CSA pick up March 3rd. Second last pick up!!!
And suddenly tomorrow is the second last pick up for our winter CSA. It makes sense really, yesterday was sunny, the snow was soft, the cross country skiing was incredible. It IS March! We've been meeting with farmers, having meetings around kitchen tables discussing the upcoming summer season and getting everything planned. We've put out adds for hiring staff, and in 2 weeks time we get into the commercial kitchen to start mixing and balling up our cookie batter for the summer season. All of our producers are on the same page. Growers are getting ready to fire up the greenhouses to start tomato and peppers plants, everyone is trying to figure out their labour force, seeding schedule, and crossing their fingers that this spring is easier than last spring. I don't know if you remember, or if you blocked it from your memories, but last year winter seemed to last forever. Ground was frozen well into late April, seeding was late, then the flood waters arrived from all sides wiping out farmers in many areas of the province. Spring flooding is becoming more and more common in Manitoba. Why? Well, we are the end of the line when it comes to water. All of the water North of the continental divide and East of the Rockies flows our way each spring. Decades ago, the spring melt water was slowed by a series of natural wetlands along the rivers. The snow melted, water flowed to low points on farmers fields, sat in those low spots (wetlands), slowly percolated through the ground as it thawed and refilled our aquifers, and some if it eventually reached our major rivers and headed downstream past Brandon, Portage and Winnipeg to Churchill. With farms being larger, using bigger equipment, and the cost per acre of farm land going up, many producers feel pressured to reap as much as they can from their expensive acreage. Many have installed plastic perforated pipes called Drain Tiles. These tiles collect water as the snow melts, and quickly removes it from the land. This allows the farmers to get on their land more quickly in the spring, and may give them a better chance at a high yield crop. It also moves the spring melt downstream in a hurry. And everyone (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota etc etc) is doing it. And we are at the end of the line. So that means that we get all of the spring melt water much more quickly than in previous years. Near where I grew up, some local early adopter farmers got together to create the Deerwood soil and water conservation network. I did a 4-H project on the dams when I was 10 years old and got guided tours of many of them! Each farmer built dams to hold back the spring runoff. These dams keep their downstream neighbours from flooding each spring, provide important waterbird and wildlife habitat, provide water for livestock, and help to replenish the aquifer. The group has received numerous awards for their work. And individuals have been inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural hall of fame. If we could find away to encourage or (gasp) mandate, this type of wetland recreation throughout North America, we would help fight spring flooding, help to refill our quickly emptying aquifers, and support wildlife habitat. Here are 2 videos showing the dams. These are the kind of farming practices that YOU are supporting through our CSA food bag. Way to go!!! All shares to receive Lettuce, spray free, greenhouse grown Herbs, spray free, greenhouse grown Potatoes, organic. Oven fries are where it's at for me right now. But if you have a backlog of beets, you can boil peeled beets with your potatoes to make every little girl's dream vegetable princess potatoes. Garlic, spray free Carrots, organic Frozen Haskap or Sour Cherries, spray free. Both of these items are so easy to use. I pop them out of the bag, into a pot, and simmer with a little sugar to taste. When the liquid cooks off a bit, I scoop them into a bowl and top with vanilla yogurt. And easy, tasty, healthy dessert. Frozen tomatoes Mixed shares to contain the above base as well as Chicken Breast, freely run, raised without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, or animal by products. Ground beef or stewing beef, grass fed, freely ranged, raised without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, or animal by products. Pork Chops, heritage breeds, freely ranged, raised without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, or animal by products. Produce plus shares to receive the above base as well as Frozen wild blueberries, wild harvested, assumed spray free Frozen green peppers, spray free Produce only shares to receive the above base as well as Frozen wild blueberries, wild harvested, assumed spray free Frozen green peppers, spray free