August Bounty & a Farmer’s Vacation

fullsizeoutput_8a8

we can leave the farm, but we can’t leave the produce behind!

I’m writing this from a lakeside in Maine, where its cool enough to have an afternoon cup of tea, but the water warm enough to swim in for hours—my idea of perfect.

Edge, Waylon, our dog Pebble, and I are off the farm for a whole week (!) thanks to our team of three farm sitters, Kim, Charles, and Lydia.  Be sure to give them a big smile and high-five when you pick up your share 😊

Another week of bounty is in store for you!

This week’s harvest:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions/Shallots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Snap peas
  • Lettuce heads
  • Herb choice: thyme, sage, or basil

We’ll see you again on the 20th and 24th.  Until then, have a lovely week!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge


Recipes:

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup
Crunchy, Creamy, Cucumber Avocado Salad (try swapping basil in place of the mint)
Tomato & Cucumber Gazpacho
For the love of shallots

Farm Stand Closed 7/28, it’s birthday party time!

IMG_2425

Happy Saturday!

We won’t be setting up the Farm Stand today, due to a very important event: Waylon’s birthday party!

Thanks so much for your understanding 😊

This week’s coming harvest is bountiful:

  • Mesclun mix
  • Double basil – time for pesto making!
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers – free choice (aka take as many as you want)
  • Zuke/Squash – free choice
  • Potatoes
  • Onion or Shallot
  • Choice of green beans or broccoli
  • Tomatoes

We’re hopeful on the first CSA harvest of tomatoes this week!  We had a small first harvest on Friday, and are watching them closely as they ripen.  If this week doesn’t pop, they’ll be sure to be in next week.

AND raspberries are open for PYO!  Each CSA share can pick 1 pint for free, and $4/pint after that.  

Wishing you a very delicious weekend!  And now on to party preparations…

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge


Recipes:

Quick Pickles
Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles
Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto & White Beans
Zucchini Tortillas (one of my all time favorite ways to eat zucchini!)

Happy Birthday, Waylon! Our best crop yet…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I typically write about vegetables here, but Waylon’s birthday is just as central to Good Heart as any harvest.

In 2013, the year we started the CSA, Edge lovingly dubbed Waylon our best crop.

That year we raised chickens, pigs, turkeys, and sheep.  Chicken slaughter day was a week before Waylon’s birth, and I spent the entire day hoping not to go into labor—I didn’t want to give birth while 100 chickens were dying on the farm (though I was infinitely grateful for pasture-raised chicken in the weeks after.)

Then CSA day came, and I spent the whole day hoping I didn’t go into labor while members picked up their share.  

Waylon must have felt this, because it wasn’t until the next morning when my water broke and labor began.  He timed it perfectly, coming into the world in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Many of our CSA members from that first summer are still with us now, and we still remember how after his arrival you volunteered to help in the fields, the delicious meals that were so thoughtfully cooked and dropped off, and the gift of a hand-knit blanket with Waylon’s initials knit into it.

So much has grown since that first summer, Waylon included!  

Thanks to you, Waylon has grown amongst a community of caring people, and we’re deeply grateful for your presence in his and our lives.

As we celebrate Waylon’s birthday, we also celebrate you and all you’ve done to help us grow Good Heart.

This week’s harvest:

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini / summer squash – free choice!
  • Lettuce
  • Onions or Shallots
  • Swiss Chard or Kale
  • Carrots
  • Herb choice: parsley, basil, dill
  • Peppers

We’ll also have raspberries for sale, $6/pint.  CSA Members are welcome to come to the farm for PYO raspberries, $4/pint.

The first flush of green beans are here, too!  We’ll have a limited amount for sale this week, and as they ramp up they’ll be added into the CSA share.

Quick tomato update: you probably remember that we lost our beautiful early round of tomato plants when the greenhouse froze in an early spring windstorm.   But not to worry—the greenhouse is FILLED with green tomatoes, just ripening.  I’ve literally never seen so many tomatoes at once in our greenhouse.  So get ready, because they’ll be here soon!

And last but not least—PYO flowers are ready!  

Pick a bouquet during CSA pick-up, or stop by on weekdays between 3:00 – 6:00.  If it’s your first time picking, please plan on coming on Friday during CSA pick-up so we can orient you.

