Moving from Summer into Autumn

A randomly selected CSA share from Week #10 of our Summer Share

A randomly selected CSA share from Week #10 of our Summer Share

With Autumn approaching, and a forecasted hot week ahead, we are reflecting on the cool, moist summer we have had here in Southern Victoria.  Many of our farming friends in other states have been coping with very dry and hot Summer conditions, while we have been hoping for more heat to ripen field tomatoes and doing what we can to ward off the mildews and fungal diseases encouraged by the moisture.

Our Autumn CSA begins on Wednesday 8 March (Fortnightly Boxes) or 15 March (Weekly Boxes). If you would like to learn more, read through our online Farm Store. You can also use this link to see what crops we are growing this Autumn and/or check out our album of CSA shares from last year on facebook.

Growing within polytunnels has helped our harvest of warm weather crops like tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and chilies through the summer and with some of the bounty of these crops just starting, we are looking forward to continuing to harvest them into the Autumn.

Eggplants...the plants are over a metre high now.  We have been using string lines to help them support their fruit.

Eggplants...the plants are over a metre high now.  We have been using string lines to help them support their fruit.

Capsicums maturing within this unheated polytunnel Peter and my nephew Aleix built this Spring

Capsicums maturing within this unheated polytunnel Peter and my nephew Aleix built this Spring

Field tomatoes and pumpkin patch

Field tomatoes and pumpkin patch

Field tomatoes finally ripening!

Field tomatoes finally ripening!

The beans, potatoes, greens and other roots have been thriving in the fields. Most have enjoyed the cooler weather although sudden heat waves have caused more stress then we have seen in the past...the plants have not had the chance to acclimate to temperatures over 30!

Summer Beans

Summer Beans

Wheel hoeing beetroot.  Potatoes to the left, herbs to the right and Autumn leeks and celeriac in the background

Wheel hoeing beetroot.  Potatoes to the left, herbs to the right and Autumn leeks and celeriac in the background

Summer Beans and Lettuce - with green manure crops preparing soil for Autumn Pea plantings

Summer Beans and Lettuce - with green manure crops preparing soil for Autumn Pea plantings

We choose to not plant corn and melons this season.  Last year we lost three corn plantings to foxes...yes the foxes here eat not only rabbits and chickens but corn, melons, tomatoes, capsicums, berries!!  Corn takes up alot of space.  Without a great solution to keep the foxes from the corn, we choose to use the space for other crops.

Melons can be a hit or miss in our temperate climate.  The hot summers we have had have produced wonderful harvests.  But in cooler seasons, it is difficult for the plants to thrive. 

Our Summer Share CSA members have received Basil, Beetroot, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Beans, Capsicums, Carrots, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Chilies, Coriander, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Pimiento de Padrons, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Rocket, Silverbeet, Spinach, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Zucchini. Each week the shares continue to be varied - with each share receiving between 10-15 items.  You can view photos of the shares here.

Market Style Farm Pick Up

Market Style Farm Pick Up

We also changed our CSA structure so that all the shares have been collected on the farm this season.  Many CSA members have told us how much they enjoy seeing the seasonal changes and choosing their vegetables at the market style pick up.  Several have organised pick up groups sharing the weekly collection between 2-4 families.  We have enjoyed the more direct relationship with many of our members.

This season we have also been providing a few crops to restaurants - building relationships with chefs!  We are enjoying the shared passion about ingredients, the continued desire to grow high quality, tasty produce, and the exposure chefs can bring to small scale agriculture.  Our farm will be featured in this weeks Weekly Times and Organic Gardening Magazine Australia is also interviewing us for an article and photographing some of the beautiful pumpkins we will begin to harvest this week!!

Part of a restaurant order

Part of a restaurant order

Harvesting these 'Potimarron' or 'Red Kuri' pumpkins this week

Harvesting these 'Potimarron' or 'Red Kuri' pumpkins this week

Pumpkins growing this year for the Autumn CSA include: Marina de Chioggia, Queensland Blue, Galeaux d'Eysines, Red Kuri, Musquee de Provence. Japanese Futsu ... Pumpkins are starting to rival tomatoes in the availability of so many different varieties!  And while many squash originated in Mesoamerica, the heirlooms from all over the world are finding an audience.  We continue to trial new ones looking for varieties that thrive on our farm and that have great flavour!

