Winter Wonderland (or something)

What a surprising winter we’re having here in Western Washington! If there’s anything you should know, it’s that every type of weather has a profound effect on the farm. Though we normally have quite mild winters, we’ve recently been doused with enough snow to cause some challenges, however beautiful it may be. Today I’m sharing some glimpses from around the farm during these winter days.

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To say that the farm has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland would be an understatement. The stillness and quiet of falling snow and the blank slate it creates are overwhelmingly serene.

We like to leave our last planting of flowers to go to seed out in the field as a food source for the birds through the winter. Above are the airy branches of one of our favorites, Rudbeckia triloba. Beneath the surface of the snow, this perennial, like others on the farm, has stored up its potential and will start to grow again once the weather begins to warm.

It’s easy to spot the tracks of our resident coyotes, deer, and rabbits criss-crossing the landscape. The eagles stood watch over the lake and fields looking to catch a meal. Even the beavers and otters were out, coming up out of the lake through holes in the ice to play on the frozen surface.

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What they say about dogs loving the snow is really true! Stevie has been having the time of her life prancing, bounding, and rolling in the snow for hours on end!

The winter weather hasn’t been all fun and games. Snow, especially the wet and heavy kind we’re known to get, accumulates on greenhouses as it falls. With a heavy enough snowfall, the weight of the snow can cause the structure to collapse. With that in mind, I decided to head home early from a birthday trip just in time for nearly 5 back-to-back nights of snow. Each evening and each morning we cleared everything that had accumulated from the greenhouses. Lucky for us, all of our structures stayed standing through the “snopocalypse.” We’re thinking of many of our friends and neighbors who were not so fortunate and suffered big losses and heavier snows. Please remember to keep supporting your local farmers all year long!

Though the ground is still covered with a layer of snow, we’re busy sowing the first of our seeds on warm tables in our seed starting greenhouse. Inside the caterpillar tunnels our earliest blooming flowers are cozy, and slowly growing to put on a gorgeous spring display. We’re hopeful the snow will melt and our chance to get into the fields this spring will come on time. As the massive amounts of snow in the mountains, foothills, and valley begins to melt as days warm, we are truly hoping we won’t be hit with major flooding. For now, we keep planting, planning, crossing our fingers, and dreaming of the season ahead.

Is A CSA Right For Me?

Are you looking for a way to feel closer to your food source but aren’t sure if the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model is a good fit for you and your family?

Maybe you’re a little uncertain about what the challenges may be, or you’re worried about how the price tag compares to what you spend at the grocery store, or you want to know what makes a CSA different from all of the new meal delivery services that are popping up all over the place right now.

We’ve put together a few questions below that we hope will help you decide if a CSA is right for you. Make sure to be honest with yourself about your abilities, time commitments, and desires while turning these questions over in your mind!


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How do you define “Value”?

CSAs are an opportunity to build connections between your family and the farm that you help support. They also offer flavor, freshness, and a connection to your food source that a grocery store or meal delivery service cannot provide no matter how good of a “deal” they offer. On average over the course of the season, members enjoy an additional 10% more produce over the purchase price, but we feel the biggest value is in connection, community building, and doing something important to you. If getting to know your farmer, and bringing truly quality produce to your dining table mean more to you than convenience foods and bargain prices, a CSA may be right for you.


Are You An Adventurous Eater?

Joining a CSA will introduce you to new and varied foods, some of which you may never have tried before! We’ll give you tools, our favorite recipes, and our best advice to tackle some of those new-to-you items, but a spirit of curiosity and adventure are required! Do your research: If you’re interested in joining a CSA, look for box pictures or pack lists to see what kinds of items and amounts are included each week. Some CSA’s include more adventurous or unique items, while others are focused on the staples, so finding a good farm match is important to your own personal success!

Learning how to eat seasonally and developing a sense of vegetable literacy can be challenging at first, so it is important to approach the experience with curiosity and a willingness to experiment in your kitchen.


Do You Enjoy Cooking?

A CSA share is a treasure box of delicious unprocessed food, which means that it takes time and energy to transform these raw ingredients into meals. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to fully reap the rewards of your weekly share and we’ll help you get started by sharing our favorite tried and true recipes, but you will need to invest in some quality time with your kitchen. If you don’t already enjoy some meals at home but hope to, a bi-weekly share may be right for you. Just remember, simple dishes prepared with love are often the tastiest!


