Happy Winter Solstice!

We wish you all health and happiness on the longest night of the year.

We took a break from harvesting this week, to have a chance to rest, and get ready for family celebrations. Also to reflect, and start planning the year ahead. I’m taking some big, deep breaths. So much was built, so much was planted, we had not enough help, so many weeds, so little rain. But we got through it, and will be better off next year. Our irrigation pond was so filled with muck from years of neglect, we had to have it dug out. An expense we hadn’t planned on, but it was worth it. Since then, Matt has been taking stones from the field and piling them up near the outlet.

It’s looking nearly ready for skating on now.farm-pond

And as the sun returns we will be using it to power our high tunnel and greenhouse fans and a new cooling shed for our vegetables. We were one of 3 farms to receive grants from the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program; a link to a nice ProJo article about that is here.

Here’s the sun today, barely shining through the clouds, almost done with us at 3:30 pm.winter-solstice

I’m home, getting ready to make a fire and burn off this year’s struggles. Then make wishes for the days ahead. I hope to hear from you. If you plan to join our 2017 CSA, join as early as you can! Info about that is here. Pricing this year is an effort to encourage you early birds! And folks who are interested in buying shares as a gift for the holidays.

If you are interested in a work trade, or want to share with me some of your favorite vegetables (as we are starting to get our seed catalogs now)  shoot me an email at redplanetvegetables@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Join us to plant garlic and TULIPS

The weather is still looking pretty good for working outside next week. We have to plant the beautiful garlic we grew last year from Earthcare Farm’s seed.  Look how pretty it was last spring!

garlic

We also have a big bag of organic tulip bulbs from Wicked Tulips!

Come out to the farm next Tuesday, December 6

We’ll start after noon, and will have a fire going and some snacks.  For more details, or if you want to let me know if you can come, email me at redplanetvegetables@gmail.com

Enjoying the winter

The days are so short right now we often end up working in the dark. Matt took a photo of row cover glowing under our namesake star, Mars.

mars-over-red-planet

While he’s out at the farm, I’m home thinking about how the season has gone, and how it’s getting better and better at our new location. And also about the holidays coming up. We have updated the info about our Main Season CSA in case you are thinking about buying someone a share as a gift, or if you want to give us the gift of paying early!

Early birds get to pay 2016 prices; that’s true for you and for us. The earlier we get our supply orders and seed orders in, the better the pricing and the selection. And the better prepared we can be to have the most amazing year ever.

Just last week Matt installed a woodstove in our washroom, and cut out a doorway from there to our little greenhouse. This means we hopefully will not have to buy propane to keep our seedlings warm in the new year. And it means we have a warm room to wash our winter vegetables! Here’s a bit of what our members received yesterday: early-winter-week-2

We are so grateful for the support and friendship of our CSA members.

Early Winter CSA starts November 21

Phew! The start date is almost here, and I’ve been kind of out of my mind lately, but I need to talk to you about this Early Winter CSA.

It’s the 12th, and we haven’t had too many frosts. We’re still picking peppers and cherry tomatoes out of our high tunnels. At the same time, we are cleaning out beds and seeding radishes and greens where the big tomatoes had been. The little bitty greenhouse has flats of brassicas and herbs that need to be transplanted. Out in the field, we have turnips, carrots, hardy herbs, kale, chard, lettuce and arugula, and a bunch of other things. These all need to be covered like this:

row-cover

So! 2 things. Did you want to join us for 6 weeks of produce starting 11/21 and going into the start of 2017? We have a few openings so read about it here and get in touch as soon as possible! And if this rather warm and beautiful fall weather makes you want to play outside, consider coming out to the farm this week to help us get things safely under cover. Contact me at redplantvegetables@gmail.com. I will be out there Sunday, Monday Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

 

Testimonial

We still have space in our main season CSA, as we are trying to build it back up after the big move.  I have to admit that I haven’t really known what to do to promote the CSA. One thing that feels really good is seeing former members come back to us, but I rarely think to ask their reasons.  This week I got such a sweet message, I want to share it.

I’m writing to see if your still selling shares. I moved farther from the providence area and changed my csa to something more local, but guess what? I honestly missed your produce! Your purple potatoes, herbs and the variety of vegetables you offer was superb.

CSA shares available now!

Become a member for a summer’s worth of the freshest, healthiest vegetables, greens and herbs. We have weekly pick ups on Providences’s West Side and at our farm on Greenville Avenue in Johnston.

This year you can pay for your share with your SNAP benefits, thanks to Farm Fresh RI. We will work out a payment plan with you, and payments can be made at any Farm Fresh RI farmers’ market, like the Armory Park Farmers market in Providence, where we will be every week.

More information about the CSA and how to join is here.

 

Growing into 2016

Happy New Year! We are starting our second year at 380 Greenville Avenue, it will be our first FULL year since we started moving there in April 2015.

Now we have a chance to make this farm a reflection of all that we’ve learned over the years. And we will be able to plan a full year of production on more land than we’ve ever had. We are bringing back our Early Spring CSA, and returning to a more “traditional” main season CSA.  I am working out the details, and will have the information available very soon.  If you still have credit from last year’s CSA, you will be able to use your balance in a couple of different ways. And we are definitely looking for more members, so please spread the word.

I feel like this year is a real Fresh Start. Last year I felt pushed beyond my limits by the need to move AND try to bring in an income from the new farm. Plus the late spring made it even harder; remember how deep the snow was?  I took a part time job working in community gardens in Providence’s public parks. I wondered if it was time to leave Rhode Island, or farming in general, or stop trying to run a business with my partner. What was needed was some quiet time to think it through, and it took til late December to get that. Now it’s been a few weeks and I know I love growing vegetables with Matt here in Rhode Island right on the edge of our really freaking charming little city. We have gone through a period of stress and anxiety, and we got through it. It’s time to remember why we started doing this in the first place, more than a decade ago.

This year we can start right up. I’ve made a stack of soil blocks, and our Johnny’s seed order came in last Thursday. Even if we do end up with lots of snow and cold temperatures, our little greenhouse is heated, and the hardy greens we plant in the two high tunnels will be fine.

I’m just writing this because I’ve been feeling so grateful for the people who have worked with us, and joined our CSA, and become our friends, and collaborated with us.  And let you know how excited I am to get started this year.