Farm filling up with Sunflowers for the end of the Summer season

Farm filling up with Sunflowers for the end of the Summer season

Red Frilled Lettuce

Red Frilled Lettuce

coloured heirloom carrots

coloured heirloom carrots

The first broccoli for Autumn forming heads

The first broccoli for Autumn forming heads

Biodynamics describes this time of the season as the last big exhale of the earth.  We can see that in the expression of fruits and the height of many plants.  As farmers we too are still working hard to bring in the harvest of so many crops and seed, transplant and nurture the crops for Autumn - in the next few months we will be "reaping what we sow" as the seeding slows down for Winter, we harvest the crops for Autumn and Winter...some sown in August of last year...and store the pumpkins and potatoes that will feed us through the Winter. The colours and shapes of the Autumn CSA shares are a reflection of the Spring and Summer.  And just as the Earth starts to breathe in, as the days shorten we contemplate the growing season we had and plan for the next.

To our CSA members who support our growing endeavors - Thank you!! We could not grow the way we do without you!

Our Summer Share sold out and we expect the Autumn too as well.  If you are interested, please read more on our online Farm Store.

Spring Planting - Spring Weather ...lots of photos!

There are three weeks to go until we start harvesting for our CSA!!  Even though it has been a grey, cold Spring with lots of rain, most crops are growing well and thriving.  The greens and onions are loving the weather and we have managed to get on top of the weeds during the sunny days. And the polytunnel tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit.

Lettuce and herbs growing in Mandala

Lettuce and herbs growing in Mandala

Tomatoes for the Christmas boxes coming along in the Polytunnel

Tomatoes for the Christmas boxes coming along in the Polytunnel

Salanova lettuce

Salanova lettuce

Zucchini mulched and gaining size with the few warm days we have had - still covered at night for extra warmth and late frost protection

Zucchini mulched and gaining size with the few warm days we have had - still covered at night for extra warmth and late frost protection

Frosty morning late October

Frosty morning late October

The eggplants and capsicums have been held a few extra weeks in the greenhouse while Peter and my visiting nephew Aleix constructed a new polytunnel.  Getting the plastic on in between the wild winds we have had (70km gusts for days!!!) was a challenge but it is ready for tomorrows planting!!

We are growing eight different varieties of capsicum this year -  white, yellow, orange, red, purple, brown and of course green - bell shaped and the Italian longs.  We are also growing several varieties of "frying peppers' who's flavour is enhanced through a quick toss in a hot pan. Some are sweet and make a great addition to pastas, salads and sandwiches and some like the 'Pimiento de Padron' may have a bit of a bite...one of their endearing attributes!  Others can be pickled to enjoy through the Winter.

And we have extended our eggplant varieties as well to include more heirlooms known for their lack of bitterness.  These are great to put on the barbecue or over a fire as well as using them in ratatouille, stir fries and curries.

Eggplant ready to plant out in the field

Eggplant ready to plant out in the field

Capsicums ready for transplanting

Capsicums ready for transplanting

Polytunnel being built in Front Paddock

Polytunnel being built in Front Paddock

new (recycled) polytunnel almost completed and ready for planting this seasons eggplant, capsicums and chillies

new (recycled) polytunnel almost completed and ready for planting this seasons eggplant, capsicums and chillies

The snow peas we want to harvest for Christmas are looking good.  And while the carrots have germinated, we expect them to take off with more warm weather. The beetroot are happy with the cold.  And the potatoes and first bean planting have just started emerging from the soil.

We have been using Biodynamic 501 (ground quartz crystal) which helps plants to tighten their pores (ward off fungal diseases) and supports their use of light!! We hope this will help the tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, and cucumbers ward off any fungal diseases during this moist and cool Spring. And have continued to use Biodynamic 500 when we incorporate green manures to help the transformation from organic matter into hummus.

Snow peas and carrots for the Summer Share

Snow peas and carrots for the Summer Share

Applying BD501 in the early morning - Kale and bok choy growing well

Applying BD501 in the early morning - Kale and bok choy growing well

Manadala Fruit Trees, Herbs and Flowers

Manadala Fruit Trees, Herbs and Flowers

Chicken tractors working through the market garden

Chicken tractors working through the market garden

While we attend to the crops, our CSA for the Summer (15 weeks from 30 November - mid March) is filling up with members purchasing their shares through our online shop.  There are 20 CSA shares still available for Wednesday pick up - the Friday/Saturday pick up option has sold out. If you wanted the Friday/Saturday option, you can join for Wednesday and send us an email to go on the wait list for Friday/Saturday.  If a space becomes available, we will let you know. 

