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Posted 5/12/2011 5:57pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Well, what is Mother Nature going to throw at us next week?!! This past week started out glorious..we could not have asked for nicer weather on the weekend..sunny and warm..by Monday it was very windy..Tuesday the clouds had rolled in and by Wednesday we woke up to snow again!! I did get that nice overnight rain most of the night Tuesday but by 5 or 6 am Wed. it had turned to the wetest sloppiest snow you can imagine!!
Our workday Sunday was awesome..nice sunny, warm{but not too warm} weather..we got 3 more beds of potatoes planted..Rose Finn Apple, Ozette, Purple peruvian, Austrian Crescent, and All Blue all nicely spaced and tucked in under a layer of mulch!! {thanks to Mable, Janet, and Jon for all your hard work!! Janet helped make trenches and fertilized, Mable spaced all the potatoes in the trenches and Jon hauled several truck loads of leaves} Monday was too windy for doing much of anything outdoors so we spent much of the day in the prophouse fertilizing, labeling, and starting more plants..in the afternoon we worked in the high tunnel getting the drip flushed and fixing leaks and getting beds ready for cucumbers and peppers. Tuesday we planted the remaining bed of potatoes and while I weeded the favas Jon and Della worked on flushing and fixing leaks in the drip outdoors. Wednesday we chickened out..we were going to plant cucs and peppers, but..we slopped around in the snow knocking it off the shade cloth on the vegetable shed and off the fruit trees that have leafed out so they wouldn't break off under all the weight..then we holed up in the house and labled soap, read, knitted and watched it snow!! This morning we planted cucs, peppers, nasturtiums, New Zealand and Malabar spinach in the high tunnel..this afternoon we fastened the shade cloth back down, mixed up fertilizer, and got set for tommorrows harvest.

Note: This Sunday May 15th is a work day..it is supposed to be another glorious sunny day..project for the day will be covering beds and planting broccoli and cauliflower..and maybe some artichokes.. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!


What is available for the CSA;
We still have some hail damage on crops from out doors..the sugar snaps that didn't get nipped last week are starting to set pods..looks like our first pea harvest of the season will be Monday!! the others are stating to recuperate and may be blooming again by next week. We should have a few more carrots..and possibly a few beets

note..not sure what to do with your veggies?? I have recipes for many of the crops we grow on the website..I try to add more as new and different things as they come into season. also, since we are getting a pretty large array of herbs and I can't remember half of them, Della is compiling a notebook with some growing information and uses..look for the blue notebook by the cut  herbs

from the high tunnel
salad greens
kale
chard
mustard
bok choi
collards
beet greens
orach
turnips
radishes {a medley of colors!!}
scallions
green garlic
lettuce
carrots..just a few

NOTE: our spinach and salad greens are NOT ready to eat..we do chill them twice in a cool water bath but we recomend you wash them before eating. {you may be noticing what looks like little white hair in the salad greens..it is fibers off the floating row covers we use to protect them from the cold..usually we manage to find most of them  when we chill it but I noticed some that we missed yesterday when I made my salad for lunch.}

From outdoors
spring onions
green garlic
Rhubarb
herbs

from Della's greenhouse
herbs..not sure just what this week



bedding plants
pansies
and herb plants..chives, sage, broadleaf thyme, camphor, licorice flag, peppermint, tarragon, and more!!
artichokes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and possibly more
just have a couple of tomato plants from the early planting left..will have more in a couple of weeks when they get a bit larger

Note; the tomatoes are doing so well with their jugs of water I would like to use them on the cucumber that are going in next week so Please bring more jugs!!

Thanks to everyone who is bringing us jugs and stuff for the compost bin!!

We still have shares available..our goal is 50-60 members..if we get this many I will not have to make the trip to market every week!!
 
Note:
We have a group in Telluride who needs another person to share pickup..also in Ouray..

Anyone who would like to car pool out to the farm, I will put a sheet out so you can share contact info


If you would like a tour of the farm, please let me know..I still plan on doing a tour one of these Saturdays..I think maybe sometime in May if the weather shapes up!!

