Sunday, October 17, 2010

The CSA is over until next season.

Shutting down the garden for winter is a sad task but at the same time, such a relief.  What a hard job it is to grow good organic food!  It's definitely worth the pain and discomfort.  The pleasure I get from cooking and eating that home-grown food and sharing it with other people is quite profound.

The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) officially ended last Wednesday but because we still have some produce left to sell, we've offered families one more share.  Tomorrow will be the last harvest for those families who can't get enough of us!  The program will start again next June.  We will have available 40-50 shares on a first-come, first-serve basis.  We already have customers who want to pay a deposit to hold their spots!

We sent out a servey to our current customers for input on their experience and suggestions as to how we can improve our business.  Once the surveys are in, I'll send out the new application forms and accept deposits for next year. 

The Metcalfe Farmers' Market was a lot of fun.  We met many great customers (who became regulars) and local business owners, and formed stronger bonds with our peer farmers.  None of us make a ton of money running our small businesses but everyone has a relaxed and pleasant vibe - one of the benefits of being your own boss.  We look forward to going back next year.

Now, the only venue left for selling our remaining vegetables is online.  The Eastern Ontario Local Food Co-op http://www.easternontariolocalfood.org/ is basically an online farmers' market.  You pay a one-time fee for a lifetime membership ($50 per family or $100 per producer) and then you can shop for (or sell) local seasonal products, all year round.  We still have some squash, radishes and greens left to sell.  Shoppers have from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening to place an order.  Tuesday at 9am the order is prepared (all of the items from different producers are combined into one package) and at 11am it is shipped to your local pick-up point.  Easy and affordable. 

The Co-op has meat and vegetable producers, bakers, canners, and crafters.  If you're in the area, think about joining before Christmas (or Hanukkah, in my husband's case) and give your friends and family locally produced gifts.  Let's try to make this one a sustainable holiday season!

Send me an email for a CSA application form or post me note on the blog.  I love to hear your opinions/suggestions!  If anyone is looking for a baking project, scout out a pie pumpkin (we have a few left) and try the recipe on http://www.finecooking.com/ for Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake.  I made it for my birthday and then again for Thanksgiving dinner and oh my, it is sinfully delicious!

Sweet potatoes
 Winter squash
 Romanesco cauliflower
Baby beets
Luxy beets canned by a CSA customer -
Fantastic job Allison!
 Our prize-winning winter radish!
 Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake
Thank you Fine Cooking Magazine!
 Our last (very chilly) day at the Metcalfe Farmers' Market
Happy harvest and happy eats everyone!

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