See you this week!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

p.s. did you know you can become a Farm Stand Credit Member at anytime throughout the summer?  Get 5% off your purchases, plus free pick-your-own flowers.


Recipes:

 

 

Tomatoes and salads and carrots, oh my!

Tomatoes and salads and carrots, oh my!
We just watched The Wizard of Oz with Waylon, and he loved it so much, I couldn’t say no when he found some ruby slippers in town the other day—actual slippers!
But this isn’t about ruby slippers…it’s about ruby red chard, rosy red tomatoes, deep red beets, and so many colorful veggies all growing for the Summer Veggie & Herb CSA.
The share begins on June 4th, and we’d love to grow for you this summer.
On May 21st, the CSA price will increase from $445.50 to $495 (full market value).  
You can lock in the discounted price by signing up today.  
This year we’re offering our classic Veggie & Herb Share along with Farm Stand Credit.
Learn more about each option and sign up here.
As you know, CSAs are structured in a way that benefits both the eaters and the farmers.
As a CSA Member, you get a 10% discount off market prices, plus the benefit of the freshest possible organic produce, a direct connection to the land and your food, and the opportunity to grow a community rooted in healthy systems that enhance the resiliency of the land.
As farmers, we get the benefit of planning ahead and knowing the crops will be destined for appreciative eaters.  CSA sign-ups in the winter and spring truly help us run a sustainable farm.
That’s why we encourage you to sign up now for your summer full of local goodness!  
Thanks for letting us be your farmers 👩🏼‍🌾 👨🏽‍🌾
In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

The Soil & Soul of Organic Farming

IMG_6710

In 2013 we named our farm Good Heart Farmstead with a nod to the soil.

You see, when soil is “in good heart” it means that it’s alive and healthy.  And of course, we know that when people are in good heart, they’re healthy and happy.

Through our time spent working on farms, attending conferences, reading books, and learning from other farmers, Edge and I knew that soil is the base of every healthy farm. That healthy soil is so much more than NPK—the macro-nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.  It’s also the micro-nutrients, the level of organic matter, the microscopic beings that make up living soil.

At the heart of it, the healthiest and most nutritious food is grown in healthy, living soil.

That’s why we’ve always grown organically.  Because it’s better for you as eaters, better for us as farmers, and better for the environment.

Because when we farm with the soil in mind, we farm as part of an interconnected ecosystem.  While we may never understand all the intricacies of the fields we cultivate, we approach our work with respect and humbleness, and the understanding that growing healthy, nutritious food begins by taking care of the soil.

Because healthy, living soil is the foundation of the organic farming movement.  

fullsizeoutput_58a6

In 2016 we became officially certified organic.  This mattered to us, because we wanted a clear way to communicate what our farming practices are with you.  We believed in the value and trust that comes with certification, and we welcomed the third-party organic inspector.

At the end of that first visit, our inspector remarked, “You don’t use any pesticides?”  Apparently, we were among a small handful of organic farms she’d visited who didn’t use pesticides at all.  As we’ve gone through the certification process, we’ve learned there are actually many things allowed under organic standards that we personally don’t feel comfortable using at Good Heart.  Still, we believed that the organic certification was the best standard.

In the fall of 2017, however, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted 8-7 to allow hydroponic growing—food grown without soil— to be certified organic.  This was a reversal of their 2010 decision, which banned hydroponics by a 12-1 vote.  Read more about that in this short Farewell Warning to Organics.

Since then, the USDA has limited the NOSB’s scope of work, and the NOSB will no longer be able to address questions about organic integrity or big issues facing organic farming.  Instead, their role will be focused only on approved and prohibited substances.  At the same time, the USDA has recently allowed CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) to be certified organic.

So what does this have to do with you?

As our customer and community member, it matters to us that you know and trust our growing methods. 

And as organic farmers, we see the landscape and integrity of the organic label drastically shifting away from soil and farming methods that work with and protect the environment.

You are always welcome to ask us questions about our growing practices and methods we use, and we encourage you to reach out anytime.

We will continue to farm organically, to responsibly work the soil, and to stay rooted to our name: Good Heart.

So much of this shift has come about so the conventional farming industry can hop on the growing organic movement.  We know that you value organic food, and because of that, we invite you as an eater to learn more about what’s happening in organic.

