Monadnock Region CSA Fair on February 16th

A free Monadnock Region CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Fair will be held at the Monadnock Food Co-op’s cafe on Sunday, February 16th from 1-4 p.m. Nine area CSA farmers will have informational tables and be on hand to answer questions on their farms and CSA memberships:

Cheshire Fairgrounds CSA offers vegetables & herbs. To find out more information about the CSA or to sign up, contact farmer Taylor Barnes at (603) 762-5037 or tbarnesenviro@gmail.com.  You may also contact Jori Johnson at (603) 357-4740 or cheshirefair@onecommail.com, or stop in at the Fairgrounds, 247 Monadnock Hwy, Swanzey, NH 03446

Edgefield Farm of Westmoreland offers high quality pasture raised poultry, pork, lamb, and eggs, as well as vegetables. CSA members get first dibs on limited-supply items, such as our famous gourmet sausages, nitrate-free bacon, Thanksgiving turkeys, whole lambs, and half hogs. 399-9975,  bill@edgefieldsheep.com

Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden, a hand and horse powered farm in Westmoreland, offers vegetables, herbs, apple cider, pick-your-own flowers. 399-7288.   www.hillsidespringsfarm.com, hillsidespringsfarm@gmail.com

Picadilly Farm in Winchester offers vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers through full season, summer season and winter shares. 239-8718.  www.picadillyfarm.com

1780 Farm in Chesterfield offers vegetables, berries, eggs, and meat. 363-4476, www.the1780farm.com

Stonewall Farm in Keene, offers a year-round, individually-sized Garden (vegetable, herb and fruit) and Dairy (yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and milk, raw or pasteurized) CSA. Join any day of the year. You choose the veggies. 357-7278, www.stonewallfarm.org/products/csa

Sun Moon Farm in Rindge provides vegetables, herbs and cut flowers to our members. Located at “The Meeting School,” a property that has been continuously farmed since 1783, the farm grows over 75 varieties of old and rare Dahlias and offers members artisan breads that are baked here on the property,  sun.moon.craig@gmail.com

Tracie’s Community Farm in Fitzwilliam, offers a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, with a home delivery option, as well as bread, eggs, flowers and many other options. 209-1851, www.traciesfarm.com

Walkabout Farm is a CSA farm growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in Peterborough, NH. Uncertified organic. Eggs and pork. Email: info@walkaboutfarm.org. www.walkaboutfarm.org

Although each local CSA farm is unique and individually run, each offers “shares” of locally grown food to community members. There are variations in the price, share size, distribution, choices, pick-up sites, payment plans and variety of food offered. Some CSA farms concentrate on vegetable production, while others offer eggs, meat, flowers, berries, maple syrup, honey, raw milk, cheese, yogurt, or other local products.

The commitment from community members to join a CSA implies a willingness to share with the farmer both the rewards and risks of small-scale farming. Weather, pest damage, and crop failures affect both the farmer and the shareholder. The entire community absorbs the costs of raising food in sustainable ways, and farmers receive consistent appreciation and financial support for their efforts. The shareholders know when, where, and how their food is grown, and are assured of high-quality and nutritious produce, grown without the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

A CSA membership supports local farms and the local economy, eliminating the environmental and food quality costs of marketing, packaging, and shipping food long distances. Freshly picked, locally grown fruits and vegetables are a good value because they have superior flavor and more vitamins and minerals than many large-scale commercially raised crops. Sustainable farm practices also avoid the hidden costs of pesticide residues, soil erosion, and polluted surface ground water often associated with large scale conventional agriculture.

Local farmland in CSA use becomes healthier through crop rotation, composting, cover crops, natural fertilizers, and periodic resting. In addition, small farms are able to grow heirloom or little-known varieties of fruits and vegetables, which helps maintain the diversity and vitality of the world’s seed bank. Some CSA farmers chose to receive organic certification for their produce, other farmers use organic and /or biodynamic techniques exclusively but do not choose certification.

CSA Open House at Stonewall Farm

Spring is coming, along with opportunities to become involved with local farms and to receive local, fresh food!

Learn about Community Supported Agriculture

Sunday, March 25, 2012, 1-4 pm

Stonewall Farm Learning Center, 242 Chesterfield Road, Keene NH

 Also enjoy a talk by Katy Locke: Katy Locke has recently devoted her life to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on Earth.  At her home in Keene, NH she is establishing Permaculture gardens, working with the healing properties of plants, and writing. Katy is both the founder of Mandala Way and a founding member of the Transition Keene Task Force.

Katy will speak about Neighborhood Food Security – Building Resilience in Keene: Join Katy Locke for a presentation exploring how expanding “Food Security” in our local communities will likely require us to take a fresh new look at the spaces we call home.  Katy will be assisted in her talk by Antioch University Student Intern, Flora Cao Qian.”

Participating CSA Farms:

View Poster.

Farm of the Month: Abenaki Springs Farm

By Jan Sevene, Monadnock Localvore Project

Abenaki Springs Farm
188 Upper Walpole Rd.
Walpole, NH
603-445-2157

If you think early fall wraps up the season for enjoying locally grown vegetables, think again! Extending the season is a real option.

Erin and Bruce Bickford of Abenaki Springs Farm are in their fourth year of offering a Winter CSA. “There was a demand for it, so we opened it up based upon that demand,” says Erin Bickford. “We have a very high return rate. People are definitely happy with it, because they keep coming back.”

What makes their CSA customers happy? It’s about the quantity and variety they receive. “Every week we have something they can use right now, and things they can put away until later. We lay it out so that it makes sense by providing all the information they need for storing it away for later so they don’t have to eat it all at once. People don’t feel overwhelmed by the size of the box, and they can call anytime with any questions,” Bickford says.

From their three 100-foot greenhouses (one this year providing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes), they offer all the root vegetables. There are potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. Among their many Brassicas are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. From the “greens” category come kale, collards, spinaches, lettuces, which include mesclun of varied mixes, for example spicy or a more mild and crispy oriental mix. Add to all this, herbs, winter squashes and pumpkins.

Abenaki Springs’ CSA boxes can be picked up at the farm, or at their Hannah Grimes pick-up point in Keene. So if you’d like to take advantage of an Abenaki Springs Farm’s generous CSA, make that call ASAP, as there are only a few shares left.

Other farm-direct Winter CSAs:
Picadilly Farm, 264 South Parrish Road, Winchester, NH 03470
603-239-8718
www.picadillyfarm.com

Stonewall Farm, 242 Chesterfield Rd., Keene, NH 03431
603-357-7278
www.stonewallfarm.org

Tracie’s Community Farm, 72 Jaffrey Rd., Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
603-209-1851
www.traciesfarm.com