We just finished reading an article in Mother Earth News titled "Incremental Accomplishments" written by the iconic organic farmer Joel Salatin. Although it was featured in the October / November issue from last year, the message embedded in it was a great reminder and provided a tremendous sense of encouragement and quelling of anxieties that arise in this time of year that is notorious for resolutions, steep goals, and a fervor to meet new expectations. In it, he writes that, "Building a homestead is not a destination; it's a journey. Focus on progress, not pace." Reading this article, I felt as though he was speaking directly to us. There are so many projects to do around here that at times it is overwhelming. In the first year that we lived here, we were zealous to say the least. We put up two hoop houses in a matter of six months, we started the remodel of our 1950s built house, we turned an old orchard-turned-cattle-grazing property into a productive field of vegetables by amending and building soil fertility, and we put up a game fence in the dead of winter to fend off the menacing deer of the Surface Creek Valley. Typing this kind of makes me tired thinking about it. The reality is that we can't go on at that pace forever. Yes, some of these projects were completed out of necessity, but like many things in life, we have accepted that it is not always enjoyable to race to the finish. We've learned to find enjoyment in the many quirks of our comfortably chaotic farm life and to relish in each small feat as we use what time, energy, and money we have at our disposal to steadily move forward finding sense and beauty in this simple life that we find to be perfectly disorderly, never leaving our busy minds and hands with a dull moment.
With this said, it is hard to believe it is that time, but shares are available for our 2019 Summer CSA! Our seeds have been ordered and the first starts will be underway in about a month, and we are busy planning our production for the upcoming season. For those who may not know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a food distribution model that connects the farmer and consumer. CSA members purchase a share in our farm that supplies us with much needed working capital to pay for labor and to buy seeds, equipment, and other infrastructure items at “off-peak” times of year when expenses are high and income is low. In return, we supply members with a diverse array of organically grown, nutritious, and delicious veggies all summer long. Our CSA will run for 17 weeks starting in June and ending in October, and we will offer the option of a half share ($225) that will be an every-other-week pick-up or a full-share ($425). New this year we will be offering the option for an egg-share and flower share add-on also.
Members pick up weekly at the farm (or there is the option to pick-up at Ridgway Farmer's Market), and we feel there is a rewarding symbiotic relationship that develops over the season between us as growers and you, our beloved customers. Being a part of a CSA is an incredible opportunity, we believe, to eat ultra fresh and seasonal produce, try the occasional new vegetable that you've never heard of, and connect with the people and place where your food is grown. Each week during the CSA season, an email is sent out with a farm update, recipes, and tips and suggestions on vegetable preparation. New this year, our CSA produce shares will be priced at 10% below farmer's market values to bring our CSA prices closer to what our wholesale prices are. This means that, for instance, a pound of tomatoes which will sell for $4 per pound at market will be valued at $3.60 per pound in the CSA share. We adore our CSA and intend for this to be an extension of our appreciation. Payment plans are available, and more information can be found at www.ultreiafarmstead.com/csa or by emailing us.
But for this week we will have gorgeous salad greens, the sweetest spinach you've tasted, brilliantly colored rainbow baby chard, and picture perfect tatsoi available - some in more limited quantities than others. We have an abundance of amazing pea shoots, which if you haven't tried, you should! We have lots of storage onions, carrots, and beets. And sun chokes! If you haven't tried these tubers also known as Jerusalem artichokes, you've been missing out! We had them tonight in a wild rice chowder, and they were divine. We still have lots of tasty spaghetti squash and the last of our red kuri and Pikes Peak winter squash are tasting delicious as well. This week we are also offering dried San Marzano tomatoes from this past summer's garden and a new type of heirloom cornmeal ground from Oaxacan green corn. Please have any order in by Thursday evening for Saturday pick-up at the farm. Also, please note that when ordering online, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this, please send us an email so that we can help process your order.
To order, please visit: https://www.ultreiafarmstead.com/shop
And, with this, we wish each of you a wonderful first full week of 2019! We're looking forward to a wonderful year of growing for and with you all. Thank you for your continued support of our farm and local, organic agriculture. It is our privilege and honor to be growing food for you.
In gratitude, Melissa & Cale