Of Snow, Frost, and Mercy

It’s snowing again?!

That seems to be the most common phrase for February around here.

snowy-farm

But as a farmer, we see things from a different perspective.

 

“He gives snow as wool”, and so we wonder what could be warmer than wool? All those little tender plants that would otherwise perish with the cold are covered over as with a warm blanket of wool. That snow protects the little seedlings and keeps them safe until spring.

 

“He scatters the frost like ashes.” Think of that….I have taken wood ashes from our stove and scattered them in my garden for fertilizer so I can readily visualize this…The frost, scattered about us like a dusting of ashes, stinging our fingers till we can hardly make them move. Yet, it is that very frost that kills all the pests that might otherwise become so devastating to our gardens and animals later in the year.

 

The snow, the frost…they are actually a mercy.

And it doesn’t go on and on for years on end. It is only for months, and sometimes only weeks. And then the warm sun comes like it did today, the sky turns from gray sadness into glorious blue like I saw this afternoon. And that snow is melting, turning into water and being stored up in the hills for later in the hot summer when we will need it most.

 

Remember to sign up by February 28th, for our CSA if you want to take advantage of the early-bird discount of 5%. There’s only a few days left and then it will be glorious March!

Yes, I know that we don’t grow bananas around here….but we have been blessed with a box of over-ripe bananas. So, we have to take advantage of that and make something special.
Since I have company coming for the weekend, this is a great thing to have on hand for all those times when someone wanders into the kitchen and asks, “Is there anything to snack on?” Well, yes there is.

banana-bread

We use this recipe because we want to use up as many bananas as possible, and not too many other ingredients.

Banana Bread
6-7 ripe bananas, smashed
2/3 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

Heat oven to 350, mix butter into mashed bananas, mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over mixture and stir in, add flour mix, pour into buttered loaf pans, bake for 1 hour.
This will make 2 loaves.

Note: I highly recommend testing for done-ness on these. It is common to take an extra 10-15 minutes if the loaves are particularly large or your oven is just a bit cooler than ours. We slip a knife into the center-crack, and if it comes out clean it’s done, if it comes out covered in dough, it needs more time.

AND THE WINNER IS…..

namedrawing2

AMY MAUS!

namedrawing1

Congratulations! You will receive your free gift basket soon!

IMG_4855
Here’s a peek at some finished baskets

 

 

Many heartfelt thanks to all who helped us spread the word about our CSA and all the good things we are growing here on Dahlin Farm. We reached more people than we could have done without your help!

And now, the next thing on the agenda is to get registered to become a shareholder before the end of the month to receive that 5% discount on your order!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The C in CSA

Greetings from Dahlin Farm!

I’ve been thinking about the friends that have come around to help us with this work we’ve been doing. I’ve been so blessed to have folks say, “Can I help you with that?” without our having asked them.

diningtable

Has that ever happened to you? You’re just working along like a maniac, trying to do all the millions of things that need to get done and then, all of a sudden there’s a hand reaching out to help you and then a big weight is lifted from your shoulders that you didn’t even realize was weighing you down.

It was easy to try to ‘do it all’ when I had 6 or 8 or even 15 kids at home….so many of them were little and demanded constant attention, the older ones helped so much that I never wanted to ask them to do any more, and I’d see one of the middle ones standing there looking at me like they just wanted me to sit down, pull them onto my lap and read them a story. If someone said to me then, “Here, let me clean up that mess and put the babies down for a nap, you can go sit down.” That was huge to me.

This is the thing I have found lately in the CSA business. Friends coming along and saying things like, “let me help you with marketing” or “can I proof-read that for you?”, “I’ll feed the hay today for you” or even just asking me “do you want to know what I think?” YES YES YES I want to know what you all think! I can use your advise. My brain gets tired of thinking sometimes too and I just need to have someone tell me what to do.

If I ask, “What do you think of having a ‘farm to table’ dinner sometime later in the growing season? If I get some good positive response and then somebody offers to help with it, well then it isn’t so overwhelming and I feel like it really is a community thing. That’s what I’ve been after all along….a community.

I don’t even mind getting conflicting advise, one person says “that’s a good idea” and the other one says, “that’s an awful idea”(this happened yesterday by the way)….but then I can ask them what’s good about it and what’s awful about it. And I can decide based on more wisdom than just my own.

THAT, MY FRIENDS IS ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT COMMUNITY.

You still have 8 days to get in on the Early Bird Discount. And remember, you don’t have to pay by then, you just need to get registered. And I know, the registration page has been looking a little confusing lately as I try to refine it and make it easier to understand, so keep checking on it and see it grow up into something just right.

Expectations

Farmers are naturally a people of hope…we have to be.

Upstairs I have my mini-greenhouse set up with lights and seed trays, soil and seeds germinating while my garden is still buried under a thick blanket of snow.