Can You Be a Flexible Meal Planner?

Since your farmer harvests and packs vegetables as they naturally ripen, being a CSA member means giving up a certain amount of control over what vegetables you receive each week. Meal planning far in advance, or receiving the exact combination of vegetables for that favorite dish is often not an option. We’ll help you build up a functional pantry but you’ll need to embrace the spirit of spontaneity, choose recipes on the fly, swap out ingredients, and build your own personalized methods for making the most of your share. For those without their own repertoire of favorite recipes, our suggestions use several items from each weeks' box to help you find new flexible family favorites and make the most of each box. If you’re excited about trying new recipes and learning to be a flexible cook, a CSA may be right for you!


Are You Committed To Learning A New Way of Eating?

It can take some time and a lot of trial and error to master the skills of eating the CSA way. Some weeks you will feel on top of the world, with creative dishes gracing your table every night and not a single veggie ending up in the compost bin, other times you might be too tired to do more than throw everything into a soup pot. Setting realistic goals, accepting imperfection and committing to the challenge is the ticket to success.

Don’t forget, Community Supported Agriculture is just one way of bringing food directly from the farm to your table. If connecting with your food source means a lot to you but the CSA model doesn’t align with your style or needs, consider a trip to your local farmers market as part of your weekly grocery shopping trip!


If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, trying a CSA could be right for you! To learn more about our CSA program and take a look at what was included in our boxes last year, click the link below. Still have questions, let us know! We’re here to help.


Are you already a member of a CSA? If so, what’s been your favorite part? Or what has been the best surprise through the experience? If you’re CSA-curious, what’s your biggest hesitation or concern? Comment below to share! Your insights might be just what someone needs to be inspired to join a local farm for the season!

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And That's A Wrap!

Farewell, 2018!

Winter is a special and cherished time here on the farm. Although the pace slows down as the days get dark, there’s no shortage of projects and planning for the year ahead. These cozy days of introspection and reflection are what fuel the season ahead.

This past year was a doozy, with big successes, set-backs, and plenty of sleepless nights. Like any “first,” I’m glad to have this initial farming season under my belt and behind me and ready to move on to 2019!

I wanted to take a minute before a new season sweeps us away to share some highlights of our first year. It’s humbling to look back on all we’ve accomplished - which was only possible because of our incredible farm community, rock star staff, supportive family, and cheering friends. Thanks for coming along on the ride!

For starters, our field went from a grove of decomposing poplar trees, to these piles of logs:

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To This:

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All in just a few short months!

We launched our CSA and our crew grew and delivered fresh produce to 68 members for 6 months of the year!

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I also took the leap and added cut flowers to our line-up of crops. The learning curve was steep, but the reward of a field filled with color, beauty, and beneficial insects was well worth the challenge.

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In addition to getting married myself (!!! more on that to come, I’m sure), I had the incredible privilege of providing flowers for SIX weddings this summer, with most of our couples ordering buckets of blooms and creating beautiful arrangements with the help of family and friends.

Allie & Joe: Chris Ward Photography

Allie & Joe: Chris Ward Photography

Brooke & Casey: Meredith McKee Photography

Brooke & Casey: Meredith McKee Photography

Brittany & Johnny: Sean Gilliland Photography

Brittany & Johnny: Sean Gilliland Photography

And who could forget the addition of our sweet girl, Stevie, who has quickly grown from a fluff ball to a confident and independent pup!

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These days, you can find me sitting at the computer plugging away at planning or getting our hundreds of dahlia clumps divided into thousands of individual tubers. All the work will be well worth it at the peak of the season when the fields are in full bloom.

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This winter we’re setting the foundation for a busy and productive season ahead! From making new connections in our community, to buying seeds, building greenhouses, and planning to expand our fields, there are hours of exciting work to be done!

I can’t wait to continue to share more of the ways we plan to grow and deepen our connection with our community, and keep you updated on the behind the scenes happenings of our farm

I hope you’ll continue to check-in throughout the season!

Cheers to the year ahead!