We have had many families making small pickup co-ops to share the weekly vegetable collections.  Some have used the Facebook group TRANSITION FARM CSA to find each other.  If you would like to find other families to share the weekly vegetable collection, and use facebook, please find the group and ask to join.  There may be other CSA members in your area. We have members in Balnarring, Merricks, Red Hill, Frankston, Langwarrin, Mt Eliza, Mt Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea...I could be forgetting a suburb. 

We have a few work share volunteers joining us for the summer share.  A few more would be great!  Our work share volunteers commit to working with us one day a week throughout the 15 week season.  In exchange for their help, they learn alot about our ecosystem and market gardening techniques and leave each week with a box of vegetables.  We have loved working with our work share volunteers and have also loved seeing them branch out...some have started their own market gardens!!  There is more information here...

This season we are focusing on growing higher quality crops - better tomatoes, bigger capsicums, a larger variety of greens and herbs.  We are excited by the variety we are growing and by the challenge of continuing to harvest tasty food grown using biodynamic principles.  We have chosen to try and grow better -as opposed to growing bigger- and are trying to ensure that our precious resources are preserved and enhanced throughout. 

And while I ponder concepts that seem highly managed, I also continue to be amazed at the intricacy of the natural system and inspired to work within it.

Integrated Pest Management...Lady bird in the chervil!

Integrated Pest Management...Lady bird in the chervil!

The bees drinking their honey...and capping virgin comb.  The bees are enjoying the abundance of nectar this season,  We have housed a swarm and are converting two langstroth hives into warre boxes - 4 warre hives on the farm all thriving!!

The bees drinking their honey...and capping virgin comb.  The bees are enjoying the abundance of nectar this season,  We have housed a swarm and are converting two langstroth hives into warre boxes - 4 warre hives on the farm all thriving!!

Peter and I continue to share photos of the farm and thoughts on farming on instagram (@ transitionfarm  and @transitionfarm_robin ) and facebook.  We wonder if home gardens are having an easier time with the frosts and wind.  Here's hoping you have fruit setting, greens thriving and beans and potatoes popping out of the ground!!

Summer Share November 2016

As we prepare more of the paddocks for planting and keep on top of the seed sowing and transplanting schedule, we move closer towards our harvest season.  Our CSA shares for the Summer season are now available through our online farm store!

Prepping the fields

Prepping the fields

Tomatoes in the 4" soil blocks being transplanted in the polytunnel

Tomatoes in the 4" soil blocks being transplanted in the polytunnel

Zucchini tucked under a row cover to protect them from the wind, hail and cold nights of Spring.

Zucchini tucked under a row cover to protect them from the wind, hail and cold nights of Spring.

Lettuces, endive, escarole and celery - hardening off to prepare for field transplanting

Lettuces, endive, escarole and celery - hardening off to prepare for field transplanting

Kal, bok choy and broccoli hoed in between Spring rain.

Kal, bok choy and broccoli hoed in between Spring rain.

We are excited that our CSA Summer Share boxes will be starting on Wednesday 30th November. The Summer Share will run for 15 weeks and then will be followed for a 15 week Autumn Share.

CSA harvest box from Autumn 2016

CSA harvest box from Autumn 2016

In taking the time last year to thoroughly evaluate our business - reviewing everything from the health of our soil, the quality and variety of our crops, our business model and our financial viability, we thought alot about our CSA model, pondering the advantages and disadvantages.  We are often asked why we do not have a farm store? Why don't we sell our produce at markets? Why do people who would like to buy our produce need to sign up to our CSA? 

Heirloom Carrots - June 2016

Heirloom Carrots - June 2016

Currently on the Mornington Peninsula, there is not a consistent weekly farmers market.  There are many markets available throughout the month but they are in different locations on different days of the week.  While we did consider trying to attend the accredited farmer's markets, it is impossible to grow produce for harvest on two days each month.   And if we took to traveling to a different market each week, it would be very hard to establish a consistent clientele who would know and value our produce.  This was one of the first reasons we choose the CSA model.  We wanted to connect with those consuming our produce.  And we wanted to provide them the opportunity to interact with where and how their food was grown.

