A white landscape with bare trees, that’s what I see from my office. But if I close my eyes I hear birds. And if I walk into the basement I see plants growing under lights and I smell moist soil. If I look at the dining room table I see hundreds of packets of seeds. When I walk through the snow into the empty greenhouse, it is so warm I only need a t-shirt. What’s happening? Spring is coming!!

Baby Bok Choi growing under lights in the basement

Baby Bok Choi growing under lights in the basement

Lots of little plants, scheduled to be planted into the ground in about 3 weeks and  harvested for the Spring Share

Lots of little plants, scheduled to be planted into the ground (in the hoophouse) in about 3 weeks and harvested for the Spring Share

2012 Season Survey Results

Thank you to those of you who gave us feedback via the annual survey (last fall). The information and comments you give us are so important. We read each and every one and make changes based on what you tell us. You all guide this farm!

Here’s what we learned from you:
The vegetables you enjoyed the most, in this order: sweet corn, salad mix, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, garlic, peppers, potatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots. The vegetables you would like more of, in this order: sugar snap peas, strawberries, carrots, spinach, watermelon, onions, edamame, sweet corn, cantaloupe, broccoli. The vegetables you would like less of, in this order: beets, eggplant, hot peppers, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, collards, cabbage, fennel, radishes, celeriac.

We plan to deliver more sugar snap peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, onions and edamame. We are advocating for different weather (anyone have a direct connection to the weather gods?). Last season we had difficulty with those crops due to the challenges of the heat and drought so we are not surprised that you said you wanted more, we also wanted more. Due to the heat, we had a bumper crop of hot peppers and eggplant, items some of  you indicated you would like less of. The season prior we had a very low eggplant yield although we had planted the same number of plants as this season. The yield from each plant can vary significantly each season, based on the weather. We do analyses at the end of each season to determine how many fruits per plant and how many pounds per plant and how much each fruit weighs. (yes, we count all of our hot peppers and eggplants! And sweet peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers and summer squash and on and on).

Some of the things you wanted less of we only delivered once. For example, we only delivered fennel and celeriac once, so if you do not like those items, once was too much. We aim to balance the number of times we deliver the less-liked vegetables to meet the desires of everyone.  We will continue delivering those vegetables to satisfy those who do like them and hope everyone else just keeps giving them a try.  And if you really don’t want them, there’s a ‘choice box’ at your site.  Some will be thrilled to find that extra celeriac!

Other feedback: Here is a representative quote, many people acknowledged the unique season: “With the drought I did not think the shares would be as good as previous seasons, but they were. Thanks. Great job this season!”

This Week’s Harvest   Each week we put this sheet of paper into your share box. We asked if we should e-mail it to you or continue putting it into your box. Answer: The majority of you want us to continue to put it into your share box. 98.8% of the respondents said they read it and find it helpful. Yea!

A high percentage of you said you read the weekly farm news posts. We will continue communications with you weekly. We are making improvements to our web as we strive to have even better communication.

We got hundreds of “anything you would like to tell us” comments. They are so much fun to read. The questions, suggestions, ideas, comments, critical feedback and praise are what make CSA special. The ability for you to give your farm and farmers feedback is unique and special. And the ability for us to receive feedback from our eaters is very special. Thank you for caring so much about where your food comes from and who is growing it.