Blue Heron Farm 2015 CSA Now accepting registrations!

2015 CSA brochure – click here

Hello to all returning and potential CSA members, neighbors, friends and family!

The days are getting a bit longer, the sun is actually shining even though it is single digits out but – it’s time, it’s time ..Here we are – middle of February – seed starting ordering time and CSA sign up time! Delia asks, “Mama, are the lambs to be born today? Soon, sweet girl, soonJ

This year we celebrate the CSA’s birthday here on the farm – 10 years old! It all started when two frequent customers at the Alburgh Farmers’ Market (which turned into what is now the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market) said “Hey why don’t you start a CSA – we’d be members.”  That first year we had 17 members – 17 families we produced for and now we are at just over 60 families. We are glad we listened to their advice and because of our CSA we are able to thrive as a small diversified farm.  With diversifed income streams for the farm: farmers’ markets, wholesale, direct sales, and our thriving CSA we are able to make farming work for our family.  We love that you are part of the farm and that we get to see you every week during the season to share the farm’s bounty with you and that you are here with us in the fields – knowing where your food is coming from.  What a great direct link to one of your food sources – knowing the hands that grow your food and being able to shake them.  Can’t get that from the grocery store.

We have been busy this winter taking care of the animals and planning for the growing season to come. Adam is on the farm full time now with some teaching in these winter months at CCV.   Sadie, 7, is working on her First Grade year at home with us and she is very active in her dance classes at Miss Liza’s, 4H, sports, and book club. Sadie is learning how to read and enjoying every minute of it.  During her 4h group, she was able to practice what she has learned with electricity and made her own lamp. Delia, 4, is doing most of the same activities with her big sister and she is loves doing her schoolwork alongside her sister.  Delia loves all things baby and animals – watch out if you have a baby kitty, puppy or real baby – she will be quite the little mama to it. I have been busy with Sadie’s school, helping Adam with the animals, going to farmers’ market at the hospital and working on some really fun knitting projectsJ

So, How are you ?- what have you been up to?  Sorry we haven’t written more this winter – but as I am realizing writing with two children and a farm – are quite hard to do.  You all have been in our thoughts thoughJ

Adam and I continue to learn about farming – what we want to be, what we don’t want to be when our farm grows up.  We are looking at systems and are continually reflecting on our farm practices to make things more efficient, more productive, more nutritious, more manageableJ We are heading to the NOFA winter conference this weekend and are looking forward to being energized, inspired and walk away with a few more skills.

We will be offering 60 shares this year.  We will have the Individual, Full and Salad Shares available. There is still the sliding scale, financial aid is available(through NOFA-VT and the farm), we will take EBT for payments, payment plans, credit cards, possible bartering, pro-rated summer resident shares and prices will not go up. We can make deliveries but there needs to be 10 or more full or individual shares in that one location.  Looking to get a birthday or anniversary present? Why not a BHF CSA share – It’s the gift that gives over 18 weeks of delicious organic food.  Or would you like to donate a share to a family in need or buy veggies to be sent to the food shelf or Food for thought – we can do that tooJ

We also have 1 to 2 CSA Individual share membership to barter to a person or family that can commit to working 8 hours a week.  Please get in contact with us if you are interested in this. We will also have CSA member work days scheduled once a month where you can come out to the farm and help us with big labor projects that are family friendly. Also, this year we will continue to work on and post on our farm blog www.blueheronfarmvt.com and we are pretty active on facebook too – please “friend” us.

We want to continue to make organic produce affordable to all and be able to pay our costs. With members buying upfront their vegetables for the season, it helps our costs immensely and we can budget for the rest of the season. We would like to get payment by April 15th. If any of you can pay sooner than that, that would be great since most of our buying is right now through March (I know, I know I should have mailed this in January). Shares will start the first or second week in June. If these shares don’t work for you, or you would like to make a creative share – please let us know – we can try to work something out – we are pretty flexible.

