Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Is in the Air



There never seems enough time to finish all the projects we plan for the year. One project that did get accomplished by Frank, was a new "staging" shed. He built it near both the vegetable gardens and our orchards. The idea is to have a sink, large counter space, shelving and bins so that as I pick early in morning, I can put all the produce in the shed, wash and sort and place into either bins or lugs so it will be ready to sell directly to our customers. A small refrigeration unit is Frank's next project that will be attached to this shed so the more fragile items can be store there.

One big news event is our decision to sell in the 2010 season, CSA memberships. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, meaning the community (customers like you!) have a direct relationship with the farmer, us, at Windmill Farm. People have the opportunity to know the farmer that grows the produce, see our farm and see our vegetables and fruits that we sell directly to the CSA member. In an age when food travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to the dinner table, and chemical-intensive industrial farming corporations produce foods bred to withstand shipping and storage. The CSA membership concept offers a healthful, local and tasty alternative to going to the grocery store and buying produce you have no idea who grew it or where it came from or how it it was grown. Because we harvest at the peak of ripeness and deliver straight to you, our produce is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and all our food is tilled by us, weeded by us, watered by us, picked by us and handled to our fruit stand or farmer's markets by us. We are a small family owned and worked farm. You can't get a better relationship than that, our farm to your dinner table.

Our goal in 2010 is to sell at least 10 CSA memberships. I will post more details later, but I anticipate that the yearly membership dues will be $25.00 and offer a small, one-two person harvest CSA box at a price estimated at $17.00 ; and/or a Family size harvest box at an estimated price of $22.00. The boxes can be delivered to your door-step if you live within a certain radius of our farm; or at a nearby centrally located place to our customers in nearby towns.

CSA members sign up at the beginning of the harvest season to receive a share of the farm's harvest each week. That means for the entire growing season, you get a harvest box loaded with a variety of fresh produce, which would include seasonal vegetables and fruits. I am also adding an extra acre on the farm to flowers that can and will be available to our CSA members for an additional charge and to our other customers. Also, for an added charge, you can receive a dozen fresh, free range eggs AND we are partnering with a rancher that raises and packages grass fed, hormone free beef. Our plan is that a list of meat cuts and prices will be given to you each week in your box or on-line to order for the following week. We also want to encourage our clients to email us the orders for the grass fed/free range beef and eggs to save us time so we can devote our energies to working in our fields. What we hope our customers will love is getting a week's worth of the freshest and tastiest produce, have a weekly floral arrangement for the table; be able to have their week's worth of meat and eggs delivered right to their doorstep. Our lives are very busy and I can see this CSA service could help save our customers a great deal of time but also get great food!!

If you are interested in being a Windmill Farm CSA member, please give me a call at 530-846-3344 or email me at windmillfarm@sbcglobal.net. It is a new venture so we will work through the details. After winning so many ribbons at the Butte Co Gridley Fair this year, you are guaranteed to receive the best fruit and vegetables grown in Butte County!!!

I have all my seed catalogs and a diagram of our fields on my desk waiting to plan out our next season and I heard that we may get some much needed rain next week. Thank goodness, I can use that time to get going for our next season at the farm.
Life is great at the Windmill Farm and we thank all our customers for coming to our stand and at the Farmer's Markets in Colusa and in Gridley. We still have some pumpkins, pomegranates and we also have some early Fuji persimmons available and we have our farm fresh, free range eggs available too, upon request. Stop by our stand at 535 Obermeyer Avenue, Gridley, California or call us at 530-846-3344.

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