Category Archives: Food

CSA Status…

We are past week 8 for our CSA.  We had some issues at the beginning (really before the beginning) that made us delay the start by two weeks.  We still got it all rolling in May (which was the goal, since most other truly local CSA’s don’t start till June) so that was a success.  Although the garden plan didn’t take into account the off farm job, and the impact that had on the seeding schedule, things are rolling along.  We still have 17 more weeks go to, and we are just now seeding some things for near the end of the CSA for this summer.  Until this week, we have been considering the shares “half shares”.  Week 6 is the first share that we would consider full sized.  Now for a little show and tell.

 

We are finishing up the work on our pricing and options for the 2016 season.  Sign up forms will be on-line soon!  Options to include farm fresh meat are part of the mix…  Whole Diet CSA.  We are also talking about a fall CSA.  A little more laid back (bi-weekly pickup?), with a per week rate if a hard freeze ends the season before we expect it to.  It would be a bit of a test run, with one season of a CSA under our belt, and having enjoyed winter greens through the new year this last season, we are as ever, optimistic!  There is also the thought in the back of this farmer’s mind, that if it went well, as in, better than he optimistically hopes it might, the full time farming timetable might get move up a bit.  There are still some capitalization hurdles to get over, but hope is what drives us.

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First CSA share is out!

Yep, we are underway!  Our first CSA share went out last Wednesday.  This year is a test year, so 10 shares, and only on-farm pickup.  We are keeping it simple, and trying to make all the mistakes we possibly can.  Every. Single. One.  The good news is we are making lots of mistakes, the better news is that we are still seeing some success despite the the mistakes!
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Our little Farm-ily has been wonderfully supportive.  We got thank you notes, and words of encouragement back in early spring, before we even had anything in the ground.  It was heart warming.  And now that the first shares are down the driveway, we are getting more support, encouragement and some very kind words.
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Here’s what one of our customers posted.  I think she actually had dinner before we did, and arguably might have been the first to get cooking with the greens!

 

Sally was kind enough to share her “quick dinner” with me (she didn’t want to call it a recipe, but did say she loves cooking chicken like this, because it stays so moist)

“Evoo in pan, salt & pepper chicken thighs, and brown in the pan. When they’re browned on one side, flip, then add a chopped onion and a couple hand fulls of quartered baby cremini mushrooms. More salt, lower heat, then arrange so the chicken is resting on top of veggies. Then I drizzled with about 2-3T of balsamic and let cook another 10 min or so. Lastly, add a couple handfuls of whatever greens you like (I used those beet greens) and just cook for another minute or two. Key is to not over cook the greens!
We had the chicken with a wild rice and quinoa blend, and a salad of your greens, radishes, feta cheese and sunflower seeds.”

It’s a long season ahead of us, with problems we don’t even know we will need to fix yet, we also know it’s full of sunshine, smiles and some of the best time’s we have ever had.  We are truly excited to share our farm with this wonderful group of people.  We are also just barely starting to think about next season, if your interested, drop us a note farmers at adalynfarm.com, we’ll keep you in the loop.

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Adalyn Farm offerings for 2015

Hello, and welcome to 2015!!!

We are so excited and have so much to share with you.  First off, click through to our “about us” above, in the website header.  It’s new and updated, although it might be better said that it’s more in-depth, since we aren’t really new (we’re in our 30’s after all), and we haven’t really been updated (unless you include Farmer Joscelyn’s various surgeries). You’ll find our story there, as well as our management and farming practices spelled out.  We are scrubbing up some other little rough spots, so there might be more to see over the next few weeks.

(Gratuitous picture of food.)
 

We are super excited about the outcome from our farm meeting a few weeks ago.  In short, we are planning on more animals on the farm this year and a test Vegetable CSA.  We are raising pigs again, as well as turkeys for Thanksgiving and 2 batches of chickens.  All are pasture-raised, organically-fed and humanely-processed here on our farm just as before. For the chickens, we will have two different pick-up dates to try to accommodate more people.  Turkey and pigs will be done near the end of October, with a last batch of pigs done in December.  All of the details for each of these items can be found through the links below.  If you want to get in line for some of the tasty meat, simply click on the links that interest you and follow the instructions.  If your mind is currently blown, just reply to this e-mail and we can send you copies of the info. sheets for anything you are interested in.

