Summer Share Sign-up is Open!

We're excited to start our sign-up for summer shares a bit earlier than is the day!

As you know, in addition to managing our winter-spring shares and weekly pick-ups, we spend the winter months preparing for summer. Equipment is repaired or purchased, seeds are ordered after many hours of browsing colorful catalogs, greenhouse schedules are prepared, bio-fuel is ordered, potting soil is thawed....the list goes on. We also spend time reviewing our web page for improvements in how we share our information and we examine our administrative procedures for better ways to communicate with members.

While our summer share program is three times larger than our winter share program, we do fill up fast!  Thankfully, our members talk about their on-farm experiences with co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family and we have a regular influx of new faces. Keep sharing, but don't delay in signing up.

What happens after you sign up in January? If you pay in full by 2/15/18 you'll receive a small discount on your share. And you've helped with the farm's cash flow. We'll be sending regular news via our newsletter to keep you informed of greenhouse and field progress. You'll have a chance to sign up for our supplemental products closer to June. You'll hear about our annual plant sale in May. And you'll be able to share in the excitement of watching your food grow, from seed to table.

We are in our 29th summer this year. Each year gets bigger and better with the help of our members. So welcome back or welcome aboard...let's have fun together!

Reminders: Winter Shares, Annual Meeting, Summer Survey

Winter Shares: we have a limited number of winter shares available. Pick-ups for Group 1 start November 2.  Contact Kathie as soon as possible or sign up here.

Our Annual Meeting is Saturday, November 4, starting 5:00. Details are below.

There is still time to fill out our summer survey on the season just completed.



Notice of Annual Meeting
(and our 24th annual celebration Potluck!)
Intervale Community Farm Cooperative
 5:00-7:30 pm, Saturday, 4 November 2017
Integrated Arts Academy/H.O. Wheeler Elementary School
6 Archibald St, Burlington

Annual Meeting Agenda
(Dinner at 5:00; meeting begins at 6:00 pm)

1. Welcome & Introductions
2. Consideration of proposed bylaws amendments increasing board membership from 7 to   9 and board terms from 2 to 3 years.  Full text can be viewed in the bylaws section.

3.  Board Elections
4. 2017 Slideshow
5. ICF’s new wash pack building

6. Open forum, etc

7. Adjourn 7:20

Intervale Community Farm is governed by a nine-member board of directors, elected to three-year terms by the members of Intervale Community Farm Cooperative.

If you are interested in serving on the Board of ICF, please contact Farm Manager Andy Jones via email, or phone, 658-2919 x4. Candidate nominations are due two weeks prior to the meeting, no later than October 21, 2017. All ICF CSA members are welcome and encouraged to attend, but only member-owners in good standing of an ICF Co-op share are permitted to run or vote for the board of directors. For ICF Co-op membership info, please call 658 2919x1 or visit our website to learn more.

Children’s activities will be available during the Annual Meeting portion of the evening.
Join us for an annual tradition and one of the best potlucks anywhere.
Last names beginning with:

A-F Please bring a dessert
G-S Please bring a main dish
T-Z Please bring a salad-like dish

ICF will provide some additional supper for those unable to or preferring not to
bring a potluck dish to the meeting.

Above all, bring something you love to do with ICF food!

Please label your potluck dishes and bring a serving utensil if
able. We will provide drinks, bread, and dishes/cups/flatware.

Last Pick-up of Summer Shares: Musings

I was going to write about "all things sweet potatoes" but the end of the share season brings many subjects to mind, all going through my head at the same time. What to do with my produce? Is it time to move from salads to soups?

Today I am cooking many things in preparation for the weekend: roasting butternut squash to make a lasagna on Sunday, roasting spaghetti squash to freeze for a winter "mac and cheese", stewing the last eggplants to freeze for use in a sauce or a stew (depending on whether I feel like Italian or Greek seasonings), and in the crockpot for tonight's dinner is a chili? stew? thick soup? of red peppers, onion, delicata squash, black beans, tomatoes, a bit of ground beef, and fresh cilantro. The house smells are wonderful!