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. {not mailing list sign up!!}


Workdays for May with be Sundays..9:00-noon...project for Sunday May 15..planting broccoli and cauliflower.. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

I will have a sign up sheet up Saturday for workdays in May

Looking forward to seeing all of you Saturday

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 5/5/2011 6:17pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Well, the weather was cold,cold,cold over the weekend..we were down in the low twenties until Tuesday night..a bit warmer since then. We ended up turning the drip off once again..it seems like we get all set for a warm spell and it cools off again. We did not get much moisture from the storms this week..just lots of cold and wind. The last couple of days have been gloriously sunny and warm..we are all hoping it will last for a few weeks!! The cold temperatures have been putting a crimp in our outdoor planting plans..we are 2-3 weeks behind getting new things planted out..we may end up with a slight gap between what we are harvesting out of the high tunnel and what we will be able to harvest outdoors in 3 weeks.

In spite of the cold early in the week, this has been a busy week for planting. Our potato project Sunday got put on hold..it had only warmed up to 24 degrees at 8:00 when the first folks arived{I think we may have warmed up to 40}..needless to say we chickened out and spent the morning in the tunnels planting tomatoes..and hauling water to water them in..not to mention filling and hauling something like 75 gallon milk jugs to keep them warm. It looks like we are growing milk jugs instead of tomatoes!! Thank you to John and Mary, Gail, and Jon for braving the weather and hauling all those jugs of water..the tomats look great..I think they have grown at least 2 inches since Sunday!! Monday it was a glorious sunny day..we planted out lettuces, mustard, collards, mizuna, and bok choi..then spent a good bit of time getting them all tucked in under frost blanket for the night..Jon pulled it off this morning and they are looking great. Tuesday the folks from Ridgway community garden were down..we pricked up more celeriac..started basil..filled more pots for cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce, etc..AND hauled all those plants back out to harden off!! In the afternoon Jon and I got the rest of the leeks and shallots in while Mom and Della filled pots for the winter squash and melons and got them started. Wednesday we got a good start on potato planting..we got the German Butterball and the Sangre all planted..2 varieties down and 6 to go!! in the afternoon while I tried to catch up on some paper work, Jon and Della turned the drip on Again and worked on getting the drip fixed up in the allium beds. This morning we planted the sweet potatoes in the low tunnel. Della and Jon are working on getting a bed ready for asparagus {it won't be big enough to harvest for a couple of years, but we will be looking forward!!}
And, of course, tommorrow we harvest!! the look of the high tunnel is changing..we will have space empty after this week for cucumbers and peppers, and maybe some eggplant..

Note: This Sunday May 8th is a work day..it is supposed to be warm and sunny so we are going to plant more potatoes!! Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

NOTE: This from our good freind Jon..he is working with a local group...name of which I can't remember for the life of me {Sorry Jon..you may have to write it on my forehead or something more drastic!!}..on local food issues. this is one of many progects they are working on..if it is successful it can expand to every school!! Wouldn't that be awesome!!

Community Members and Valley Residents..
Pamona School is putting in a school garden.
We need your help!!
This will be an educational/demonstration garden with the possiblity to expand.
Here's what we need
Lumber- 2x 12's
Soil
Seeds
Transplants
Tools..shovels,rakes, hoes..both large and small. seed planters and markers, wheelbarrow, buckets, hoses, wagons, trowels, tomato cages, watering cans, spading forks, pruning shears..
Shed/locker to store garden suppleis
Money to fill in gaps not donated
AND most important thing..your time and support to get this into the ground!! Help to build beds, setting up the garden, hauling stuff, and care of the garden to ensure its success.
THANKS to Alpine Lumber..they have donated all the wood for the beds!!!
For more information or to volunteer contact;
Jon Clayshulte..  jon.clayshulte@gmail.com  or
Christina Fulmer.. cfulmer@gmail.com 
 
If you have items you would like to donate you can drop them off here at the farm and we will make sure Jon gets them..please put a note on them as to what they are for and who they are from..