Dave Chapman, a fellow Vermont organic farmer, has helped spearhead the Real Organic Project, an organization working to bring integrity back to the organic label.  He gives a clear overview of what’s happened and where organic is headed, and you can read that here.

Thank you for being part of Good Heart.

We are honored to be your farmers, and we take the responsibility of growing your food to heart.

We eat what we grow, we feed Waylon what we grow (more often we have to tell him to stop pulling the carrots every time he walks by a carrot bed!), and we’ll continue to stay rooted in the soil.

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

20160704-_DSC8248 (1)

Celebrate Spring with Fresh Greens

IMG_0260

Greens are growing, tomatoes are up-potted, and the first harvest of the CSA season is on Monday!

You still have time to sign up for the Spring CSA, or to get in on the Full Season Share.  But hurry!  There are only 5 shares left.

Here’s what to expect for the Spring CSA:

The first few weeks of spring harvest will include a mix of fresh spinach, mini-lettuce heads, pea shoots, onions and garlic.

As the weeks continue, beet greens, radishes, salad turnips, baby kale, and arugula will all grace the share.

Throughout April, we’ll have cilantro, bunching onions, and mesclun mix.  By May, we’ll have baby carrots and baby beets ready for harvest.

For the Spring share, we’re offering home-delivery for Worcester residents, and Montpelier pick-up at the Skinny Pancake.

When May ends, the Summer CSA will begin!  

We have 24 more shares available for summer, and you can sign up for a summer of fresh, local organic veggies, herbs and flowers right here.

Subsidized summer shares are available through the NOFA-VT Farm Share Program here.

With the greenhouse already green, and our living room filled with seedlings, we are so looking forward to growing food for you this season!  Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you for letting us be your farmers.  You make every seed sown and every harvest more meaningful.  We truly appreciate the care you take in eating, the smiles you share at pick-up, and the community you help grow with each bite.  Thank you thank you.

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

This Week Only: Get a Free Set of Farm Cards

fullsizeoutput_5c29.jpeg

Happy Spring!  Or at least…happy spring for a day!

We woke this morning to melting snow, blue skies and soft pink clouds.  Even if the temperatures will be going back to winter by tomorrow, the feel of spring sure does make us smile.

This Friday is National CSA Day.

A day when farmers and eaters around the country are celebrating the bounty and benefits of Community Supported Agriculture.

We’re celebrating, too!  But why keep it to just one day?  We’re making it CSA WEEK.

Everyone who signs up for a Full Season, Spring, Summer CSA, or Farm Stand Credit this week will get a free set of Good Heart Greeting Cards, with farm photos taken by farmer Kate.

fullsizeoutput_5c2e

Sign up between now and Sunday, February 25, and we’ll mail you a set of greeting cards.

Heads up: we only have 9 more Spring and Full Season Shares available!  

And there are only 28 Summer Shares left.

Get all the details on each share over on our CSA Share & Sign-Up page.

We’re so looking forward to growing for you this season.

 

To Our CSA Members: Thank You & Happy New Year!

Today is the last day of 2017!

Before we turn to the new year, we want to say THANK YOU for being part of Good Heart.

And to show you, we made a little video for you:

We wish you a joyful New Year, and look forward to growing for you in 2018.

{There’s still time to save $146 on a 2018 Full Season Share!  Check out our CSA page for all the details, plus payment plan options for every share}

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

Happy Holidays from Good Heart!

img_5447

Happy Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, all the Holidays!

We actually do celebrate all three, spending a night with good family friends lighting the Menorah, singing songs, and eating latkes; another night gathering with family at home to light candles for solstice; and closing the holiday season with Christmas, tree lit up and our traditional turkey dinner gracing the table.

I’m realizing that being a farmer lends itself to diversification far beyond the fields. 

To recognizing the strength in coming together, whether it be planting basil along rows of tomatoes, or sharing traditions.  The more I grow and connect, the closer I get to the fact that we share the same soil.

In that light, I want to say again thank you.

Thanks for being part of the Good Heart CSA, for helping us grow simply by showing up for your share each week.

Community Supported Agriculture, at it’s best, is also Agriculture Supported Community, and we strive to support your health through the fresh, organic vegetables we grow for you.

We’re always striving to make local organic food more accessible, and I’m very excited to announce that we will officially be accepting EBT/SNAP payments for CSA shares in 2018!

