Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture


Notes from the Farm - April, 2002

by Elizabeth Henderson

Letter from the Farm
Spring 2002

Welcome to our 14th season of Community Supported Agriculture! We are committed to you with a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers, picked at the peak of ripeness. The varieties are chosen for their flavor and nutritional value. The crops are handled with care after harvest to retain taste and nutrients. We plan the harvest mornings you spend with us so that you enjoy a sense of satisfaction at work well done, without feeling totally exhausted. Your work and companionship are very important to us. We want you to know how much we value our community with you and the support that you give us. We sense that the feeling is mutual.

For those of you who are new to the GVOCSA, Peacework rents our land and buildings at Crowfield Farm from the Kraais. The sudden, shocking loss of Doug Kraai has brought our neighborhood together in a comforting way. After all the sickness and death of this past winter, the spring air seems mild and promising of a gentler season to come. Teams of neighbors held two fence-mending parties, and are maintaining a bison watch, should any of the big beasts decide to explore outside the fence. A major clean up of the gray barn across the road from the Kraai house is in the works for April 20, so that the barn can serve as conference center and gathering place, since Becky Kraai has decided to sell the Retreat Center house on Norsen Road. Greg, Ammie and I have cut back on some of our planned changes for this season in order to be available to help Becky wherever we can. Becky has a delightful way of gratefully and cheerfully putting all volunteers to work, so if you have some spare time, please give her a call. Please see the information elsewhere in the newsletter about ordering bison meat.

Our farm work is right on schedule so far. The greenhouse is full with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, all sorts of greens for our fields, and plant orders for CSA members. With the help of a great SVAT (Special Vegetable Action Team) crew, we moved the hoop house to fresh ground. Greg redesigned the end walls to make them more solid so that we do not have a repeat of the wind damage we suffered last fall. Our friend Joe Maressa made this job easier by contributing the design and construction of the two doorframes. On April 11, two more volunteers helped us fill three of the five hoop house beds with transplants - 650 lettuces, 300 Chinese cabbages and 250 bok choi. Later in April, we will add more lettuce, arugula and tat soi. To keep them well watered, Greg and Ammie set up the trickle irrigation. I have spaded up all the early ground and direct seeded the first spinach, cilantro, dill, and peas. Beets, parsnips, and turnips come next. Our spanking new water wheel transplanter sits outside the barn almost ready for action while a new (older) mower is undergoing remodeling to get it ready for our use. Michael the Metal Magician has performed enough of his necromancy on Lurch, our old blue pickup, to keep it in service one more year.

After much searching, we have at last found one intern! Victoria Gagliano, from Long Island, arrives April 21st. We are still seeking a second. Victoria has strong interests in food and farming and strike us as a person with whom we will enjoy working. As soon as she is settled, we will ask her to write a profile of herself to share with you. If you have any leads on other candidates, please send them our way!

Gifts seem to be showering upon us, both gold and black gold. Over the winter, we received two anonymous money orders for $200 each (our detectives tell us the handwriting on the envelopes is the same), and Christine Long and Udo Fehn sent us $300, half their tax refund. A neighbor, who works for the trucking company that hauls manure from the Finger Lakes Race Track, brought us two dump truck loads of the good stuff to add to our compost. We want to express our gratitude for all this bounty!

We are looking forward to the 2002 season with you! Let us hope that this year we will be sharing more abundance than risk.

Best Wishes for a Greener, More Peaceful World In Our Lifetimes!
Elizabeth Henderson



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