Info. on PIGS!!

Info. on TURKEYS!!

Info. on CHICKENS!!

Now, how ’bout that Vegetable CSA?  Well, after hours of garden planning and talking through work load and expectations, we are sticking to our guns and running the Veg CSA as a test this year.  What does that mean? It means that we are running a very small (10 share) CSA for a pilot group of customers that will be patient as we work out the kinks and give us the needed feedback for improvement.  If all goes well, we will be going all-in on this in 2016.  In fact, it’s shaping up to be the cornerstone that our farm is going to run on.  Although we both prefer raising animals to plants, a living just can’t be made on 5 acres with only animals.  With a small 100 member CSA, it’s within reach, and we can still run our goats, pigs and various poultry, all without compromising our care and stewardship goals for the property.  Did I mention that we are excited?  It’s all out of our hands, but God-willing, we will be calling ourselves full-time farmers in just a few short years!

How can you help with this awesome dream?!?!  Well, if you’re not already a customer, please consider allowing us to grow food for your family. Additionally, if you have friends who care about environmental stewardship, where food comes from and local economy, please consider sharing this message with them.  We can assure you this e-mail will forward flawlessly.

Again, we love to hear from our customers and would be happy to send you more info. on any of our available offerings for 2015!

-The Adalyn Farmers

Spring is coming, the grass is starting to grow, and the birds are getting louder every morning.

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When the animals leave home….

We love hearing from folks about the food we have grown here.  Especially when folks really take advantage of all that locally grown food has to offer.  From folks who part up their chickens, make broth, and canned meat or soup, to happy kids munching on carrots, it really lifts our spirits.  It makes all the work worth while.  We got one of the most uplifting e-mails of 2014 shortly before Christmas.  It was from one of our pork customers who literally used everything but the oink.  I’m linking to her ‘how to’ on making Canadian Bacon, just to give you some ideas for this year…

(oh, and we are in the midst of our 2015 farm planning meeting, yes more pigs and chickens)

How to Make Canadian Bacon at Home.

Community Seed Exchange (Take that you big, nasty government/big ag bully.)

I saw at least two stories over the holiday about seed banks and seed exchanges being in trouble.  The premise is that seed companies need to sell seed that has a standard germination rate, set by the “industry,” so folks don’t spend good money on bad seed.  In order to enforce this, some states have laws about seed that is distributed being germination tested.  Most community seed banks can’t afford this, or do it in-house as many commercial seed companies do.  Really it all comes back to money, and trying to protect the consumer, but it gets hijacked by some brain stem with a pulse in government who doesn’t want free seed being given away unless it is germination tested…..  Sound silly?  I thought so.

So, for a second year (Not in a row, that would be too puny.) we are coordinating a community seed exchange.  The details are below, and the only request is that you jump on Facebook and indicate that you are coming.  That way we can make sure we have enough zip-tie handcuffs for all you wild law breakers out there.  Just kidding about the handcuffs, but we do need to have an idea of how many folks will be there.  It’s also a bit of a potluck/snack bar, so please let me know if you want to bring something, and I can put you in touch with the person that is coordinating food. After all, too much guacamole is too much of a good thing, especially if there are no chips to go with it.

From the Stanwood Community Seed Exchange:

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“Are you ready for the 2015 garden season? Do you save seed from your garden to re-plant next year, or do you want to learn how? If you have seed to swap, plan to bring 4-8 shares (enough for a family garden), please germ test the seed if at all possible, and please pick just one or two of your favorites. Details on the actual exchange process to follow… And we do have a start on some door prizes…. And just to be clear, you don’t need to have seeds to swap to come, but if you don’t have seeds to swap, you won’t be able to participate in the seed exchange.