I'm convinced that squash, and by extension sweet potatoes, can be used in any dish. When we started having butternut squash available all winter I started collecting recipes using it in different ways. With black beans for burritos, with white sauce in lasagna, mashed or cubed in mac and cheese (with bits of kale or chard and fontina cheese), chunks in stews, cubed and roasted with sage, soups (of course, but I've never been much of a butternut soup person.) With spiralizers all the rage now, butternut squash "noodles" are available in grocery stores...and could be an option for the home cook.

Sweet potatoes are pretty much the same as butternut squash to me, especially this year with our versions from an alternative universe. No, we didn't plan to grow pumpkin-sized potatoes. Rather, a convergence of seed type, soil, sun and rain produced what have to be contest worthy sweet potatoes. This year, you CAN eat just one!

So what do you do with the potato-the-size-of-a-small-dog? You cube it, mash it, roast it, puree it, hide it in everything.  I never tire of a simple baked sweet potato, or alternatively a cubed and roasted version. Make fries, mix with black beans, combine with white potatoes in a mash, use it in a stew, mix with a grain. Spiralize!

I am always looking at restaurant menus, cooking magazines and web sites, blogs and the like to find new ways to use ingredients. If I've had a dish at a restaurant the first thing I think is "how can I make this at home?"  The second thing I think is "how can I what I have at home to change the recipe?"  The key is not to be afraid to experiment and make new combinations of flavors and textures. Tell us on Facebook what you've come up with so we can all find new dishes to prepare!



ICF Cooperative Annual Meeting

Our annual meeting is scheduled for November 4, 2017 at the Integrated Arts Academy from 5:00-7:30.

Our traditional pot luck supper will precede the business meeting for the 24th year!  This pot luck is always anticipated by the members and it gives members a chance to showcase and share a favorite recipe using ICF veggies.  ICF provides drinks and bread and plates, flatware (just as we do at our pizza nights) and this year we’ll provide a few catered dishes in case some of you don’t want the pressure of cooking.

Why should you come? If you are a co-op member, this is the annual meeting of your business.  Farmer Andy Jones will review the successes and failures of the past season (carrots, greens, or floods), present a slide show of the farm throughout the season,  tell you about future planned projects, answer questions, and introduce you to the farm staff. We’ll also have board member elections.

All CSA members are welcome to attend, but only co-op members in good standing may vote in board member elections or by-law amendments.  To be in good standing, you must have paid your $200 co-op fee in full or you must be current in your $25 annual payments based on your enrollment date. For example, if you joined in 2015 you are in good standing if our records indicate you have paid $75 prior to November 4.

Not a co-op member? It’s never too late to join. In fact, October is National Co-op Month…wouldn’t this be a great time to become a new member or catch up on your payments and be in good standing?

Not Your Average Squash

Before I was an ICF CSA member, I'd never heard of delicata squash. I grew up with acorn and winter squash, blue hubbard, and maybe butternut. We'd get squash from the huge farmstands in Putney, VT (at the time we were living in Hinsdale, NH) and we used the cellar bulkhead as a root cellar. We had 50 pound bags of potatoes and onions as well. These were the days before my mother had a freezer and she wasn't into canning anything!

But the first time I had delicata squash I became a devoted convert. It's almost my vegetable of choice in the fall because we are still grilling and they do very well on the grill. Or they bake up easily and if you slice them into very thin half moons, you can put them on your homemade pizza. (NOFA Pizza Oven folks did this one year and again, I was hooked.) And my house, everything that can be grilled or added to pizza IS.

I think of delicata as being harder (sturdier) than a summer squash (the usual zucchini, yellow summer, pattypan) and softer than a storage winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.) So while the species is the same as zucchini/summer, delicata arrives in the early fall. But the best thing about it? The skin is edible!

Preparation is very easy. I usually grill or bake them. Sometimes I stuff them with a quinoa mixture and bake them. Unlike the stuffed zucchini boats, I don't add a sauce of any kind. Or use your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing and make an interesting holiday side dish.

These squash store pretty well...perhaps a little longer than a zucchini, not as long as a butternut, in keeping with its texture.

If you have avoided picking these up with your share, reconsider and try them out! You'd be in for a new taste treat.

