Dear CSA Blue Heron Farm Friends and Family,
Here we are! Our 17th season! wait – what? 17th season with our humble little CSA.
We are so thankful for having you with us in our journey of affordable organic food for all.
And we are a year into this pandemic. Holy moly! What a year it has been! But with all the fluctuations and pivoting and more pivoting and mask wearing and sanitizer and social distancing – the farm fed soooo many people. We were able to pivot and offer 85 CSA shares instead of 50, expanded senior shares, expanded food to the food shelf, robust farmers market in South Hero and Grand Isle, and the introduction of our new Pay What You Can Share. We are honored that we could be a constant food supply for you and your family through the unsureness of 2020. With almost one year of pandemic under our mask (lol), we will start this growing season with the social distancing and safety of last year instead of the unknowns we were thrown at in March of 2020. Our children, apprentices, and volunteers were amazing and super flexible, hardworking, and cared so much for this farm.
We will be offering CSA pickup on farm on Mondays and Thursdays and you can choose which day, so we can socially distant pickups and flower cuttings (those zinnias were amazing last year). We will continue to drop off in Milton at Julia’s garage, Rail City Market, Burlington and anywhere else we need too😊
We plan on growing everything that we have been growing along with some new flavors of lettuce, peppers, beans, tomatoes, herbs. If there is anything you would like to have us grow please let us know. Also, expanding dye plants and pollinator plants intermixed with our veggies in the field. We are also offering Wally’s bread shares for Thursday pickup on farm and for deliveries. Also, new this year, a COFFEE share from Perky Planet in Burlington available for Monday and Thursdays on farm pickup and deliveries. Perky Planet will be offering coffee shares at $12 per lb – that’s 20% off their in-shop price. All are Single Origin Arabica beans-typically a medium roast. “Perky Planet is a Vermont owned Coffee roaster with a mission of employing individuals with disabilities. We proudly deliver mountain grown, 100% arabica bean coffee, sustainably sourced and fresh small-batch roasted to extract delicious coffee in every cup.” You would receive 1# lb of fresh medium roasted coffee ground or whole bean per week.
We will for the most part, keep trying to make our farm more productive, sustainable, lean and profitable.
Our sheep are due in April and the lambs will love to have visitors – I think we have about 11(!) moms to be out there. We started feeding hay out in late October so fingers crossed we have enough hay to get us to spring dry pastures in mid may. Our cows, Sandy, Skye, Ocean and Henry, are doing well and are enjoying their hay out of their round bale feeder – wasting far less hay. The chickens are laying a few eggs in this cold and we will be expanding our flock in April. We will be getting a few more pigs from a local farm in the spring. And fingers crossed, Skye, our jersey cow, should be having a calf in April.
Our family is well. After the very active veggie season, it has been nice to just take care of the animals and work on studies with the girls. We are planning for the upcoming season and have ordered all of our seeds already due to shortage of seeds. It took us a couple of days, but we were able to track down all the seeds we needed that were out of stock from our usual company. We have been skiing and playing in the snow, reading, knitting, and binging on Netflix. The fiber festivals and markets at the hospital were all cancelled for this winter. Working on bookkeeping, planning, grant writing, and plans for hoping to build our family a house this year. We are also in the process of interviewing and securing amazing apprentices for this year.
Online CSA signups and payments are now available at https://www.blueheronfarmvt.com/csa-sign-up/. Please feel free to share this email and registration with friends. We will be accepting payment plans and pay what you can shares.
Other options for CSA registration: Fill out your paper CSA registration form and mail it with a check. You can also email or text us a photo of the registration form, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-276-4728. Other methods of payment are Paypal (friends and family option) or Venmo @Christine-Bourque-1. So high tech we are these days.
I am not going to lie – we have felt the weight of this pandemic here on our small farm this past year. We feel the worry and uncertainty. We answer the calls for more chicken, more eggs, more veggies – and we are trying to fulfill. With the uncertainty of this world we live in right now, we are here, growing food along with other farmers worldwide. Farmers go through a lot to get a crop to fruition. Some say we are resilient – how else could we get up day after day and do what we do. What farmers are really good at is farming Hope.
Hope and resiliency – as we enter year two of this historic pandemic. I see a lot more hope that has been building off of all of our collective resiliency from this past exhausting year.
We here at Blue Heron Farm want to help with Hope for everyone in our community that needs it. Since the start of our CSA program 16 years ago, we have offered an honor system sliding scale CSA and financial aid through Supported Share program, payment plans and taking payment through cash, check, credit card and EBT. We will continue these this year. Last year we started a new share called “Pay What You Can Share“- this share you pay what you can or able to, no questions asked. No one will be turned away if they cannot pay the whole fee. You can sign up on our website and get more information at https://www.blueheronfarmvt.com/csa-sign-up/.
We will be taking donations for supported farm shares that stay on our farm for folks who may need a little help affording a share – that will be on your registration forms. We are hoping to have 6-10 supported shares this year. We can take cash, check, credit card, Venmo, and EBT payments for CSA. If you think you need help with CSA share, please apply for the NOFA-VT Supported Farm Share program – You will pay for half (and we can do payment plans) and the other 1/4 comes from NOFA and 1/4 comes from donations we receive from other CSA members, friends, and community members. We all take care of our sisters and brothers – because we are each others’ keeper. If you are in need of a supported share, you can apply at NOFA-VT https://nofavt.org/farmshare/applicant for the program and let us know that you are applying so we can keep an eye out for your application. We hope you will join us in this seasons journey. We hope you are well. We look forward to hearing from you
These are some hopeful, a little less scary times, but still a little uncertain. We just wanted to write to you all to let you know that we are here for you. Our seeds are waiting to be planted. Our composting is composting to feed the fields. The farmers are planning. Farmers are not going away. Local food will be here, and we will be growing as fast as we can. Please reach out with any questions, there are no silly questions. We are up for pandemic farming year 2! Remember, we are all hopeful and resilient people.
Much gratitude for this amazing community,
Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, Sadie and Delia