Our goal is to involve folks in the Stillaguamish Valley and surrounding areas, as we all share common seasonal variations that make gardening here unique. I am trying to line up a few folks to give informal talks or presentations, and we plan on having a light snack/lunch potluck. Kids are welcome, with parent supervision, because seeds are small and kids are quick.”

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Keeping knives sharp, caring for us, our community and the land. And the CSA.

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I like knives; they are an incredibly useful tool. I especially like sharp knives. In fact, it’s almost a family joke that whatever knife I’m carrying will be shaving sharp. This idea has permeated into our close community, and I get asked from time to time to recommend a good sharp knife. Typically I will get into the specifics of knives, their uses, blade style and personal preference (Yes, I’ll head down any good rabbit trail.). Given that almost all knife manufacturers ship their knives shaving sharp, people get the sharp knife they asked me about.

What never comes up in these conversations is the maintenance, the required care that any knife will take to maintain its razor edge. I can tell you a secret; the maintenance is constant- one must be careful about how the cutting edge is used, resharpening is frequent, and the blade must be protected while in storage.  And don’t forget more resharpening.

We feel the exact same way about our farm and the food it produces.  Just like some folks would rather buy a new knife when their old one is dull, some people want a quick, easy solution to their food needs. We are willing to do the work, not only to have the best quality food available for us and our community, but to ensure that the production process (growing) of that food is humane, sustainable and realistic. What I mean by this is we want to make sure the earth is maintained through the growth of the food for now and with an eye on the needs of the future. That it’s humane; the needs of the animals as living creatures comes before the profit that they represent. That it’s sustainable, not asking more of the farmer or the land than it can give perpetually. And that it’s realistic; I wouldn’t buy a knife that required sharpening after each use, and we won’t grow food that places unrealistic expectations on the animals, the land, the production system, or us.

All that said, the knife still needs to be sharpened, the soil fed, animals cared for and our community provided for.  That is where we are headed in 2015.  We will be offering more to our community: more chickens, turkeys and pigs.  In fact, we will probably be producing all the animals we feel we can on the property we have now without compromising the standard of care for the land and animals.  We hope to be able to offer beef as well and will be offering our first trial-run of a Vegetable CSA.  Given our long-term goal of full-time farming and the realistic limitations of the property that we are stewarding, vegetable production looks to be our best option for our primary income stream.  After several years of running meat animals on pasture, we know that for us to expand, we will have to dive into vegetable production.  We just don’t have enough land to raise the number of animals we would need for full-time farming to become a reality.

Given that 2015 will be our first year of a Vegetable CSA, we are starting small and keeping it simple: on farm pick-up, no crazy new garden produce you aren’t familiar with, and a willingness to iron out the details as we unfold this new part of Adalyn Farm.  We are super excited and extremely motivated to work our way through the hurdles. Until then, Merry Christmas, and we look forward to serving you in the New Year!

Polar Vortex, done.

It was cold.  For us anyhow.  I have family in Michigan, close enough to Lake Michigan to get some wicked lake effect weather.  I try not to complain too much, since they tend to treat my grumblings like childish whining.  Regardless, our critters are used to 40’s, not teens.  So when we run daytime highs around 28, I whine on their behalf.  Chores are all about water and extra food, dry bedding and checking for drafts.  The nice thing about cold weather at the farm, it means sun, and no mud!!!  Here are some shots from the farm instagram feeds.  Both Farmer Joscelyn and Farmer Adam have started using Instagram, not because we’re all hipster, but because it so easy to share what’s happening, real time.  So here are some shots, of the frozen ground and fuzzy critters…

View this post on Instagram

Toasty pig. No food, no facetime.

A post shared by Adam Stevens (@adalynfarmboy) on

It’s actually raining now, with the temps up.  And we are hi fiving, as some of our winter greens test garden came through with little to no damage!!!  These were all harvested after the run of mid teen overnight temps.

This bodes well for next winter.  We might just have a few shares of winter greens to offer up.  Stay tuned.

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