Winter Onions

Have you ever wondered how we manage to have onions available all winter long and they are "just right" whether November or March?

We plant onion varieties meant for storage as opposed to onions meant to be eaten within a short period of time. Our sweet onions (mini or Walla-Walla) are not meant to be stored. Our yellow onion varieties are meant to be dried and stored for longer periods of time.

We grow two kinds of yellow storage onions: one variety is meant to be consumed in the early fall and the other is meant to last several months longer. Onions are being harvested now, stored in bulk bins for drying (sometimes with fans circulating the warm air around them), and then will be placed in our walk-in cooler at the proper temperature and humidity.

Having onions available all the time is very important to me as I use them nearly every day! We also grow red onions, perhaps my favorite ingredient in just about any dish.

Using Your Eggplant

Eggplant is such a versatile nightshade. You can roast it, grill it, mash it, stuff it, or chop it raw. Eat it as pizza, as an ingredient in a tomato sauce, as a dip, as a spread. Season with parsley and garlic, mint and yogurt, Thai spices, Middle Eastern spices. Don't be afraid, let your imagination run wild!

One of my favorite things to do with eggplant is just to grill thick slices and eat as a regular side vegetable. Weeknight meals are usually simple and are cooked entirely on the grill. Last week we roasted the thin Japanese eggplants whole along with slices of Gerard's bread. We rubbed garlic cloves on the bread after grilling, spread some of the eggplant (skin and all on these), added a touch of nice salt....there was not much talking at the table!

Emboldened, we remembered we hadn't made Baba Ganoush in a while. Usually we use the chubby Italian eggplant for this spread. Slow roast on the grill along with whole roasted garlic, remove skins, add tahini, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend in a food processor if necessary, but a hand mash works just as well.  Let the flavors blend for a bit and then enjoy on toast, bagels, as a dip with crackers or carrots, or use as a sandwich spread.

My mind is already wondering how this would be with roasted zucchini instead (or half and half) or just adding a few garbanzo beans and making an eggplant hummus.

The pictures are from our creation, but for a more formal recipe, check out Smitten Kitchen's version.

Summer Shares Start June 5 & June 8

While Memorial Day is considered to be an official start to the summer, for ICF members summer doesn't start until the first CSA share pick-up.

We will be open for the summer on June 5 and June 8!

For both new folks and returning members, we will continue to have pick-ups from 3:00-6:30 on Mondays and Thursdays. You should have selected a pick-up day by now, but if you have not, or you have a change, please contact Kathie as soon as possible.

We move back to the west side of the road, to the pole barns and the pick-your-own fields. See the map here if you need a reminder of the location.

Please be sure to observe the marked spaces and posted signs in the parking lot: we have a large membership this season and we know it gets crowded.

Bring your bags and baskets, your smiles, and your questions!  Kathie will be on site if you have questions on your accounts or need to make payments. Note: your share is not confirmed without a deposit! But by the time we see you, June payments will be due as well.

The ICF staff is looking forward to a lush, colorful, and productive summer. See you soon!

Winter Shares Have Concluded

Oh, it sounds silly, doesn't it. Winter shares are over...after we had two days of 90 degree weather!

One of the most popular features of the ICF CSA is that we are a 12-month CSA...which means you can eat local vegetables through the deep, dark winter.  This winter our greens were a real bright spot, starting with baby bok choy and continuing with a steady supply of baby lettuce, arugula, spinach, and baby kale. What could be better?  Thank you for being such supportive winter members.

If you were a winter share member, please make sure to fill out the seasonal survey found here.  Your responses and comments help us to plan for future seasons.

Looking forward, we will be continuing to prepare for our very busy summer season (which extends into mid-fall) and welcoming over 630 families back to the farm. (While 630 is the number of shares for the summer, we know many families split we could have as many as 800 families participating this season.)

Watch this space, our Facebook page, and your email for announcements of the first pick-up days. And while you're waiting for June, why not order your bread, eggs, and cheese shares to accompany your luscious vegetables. The form is here.

We will see you all soon!


Annual Plant Sale

The ICF Annual Plant Sale will be held on May 6th, 13th, and 20th from 9:00 to 12 noon each day.