**For those who pay by March 15th – you will be entered to win 5 dozen of eggs or a skein of our organic yarn or those who refer someone to our CSA, you will be entered to win also – the more you refer – the more chances to win.  Just have those people write your name at the bottom of the 2015 membership registration.

We value your support and friendship. If these costs are a hardship, please call us and we can come up with a payment plan. We are also hoping to provide 5 supported shares for families who are in need of this. If you are in need of financial aid this year please let us know and we will get you the financial aid info for a  supported share. Also we are accepting donations for the Farm Share program that supports our farms supported shares. Last year we were able to give financial support to 4 families from our community and provide extra food to the Round Barn through generous donations from our members. Our goal is to raise $500 for supported shares so NOFA-VT will match it and make a share more affordable to families in our community. If you would like more info, please give us a call. You can send the donation in with your registration form or send it directly to NOFA-VT with “Blue Heron Farm supported share” in the memo.

Because of you, our CSA members, we are able to outreach to our community here in Grand Isle County with food and goodwill.

Last year, we had our 9th year with the Senior Shares at the Round Barn here in Grand Isle. We delivered fresh veggies to 16 residents for 10 weeks and have had community dinners with them once a month since October. We are looking to expand this for this upcoming year and look forward to having them out at the farm with us. If you would like to join us for our monthly lunches, just let us know and we will let you know when they are.  We will continue this program again this year with the hopes of expanding it.

Also, we donated and sold, at a reduced rate, a bunch of food for the Food for Thought program last year, which fed over 125 children in Grand Isle County for 12 weeks. Each week, Blue Heron Farm was able to donate or sell  fresh veggies. Our farm plans to help out again with this year by donating veggies and if any of you would like to help with volunteering on those Sundays, delivering food to families, growing veggies here at our farm or your own place, buy a CSA share for this program, donate money (see our registration form) or with financial support please call Kaight at 372-5843 or give us a call.

We will also be working on growing certain crops for the food shelf here in the county.  If you would like to help with any of this, let us know.  There are times – for example – last summer, a bunch of lettuce mix came up that was ready and we had way too much to sell or give to you all.  We called a few people and folks came out and we harvested over 75lbs of lettuce mix, that we washed, spun, and bagged and brought to the Grand Isle Food Shelf.  None of it went to waste, it didn’t get plowed under, it went right to people in our community.  We are always looking for folks who would like to help come glean veggies for the food shelf – let us know if you are interested.

Thank YOU!

We couldn’t do this without all of you. It is because of you, we made it through last year with the hope for this growing season. Adam, Sadie, Delia and I look forward to walking out to the chickens with you and your children, meeting our sheep and their lambs in the pasture, mooing to Miss Annie, Miss Maggie, picking ground cherries, finding beautiful flower bouquets again,  uncovering treasures of potatoes and carrots from the earth, and enjoying that you know where your food comes from.

When we sit and plan this year and reflect over the last 11 years(!) – we are truly blessed to have this as our work. We are honored that we are one of your farmers and you are our community. Hope you are all well. We have enclosed this year’s CSA brochure. Please pass to a friend if you are going to fill out the electronic version. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you walking in the fields – smelling the basil, having tomato juice run down your cheeks, & eating fresh sweet peas again .
Your friends/farmers at Blue Heron Farm,
Adam Farris, Christine Bourque, Sadie and Delia Farris

PS- NOFA-VT Supported farm share program will be released March 1 – If you need financial assistance – please let us know and call NOFA (434-4122) or download(www.nofavt.org) their application. Get your supported share application in ASAP as soon as it is released because it is on a first come first serve basis until funds run out.

PPS – I am really, really hoping to pull off a REAL website for the farm this spring too..thanks to my very experienced sister Sue:)

One Response to “Blue Heron Farm 2015 CSA Now accepting registrations!”

  1. patricia gonyo April 8, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    I would like to sign up again this year, but I can’t remember what I had last year. What I had last year really worked for me. I’d like to do the same thing if possible. Thanks, Pat Gonyo

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