Posts Tagged ‘CSA’

SquashThe gorgeous Spring weather the last few days has me more psyched than ever regarding this year’s garden.  We have a few CSA shares left so it’s not too late to get in.  IMO, while it’s ok to wait and buy things from our Farmer’s Market Booth, it’s a whole lot LESS risky to know you’ll have produce by signing up for a CSA share.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to spend the next few updates, tempting you, my dear readers, with some of the varieties we’ll be growing this year. CSA members will always get the first baskets. If there are any leftovers, they will go to the Farmers Markets.

Today, I want to talk about the Squash varieties we’ll be growing. I am very excited about them.

First, there is the summer squash. This is Georgia, so obviously, we’ll be growing the requisite Yellow squash (straight AND crooked neck) and Dark Green Zucchini. We want to make sure you have plenty because we know how Southerners love fried squash and zucchini. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Don’t forget, though, that there are many other ways to cook up summer squash. If you need some ideas, just use the comment section to ask, and we’ll share some of our favorites (CSA members will receive recipes each week with their baskets as our way of saying Thank You for your support).

We’ll also be growing lots of white Scallop Squash. Some people call them, Patty Pan. They are delicious.

Zephyr Squash

Zephyr Squash

We’re going to be adding Zephyr Squash to the rotation for the first time this year. They are beautiful two toned vegetables that have an almost addictive nutty quality to them.

We’re growing an interesting variety of Zucchini called, Partenon. In fact, we already have a couple plants growing in the greenhouse. Partenon is a rare, self pollinating variety that can be grown in a greenhouse. Like I said, we have some growing in the greenhouse now, but will plant some outside as well.  I’m really looking forward to trying it.

Let’s not forget about Spaghetti Squash. We intend to plant quite a few of these because they are one of our favorites and are also a favorite of Brittan’s mother. Don’t worry, we’ll have enough for you, too.

I am a big fan of Winter Squashes. Autumn is my favorite season and that’s when most of these yummy varieties are ready.

Growing up in Kentucky (yes, I’m bragging), pumpkin pie was on the menu every Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. It is still one of my favorite pies. So we’ll be growing Sugar Pie Pumpkins. Oh yes, we will. I’m willing to concede the Jack O’ Lantern market to the super markets and roadside stands and focus on pie. Yum.

Waltham Butternut is another seasonal favorite. I can’t even imagine a fall and winter without Butternut Squash. Brittan makes pudding out of it and I could eat it every day.  As I type this update, it’s just after midnight and I could really go for some Butternut Squash pudding right now.

A couple years ago, we learned to love baked Acorn Squash. this year we will grow two varieties, Table King Bush and Table Queen, which is a traditional vining


Table King Acorn Squash

Table King Acorn Squash

Summer and Squash are practically synonyms. What’s your favorite variety? I’d love to hear about it.

Coming Attractions: Next update: Tomatoes Galore!





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veggie2014 arrived right on schedule a few hours ago.  Funny, in all my life I’ve never seen one arrive late.  The same thing can be said of Birthdays, darn it. Birthday CARDS are sometimes late, but never the birthday itself. Shame, really.

I wanted to begin the adventure that is 2014 by formally announcing we will be attending at least 1, and probably 2 Farmers Markets this year. We will have a stand in Cartersville on Saturdays, and possibly Calhoun on Thursday nights.  Please stay tuned for changes and additions.

Also, may I have a drum roll please?  After three years of threatening, we are offering a limited CSA option this year.  Since its our first CSA program we are offering an incredible price. Therefore, the earlier people sign up, the better the chance of taking advantage.  The 2014 membership is $400.  Members who pay in full by March 25 will receive a $50 ‘earlybird’ discount  ($350 total).  After March 25, the membership reverts to the $400 price, while shares are still available.  There is one other option. Memberships can be reserved with a $100 deposit and paid in 20 weekly installments of $17, from June 1 – October, making the total $440.  We’re making this offer now, because it’s a first come, first serve basis.  Feel free to use the contact page or email any questions.