Heirloom Greenhouse Tomatoes - January 2016

Heirloom Greenhouse Tomatoes - January 2016

Once we started our CSA, we realised that one of the biggest differences between this model and the way we had sold the produce from our first farm in 2003, was the concept of market value.  We had experienced the stress of the rise and fall of market value with our first potato crop.  There are many variables in farming which are completely out of the farmer's control.  We could bear up to those that came with nature.  But it was disheartening when the variables controlling the "worth" of your produce could offer you a fair income one week and then not even make it worth the effort to harvest the next.  But market value extends to the consumer too.  How is it that the first season tomatoes or zucchini or beans are so much more then those later in the season?  We enjoyed that through our CSA model, our produce was removed from market value.  Instead we have based the cost of the share on the actual true cost of growing the food, using biodynamic and organic methods, hand tending, hand harvesting.  It has taken us several years to work out what this "true" cost is.  And it has also taken us several years to become better growers.  I feel as if throughout the process, our CSA members supported us and in return they received wonderful produce at a great price per kilo.

Field Crops on the farm - January 2016

Field Crops on the farm - January 2016

And here we are today with award winning produce.  Why don't we open a farm store, making our produce available to our greater community without them committing to our season?  While I appreciate that there are many people within our community who would like to support our farm but do not want to join our CSA, we cannot quite get our heads around having a farm gate.  Firstly, we would need to build a farm stand closer to the front gate and then ensure it was always attended to protect the quality of the produce (and honesty in payment).  But another draw back to the farm gate in our opinion is the first come first serve nature of it.  At this time, our harvest is completely divided fairly between all of our members - whether they are the first to pick up their box or the last.  They all receive the same.  I love this concept of sharing.  I also love that there is virtually no waste within this system.  We are not left at the end of the week with extra produce.  And if we do have a huge surplus, we give it away to several organisations within our community which offer meals to those in need.

Another reason why our produce is so tasty, nutrient dense and also why we can grow it without chemicals is our crop rotation plan.  We have a ten year crop rotation which ensures great diversity and balance throughout our farm.  While we have spent the past five years gathering information about what our CSA members like and what they would like less of, and we have used these guidelines to plan our crops, our crop rotation does limit what we can grow.  The CSA boxes allow for the diversity. We are unsure if a farm stand would.

Transition Farm - Market Style Farm Pick Up - June 2016.  This was a huge success last year and we look forward to tables piled with the colours of the season at CSA pick up days.

Transition Farm - Market Style Farm Pick Up - June 2016.  This was a huge success last year and we look forward to tables piled with the colours of the season at CSA pick up days.

Commitment and shared value.  Our CSA members pay in advance for their produce.  Their payment comes when we have spent thousands on seed, have already invested hundreds of hours nurturing crops, have purchased additional specialised tools and/or new systems which allow us to grow better.  All of these costs happen throughout Winter and early Spring.  And in return for their commitment, we grow the best food that we can.  We put row covers on and off each day...sometimes three times a day...to try and ensure early season warm weather crops.  We shade crops to help them withstand the intense summer sun.  We seek out the best tasting varieties.  We share the triumphs and the struggles of the season.  We establish a community that has the health of its food and of the system that grows it at its core.  This is a very different system to that of a farm gate.  It is quite amazing!!

I would like to have more options for the community to access local food.  But for this year, we are only offering our CSA.  Within that model, though, there are options.  Members can receive their share weekly or fortnightly.  They can share their box with a friend.  They can choose the zucchini they want or the size carrots they like.  They can swap items with other members at pick up. They can have a say in what we grow by communicating with us about what they have liked and what they would have liked more of.

This season, we have also made the decision to only offer our Market Style Farm Pick-up of our CSA boxes - no longer delivering them. While we understand that this decision may prohibit some of our past CSA members from supporting our farm – we feel that having members come to the farm to collect their produce offers our CSA members more choice and furthers our goal of connecting people to the farm, how it changes with the seasons, how the crops are growing and how the season affects the harvest.

Our farm continues to evolve.  The CSA model is a new concept to most Australians.  We have sought to educate the community about its benefits.  We hope that the community continues to support a model based on reciprocity.  Our experience thus far shows that farmers can grow great food in a sustainable manner which directly benefits the community supporting them.