What is available for the CSA;
We still have some hail damage on crops from out doors..part of the sugar snaps in the low tunnel are blooming their heads off..about 1/4 of them got pretty damaged by the cold over the weekend..the ones we had tucked in with the tomatoes under 2 frost blanket and many gallon jugs of water did great..the ones where we had not planted tomatoes yet were only under 1 frost blanket and not water jugs {we were anticipating about 27 degrees but it got down to 22} are not so happy..they are busy putting out new growth though and will just be a little later than we wanted. should have a few carrots again this week..not sure how many though..we have beet greens now and should be seeing beets very soon.

note..not sure what to do with your veggies?? I have recipes for many of the crops we grow on the website..I try to add more as new and different things as they come into season. also, since we are getting a pretty large array of herbs and I can't remember half of them, Della is compiling a notebook with some growing information and uses..look for the blue notebook by the cut  herbs

from the high tunnel
salad greens
kale
chard
mustard
mizuna
bok choi
collards
beet greens
orach
turnips
radishes {a medley of colors!!}
scallions
green garlic
lettuce
carrots..just a few

NOTE: our spinach and salad greens are NOT ready to eat..we do chill them twice in a cool water bath but we recomend you wash them before eating. {you may be noticing what looks like little white hair in the salad greens..it is fibers off the floating row covers we use to protect them from the cold..usually we manage to find most of them  when we chill it but I noticed some that we missed yesterday when I made my salad for lunch.}

From outdoors
spring onions
green garlic
Rhubarb
herbs {not sure just what weathered the hail..they may be in short supply until they have a chance to recuperate}

from Della's greenhouse
herbs..not sure just what this week

from storage
horseradish

bedding plants
pansies
and herb plants..chives, sage, broadleaf thyme, camphor, licorice flag, peppermint, tarragon, and more!!
artichokes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and possibly more
just have a couple of tomato plants from the early planting left..will have more in a couple of weeks when they get a bit larger

Note; the tomatoes are doing so well with their jugs of water I would like to use them on the cucumber that are going in next week so Please bring more jugs!!

Thanks to everyone who is bringing us jugs and stuff for the compost bin!!

We still have shares available..our goal is 50-60 members..if we get this many I will not have to make the trip to market every week!!
 
Note:
We have a group in Telluride who needs another person to share pickup..also in Ouray..

Anyone who would like to car pool out to the farm, I will put a sheet out so you can share contact info


If you would like a tour of the farm, please let me know..I still plan on doing a tour one of these Saturdays..I think maybe sometime in May if the weather shapes up!!

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. {not mailing list sign up!!}


Workdays for May with be Sundays..9:00-noon...project for Sunday May 8..planting potatoes!!! This is a pretty big project..we have close to150 lbs of seed potatoes to get in the ground!! Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

I will have a sign up sheet up Saturday for workdays in May

Looking forward to seeing all of you Saturday

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/28/2011 5:28pm by Betsy Austin.

Hello everyone,
Well, I may have spoken too soon on the spring thing last week. I wasn't too bad Sat.,Sun., and Mon. We got quite a bit of much needed rain..a little snow shower Sat. morning, but mostly rain. I could tell where folks had come from by their comments on the weather..those coming from Montrose thought it was aweful..those coming from south of us thought it was pretty good. {The mountains got a fair amount of snow over the weekend} Tuesday was a different story..we had rain, snow, wind, hail, a very tiny bit of sun, and freezing temperatures.{had to turn the drip off and drain it AGAIN!!}

Between the hail and the cold nights {Tues we were 23 degrees and Wed we were 24}, I can pretty much definatly say the tree fruit is toast..Apricots, pears and plums got hit pretty hard..I don't think we will have much of any of them..the apples were a bit further behind and so far Della thinks that most of them may go ahead and have at least a amall crop. {they may just be waiting for the nest cold spell!!} Most things growing outdoors weathered the cold nights fairly well, but the hail damaged a few things..mostly the herbs and the rhubarb..so not sure just what herbs we will have this week {Della says the chives are looking good, but some of the other ones form outdoors look like confetti. The rhubarb the next couple of weeks may have hail marks.{the leaves protected the stalks some}
Our new babies {onions, leeks, shallots, peas, favas and kohlrabi made it through fairly well..we had about 15 minutes of hail..the first part of the storm was fairly soft and did not come down as hard as the last part..enough had accumulated up around the plants so that when the major portion of the storm hit they were a little bit protected..I see a few bruised leaves but we lucked out. I am SO glad it rained so much Sat and Sun..I was going to plant lettuce and greens!!