If you qualify for EBT, you also qualify for the NOFA-VT Farm Share Program subsidy.  This combination allows you to purchase a CSA share at half off, and use your EBT to pay for the share.  I’ll be sending out more information on this as we get closer to the Spring Share.

If you’re looking for the best discount on your 2018 CSA, take advantage of our December Deal:

The Full-Season Share : March 19 – November 19

  • Spring, Summer, and Fall combined for 36 weeks of seasonal local organic bounty.
  • Save 15% when you sign up and pay in full by 12/31 :
    • Market Value: $974
    • December sale price: $827.90

Your December sign-up greatly supports the farm and will help us purchase propane for the greenhouse, seeds, potting soil, and keep the farm running all winter long.

Learn more about our 2018 CSA shares, and sign up on our CSA page.

Here’s this week’s harvest:
*If you didn’t get a double-share at Thanksgiving, you’ll get a double share today!

REGULAR SHARE:

  • Mesclun Mix
  • Garlic 1/4 lb
  • 6 lbs Root/Onion Medley, choices of: 
    • Carrots
    • Potatoes
    • Daikon Radish
    • Parsnip
    • Onions
  • Choice of one value-added product:
    • Kraut
    • Roasted Tomatoes (frozen)
    • Parsley Pesto
    • Magic Soup Starter

DOUBLE SHARE:

  • Mesclun Mix
  • Garlic 1/2 lb
  • 12 lbs Root/Onion Medley, choices of: 
    • Carrots
    • Potatoes
    • Daikon Radish
    • Parsnip
    • Onions
  • Choice of one value-added product:
    • Kraut
    • Roasted Tomatoes (frozen)
    • Parsley Pesto
    • Magic Soup Starter

See storage tips below

We’ll see you all soon!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge


VEGETABLE STORAGE TIPS

Root vegetables: store in a plastic bag in the fridge

Onions & Garlic: best stored in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry.  Can also be stored in an insulated garage, so long as the temperature does not dip below 32º

Kraut & Magic Soup Starter: store in the fridge.

Roasted Tomatoes & Parsley Pesto: store in the freezer until ready to use, then store any left over in the fridge.  Both are great in sauces, on pizza, or casseroles/lasagnas, and more!

December CSA Deals

Happy December 1st!

Last night’s snow welcomed in the month quite appropriately.

Waylon’s been asking about the seasons, and we’ve been talking about the difference between calendar winter and when it feels like winter.  He’s on the side of when it feels like winter (and also very excited to make snowballs and eat snow).

As this season winds down, we’re looking ahead to 2018. 

As always, we have a December early-sign up discount for next year’s CSA.

Here’s a look at next year’s shares:

  • The Full-Season Share : March 19 – November 19 
    • Spring, Summer, and Fall combined for a delicious share of seasonal local bounty.
    • Save 15% when you sign up and pay in full by 12/31 :
      • Market Value: $974
      • December sale price: $827.90


Individual shares will have our standard 10% discount:

  • The Spring share March 19 – May 28 
    • this share will  feature mesclun, spinach, kale, chard, baby beets, hakurei salad turnips, radishes, and fresh herbs
    • $209 value, CSA members get it for $188.10
  • The Summer share June 4 – September 17
    • Our classic Veggie & Herb CSA share, with a wide range of veggies from mesclun mix to tomatoes to roots.
    • $495 value, CSA members get it for $445.50
  • The Fall share September 24 – November 19
    • The Fall Harvest Share will feature hearty greens, mesclun, a variety of roots, winter squash and value-added items.  It will wrap up at Thanksgiving with a double-share.
    • $270 value, CSA members get it for $243

From now through December 31st, we’re offering 15% off the Full Season Share.

This is our biggest discount of the coming year, and we offer it as a sincere thanks for your support and all you do to help us grow.

And, to make it easier for you, we now offer PayPal payment with no added service charges on our website.  Please let us know if you have any questions!

Learn more and sign up over on our CSA page.

Here’s this week’s harvest:

  • Winter squash — acorn, festival
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mesclun mix
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots

See recipes below

We’ll see you all soon!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge


RECIPES

Roasted Parsnips with Rosemary

Carrot and Parsnip Fries

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple & Red Pepper Flakes