Twenty weeks of harvest come to a close this week; our 19th season nearly complete and our 20th on the horizon.  Typical for Wisconsin, the year began as no other, with winter lasting until the first of May in our valley.  It was a slow start but the season followed with the best weather we’ve ever had.  The vegetables responded by providing a great bounty.  One overall measure we use each week is the weight of the share box, partly to gauge the harvest and partly to give the delivery crew fair warning on how their backs will feel at the end of the day.   The box weighed over 20 pounds per box week after week.   We were pleased with the harvest of 2013 and hope you were as well.

There was one disappointment this year, garlic was missing.  Garlic failures were a multi-state phenomena, one which we hope doesn’t get repeated again.  But, as the snowflakes were falling Wednesday afternoon, we were planting back all of our surviving bulbs, for next year’s harvest.  Garlic marks the last planting of the year as well as the first crop to emerge in the spring.  Fortunate for us, winter comes between fall and spring, giving us time to plan for the coming year, catch up on repairs and that project list, and yes, take a break.

As now seasoned CSA veterans, you will have all this time on your hands without that weekly box of produce to cook; what to do you ask?  Well, you can continue to eat locally for a few more months by getting a Storage Share and you can start up early in the spring with a Spring Share.  Another thing you can do is tell your family, friends and co-workers about the Farm.  We count on you to bring us new members; so, please lend Vermont Valley Community Farm a hand and talk about your CSA whenever the opportunity arises.  A pleasant conversation with a friend about the Farm makes a huge difference for us.

The Bigger Picture

Many of you may not be aware of the coalition of CSA farms that we have been active with for over twenty years.  FairShare CSA Coalition brought the concept of CSA to southern Wisconsin and has been instrumental in developing programs to facilitate the growth of new farms, creating access to CSA shares for low income people, providing training opportunities for current farms, and creating resources like the A to Z Foodbook and Farm, Fresh, and Fast to help you make great use of your CSA vegetables.  Fairshare is known internationally and has made Wisconsin the epicenter of CSA in the US!  FairShare is a non-profit organization that is always looking for interested people to participate in its work.  Like all non-profits, it also needs financial support.  We ask you to consider a contribution to FairShare as way to spread the bounty beyond your share box.  We consider our involvement with FairShare critical to our Farm’s success.   Click here to learn about making a contribution.

Thank you for supporting a family farm.  You, along with every other household in the Madison area who chooses to eat locally, are making a huge difference.

See you next season!

The  Perkins family

David, Barb, Jesse, Eric, Becky, Jonnah, Brian, Paavo and Felix

David, the boss, and Jesse, his sidekick, in the workshop

David, the boss, and Jesse, his sidekick, in the workshop.

Each Monday Barb takes time away from managing the CSA to take care of her two grandsons, Paavo and Felix.  Paavo, 22 months, is Jesse and Jonnah's son and Felix, six months, is Becky and Brian's son.

Each Monday Barb takes time away from managing the CSA to watch of her two grandsons, Paavo and Felix. Paavo, 22 months, is Jesse and Jonnah’s son and Felix, six months, is Becky and Brian’s son.

Jesse, the large equipment maintenance man,  fixing a....

Jesse, large implement manager, greasing the potato harvester.

Jonnah multitasking in the office.

Jonnah, office manager, multitasking in her office – the old milkhouse of the barn.

Eric, packing shed manager, weighing carrots.

Eric, packing shed manager, weighing carrots.

Becky, our farm cook, using fresh vegetables to make our lunch.

Becky, farm cook, using fresh vegetables to make our lunch.

Elisabeth, harvest manager, running the show in the daikon radishes.

Elisabeth, harvest manager, running the show in the daikon radishes.

Chris, our resident jack of all trades, checking out one of the box trucks.

Chris, our resident jack of all trades, checking out one of the box trucks.

Brian getting excited to dump 6243 lbs of carrots into the root tumbler.

Brian getting excited to put 6243 lbs of carrots through the root tumbler.

Clara having fun in the beets.

Clara having fun in the beets.

The farm dogs taking a break from chasing deer out of the fields.  From left, Nasta, Obi, and Shanna.  Nasta is Jesse and Jonnah's dog, Obi is Becky and Brian's dog, and Shanna lives on the farm.

The farm dogs taking a break from chasing deer out of the fields. From left: Nasta, Obi, and Shanna. Nasta is Jesse and Jonnah’s dog, Obi is Becky and Brian’s dog, and Shanna lives on the farm with Barb and David.

To learn more about your Vermont Valley community Farm farmers see the About Us page on our website