We did not get as much planted out this week due to the weather but kept busy anyway. Sunday and Monday I worked in the prophouse..pricking up herbs, starting more seed {okra, more lettuce, etc}, fertilizing peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery. {Nick was up camping in the snow!!} Tuesday morning we were going to plant tomatoes in the low tunnel, but I chickened out!! and we finished getting the sweet potato bed ready. Then we spent the afternoon tucking everything back in with extra covering for the cold nights and moving all those trays of plants we kicked out last week back into the greenhouse. Wednesday we planted part of the tomatoes..thank you all for the gallon jugs!! {we need more!!}. in the afternoon Nick worked on clearing the old crop residue off the summer squash beds {about the only ones that did not still have snow on them while I worked some more in the prop house and watered the peas in the low tunnel. This morning we picked spinach, let everybody out from under their cold night covering and worked on pulling a few weeds. AND tommorrow we harvest again!

Note: This Sunday May first is a work day..time to plant potatoes!! Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

NOTE: This from our good freind Jon..he is working with a local group...name of which I can't remember for the life of me {Sorry Jon..you may have to write it on my forehead or something more drastic!!}..on local food issues. this is one of many progects they are working on..if it is successful it can expand to every school!! Wouldn't that be awesome!!

Community Members and Valley Residents..
Pamona School is putting in a school garden.
We need your help!!
This will be an educational/demonstration garden with the possiblity to expand.
Here's what we need
Lumber- 2x 12's
Soil
Seeds
Transplants
Tools..shovels,rakes, hoes..both large and small. seed planters and markers, wheelbarrow, buckets, hoses, wagons, trowels, tomato cages, watering cans, spading forks, pruning shears..
Shed/locker to store garden suppleis
Money to fill in gaps not donated
AND most important thing..your time and support to get this into the ground!! Help to build beds, setting up the garden, hauling stuff, and care of the garden to ensure its success.
THANKS to Alpine Lumber..they have donated all the wood for the beds!!!
For more information or to volunteer contact;
Jon Clayshulte..  jon.clayshulte@gmail.com  or
Christina Fulmer.. cfulmer@gmail.com 
 
If you have items you would like to donate you can drop them off here at the farm and we will make sure Jon gets them..please put a note on them as to what they are for and who they are from..


What is available for the CSA;
a few more new things this week..More Rhubarb {may be a bit hail marked}, more lettuces, more greens should have a few different ones..sugar snap peas in the low tunnel are blooming..about 2 week {lord willin' and the crick don't rise!!} we should be able to do the first picking
no carrots, though..we dug the last of the overwintered ones last week..the ones in the high tunnel should have been ready this week, but didn't grow much.

note..not sure what to do with your veggies?? I have recipes for many of the crops we grow on the website..I try to add more as new and different things come into season. also, since we are getting a pretty large array of herbs and I can't remember half of them, Della is compiling a notebook with some growing information and uses..look for the blue notebook by the cut  herbs

from the high tunnel
salad greens
spinach
kale
chard
mustard
mizuna
bok choi
collards
beet greens
orach
turnips
radishes {a medley of colors!!}
scallions
green garlic
lettuce

NOTE: our spinach and salad greens are NOT ready to eat..we do chill them twice in a cool water bath but we recomend you wash them before eating. {you may be noticing what looks like little white hair in the salad greens..it is fibers off the floating row covers we use to protect them from the cold..usually we manage to find most of them  when we chill it but I noticed some that we missed yesterday when I made my salad for lunch.}

From outdoors
possibly scallions
green garlic
Rhubarb
herbs {not sure just what weathered the hail..they may be in short supply until they have a chance to recuperate}

from Della's greenhouse
herbs..not sure just what this week

from storage
sunchokes
horseradish

bedding plants
pansies
and herb plants..chives, sage, broadleaf thyme, camphor, licorice flag, peppermint, tarragon, and more!!
tomato plants, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and possibly more


Note; last year we had to replant most of the tomatoes in the low tunnel..this year I want to have a gallon jug of water for each plant to help keep them a bit warmer..Please save us your gallon milk/water/etc jugs for this purpose. I will need about 50 jugs. Thanks!!

