We're on the cusp of spring and the change of seasons that we can expect every year around this time. Granted, there is a bit more snow and ice on this date than we might have had in past years, but we have the hope of spring coming.
Rain or shine, snow or ice, we open our propagation greenhouse around the same time every year: the first week of March. The farmers have made a detailed crop plan which includes specific dates for starting seeds, how deep to plant the seeds in the starting pots, how much water is required. If onions are started now we'll see them in approximately 90 days. Onions are always the first seeds to be started. Soon the tomatoes will be started, grafting will begin, the ground in the high tunnels will be turned over, all so that we are on schedule for our summer CSA. Of course the weather may change our plans, but we do have a plan!
The more things change...change is good, right? We rotate crops so that nutrients can rebuild and we can fight any pests that have taken up residence. We change our crop production based, in part, on member feedback (as well as growing success, seed availability, etc.) We change planting and cultivating techniques so we are more efficient with materials and labor (our tomato trolleys last year are a prime example of a labor saving practice.) What doesn't change is the high quality produce we grow for an increasing number of families in the area.
And then continuity...from scheduled equipment maintenance to organic soil practices to high customer satisfaction, we're 30 years as a CSA because of our commitment and connection to our members and the land we farm. Key to the continuity is our staff. Andy Jones has been the Farm Manager for 26 years. Aly Martelle has been here 12 years, Silas Branson, Jill Rotondo, and Kathie Sullivan 9 years. Sara Howe and Samantha DuPont are returning for their 6th years. We supplement staff with seasonal workers who gain knowledge and experience from working beside such an expert staff. See more about our full year staff here.
You can be a part of this Burlington institution and help us usher in the next 30 years of farming in the city! Sign up for your 2019 summer share here. Tell your friends and neighbors. We aim for 650 shares but because some of those are split between families, we think we're feeding approximately 1500 people per week (which does not include the 62,000 pounds or so of food donations to area food shelves.) You can be a part of this food phenom today!