started to bloom..we will have a few in the next couple of weeks to give us all a taste of things to come when our main crop outdoors gets to producing..last week I said it looked like we could start harvesting lettuce, carrots and chinese cabbage..Well, the lettuce is ready, the carrots are sizing up nicely but just need another week to flavor up, the chinese cabbage is heading up but isn't quite ready.

Outdoors we have been busy, busy , busy,..On our workday Sunday we worked on planting potatoes..huge thanks to Mable, Kat, Stan, Eric, Paul, Jeff, Suzann, Liz, and Sam for coming out..this was probably one of our hardest workdays..you all were wonderful!! It would have taken Della, Micheal, Denice, and I several days to get all those taters in and covered!! {Astrian crescent is the variety I couldn't remember last week}
The rest of the week we worked on getting the leeks, shallots, and cabbage planted. We have also spent several days working on getting the drip system up and running..checking all the tubing for leaks, flushing them and getting them tacked down in the beds..I think we are about 1/4 of the way done getting it ready for the summer..

We are still working on adding a fruit share from Ela Family Farms this year..to simplify things on Ela Farms end looks like we will do only one smaller size share of fruit..the 3 lbs a week..Those folks who would like more fruit can sign up for multiple shares..we are not certain on the cost yet..what the weather does in the next 4 or 5 weeks will determine what the fruit crop will be..So while you are sending us those warm thoughts for the apricots, please send a few up Steve's way!! We are hoping to get pricing information out to you by mid-May.

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
lettuce
spinach
kale
bok choi
swiss chard
mustard
collards
green garlic
green shallots
radishes
salad turnips
leeks
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
shallots and maybe onions and gerlic..we are getting to the end of the road on storage crops

From outdoors;
just a few sunchokes..then we are done with them until fall
we may have a few other goodies from outdoors this week..it will depend on how much of a freeze we have tonight

Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, bok choi, and mustard
choices from leeks, onion, shallot, garlic
choices from sunchokes, radishes, turnip, green garlic, green shallot, and more greens..
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours here in March.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.

Returning members from 2009 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.


Hope you all have had a good week

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/16/2010 7:33pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
I can almost say that spring is here!! But everytime I do it snows a bit more..the weather this week has been glorious..nice warm sunny days..most nights above freezing..just one night that got down to about 29..the apricots are finally blooming..at least two weeks later than normal..send us nice warm thoughts every night so they don't freeze again this year!! the lilacs are getting big fat buds..the peas we planted outdoors a couple weeks ago are up..many of the perenial herbs are coming up..the rhubarb shot up..its about 8 inches tall now..many of the shrubs are budding..except the forsythia..it's in full bloom..AND it hasn't snowed for over two weeks!!

In the propagation house we are busy pricking up and starting more transplants..tomatoes, peppers,eggplant, tomatillos, more lettuce, greens and scallions  for our outdoor plantings. We fertilized and kicked out the broccoli, cauliflower, and artichoke to the bench to harden off..

In the high tunnel we are still planting..more greens, cucumber, calendula..we'll have a bit of a break from planting in there for a few weeks while we harvest more of the cool season stuff..everything is growing in leaps and bounds..looks like we will be able to start harvesting lettuce, chinese cabbage, and carrots next week..

Outdoors we have been concentrating on planting onions..Our thanks to Sally and Chris for coming out on Wednesday to give us a hand..all the onions are in..something like 3500 of them!! Still have leeks and shallots to get in..

Sunday is our next workday..the project for the day is planting potatoes..we have about 150 lbs of them to get in..German butterball, sangre, all blue, snow white, rose finn apple, purple peruvian, ozette, and one other fingerling whose name just escapes me..
Please come and join us for a fun day!! 10:00am-3:00pm..come for the whole day or just a few hours..Potluck lunch about noonish,,

We are still working on adding a fruit share from Ela Family Farms this year..tenatively it looks like they will be able to do about 14 weeks of fruit..from mid August into November..we are talking about 2 different sizes..the larger size about 7 lbs of fruit per week..the smaller about 3 lbs ..we are not certain on the cost yet..what the weather does in the next 4 or 5 weeks will determine what the fruit crop will be..So while you are sending us those warm thoughts for the apricots, please send a few up Steve's way!! We are hoping to get pricing information out to you by mid-May.