If you would like to learn more about our CSA and join our Summer Share – the boxes are now available on our website Farm Store.  We continue to reflect on how best to serve our community while farming in the way that we do.  We feel supported by our CSA members who work together through joining our CSA for the season, sharing the pick ups and/or sharing boxes to make this model work for all of us. If you are interested in communicating with other CSA members about these options, please request to join the Transition Farm CSA facebook group

As our CSA season gears up, it is interesting to compare our small scale, regenerative farming practices and the hand tended vegetables we harvest to this NY Times Magazine photo essay of large scale industrial farming.  The UN states that small scale farming can feed the world. 

Sending our best wishes for a fruitful growing season!

Robin and Peter

Receiving the National Trophy for the 2016 Delicious Produce Awards from Matt Moran - September 2016 - only marginally out of our comfort zone - but thrilled to have our vegetables judged alongside so many wonderful growers for their taste by Matt Moran, Andrew McConnell, Peter Gilmore, Alla Wolf-Tasker, Maggie Beer, Guillaume Brahimi, Christine Manfield and Shannon Bennett.

Receiving the National Trophy for the 2016 Delicious Produce Awards from Matt Moran - September 2016 - only marginally out of our comfort zone - but thrilled to have our vegetables judged alongside so many wonderful growers for their taste by Matt Moran, Andrew McConnell, Peter Gilmore, Alla Wolf-Tasker, Maggie Beer, Guillaume Brahimi, Christine Manfield and Shannon Bennett.

PS. Peter and I have both been posting photos of our farm activities on our instagram accounts.  You can view them using this link and this link .

The Delicious Produce Awards

The Delicious Produce Awards...  This year, we had the privilege to meet and collaborate with chef Paul Wilson who shared with us a community of people passionate about food.  Last night at Pier One in the Sydney Harbour Hotel, I was overcome with gratitude for the world class chefs and food industry leaders and the team at Delicious who put forward their time and effort to showcase Australian ingredients, inspiring small and sustainable producers, farmers’ markets, innovators, chefs and regions.  We feel humbled to have won the "From The Earth" category in the 2016 Produce Awards. 

It was truly an honour to be in a room with other producers who's practices inspire us and products are of such high quality.  And chefs who's passion for ingredients meets our passion at growing them.  Peter Bignell, a Tasmanian Whiskey maker, honoured for not only his product but his carbon zero distillery stated that he was a farmer, a creater (with his distillery) and an artist enjoying ice sculpting.  I left last night feeling as if I was a part of an industry of artists, us producers inspired by nature and all of her treasures and the chefs who transform ingredients bringing many culinary delights together on one plate.   In a preview of a series Delicious is creating, Shannon Bennett states, "One of things that creates conversation is what sort of story is on the plate. And the Delicious Produce awards is bringing that back."

It's Spring time and with over 10,000 seedlings in the glasshouse, every seed is a dream stretching back generations.  Each seed has parents, a cultural history, a genetic imprint of the conditions that it thrives in.  For us as vegetable producers, these stories give us clues as to how to best nurture crops in the hopes of tasting the textures and flavours that evoke a sense of place, a season, a celebration, a memory, a story.

'Marina di Chioggia' Pumpkin.  This pumpkin evolved around Venice in the latter part of the 1600s. It takes its name from the fishing village of Chioggia, which became a major source of produce for Venetians once the salt marshes nearby were drained and cultivated. Sliced and grilled on the barges which deliver them, the pumpkin is simply brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary and salt and sold throughout the streets of the city.  Imagine uniform clad children racing to vendors for their after school snack of this intensely flavoured seasonal delight.

'Marina di Chioggia' Pumpkin.  This pumpkin evolved around Venice in the latter part of the 1600s. It takes its name from the fishing village of Chioggia, which became a major source of produce for Venetians once the salt marshes nearby were drained and cultivated. Sliced and grilled on the barges which deliver them, the pumpkin is simply brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary and salt and sold throughout the streets of the city.  Imagine uniform clad children racing to vendors for their after school snack of this intensely flavoured seasonal delight.

Peter, myself and Paul Wilson

Peter, myself and Paul Wilson

Spring 2016!!

Tomato and Capsicum Seedlings - Sept 2016

Tomato and Capsicum Seedlings - Sept 2016

It's Spring time here in Australia.  The frogs have awoken.  The days are getting longer.  And when there is sun, the warmth is welcome!  Our seeding for the next season began in August.  Tantalizing seed packets arriving in the mail, the excitement of germination and daily growth,  the joy of seeing green manures incorporated and soil being readied for planting...Spring is definitely in the air!

