Monday, March 12, 2012

Catching up

It's hard to believe that its been nearly 7 months since our last blog post (probably around the same time this lettuce was ready to be harvested.) I love blogging and really miss keeping up with all my blogger friends but sometimes life just gets in the way. It's time to play catch up now so here's what's been happening this past year:

We had a very successful growing season at the Community Roots CSA where we filled 30 weekly family share boxes over a 16 week period and also provided fresh pesticide-free produce to our local food banks and shelters. In addition to fresh produce, we were excited to offer a few new options to our shareholders. We added a "breakfast share" which consists of fresh locally farmed eggs and fresh coffee beans from  Doma Coffee Roasting Co.  as well as honey from several local beekeepers. A unique aspect of Roots is our ability to offer discounted shares to families that can't afford the cost of a full share. This is accomplished through generous folks in the community willing to sponsor a discounted family. In turn, the discounted shareholders agree to work on the farm on a regular basis to compensate for their discounted rate. Check out our link for more info on the Roots program here Community Roots .

 In addition to farming at the CSA I continued to run my produce stand (Mostly Sunny) at the Kootenai County Farmer's Market through July and then sadly I got far too busy to keep up with it. With a new plan in place for the market (I hope to have my kids managing the market stand) things should go more smoothly this coming season. And it's a good thing because this is going to be a very busy summer.

At Roots, we consider ourselves very fortunate to be busy because this means our Community Roots CSA program has gained considerable popularity from its inception in 2009-2010. With over 50 families on the waiting list we are in expansion mode once again. We were recently granted a 3 year land lease with North Idaho College and plans are in the works to build yet another growing area. The new area will be part growing area and part community and education area. We are expanding our shares to approximately 66 shares this season at the original property in Dalton and will eventually "ease" into our new space at the college. I say "ease" into our new space because the land needs a lot of work before we can even begin to think about growing there.

On the home front, we have fired up the grow lights and sown many seeds. We have several hundred pepper, tomato and celery starts that are doing great. The next seeds to be sown are broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage along with various herbs. I have held back on planting too many seedlings until the end of March as my husband and I are taking a long needed vacation before the real craziness of gardening and barbecue ramps up again. When we get back from our trip it will be time to fire up the greenhouse and make room for more seedlings in the grow room...and this cycle will continue through April....or longer depending on the weather.