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
spinach
kale
bok choi
mizuna
swiss chard
mustard
collards
green garlic
green shallots
radishes
salad turnips
leeks
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
onions
shallots
garlic



From outdoors;
sunchokes


Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, bok choi, and mustard
choices from leeks, onion, shallot, garlic
choices from sunchokes, radishes, turnip, green garlic, green shallot, and more greens..
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off


A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 


We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours here in March.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.

Returning members from 2009 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.


Hope you all are enjoying this wonderful weather. Please let me know if you will be able to join us on Sunday!!

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/8/2010 7:33pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Wow, what a week!! Not much in the way of rain or snow, but the wind has really been howling!! We've had a couple of days that if it wasn't nailed down it is now in Delta!! When it gets this windy we hold our breath and hope the greenhouses and high tunnel stay in place!!..We have several farmer friends who have lost their tunnels in high winds..the wind just gets under them, picks them up, turns them over, bends the pipes every which way and just makes a huge mess...we have ours well anchored {we hope!!} but it doesn't seem to take much to turn them into VERY large kites..
It was a bit chilly and windy until Wednesday so we spent a lot of time in the propagation house and the high tunnel..got more transplants pricked up {celeriac, more cabbage, more letuce, broccoli and cauliflower for Ridgway Community Garden}, started more transplants {more scallions, more greens, summer squash}..in the high tunnel we weeded once again, planted the tomatoes, planted the last batch of lettuce {we will be planting more out into the field as well}, trellised the snow peas..and refilled a few walls of water that we managed to knock over!! We were able to get a few things done outdoors yesterday and today..favas and about 1/2 the lentils are in now, we have beds ready and waiting for the onions, shallots, and leeks..{Sat. morning when you come to pick up your veggies you may see us separating these plants and getting them ready to go in the ground}..this morning we went up to Buckhorn Gardens and helped our freinds there put plastic on one of their high tunnels {last fall they came down and helped us replace the plastic on our high tunnel}..The weather forcast for the coming week looks like we are going to have some great weather for getting out in the fields and getting some planting done!!

We will do the tour again on Saturday if anyone would like...the weather was chilly and breezy last week, but is supposed to be much better.

What's available for the CSA this week? 
From the high tunnel;
spinach
kale
bok choi
mizuna
swiss chard
mustard
collards
green garlic
radishes
salad turnips
leeks
salad greens
edible flowers {pansies}
chives and oregano
Please be aware that our spinach and salad greens are not "ready to eat"..we do chill them in a cool water bath but recomend you wash them before eating!! also please use a bag over your hand as a glove when you are weighing them out!!

From Della's green house;
new zealand spinach
and a good selection of herbs to chose from; camphor, rosemary,mayan mint, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, lemon balm, thyme

From storage {these are crops that were harvested last fall and stored over the winter}
onions
shallots
garlic
purple podded soup pea


From outdoors;
sunchokes


Our setup this season will be pretty much the same as in the past..we will have several catagories of veggies for you to chose from..not sure just what they will be untill we start picking tommorow but it looks like it will be set up as follows;

choice of spinach and /or salad greens
choices from kale, bok choi, mizuna, pea greens, new zealand spinach
choices from leeks, onion, shallot, garlic
choices from sunchokes, soup pea {not sure where the radishes and turnips will go untill I see how many we are able to harvest}
choice of herb
amount and number of choices will depend on what we harvest tommorow and what size share you have..we will be on hand Saturday morning to help you out and answear questions..

Please remember to check your name of the check off list so we know who's been here..if someone is going to pickup for you please remind them to check you off

Don't forget!! workdays for April are this coming Wednesday and the following Sunday!!

A few basic guidlines for the season..
*Pickup is 9:00am-noon April to about mid October when the time changes then it will be 11:00am-2:00pm..it takes us about 2 hours to set up {hence the time change in Oct..it starts getting awfully dark and chilly of a morning when we go back to MST} If you are running late, please give us a call so we know you are on your way..If we do not get a call before 11:30 we will assume that you don't want your veggies and will feed them to our interns or donate them to Christs Kitchen!!

