Cbi's Giving Tree Farm


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Spring CSA is full!

I am trying not to worry as I compulsively check the ten day forecast, waiting to see some normal temperatures.  We have altered our early planting quite a bit, but I do still believe Spring will come and we will have plenty of leafy green things.  We’ve got lots of little baby plants sprouting up in the greenhouse, promising us warmer days filled with broccoli, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, parsley, pac choi, and more!  Our overwintered spinach in the hoop houses has really woken up this week, and with a couple more days of sunshine, we will be swimming in baby spinach.  We return to the Allen Street Market on Wednesdays, from 3-6:30pm on March 19th,  April 16th, if you are interested!

As an aside, if you are interested in some local meat, I’d like to advertise for our friends the Schneiders and Ham Sweet Farm.  The Schneiders have certified organic Belted Dutch cows and offer milk as well as many cuts of beef at great prices.  Please email me and I will connect you with them (cbisgivingtreefarm at gmail dot com).  Ham Sweet Farm are former CSA members that have started a small meat CSA, and they offer meat for sale as well: whole chickens, ducks, and pork.  Enjoy the tail end of this relentless winter!


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But what do you do in the Winter?

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It’s a question we get all the time here at GTF.  My first winter I spent trying to figure out what the farm looked like underneath the blanket of snow– that was 2010-2011.  My second winter I was blown away by the warmth and lack of snow and we found ourselves two months ahead of schedule, working in tee shirts in March.  Last winter I realized how short this season really is, so this winter I am facing the facts: what do we do in the winter?  We work!  It’s not as physically hard, and I admit I wake up later and take off earlier and maybe I find myself cooking cinnamon rolls at 3pm around the holidays, instead of transplanting, but…. I’m finding that there are still many things to get done on a farm in the winter.

First off we are wrapping up 2013 paper work- everything gets recorded here: from the exact number of pounds of tomatoes harvested to the days we irrigated them to the contents of every CSA bag.  Once that is organized, I will move on to 2014- ordering seeds is first on the agenda as many varieties are in such high demand that they tend to sell out quickly.  Then I move on to marketing and accepting members for the CSA, making a farm plan- deciding what goes where and when and how much (no small task!), and ordering equipment.  Once the essential work is done, we will start getting to some of the “we’ll get to that next winter” tasks, like building more shelves in our harvest building, fixing all of the hose leaks, cleaning out the tool room, etc. etc. etc.  Winter could last 8 months and I think I could still find little projects around here.

One project I am excited about is building a seed germination chamber out of reused items.  I will be insulating a bakery rack, then  installing a hot water heater in an old buffet pan that will sit in the bottom of the rack.  This chamber will hold all of our seedlings at the perfect temperature and humidity until they sprout.  This also allows us to keep the greenhouse a bit cooler- instead of 60 degrees at night in March, we can keep it closer to 45, which will save quite a bit of propane I think.  More updates to follow!

Our clients continue to help in a variety of ways as well: bagging up dried herbal teas to sell at market, painting signs, constructing bird and bat houses, and fixing up a lot of our well-worn equipment, like seed block trays and pea trellises.

So that is what the dark days look like around GTF.  The 2014 season will start before we know it, I am sure; we start seeding our earliest onions and leeks in late January, only a month away!


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I don’t know what else to say

But if your blogging then you’re not farming.  It’s been a busy season here at GTF.  We are up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, harvesting nearly every day, and watching our fall crops get bigger and bigger.  We’ve already begun seeding in the hoop houses and getting ready for colder days ahead, though it still seems far off.  We are at Allen St. Market every Wednesday with veggies, flowers, and herbs, as well as Northwest Initiative’s Monday market at Saginaw and MLK.  Come visit us!  If you are interested in next year’s CSA, please just email me at cbisgivingtreefarm at gmail.com.  It may not be for a couple weeks, but I promise I will be in touch!  Thanks for your interest.


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Spring CSA is full!

We must all be ready for Winter to be over– our Spring CSA filled up quickly.  We do still have space in our Summer CSA, as well as our Flower CSA.  Email me for more information: cbisgivingtreefarm at gmail.com.  We’ll be in the hoop houses all day today seeding carrots and arugula.  Our beets have already come up, and our thousands and thousands of onions and leeks are almost all planted! 

Also, If you are interested in working or volunteering on our farm, please be in touch.  The work is always physically demanding, but the rewards are definitely worth it! 


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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had great holidays!  It’s time here at GTF to start looking forward to the 2013 season; seeds have been ordered, the farm plan is nearly finished, and the days are getting longer!  We are excited to continue to offer our Spring, Summer and Fall CSA shares, and we expect to be at the Allen Street Market on Wednesdays, as well as the growing West Side Market on Mondays…. and maybe one more market, stay tuned! 

 

If you are interested in joining a CSA, the East Lansing Food Co-op is hosting a CSA fair on January 12th from 1-5pm.  We will be there with more information and can answer any questions you might have.

 

If you would like to be put on our email list to receive information about signing up for our CSA this year, just email cbisgivingtreefarm at gmail.com and we’ll keep you posted!  We usually start signing up new members at the end of February.

 

Thanks for your interest and may 2013 be off to a splendid start for you!

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