Thanks to everyone who is bringing us jugs and stuff for the compost bin!!..I need about 25 more!!

We still have shares available..our goal is 50-60 members..if we get this many I will not have to make the trip to market every week!!
 
Note:
We have a group in Telluride who needs another person to share pickup..also in Ouray..

Anyone who would like to car pool out to the farm, I will put a sheet out so you can share contact info


If you would like a tour of the farm, please let me know..I still plan on doing a tour one of these Saturdays..I think maybe sometime in May if the weather shapes up!!

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. {not mailing list sign up!!}


Workdays for May with be Sundays..9:00-noon...project for Sunday May 1..planting potatoes!!! This is a pretty big project..we have close to150 lbs of seed potatoes to get in the ground!! Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!

I will have a sign up sheet up Saturday for workdays in May

Looking forward to seeing all of you Saturday

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 4/7/2011 5:09pm by Betsy Austin.

Happy spring everyone!!

It has been a busy week!! The first veggie pickup went well..a few minor hitches..mostly while we were setting up..it is amazing what Della and I can forget over the winter. But the sun shone most of the morning and the wind didn't pickup until about 11:00. Our first intern of the season {Nick}arrived late Saturday afternoon..just in time to get his tent set up before we headed up to dinner with the folks at Buckhorn. Sunday we started out in the prop house..getting more seeds started and more little plants pricked up. We are getting Soooo..many plants we keep running out of room for them!! Monday we had the farm tour..we ended up with about 20 folks..the folks from Uganda and Kenya, a couple of CSA members, and a couple of local folks..it was awesome..so many great questions and good conversation..just not enough time!! After the tour we headed up to Jon's for an amazing lunch and more great conversations..then a tour of Kinikin Corner Dairy. Tuesday Nick and I headed out to the prophouse once again..it was time to bite the bullet and kick a few things out to harden off..we fertilized and trimmed onions and leeks, and fertilized spinach,chard, and kale starts for Ridgway Community Garden, {we have been working with them again this year on getting their transplants started..this year we have a group that is coming down each week to learn how to start their own transplants in the coming years} We kicked out cabbages and leeks to harden off..weather permitting we would like to get them planted this week!! We fertilized the tomatoes for the tunnels {they should be about ready to plant soon}, pricked up broccoli, cauliflower, pansies,and more celery. After lucnch we headed out to plant a few more onions..someday we will get them all in!! We are about 2/3 of the way through them, but we seem to pick the days it wants to snow to plant them!! Wednesday we worked more in the prophouse early, then helped Della and Darren work on the new doors for the high tunnel..After lunch Mom, Nick, and Della weeded the whaole high tunnel.This morning we picked spinach and once again headed for the prophouse..Anthony from Ridgway Community Garden} pricked up their broccoli and cauliflower then helped Nick and I start summer squash, cucs, late cabbages, luffa, nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, tomatillos, the first little bit of basil {we will start more in a couple more weeks} and more!! In between wind, snow and rain this week mom has been weeding the garlic patch. {it is really looking great!!} And tommorrow we harvest!!

What is available for the CSA;
A few more things will be ready for harvest this week..we will be able to add turnips, lots more radishes,more chard, a bit of arugula, collards, and pea greens..

from the high tunnel
salad greens
spinach
kale
chard
mustard
mizuna
bok choi
collards
pea greens
turnips
radishes {a medley of colors!!}
scallions

NOTE: our spinach and salad greens are NOT ready to eat..we do chill them twice in a cool water bath but we recomend you wash them before eating.

From outdoors
carrots
green garlic
dandelion greens

from Della's greenhouse
a few herbs..not a lot of any
chives
mayan mint
lemon grass
pepperminttarragon
spearmint
pineapple mint

from storage
onions
garlic
sunchokes
horserqdish

bedding plants
pansies
and herb plants..chives, sage, broadleaf thyme, camphor, licoice flag, peppermint, tarragon, and more!!
If the weather is nice I will add a few tomato plants..