Oh, before I forget, Happy New Year.

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EarthBox Self Watering Containers

I don’t know why I have to learn everything the hard way.  I have a PhD from the University of Hard Knocks.  Mostly it’s my own fault.  I read a lot. I study the gardening and farming methods of the ultra successful, and then I go out and make a mess of everything.

Eventually, I get things right and can pass on what I’ve learned to others, but bow howdy, does my learning curve have some steep drops.

For the last two years, we’ve played with the idea of a CSA (community supported agriculture).  We’ve even had a couple of people sign up.  Each year, I have made some terrible planting and timing mistakes that have prevented me from implementing a fully operational CSA.

Finally, though, I have a plan that will work.  In fact, by incorporating my Aquaponics systems and a couple of greenhouses, we could offer a few 10 to 12 month shares.

My biggest mistake has been a failure to utilize a wise system of succession planting. I’ve finally figured that out.  I just had to start thinking like a customer.  I’d much rather have 4 tomatoes a week, with one or two big weeks to can some tomatoes than have 25 lbs one week and no more the rest of the year.  The same with beets and lettuce.  Everyone likes a head of lettuce from time to time, but who wants 11 heads of the stuff one week then have to wait a year to get more.  It was a real d’oh moment.

It’s probably too late for me to salvage the situation this season, but going forward we should be good to go.  I’m sure things won’t work out perfectly, but I think I’m on to something.

Speaking of going forward, we are in the process of creating a new business plan and direction for East of Eden Farms and Our Edible Suburb.  We believe that a more narrow focus will allow a better experience for our customers and us, and will set a better example for what is truly possible in maximum production from small spaces.

Finally, at long last I have begun writing the book version of Our Edible Suburb.  I’m still undecided about whether or not I will go a traditional paperback route or if I’ll stick with electronic versions.  Your thoughts would be appreciated.  If you were to buy a book about growing mountains of food and becoming self sufficient in small spaces, would you prefer an electronic version that could go with you anywhere and have live links to other helpful information, or would you  like a hard copy that you can reference from the comfort of your recliner?  Let me know.

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If even half of our plan comes to fruition (pun partially intended), 2012 should be the most exciting year yet here in the burb (and out at the farm).  We’ve talked about some of these things and hinted at others, but I thought I’d list them all here as kind of a teaser.

1. We are expanding the garden considerably by adding three aquaponics systems.  In order to handle the extra vegetable volume, we are offering a few CSA shares.  The details and pricing will be made available at the end of this month in a newsletter to our mailing list.

2. The aquaponics gardens will also allow us to add fish to our other meat and poultry offerings.  Fish will have limited availability starting this fall, but will expand throughout the winter and into next year.

3. We will be adding pastured pork to our offerings. Again, this will be on a specific, limited, pre order basis. Our mini porkers will be available in whole or half pig portions. Details in the coming newsletter.

4. Pastured beef. Yes, you herd right (sorry, couldn’t resist a little homonym humor), pastured beef.  We will be taking pre orders in February for a few partners to join us in raising some of the best beef in North Georgia. You guessed it, details coming in the January newsletter.

5. This will be our first year to offer Cabrito/Chevon from our newly acquired Kiko herd. Our does were bred to a Boer herd sire and are due in early Spring. By the end of June any males born will be ready for market.  We may also have a few Alpines available as well, though our great hope is a crop of does to strengthen our dairy herd.

6. Speaking of Dairy, Britttan will be milking 3 Alpines and three Nigerians this year, which means more milk and more yogurt for you.  In addition to the usual a la carte offerings, we will make goat shares available so that you can be guaranteed a regular supply. Thank you, btw, for the emails and phone calls raving about the milk and yogurt from last year.  We love it that you’ve enjoyed your experience.  Just a couple months more waiting.

7. Let’s not forget pastured turkeys.  Feed prices are rising like everything else, so turkey prices will have to go up a bit this year. However, we’ll make it worth your while by having larger birds.  Those of you who have been out to the farm to see Mr. Tom, will know exactly what I’m talking about.

