Winter has not arrived on the farm in the same vigor that it did last year.  Instead as I write this a freezing rain is falling upon the farm and the chickens are huddled together under their eggmobile in the same way that they do on a rainy day in August.  The weather has been good to us.  Just yesterday it was warm enough to open up the greenhouse and give our precious spinach, growing in there a breath of fresh air.  This fall a high tunnel was constructed on the farm and we are thrilled to be harvesting spinach out of it for our winter CSA.  The month of January is about planing and preparing for the season ahead.  When Kevin and I sit down and talk about the vision we have for our farm we always seem to return to the idea of a whole diet CSA.  We really like the idea of this model.  Kevin spent some time a few years back on Essex Farm in Essex, NY.  There they provide their members with one share option, a whole diet CSA that is picked up on the farm.  Their members receive milk, meat, grain and vegetables.  We often talk about how this is something that we would want to buy, were we not farmers.  This year our farm has moved closer in that direction.  However, we have chosen to put our own spin on things.  There are things that we do not produce (like milk) and things that we do that are not part of other peoples models.  There are so many wonderful farms sprouting up all over the country and we find that we continue to pay attention to what others are doing and try to come up with some ideas of our own in order to constantly improve on our farm model.

Through this process of observation, creative thinking, trail (and yes, sometimes error) we continue to aim to improve our farm and the systems that run it.  Here is a little glimpse of what 2012 will look like at Groundworks Farm.
Summer Vegetable Share
In the upcoming summer of 2012 we are offering 6 different CSA share options because we believe that people like to have choices.  Our Summer Vegetable Share will be much like it was last year with changes made to some of the crops we grow and some of the ways we harvest and pack them, based on your feedback from this year.  We are taking stock of what went well and what we can do better.  We are trying out some new crops based on your requests.  There will be more standard slicing tomatoes and with the new addition of our high tunnel we hope to improve the overall quality of our tomatoes.  I will be attempting to grow celery for the first time and will push to diversify the variety towards the beginning of the season.

Pasture-raised Chicken Share
The Summer Pasture-raised chicken share seemed to work out well in many ways.  If you found it was not enough for your family you may want to try out 2 chicken shares.  We are making a couple changes to try to make the Chicken Share more convienent.  The pick up will be monthly instead of every other week like last year.  This way if you do not have a vegetable share you do not have to come out to the pick up just to get 1 chicken.  The pick up for the Chicken Share on the farm will be monthly as well instead of self serve.
Pasture-Raised and Grass Fed Meat Share
After trying out a Winter Pasture and Grass Fed Meat Share we are excited to offer the meat share again this Summer.  This is a new share and we are absolutely in love with how well it seems to work.  With our very own pasture-raised pork and grass fed beef and lamb from neighbors we are able to put together a convenient way to get some of the best meat around all in one place.  The meat share is free choice meaning that you are free to pick what cuts you want and of what kind of meat.  It’s a great deal and very delicious.  The meat share will also be monthly to make things more convenient.  Hebron Members, please note that the Summer Meat Share will be prepackaged with our choice of cuts.   
Pasture-raised Egg Share
Last spring we introduced laying hens to our farm system and moved them around throughout the summer to fresh pasture where they ate grass and bugs and ran around.  The quality and taste of these eggs is truly amazing, even in the wintertime when there is less for them to forage.  So this summer we are including an option for a Egg Share.  Did you get tired of having to email us every week to make sure you could reserve your eggs?  Now you don’t have to.  Reserve them ahead of time with the Pasture-raised Egg Share.
Vermont Farmstead Cheese Share
This past fall we were introduced to Jeremy Russo who makes Southwind Farmstead Cheese in Pawlet, VT.  We tried some of his cheese and thought it was amazingly good.  However, he only makes a small amount and there are not many places to buy it right now.  He is not the only nearby farm with an outstanding cheese with limited availability and so the idea of a cheese share emerged.  We will bring together all of these fabulous cheeses and pack them up for you for an outstanding treat once a month. 
Groundworks Farm Whole Farm Share
Our Whole Farm Share combines all of these shares together for a truly local diet and a great deal!
We are so excited about all these shares and about the opportunity to share them with you.  We are grateful to have a strong membership base, allowing us to be a CSA and nothing else.  This allows us to pass on the bounty of the season to you, our members.  It means that there is less food wasted coming off our farm because we do not rely on unreliable farmers markets as our outlet for selling our produce.  When there is excess food we have places for it to go, it feeds the pigs, chickens and compost piles which feed the land and rejuvenate it so we can continue to grow high quality produce. 
Now is a great time to make sure that you can be a part of the farm for the season ahead.  Sign up for our 2012 Summer Shares and pay in full by April 1st and you will receive a 5% discount. 
2012 CSA Pick Up Locations and Times:
Pittsford, VT (Rutland Area) Tuesdays from 3-6pm on the Farm
Middlebury, VT- Tuesdays from 4-6pm at the Bridge School
Cambridge, MA- Sundays from 12:30-3pm at the Harvest Coop in Cambridge
Hebron, NH- Sundays from 12-3pm at the Coppertoppe Inn and Retreat Center
If you are interested in signing up or have any questions about the farm feel free to contact us:
Groundworks Farm, P.O. Box 437, Pittsford, VT 05763 – info@groundworksfarm.com – 802-310-4951
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