We will have veggie plant starts as well as plenty of herbs and veggies, single pots and multi-packs as well.

All plant starts are certified organic and are the same varieties as we grow for the CSA shares.

Many vegetable plants (chards, kales) make excellent bedding plants and small hedges. Change up your kitchen garden this year!

These plant starts are an excellent way to build a small home garden merely for the fun of having a garden or for the specific purpose of having fresh items in your back yard. Either way, gardening is fun!

Sales will be at the summer pick-up area under the pole barn. See you there!

Summer in February

We barely think of winter anymore at the farm!  While we are about half way through our winter share season, we have jumped right into planning for summer. We opened the summer share enrollment in mid-January. If you missed signing up, you can still receive an early bird discount by paying in full before February 17. We are roughly 30% full at this early stage and we have new members joining us for the first time. Go here to sign up and reserve your carrots!

Seeds are arriving right on schedule, equipment is being repaired in the slower months as usual, and by early March the greenhouse will be the focus of attention.

As always, monitor our web page for news, watch your email for announcements, and ask questions if you need more information from us. We are looking forward to another great season in the Intervale!


2017 Summer Shares: Sign-up Early

Despite the brown grass, cold ground, and some snow and ice, we are preparing for our 2017 summer shares! Running a large farm (58 acres) and managing over 600 CSA shares takes time and preplanning. We are always thinking months ahead to prepare plantings, harvests, and membership numbers.  Signing up early, now, ensures that you have a CSA share for the summer; we have about a 30% turnover/new members every year and our CSA program is very popular!

Sending in payment, in full or in part, allows us to manage cash flow efficiently as well. Seeds have been ordered and are arriving daily. We repair and replace equipment during the winter. We do have year round staff--a smaller crew than in summer, but farm activities do not cease.

As an incentive and a thank-you for paying in full by 2/17/17, we offer a small discount on the share price. See the sign-up form here.  You may also send in a deposit of $50 to reserve your share and pay the balance in three equal payments (due May 1, June 1, and July 1.) Alternatively, you may contact us to set up a monthly payment plan to fit your budget.  For budget plans, we encourage you to set up automatic payments using your bank's electronic "bill pay" system.

We hope to see you back for another bountiful summer of fresh, colorful, and organic produce. We love seeing both the old(er) faces as well as the new.  Feel free to refer your friends and family...word-of-mouth is our best form of advertising and is the highest compliment we can receive.

Welcome back!

Holiday Schedule

As you might expect with several holidays on the calendar, there is a slight change in the winter pick-up schedule. Thursday, December 22, is the final pick-up of 2016 for Group 2. If you have missed prior weeks you are welcome to come on Thursday to catch up.

There is no pick-up on Thursday, December 29.

The first pick-ups of 2017 will be January 5 (Group 1) and January 12 (Group 2.)

Happy New Year to our loyal members!

Enjoying the Intervale Year Round

The Intervale is the worst kept secret in Burlington! While the Intervale lands host several urban farms, the area is a hub of activity year round. Our CSA is the largest operation and creates the most traffic, but the Intervale is also a recreation area. Hiking and biking trails are numerous, runners are seen at all hours of the day, and bikers cruise through on their daily commutes.

The Intervale Center also is host to the very popular Summervale events which brings together local food producers, music, demonstrations, and community. Wintervale, while a victim of global warming some years, is another way to enjoy the Intervale land year round. Ski trails are groomed and the public is encouraged to use the area for snowshoeing, skiing, walking.

The Intervale Center is fundraising for a replacement snowmobile for grooming trails. You can participate in the effort by going here.  In addition, there will be a trail work day on November 19, 9 a.m. to 12:00. If you are able to help out, sign up here. Meet at the Intervale Center and the group will head out.

ICF assists in hosting Wintervale activities. Also, when asked, many of our new CSA share members tell us they learned about ICF because they attend Summervale/Wintervale or they run or bike through the Intervale and see activity.

In the end, all the programs in the Intervale are related in one way or another. And they all work because our members can't keep secrets!