Summer vegetables and herbs - September 2016

Summer vegetables and herbs - September 2016

Winter Green Manure Crops covering the farm - August 2016 - We work on covering as much of the farm as possible when our Autumn crops are pulled out - to keep the soil covered and to feed the soil life in preparation for Spring/Summer plantings.

Winter Green Manure Crops covering the farm - August 2016 - We work on covering as much of the farm as possible when our Autumn crops are pulled out - to keep the soil covered and to feed the soil life in preparation for Spring/Summer plantings.

Chicken Tractors working their way through the Winter Cover Crops - August 2016

Chicken Tractors working their way through the Winter Cover Crops - August 2016

garlic plantings AUGUST 2016

garlic plantings AUGUST 2016

We finished our Autumn/Early Winter season in late June.  2015-2016 was our fourth full growing season.  While our CSA members were disappointed by our decision to take the Spring off from harvesting, we found the time spent reevaluating the farm goals and the farm plan to be extremely beneficial.  Not only did we find the season to be smoother and more efficient then the first three seasons, we also produced the highest quality and tastiest food to date!

The "Market" style CSA pick up was a great success with CSA members loving the vegetables on display.

The "Market" style CSA pick up was a great success with CSA members loving the vegetables on display.

On reflection, the first three years of any new business is a flurry of learning and experimenting, perfecting your trade and understanding your market.  For us as farmers, it was also about building soil, working on the intense weed pressure we had with "new" land and learning what grows well here...with the unique natural forces and resources available.  The vitality and flavour of the crops grown last season were a great reward for not only giving the land extra time in the Spring but also the hard work we had already put in.

View the 2016 weekly CSA shares.

A randomly selected CSA share. 

A randomly selected CSA share. 

In May, we were nominated by one of the country’s top chefs to enter the Delicious Produce Awards for 2016.  Our Brode Galeux d’Eysines pumpkin was honoured as one of the Victorian state winners in the "From the Earth" category.  In July, we advanced to the national judging with the results being revealed on Monday 12 September.  We have been invited to Sydney for the announcement.

This is the first time that our produce has been judged not just on appearance but on TASTE while our sustainable farming practices and ethics have also been taking into consideration. 

Close up picture of our Brode Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin - selected as a State Winner for the 2016 Delicious Produce Awards.

Close up picture of our Brode Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin - selected as a State Winner for the 2016 Delicious Produce Awards.

The late Autumn and early Winter were spent planting hedge rows in the market garden.  The diverse indigenous hedgerows throughout the farm provide great habitat for native flaura and fauna as well as hot beds for soil microbiomes.  What we needed though was more wind protection throughout the intensive market garden.  These rows are single species natives and herbs chosen for their habit and nectar.  As they mature, our crops will greatly benefit from the wind protection as will the diverse pollinators and insect predator who feed on nectar.

hedgerows being planted in our market garden sprinkler rows - pic. correa alba, planted may 2016

hedgerows being planted in our market garden sprinkler rows - pic. correa alba, planted may 2016

Rosemary propagation for more hedgerow plantings in the market garden - August 2016

Rosemary propagation for more hedgerow plantings in the market garden - August 2016

Winter Lemons - August 2016

Winter Lemons - August 2016

In addition to the hedgerows, we also changed our irrigation system and reworked our growing beds to be all the same length.  These changes should help make our market gardening much more efficient as well as allowing us the ability to better facilitate the all important task of crop rotation.

We also continued to spread the word about CSA farming and our biodynamic practices through an article in Better Homes and Gardens (China)...we haven't actually translated the article yet so we can only guess at all the content... and Robin giving an interview for Justin Russell's podcast Studio Rustica

spreading the word about csa farms april 2016 edition of Better Homes and Gardens (China).

spreading the word about csa farms april 2016 edition of Better Homes and Gardens (China).

Fruit trees - pruned and pasted with a biodynamic tree paste which nurishes the tree - August 2016

Fruit trees - pruned and pasted with a biodynamic tree paste which nurishes the tree - August 2016

Blooming Apricot!

Blooming Apricot!

And so as we step on to that Spring express train, enjoying the fruit blossoms and busy bees and seed germination and the smell of compost and sinking our hands deep into soil, we are very grateful for all the support of our CSA members past and present.  Without you, we wouldn't be the growers we are today.  Our CSA harvest begins in December.  There will be a CSA newsletter going out in the next week with details.  We will send another general newsletter when the shares are available in our online shop.

Hope you too are enjoying your season!!