9 More Days to Get Your Good Heart Bag!

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Late August at Good Heart Farmstead

WOW.  We’ve raised $400 so far in our Canvas Bag Fundraiser for the Farm Share Program.  Can you help us make it to $500 by Sunday?

Each bag sold supports the NOFA-VT Farm Share Program, which helps us raise money to subsidize CSA shares for low-income Vermonters.  You can buy your bag here.  Don’t wait too long, though!  The fundraiser ends on September 9.

Fall Harvest CSA sign-ups are open and happening now.  We’re so excited to continue growing food for so many of you this fall!

The Fall Harvest is our favorite share—with so many delicious fresh greens and roots, plus special preserves like pesto, krauts, our magic soup starter, and roasted tomatoes (which are in the oven roasting now!)

If you haven’t signed up yet, pop over to the CSA page and get your share.

Or, sign up for a subsidized share through NOFA-VT Farm Share Program here.

This week’s harvest:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Mesclun
  • Cucumbers
  • Herb choice

*Worcester Members: we’re heading to a wedding this afternoon, so we’ll miss you at pick-up tonight!  Our friends Charles and Lydia will be running pick-up, and we’ll see you again next week.

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge


RECIPES

Good Heart Bags for Food: a fundraiser for the Farm Share Program

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Late August evening on the Farmstead

The Fall Harvest CSA begins September 24, and we’re raising money for subsidized CSA shares.

Every year, we partner with the NOFA-VT Farm Share Program to offer subsidized CSA shares to low-income Vermonters.  Every dollar we raise for the Farm Share Program is matched by NOFA-VT, which means your support is automatically doubled.

As we approach the fall harvest season, we’re raising money for subsidized CSA shares through a canvas market bag fundraiser.  

When you buy a bag, not only will you be able to fill it with fresh seasonal veggies, but you’ll be helping a family in need access fresh veggies, too!

At the heart of it, we all deserve to eat well.  Eating well means we can show up as our best selves for our family, our community, our co-workers, our customers, and our world.  As farmers, we know it truly does all start with a good meal.

Please help us make eating well easier for low-income Vermonters by buying a bag today, and sharing this fundraiser with your friends and family.

And speaking of the Fall Harvest CSA, sign-ups have begun!  Sign-up for your share today.

Applications for subsidized shares are open now on NOFA-VT’s website.  Funds do run out each season, so be sure to sign up now to secure your share.

We hope everyone has a good “back to school” week, whether or not you’re actually heading back to school. 

It’s that time of year when the seasonal shifts of cooler nights and mornings where we don wool socks and fleeces feel so welcoming, while at the same time we’re thankful for the warm weather to keep the veggie fields growing.

We’ve been planting lots of fall greens and roots, and today are tucking in fall-planted strawberries for next year’s harvest.  Even though we’re approaching the times of hearty meals of roasts and soups, I can almost taste the sweet strawberry harvest next summer.

This week’s harvest:

  • Lettuce heads
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Shallots
  • Bunching Onions
  • Choice of thyme or sage

See you soon!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

p.s. Mark your calendars for our annual Farm Pizza Night! Saturday, September 15 from 5:00 – 8:00. 


RECIPES:

French Carrot Salad

Fragrant Tuscan Herb Salt : a great way to preserve herbs

4 Ways to Preserve Green Beans : from my friend (and soon-to-be Vermonter!) Teri at Homestead Honey.  Teri and her family were CSA members last summer when they spent the season in Vermont, and we’re so excited to have them closer by as they move their homestead to VT!  Check out her website for tons of homesteading inspiration and resources.

Fall Harvest CSA is Just Around the Corner

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Waylon overseeing the fall CSA pick-up in 2013.  He’s always been such a natural CSA Farmer 😉

We’re home from our week in Maine, and already diving back into the field.  

Thanks to Kim, Charles, and Lydia for keeping the farm going while we swam, rock climbed, and ate lobster.  It’s such a delight to come home to well-kept fields and a fresh bouquet in the kitchen.

August has us busy preparing for the fall and winter.  

We’ve been preparing new beds, seeding and transplanting all month, filling the fields up now so we can fill the walk-in cooler with roots come October and November.

It’s not all storage crops, though—we have lots of fall greens coming in, including spinach, mustard greens, Napa cabbage, and new successions of kale and chard.  Which means…

The Fall Harvest CSA begins in just over a month!

You can enjoy fresh local food September 24 – November 19 by signing up for the Fall Harvest CSA

The NOFA-VT Farm Share Program applications are available now.  Be sure to sign up early to ensure your share!

Mark your calendars for our annual Farm Pizza Night: Saturday, September 15, from 5:00 – 8:00.

We’ll have pizza, salad, music, and beautiful mountain views.

Suggested donation is $15, and all profits go to the Farm Share Program, which helps us subsidize CSA shares for low-income Vermonters.

And now back to August—This week’s harvest is a bountiful one!

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Bunching Onions
  • Lettuce Heads
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Cilantro or Basil
  • Peas
  • Beans

Here’s to a delicious week!

In Good Heart,
Kate & Edge

p.s. My mom’s birthday is this Friday, so we’ll be heading out to celebrate her on Friday evening.  The CSA will be set up as usual, but if you don’t see us, know that we’re eating birthday cake and toasting the woman who brought me into the world 😉


RECIPES

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans
Kale Pesto Pizza
Roasted Tomatoes for the freezer: I share this every year, because it’s my absolute favorite way to preserve tomatoes.  You don’t have to freeze them—roasted tomatoes are delicious eaten right away, added to pastas, soups, or blended into a sauce.

August Bounty & a Farmer’s Vacation

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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!

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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…

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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

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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.  

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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

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Celebrate Spring with Fresh Greens

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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

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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.

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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.