Only 3 days until our drawing, when someone will win one of our delightful gift baskets!

kidsgarden

But there’s another way that you can get one of these baskets for free and it’s not a drawing. Get three people to sign up for our CSA and you will automatically receive one of these baskets just for helping us get the memberships we need! Even if you’re not a member yourself and can’t sign up for your own share, but you know of some folks who would really be interested. Just remind them to put your name on the line for “who referred you?”. Or let us know yourself.

OK, so if you’ve been wondering what you might expect to find in our CSA produce boxes, here are the basic principles we try to follow as we fill our produce shares throughout the season:

  • 8-12 different items per box.
  • Lettuce in every box (or spinach early & late in the season.)
  • 1 variety Greens in every box (sometimes 2 but never same 2x in a row.)
  • 2 root crops in every box (carrots as often as possible.)
  • Fruiting vegetables as soon as available.
  • Herbs in every box.

This year we plan to accept ‘special orders’. If you want a box of mixed vegetables for a special occasion or if you have an idea you want us to consider, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.

Don’t forget to sign up early for your 5% discount! There’s only 10 days left to get this discount.

 

Free food?

Working Shares are now available at Dahlin Farm!

We are offering a way for you to work for us in exchange for your produce share. There are a couple of different ways you can do this:

  • Delivery Driver: This person would deliver CSA boxes for us in exchange for their produce share.
  • Farm Worker: This person would work on the farm in exchange for their produce share.
  • Market Specialist: This person would exchange their expertise in marketing in exchange for their produce share.
  • Farmers’ Market Personnel: This person would manage and maintain our Farmers’ Market booth in exchange for their produce share.
  • Details of each type of working share will be listed below.

Delivery Driver: Get 4 people to sign up for a share in your area and you can be the delivery driver for your own neighborhood! If there are at least 4 paying customers in any area (without a delivery driver already assigned) we will allow a person to come to the farm, pick up the CSA boxes to be delivered, along with their own share. A convenient delivery drop-site and time will be chosen that is manageable for all involved. We can have several people doing this in different locations until all our shares are spoken for.

On Farm Help: Would you enjoy working in the soil? There will be work available throughout the season. Transplanting, weeding, watering, and greenhouse work are all possible. If you don’t think you would enjoy working in the gardens, there will also be work on harvest days with harvesting, washing, sorting, packaging and boxing up for the CSA and Farmers’ Markets. Full Share will require 4 hours week, 1/2 share will require 2-3/4 hours a week.

Marketing Specialist: This position is currently filled for the 2017 season.

Farmers’ Market Personnel: This position is currently filled for the 2017 season.

DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP BEFORE FEBRUARY 28TH TO RECEIVE 5% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER!

Just do it right now! Here’s the link to make it easy

Click Here

Growing Quality Food for Local Families!

We are now ready to take registrations for the 2017 growing season!

produce-boxes-end-of-summer

We’re looking forward to growing great produce for your family and especially in getting to get to know you better as we work together on this CSA. There’s going to be a lot of changes from last year and we hope you’ll take the time to wander through our web-page to see what we’ve been up to. Here’s a quick overview of a few of the changes.

  • Open for early registration – get your 5% discount!Produce CSA and Meat CSA
  • Payment plans available
  • Working shares available
  • Great discounts for early registration!
  • All farm products are non-certified organically raised.
  • Taking registrations for 2017 until all shares are spoken for. If you sign up before February 28th, you will receive 5% off your entire order. You don’t need to pay for it quite yet, but you do need to get registered on time!

 

Billing monthly or bi-monthly payments. We can bill you through PayPal and they will handle all of the invoicing and record-keeping for both of us. This will allow you to use your debit or credit card and pay for your order in a way that will fit your particular budget.

  • Full Share produce: $41.23/week
  • ½ Share produce: $27.83/week

Discounts! These are exciting and we’re happy to be able to offer them to you!

5% off for sign up by Feb. 28th,

5% additional discount if paid in full before March 31st

3% discount if paying cash

DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP BEFORE FEBRUARY 28TH FOR 5% OFF YOUR ORDER!

 

Eat Local Food

You hear it all over the place now…it’s the new healthy buzz words.

Just try typing those three words into a computer and see how many links and pages pop up! It’s just wonderful!

Eating locally grown food is a way to increase the economy of your own neighborhood and local community. It helps the small family farm continue as a way of life, and offers the freshest produce to many who would otherwise be unable to receive it.

Farm to Table trends are found all over the world now, and are expected to continue growing because of all the health benefits such a program supports, and there are plenty. If you research the health benefits of eating local food you’ll get a long list of reasons to make that part of your life.

For our own family, our business here at Dahlin Farm is a way that we can connect to others in our community.

Here’s our community in case you’re wondering where in the world we are!

Continue reading Eat Local Food