Maysie's FarmMaysie's Farm Newsletter: Fresh from the Fields
May 2007

May 25, 2007

It's almost that time again!! Our CSA's first FRIDAY pick-up is June 1 (noon - 6pm) and our first MONDAY pick-up is June 4 (1 - 7pm). We still have memberships available, so spread the word to friends and family who may be interested in receiving a weekly supply of fresh, delicious, nutritious vegetables! For last year's members who have not yet signed up this season, this will be your last CSA Update unless I hear from you!

Just a few reminders before the season begins:

Please park above the barn (unless you are handicapped or have a sleeping baby in the car). The parking area that became very muddy by the end of last season has been reseeded and is now well covered by grass and if we're careful to avoid tearing it up again, there shouldn't be any worries about getting stuck.

Please bring your own bags. You can bring your extra bags (only CLEAN GROCERY bags please!) and leave them in the barrels for people who forget to bring their own.

DON'T FORGET TO SIGN IN!!!! The sign-in sheet is on the table below the white board. That's the best place to communicate any changes you might need to make in your pick-up schedule. If someone else is picking up your share any particular week, please remind them to sign in under your name.

We love to see children at the farm, but for their own safety they must be supervised at all times! Areas that are off-limits are the two side areas of the barn, the tool room, the stairs and upstairs of the barn, and the house area.

Feel free to throw balls to Bennie and Bessie (they'll happily do that all day!) but please throw balls in the grassy areas, NOT in the vegetable beds!

Once again we'll be offering organic fruits, pastured chicken, beef, pork and eggs and raw milk dairy products from our cooperative marketing partners at local farms. We are continuing to simplify the ordering process to make it easier for you to enjoy these products. I'll be sending out an email next week with the details.

Here are a few upcoming dates to mark on your calendar (details will follow):

Thursday, June 21 from 8:30-2:00 — Down To Earth Farming Workshop for Children ages 6 and up ($25 for members, $30 for nonmembers).

Saturday, June 23 from 11am-3pm — Open House at Ben Stoltzfus's farm in Honey Brook. Ben is our supplier of pastured meats and raw milk products, and this is a fabulous opportunity to visit an Amish family farm. Plus, you'll get to sample his organic products (including his ice cream) and meet his delightful family.

Saturday, June 23 starting at 6pm — Summer Solstice Potluck Dinner at the farm.

Tuesday and Thursday, June 26 and 28 — Understanding Agriculture Workshop for Teachers ($125 includes lunch both days, teacher's manual, and 13 hours of Act 48 credit)

We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers, especially to help in the barn on distribution days. Please reply to this email if you are interested! No experience necessary!!

See you (soon!) at the farm!

~ Colleen

May 3, 2007
Welcome (at long last), Spring-like weather!!!

What a great time of year this is!! It's so wonderful to see everything greening up, leaves appearing on the tree and flowers adding color to our world! Since this will be my 8th year as a CSA member, this time of year also reminds me that SOON I will be able to get fresh, delicious, nutritious vegetables from Maysie's Farm, instead of relying on whatever the supermarket has to offer. I can't wait!!

But it looks like it won't be that soon and I will have to wait a little longer than normal this year. Due to the extremely cold and wet spring we've had, Sam has been forced to postpone the opening of the CSA season one week. He explains that the traditional first planting date around here is St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, (though he usually has first plantings (or first transplantings) of all the earliest crop in the ground well before that date) but this year that date came and went without the slightest chance of even beginning to work the soil. And then the cool, wet weather persisted relentlessly for weeks - remember that nasty snow on April 16th? For folks who don't pay that much attention to the weather, an article in last Saturday's Inquirer summed up this past month as the wettest April since 1874 - and that's based on only 1.6 inches of rain last Thursday night at the Philadelphia Airport, as opposed to the 4 inches measured at Kimberton CSA. And the article also mentions that, as of the 28th, April had produced only three clear days.

But as of today, we're looking at the nicest forecast we've seen since the balmy days of early January and we're confident that the increasing hours of sunlight will warm and dry the soil and trigger rapid growth in the plants. So our starting dates will be more in line with most of the other local CSAs who don't try to push the season quite as hard as we usually do: the first Friday pick-up will be FRIDAY, JUNE 1st and the first Monday pick-up will be MONDAY, JUNE 4th. The New Member Orientation Meeting will be held as originally scheduled: Monday, May 21st, 7:00 pm.

We do have good news too... our new Farm Manager will be starting May 14th! Her name is Benneth Phelps and she has lots of farming/CSA experience as well as lots of enthusiasm. Benneth is a graduate of Smith College and is, just this month, receiving her Master's Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. We're all looking forward to her coming on board and guiding our Interns, Lauren Hill, Eric Starr and Chris Erickson, who've been persevering through the inhospitable weather, as well as the new Interns who will be arriving later this month.

Our website has been updated (thanks to member Amy Guskin!) and contains our 2007 Calendar of Events, as well as some recent newspaper articles. Check it out at One event that's coming up quickly is our "Growing Families, Growing Gardens" Workshop that's happening this Sunday, May 6 from 1-4pm. The cost is $25/family for members ($30 for nonmembers). We still have room for a few more families, so contact Sam at 610-458-8129 if you're interested in attending.

Finally, a big thank you to those of you who have already signed up for our 2007 season! We still have memberships available if you haven't quite found the time to sign up yet. For those of you past members who have decided not to join again this year... thank you for your past support, and we hope to see you at the Eagleview Farmer's Market on Wednesday afternoons beginning June 6th.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions, concerns, volunteering opportunities...!

See you (soon!) at the farm!

~ Colleen

CSA memberships for the 2007 season are going fast! Spread the word about Maysie's Farm to anyone you think may be interested in joining, and register BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

Wish List
Looking to get rid of any of the following items? Maysie's Farm will put them to good use! The first three needs are for our new "office," which is (still) under construction in the old "staff room":

• Wooden file cabinets
• Small electric range/oven
• Sink base, under-counter cabinets, wall cabinets and a short length of countertop material
• Picnic table(s)
• Large outdoor canopy
• Solar powered walkway lights (ideally to match the two donated by Martha Thomae)
• Straw bale chopper (for mulching large areas)
• Assistance building a bio-diesel production system or a compost tea brewing system
• Diesel station wagon or delivery vehicle for use as our produce hauler (for the Farmers Market and our Farm and School partnership) that we could run on bio-diesel or vegetable oil
• Housing for potential Farm Manager
Please contact Sam at (610) 458-8129 if you can donate any of these items.

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