Final Summer Pick-ups

The final summer pick-ups for the 2016 summer share are next week, October 24 and 27.  We've had a great season and are already starting to plan for 2017.  To help us, please fill our our summer survey here if you have not done so already. Paper copies are also available at pick-up.

In the meantime, we are gearing up for our 2016-17 winter share which starts on November 3!  We waste no time changing seasons and produce offerings. The winter greens have been planted and will be ready by the time we have to close up fields.

We are 96% subscribed for our winter share! You have time to sign up still, but don't delay.  You can use the electronic sign-up form here or you can download and print a form to mail in. Or at your final pick-up look for a paper form at the desk.

Don't forget to order your add-on products here. While we will have a few extras for sale on site, we can't guarantee availability.

Finally, we hope to see you at our Annual Meeting on November 5 at the Integrated Arts Academy. Our traditional pot luck dinner (5:00) will precede the business meeting at 6:00.

Thank you all for your continued support and sharing your enthusiasm with your friends and neighbors...our membership grows and is sustained by your good will.

Summer is Becoming Fall

Yesterday I happened to be in a hardware store and I overheard a customer asking for a snow shovel. Even I, an ant by nature...preparing ahead all the time...found it hard to believe that someone was thinking of a snow shovel on October 11. Nonetheless, I refuse to think of snow just yet. The leaves still are falling from trees, there is still plenty of leaf-peeping, and there are layers of sweaters to wear before the heavy coats come out. The farm crew has been busy harvesting cabbage, napa, kohrabi, sweet potatoes, and squash for winter storage. And how about those pumpkins?


But sadly, the 21 week summer share is coming to a close. I know, summer (for us) really extends into early fall and our winter share extends to spring, but for ease of reference we have two share periods: Summer and Winter. The final summer share pick-ups are October 24 and October 27 (after this week, two more pick-ups remain.) If you have missed weeks and need to catch up, now is the time to do so!

I'm pleased to share that we are 80% full for our winter shares!  The winter shares are slightly different from summer in that pick-ups are every other week. You receive the same great selection of vegetables and fresh greens at each pick-up.  We still offer add-ons of bread, eggs, and cheese for the winter. You can still sign up for a winter share, but don't delay too long. Winter share pick-ups begin on November 3 (Group 1) and November 10 (Group 2.)  Find our electronic sign-up forms here or grab a paper copy at the pick-up desk.

At the end of each season we ask for your feedback on your experiences. Our summer survey is available online or in paper at the pick-up desk. We use the responses to plan our crops and projects for the future, so please take a few minutes to share your thoughts.

Finally, the Annual Meeting of the ICF Co-op will be held on November 5. While all are welcome to attend (our pot luck dinner is highly anticipated), only co-op members in good standing are eligible to run for a board position or vote in board elections. If you are interested in running for the board, contact Farmer Andy Jones before October 22. If you are not a member of the Co-op, why not join today? And if you are already a member of the Co-op, please make sure your membership obligation is current.


Fall Activities in the Intervale

The months after Labor Day are very busy at the farm. We are on the last third of our summer pick-ups and we are planning for winter shares. We are plowing fields after crop production has finished and we are harvesting root vegetables to dry/cure and store in our coolers. We are part of the trail for the annual Harvest Fun Run, we have wagon rides to harvest pumpkins, and we plan for our annual meeting of the co-op. Fall is a hopping time for us!

  • On Saturday, September 17 (rain date September 18), City Market Co-op will be hosting a Crop Mob for the benefit of the farm. Squashes and root vegetable harvesting is on tap! You can sign up on the City Market web site here.  City Market members can earn worker hours.
  • On Saturday, October 1  ICF will be providing wagon rides to the fields so families can select their pumpkins. Families anticipate this event every year!  Watch for the exact times but mark your calendar. Rain date will be Sunday, October 2.
  • On Sunday, October 9, City Market and the Sustainability Academy will host their 5th Annual Harvest Run/Walk for Sustainability at the Intervale. You can sign up for the event here.
  • The annual meeting of the Intervale Community Farm Co-op will be Saturday, November 5. Details on the times, location, and our annual pot luck dinner will be forthcoming.

We hope you will participate in these activities and take advantage of fall days in Vermont in the Intervale.