*If you are unable to pickup your veggies on Saturday morning, please make arangements ahead of time..We will be happy to bag them for you {up to 6 times/season, more than that there will be a charge of $2.00/week to help cover labour and cooling expences} You will need to pick them up by Monday evening so we can clean out the cooler. We do have several folks that we bag for each week..The cost for bagging is $75.00 for the season..If you are interested in this option, please contact me to make arrangements.

*For everyones convenience we have a new feature on our website so you can check your balance. If you go to our homepage and look under our products..click on Your membership status..it will ask you for your e-mail address and should sent you an e-mail with your membership information..Please let me know if it doesn't work so I can fix it!!

*We will try to schedule a couple of workdays each month this season. We will try to mix up days and times..some on the weekend, some weekdays, some evenings..If these workdays do not fit into your schedule, please make arrangements for other days or times that will work better for you. If you have children and would like to set up a special time for them to come out to the farm we have a "Kids Program" as well..we do a small project geared toward their age and abilities..do a short tour..and harvest a few veggies that they can take home for their supper..it generally takes about
1 1/2 hours..then each week when you come to pickup your veggies they can visit "their" veggies and watch them grow.. 

*We love having folks visit us and tour the farm..BUT... please do not just drop by..If you want to visit the farm other than veggie pickup day or scheduled workdays..PLEASE call first.. one; we may not be available and two; we do have a watch dog..For her comfort and your safety, please let us know if you are coming out so we can put her in the house before you get here!!

*We encourage all our members to bring their own bags or boxes for their produce..we do have bags available if needed though.. We ask that everyone bring back any clamshells or fiber boxes that your produce is packaged in so we can re-use them.. we can also re-use other clamshells as well..It keeps them out of the landfill and reduces our packaging costs..

*This season we want to encourage you to bring us your compostables!! {unless you have your own compost bin going!!} We will take kitchen scraps {no animal products except eggshells,please!!}..please contact us before bringing us any lawn clipping or yard waste..we need to make sure they're organic and don't have a lot of weed seed!!!

*Each week throughout the season you should get an e-mail update on what's happening here on the farm and what veggies may be available for Sat...Please be aware that our produce is seasonal!! While we try to grow a pretty good variety what the weather is doing will affect the type and amount of veggies.. cold, heat, wind, hail, rain,{or no rain!!}, frost, snow, etc. may dammage certain crops, or delay when we can harvest them..That is one reason we grow so many differsnt things..if one crop fails, we have several others to take its place..I will try to keep you posted on what the weather is affecting us..if you have questions about a specific veggie, let me know and I can give you an idea on what's happening with it..

*Many of our veggies can be preserved for the winter..if you are interested in preserving, please let me know so I can keep you posted on when and what we will have in larger quantities..

*We thank all of you for supporting small-scale local farms!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!! 



I am going to try to set up monthly workdays again this season. If these work days don't fit into your schedule, we can set up other times as well. We can also set up special sessions geared toward children as well.

Workdays for April will be Wednesday April 14 and Sunday April 18 10:00 am- 3:00 pm
projects for these days will be getting more beds ready for planting and getting potatoes planted

We will do the potluck lunch again for these  workdays..we will make a big pot of soup or chile..not sure just what yet ..Please let me know if you can make either of these days so I have an idea of how much soup to make..Come for the day or just a few hours..we will plan on eating around noon

We need your help.. ..we are hoping for a full membership this season {50-60 members}..Please talk us up with your friends, families, and co-workers..I can tell folks all about what and how we grow our veggies, but it is your enthusiasm that bring in the most new members!! Please let me know if you have anyone who would like a tour or needs more information about our CSA..we can set up additional tours here in March.

Note:
...Please let me know if you need a partner. I will add it to this newsletter to see if we can hook you up with someone....
 we have an Ouray group forming..they would like a couple more folks from up that way to share pickup.

Returning members from 2009 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.


Hope you all are enjoying this whacky spring weqther!! Please let me know if you plan on joining us for the tour of the farm on Saturday or the workday on Wednesday!!


All of us at Circle A Garden