CSA Extras: Fruit

Last summer was a difficult season for fruit farmers in the northeast — all the rain in June not only washed out many early summer berries, but also altered the growing pattern of different varieties of pears and apples later on. Last year was also our first time partnering with a fruit farmer, and the first year that Breezy Hill Orchards was working with CSAs, which made for some miscommunication about what fruit we’d be getting each week.

Nevertheless, we ended up with some delicious stone fruits in the middle of the summer as well as a bounty of apples into autumn, and the reports from our end-of-season members’ survey were mostly positive. We’ve also had some very productive conversations with Elizabeth Ryan of Breezy Hill, and feel confident that our second season (weather permitting) will be much better than our first.

One thing you should know is that Breezy Hill is not organic — in the northeast, pests are not controllable without some spraying. The apples are certified Eco Apples, which is a particular program of integrated pest management where prevention, traps, beneficial insect predators, and other methods are used to control pests, and chemical pesticides are used only as a last resort. Plums, pears, and peaches are easier to grow without pesticides, and some berries get no spray at all. But in the northeast, it’s impossible to grow apples that way.

The other thing you should remember is that Breezy Hill is an orchard. We’ll be getting rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, and pears — but make no mistake, we’ll be getting lots of apples.

   Full share: $210
   Half share: $105

The fruit season starts one week later than our vegetables, and will take a week off within the first month when there’s nothing to harvest, so we’ll be getting only 21 weeks of fruit.

CSA Extras: Cheese

Farmer Dave has finally come through on his promise to make cheese at Woodbridge Farm, and is offering a dairy extra to the CSA. Artisan cheese recipes akin to Gruyere, Tomme, Washed Rind, Feta, Camembert, and Chaource (to name a few) will be delivered each week along with our fresh vegetables. (When available, yogurt may be substituted for cheese.)

   Full share: 1/2 lb. per week — $180
   Half share: 1/4 lb. per week — $90

Look for an announcement soon about how to sign up.

Organic Beef! First-Come, First-Served

Kezialain Farm in Westtown, NY will be offering us certified organic, 100% grassfed beef in early June. They are offering us a 20lb mixed package or a 10lb ground beef package, delivered vacuum packed and frozen. If it seems like too much for your freezer, consider sharing with a neighbor! If we are happy with the beef there can be options in the future for 40lb packs, eighths or quarters. More details are on the beef order form.

There are only 4 cows being processed this time around. Although that means 1600+ pounds of beef, we are competing with many other customers since orders will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. So, our apologies for such an immediate deadline, but after speaking to our farmer (who seems so authentic and lovely) it seemed necessary.

The form we’re linking to here needs to be 1) printed out and filled out by you 2) mailed, along with a check to Martha at Kezialain Farm by Wednesday, March 17.

For those who miss the deadline: We will touch base with Martha after the 17th and if more beef is available we will let you know.

There is a total delivery charge of $100 which will be split among everyone who orders (not to exceed $10/head). We will let you know how much that is before the delivery so we can collect the remainder at the delivery.

Please stay tuned for more information regarding FRUIT, EGG, AND CHEESE shares! We can’t wait for this season to begin!