Friday, May 13, 2011

First Box of the Season

Greetings! Welcome to the 2011 growing season here in the Okanogan! This is 8thStreet Green's 6th CSA season. We started our CSA in 2003. This spring has been cold but it seems we're on track with growing food, so here we go!
This first newsletter is mostly a “how-to” reading about general operations of our weekly CSA delivery.

Communication: I only have a landline home telephone. I check it at break-times and lunch and evening. For quick response call me. We prefer “business hours” so we have night time off. For non-urgent words, you may email me, i've been checking it more-n-more regularly, though I still love ink on paper. It's fun when we get letters in our returned boxes:)

Schedule: Box-packing begins at 8 a.m. in Okanogan. We load the car at ~10:30 and drive north to Tonasket with round 1 of deliveries. Along the way we will deliver to Omak locations (Breadline and Main Street Market), hoping to have boxes conveniently available for lunchtime hour pick-ups. I then drive back to Okanogan and pick up round 2 for delivery. I will drop off Okanogan doorstep deliveries, then head over the mountain to Twisp (The Local) and Winthrop (The Community School). I should be to Winthrop by 3:00. On-farm pick-up boxes are available by 2:00. You park up top and walk down to the cooler or you can drive down if you need to. Please, always drive slow and watch out for our toddlers, especially if you are arriving later. If anybody needs a different drop-off location let me know.

Boxes: The precious boxes... I have 3 rotations of boxes purchased for you. The 300 boxes I just bought cost $599! So, it adds up and we love to have them returned! I leave a box of food for you, you take it home, when you get the following weeks box of food you leave your empty box there for me! Later, there will sometimes be little boxes inside the big box, we like to get those back, too!

Payment: You will get a receipt for your CSA purchase. If you paid in full, done deal! If you're making 3 payments, I will let you know via newsletter when they're due, July 1st and Sept. 1st. You will send me a check in the mail, then I will put a receipt in your box.

We are currently 25 shareholders! I'm still accepting memberships, probably on into June. We had rave reviews last year, but sign-ups are low so far. I was hoping to grow the CSA this year, but now i'm hoping to make it to 60 like last year! Thank-You to all of you who advocate for local foods, enjoy small business and love the seasons!

This box, for those who have chosen the options, also includes Larkhaven Farm's Whitestone Feta and The Okanogan Bakery's OK Multigrain bread.

This weeks box has Salad and Spinach from 8th Street Greens. Both have been triple- washed. We serve it up right out of the bag. Whether you wash it a 4th time or not is up to you. The spinach with a red stem is called “Bordeaux.” The green garlic is also from 8th Street. Use it like green onions; in soup, on salad or in stir-fries. The apples are “Cameos” and “Fujis” from River Valley Organic's (George and Apple Otte's) fall crop. They're still quite tasty for fresh eating. The head lettuce is mostly “Black Seeded Simpson” from Yonder Farm.

Here's to a great 2011 season!!! ~~Shannon

Heather helps out on harvest day, working fast to keep the delicate greens fresh.

A full bucket of greens sits at the end of a row.

 photo credit: Zak Scott
Shannon pours Nutri-Rich into the mix of OMRI Certified fertilizers, which also includes Nature's Intent (nitrogen, protein, chicken manure), K-Mag (calcium and magnesium), Epsom Salts, and Kelp.

 photo credit: Zak Scott
Shannon uses the tractor to spread organic fertilizers into the field. The funnel can hold 500 lbs and Shannon applies 2,500 lbs per acre.

Zak gently slices tender greens for this week's CSA box.

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