Things are really bumping here on the farm! Of course the winter share is in full swing, AND we have lots of exciting developments for the 2022 Summer Share that we'd like to share with you!
Electrified greenhouses for earlier tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers
More choice in each CSA share - multiple choice items per week
U-pick flowers included in the on-farm pickup
Change your week of delivery or double up deliveries
Electrified Greenhouses for the win!
Not the most glamorous of pictures, but check out our new electrical service:
So it's not super green, leafy, or organic, but these new bits of metal will allow us to really up our game in the greenhouse department without being battered by constant climate anxiety. We have always been very hesitant to add heat to our greenhouses when it meant burning more fossil fuels, but we love growing in the greenhouse. Well, thanks to some well-timed programs from MAPAQ and Hydro Quebec, we are installing a big enough service to heat all three of our production greenhouses from March onwards every year, all with a significant (close to 100%) decrease in our greenhouse-related emissions. Because of the layout of the heating tubes, we'll also be able to produce much better fall and winter greens in these houses as well!
And this is no small feat! It may come as a surprise, but to heat this same amount with propane would result in emissions that are far greater than any other aspect of the farm - more than delivery, more than tractors, more than plastic consumption. It's big.
What does that mean for you, the CSA member? It means much earlier tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers. And you too can feel good that your food consumption is helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. Our goal (fingers crossed) is to have most of these crops available from the very first CSA basket in mid June! It also means specialty crops like ginger, and the potential of an eventual year-round CSA!!!
Ray and Bill and the Roots and Shoots Sustainability Committee
CSA member Ray Pierce has been working on our carbon audit for the last 4 years, which is just as much work as it sounds. Thank You Ray! We felt that with all of our projects and efforts towards these climate and sustainability related projects (tree-planting, plastic reduction, electric greenhouses), it was really time to start informing our CSA about our progress. Bill Shields has been a CSA member of ours since the beginning of Roots and Shoots, and he will be helping to guide the development of a sustainability vision. The end goal is to offer a way for CSA members to understand the impact of our projects, to understand how that affects their own carbon footprint, and to perhaps get involved on a few different levels if that's your desire! Stay tuned for more info!
More choice every week at your CSA pickup!
We've always wanted to have a "full-choice" CSA, and we're making another step towards it this year. Each week this summer, we will offer choice greens, choice roots, and choice greenhouse items. That means you would, for example, have a choice of head lettuce, kale or chard, and be able to take any two of those items. Even two of the SAME items. So if you're tired of being on the kale train, rest assured there will be options! It will mean that we will all have to be a little more attentive at the CSA pickup, but we feel it will be more than worth it.
This is the plan** for the first week of the CSA: This means that at the pickup there will be: Head Lettuce, Kale, Chard, and Bok Choy. You can choose any 3 of those items, including 2 or 3 of the same items!!
The colours indicate a choice group. The second group is beans, cukes and rhubarb. You would be able to choose any 2 of those items.
This will be much better for you the customer, but it will be more complicated for our treasured and lovely hosts. Rest assured that each location will have all the signs, colour coded instructions and hardware, etc, to make it as easy as possible.
**Plans can and probably will change!! We will have much more detailed info and instructions for both hosts and members in April.
U-pick flowers every week at the farm pickup!
We don't charge any less for people to pick up at the farm even though it is much cheaper to not load it into a truck and drive it all over town. We also want as many folks as possible picking up at the farm each week, and we figured that some incentives are in order. Starting this summer, we will have u-pick flowers (and some other tasty crops) available for our farm pickup customers when available. Remember any member can change their pickup to come to the farm to experience this benefit! Combine it with a trip to Gatineau Park or come for one of our lovely member-only events on the farm!
Change your week of delivery and/or double up deliveries.
Up til now, we have not allowed our biweekly members to change to a different week of delivery mid season, unless it was a permanent change. We now have the tools to allow that! It will still require an email, but then we are able to place a hold on a delivery and deliver it the next week (or at a later date). Weekly members will also be able to get a double delivery when placing a hold, as long as they email us first!