8. We are eggspanding our flock of chickens to provide more breakfast and baking goodness for everyone who’s been begging for more eggs.  Assuming we can keep the hawks at bay, we will dramatically increase egg availability starting this spring. We are also giving share opportunities for those who want a consistent, regular supply.

9. Pastured chicken production will be greatly reduced. We will have the occasional stewing hen available, but we will no longer be marketing broilers.  Stewing hens have better flavor anyway. So if you want to be notified when stewers  coming up, you’ll need to get on the mailing list.

See, I told you this is going to be a huge year for us. We are excited and a little awestruck by the task, but farming is our passion and providing you with the freshest, tastiest meat, dairy and produce in North Georgia is our goal.  As alluded to several times, we have a newsletter going out either the last week of January or the first week of February.  We have a list of everyone who have written to us or purchased from us in the past.  If you want to be on that list, or are not sure if you are on it, you can email us by using the contact page on our website or simply by emailing sam@eastofedenfarms.  Happy New Year, everyone.

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Summer has faded, fall colors are past their peak and winter looms.  Its a relief to have the work load lightened, but it’s sad to see the garden bare and pastures losing their green.  We’ve decided to make a few changes in our emphasis for the coming year.

First, we are not planning on doing broiler chickens in 2012.  We actually lost money on them this year.  Between rising feed costs and predation, we lost quite a bit.  We are, however, going to increase our number of laying hens.  We intend to offer CSA shares this coming summer and will include an egg option in the package. We may make the occasional stewing hen available at the end of a season.  Older chickens make great chicken and dumplings as well as chicken noodle soup.  We’re not sure about that option yet.

We are going to increase the number of turkeys we raise.  We like them a lot. There is certainly a market.  What I find unfortunate is that they are only thought of as Holiday bird.  Sure, they’re larger than chickens and cost considerably more, but when you think of all the meals you can make from a single turkey, they are a real bargain.  I’ll do a ‘turkey versatility’ article sometime.

We’re selling the sheep.  We like them, but they just don’t fit our model.  We’ll miss them, for sure.

We won’t be doing beef.  Chuck and Diane go to the processor on the 30th of this month.  That will leave only Butter.  We will keep her for dairy and if she has a heifer calf, we’ll keep it for dairy.  Dexters don’t produce a lot of milk, but it will be good quality and they do well on less than lush pasture.

We are increasing the number of Alpine goats.  We love the quality of milk as do those who get it from us. We will sell the males as wethers for weed control or for BBQ.

We will hold steady on Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They don’t produce as much milk as the Alpines, but we are crazy about them.

Pig numbers are on the increase.  We brought home a young sow yesterday.  Her name is Patty.  She will be a wife for Link. The pigs have been an awesome addition to the farm. The eat the garden scraps and all the surplus milk and whey. Apart from certain ethnic communities, most people love pork, so the market for sausage, ham and bacon is there. Besides, pork is our favorite meat here.

Finally, we are adding the Tilapia and Giant Red Claw Crayfish.  The only thing holding us back is the cash to build the greenhouses.  Since we don’t do debt, we have to wait until we have the money saved up.

As regards veggies for 2012, we are planning to offer a few all season CSA shares, featuring potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, herbs, beets, turnips, greens, bell peppers and jalapenos.  There will be a little broccoli and cauliflower. A lucky few might even talk me out of some habanero and jolokia peppers.  But you’ll have to be really good talkers. 🙂

Lest I forget, we still have rabbits. We will continue to breed our meat rabbits, but have added American Chinchilla rabbits for the pet market and for those who want to start breeding rabbits. They are a rare breed and have awesome personalities.

I think that should get you up to date on our forward look.  Please stay in touch.  It’s not too early to let us know if you’re interested in a CSA share.  Also, drop us a line and tell us if you have interest in a CSA share that includes meat, dairy, eggs and fish.  We are looking at a package that we call “The Omnivore’s Delight”.

Have a great week.


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