We have 4 weeks remaining in our vegetable shares (including this week), and I thought this would be an appropriate time to send out our year end survey. Sending it out now allows me to collect and analyze responses prior to the end of the season. I can address any relevant issues this year and report back to share members with the general results. We have also been busy planning some new features for next year and I'm excited to share them with you below! Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJLGFL7
Before I get into our plans for next year, I'd like to share my thoughts on this current season. Overall, I was pleased with this season. Many crops did particularly well with the cool, wet weather. In particular, leafy greens, potatoes, onions, garlic, eggplants, beets, carrots, cucumbers, and winter squash all did fabulously. I was disappointed in the tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli. The tomatoes and peppers are normally a crop we have great success with, so I am confident they will improve again in future years. It was just a really bad year for tomatoes for many growers. As for broccoli, it can be a tricky crop to grow and I haven't worked out all the kinks yet. I plan to try some new varieties of broccoli and cauliflower next year and we'll see how these go. We also tried sweet potatoes this year but they didn't mature fully (they were mostly the size of a baby carrot!). I think with a few minor changes and more heat, we can enjoy sweet potatoes next year. It's been a great year for honey (and we have lots available for purchase these last few shares) and the bees are healthy going into winter. I've felt more relaxed this season, as we get into the groove of growing and providing food on a large scale. I think farming will always keep me on my toes, but it's nice to feel like things are under control (mostly)!
So what can you expect next year? Here are is a breakdown of what will stay the same and what may be different.
Same as This Year
New for Next Year
As mentioned above, we will be introducing a Fall Harvest Box, Vegetable Add-Ons, and a Vacation Option. Here are the details of these new features:
Fall Harvest Box
This will be an optional pre-packaged box available on the last regular pickup. This box will include a bulk selection of fall storage crops. We haven't solidified the details of the contents and price, but it would likely include something like this: 5 kg potatoes, 2 kg carrots, 2 kg beets, 4 squash, 5 kg onions, 4 garlic, 2 rutabaga. The cost would be in the $40-50 range and would be reserved at the same time as purchasing the full season share.
Potato Lover's Add-On
For those that love lots of potatoes, this add-on would provide you with an extra 1kg of potatoes for every week that regularly includes potatoes. For example, if potatoes are included for 12 weeks, you would receive the amount designated for your share size PLUS an extra 1kg. The cost would be in the $25-35 range.
Carrot Lover's Add-On
For those that love carrots, this add-on would provide you with an extra bunch of carrots for every week that regularly includes carrots. For example, if carrots are included for 12 weeks, you would receive the amount designated for your share size PLUS an extra bunch. The cost would be in the $25-$35 range.
Lettuce Lover's Add-On
For those that love lettuce, this add-on would provide you with an extra head or bag of lettuce for every week that regularly includes lettuce. For example, if lettuce is included for 20 weeks, you would receive the amount designated for your share size PLUS an extra head or bag. The cost would be in the $35-$45 range.
Every share member can take 1 week during the season as vacation and receive a double share the following week. A minimum of 1 week's notice is required and this does not apply to missed or forgotten shares. Subsequent vacation weeks can be picked up by friends or family or donated to the food bank, as we have done this year.
Pastured Chickens and Turkeys
We will be raising pastured chickens and turkeys that will be available for purchase. The cost will be approximately $5/lb and the birds will be sold as whole roasters. For chickens, there will be a 2 chicken minimum order. Mostly likely, there will be 1 bulk delivery date in late summer/early fall for the chickens and 1 near Thanksgiving for the turkeys.
We are excited for this additions and think they will offer another layer of customization that share members will appreciate. Feel free to let us know what you think of these ideas in the comments section of the survey.
Weekly Share Contents:
Leeks OR ..... (not yet decided)