Note; last year we had to replant most of the tomatoes in the low tunnel..this year I want to have a gallon jug of water for each plant to help keep them a bit warmer..Please save us your gallon milk/water/etc jugs for this purpose. I will need about 50 jugs. Thanks!!


We still have shares available..our goal is 50-60 members..if we get this many I will not have to make the trip to market every week!!
 
Note:
We have a group in Telluride who needs another person t share pickup..also in Ouray..

Anyone who would like to car pool out to the farm, I will put a sheet out so you can share contact info


If you would like a tour of the farm, please let me know..It looks like the weather will be a bit unsettled this coming Saturday so I will do a tour in another week. I think its the 16th..Please let me know if you can make it!!

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 April with be Sundays..projects for the month will be getting the rest of the onions and leeks in, getting beds ready, and planting potatoes and cabbages.

Looking forward to seeing all of you soon!!

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

Posted 3/25/2011 4:37pm by Betsy Austin.

Happy spring everyone!!

It has been springtime in the rockies this week!! We have a day of glorious warm sunny weather..then a day or two of wind..with a little snow..and maybe a bit of rain..and some days we have a bit of everything!!

It has been a busy week..our trip down to Austin was great..it is always fun to see what is happening in the "banana belt"!! When we left here it was cold and snowy..at Rivendell Farm the sun was shining and it was getting warm. We all had a great time looking at all of John's many projects..everything from little transplants in his dining room, woodworking projects in his shop, many cool tools, to his vintage car..something for everyone!!
In the high tunnel we planted more lettuces and greens..just have a bit more spinach, another little section of radishes, and some more lettuce and bok choi to go in this week..it is a good thing we will start harvesting for the CSA this week..I have the next round of veggies just about ready to be transplanted!!
Outdoors we have gotten the fava beans planted and have started on the onions and leeks..{thanks Mike and Joanna, Jon, Patrick, and Evan for all your help!!}

Note; last year we had to replant most of the tomatoes in the low tunnel..this year I want to have a gallon jug of water for each plant to help keep them a bit warmer..Please save us your gallon milk/water/etc jugs for this purpose. I will need about 50 jugs. Thanks!!

Things in the high tunnel are doing well..a bit behind schedule but growing rapidly..Our first veggie pickup will be April 2. While there are a few things that just will not be ready then, we will have quite a bit that just won't hold another week. We should have spinach, salad greens, radishes, swiss chard, kale, bok choi, mustard, green onions and chives for sure. We may have turnips, pea greens, mizuna, orach, green garlic and other herbs by then..they are growing well but may not be quite big enough to harvest by the April 1. beets, carrots, and peas are all up and growing but will take a bit longer before they are ready. We will have a few things from storage..a few onions and garlic and maybe a few parsnips. From the great out of doors we should have sunchokes and possibly carrots..we did a late fall planting of carrots to winter over as an experiment..we checked them and they are tasting great so far!! Della has also been starting quite a few herb plants that should be ready by the 1st..they won't be ready for the great out of doors for many of you, but should do well as house plants untill it is time to plant them out {you should be able to snip them here and there for use in the mean time} I will keep you posted on how things are growing as we get closer to April 1st.

We are one week out from our 1st veggie pickup!!  While many of you have signed up already; there are a few of you who haven't yet..please, please take a few minutes now to sign up!!!
I will need to know by Wednesday if you plan to pick up veggies on Saturday{for those of you who haven't gotten around to signing back up!!}

Note;those of you who are making four payments, this year we are going to need those first 2 payments before the end of April..{this is why we start sign up in January to spread them out!!}. If you are having difficulties, please let me know, we can work something out!!

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..I will be tenatively setting up a tour on the 2nd..if the weather looks iffy I will wait a week..will keep you posted.


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.


Last workdays for March is the 26..project will be getting beds ready onions and getting them planted!! this is the last Saturday workday until December..In April we will switch to Sundays until June. Please make a bit of time to come join us and see just how your food is growing!!

Looking forward to seeing all of you soon!!

All of us at Circle A Garden

 

 

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