after rocking it out at the greenhouse and getting our seeds started in that lovely hippie grow cave, we’ve finally been moving some transplants out to the main fields.
it’s a little nerve wracking to make the transfer, we’ve found. we can deal with the re-introduction of muscles deep in the glutes that come from so much squatting (we’re calling it “bossy butt”), and it’s been hugely satisfying to plant a row of cabbage or lettuces and see that tidy little line just waiting for a chance to get bigger.
but the weather has proven to be a challenge with such a famine-to-feast spring. we started with drought conditions, so the soil was hard and crumbly, but then the rains came and turned the beds to mud. we managed to get the tiller into some of the beds in the time between crumble and muck, but it was still a little anxiety producing to see standing water on part of the field yesterday.
maybe our csa members would be okay with us turning our operation to grains and then we could turn the whole shebang into a rice paddy?
another challenging element is to put the starts into the field on their own—it’s like sending kids off to kindergarten. in the greenhouse, the plants are cozied up with each other and look so lush in the trays. in the field, they get separated and placed into their own spots and maybe it’s a bit of anthropomorphizing, but they seem smaller and more wistful that way. when it comes time for harvesting, we’re sure that they’ll be hearty and abundant, but for now, we just act like encouraging parents and hope for the best.
beyond the challenges, though, it feels amazing to finally be out in the field. digging in the soil, being on our knees, planning out the rows—all of it isn’t just the culmination of a winter spent dreaming, but of years spent wishing to get to this exact point.
in may, alone, we’ve already done seven farmers markets – ranging from fulton farmers’ market to mill city farmers’ market to kingfield farmers’ market. plus, coming up this friday we’ll have our very first csa delivery and on sunday, we’ll be adding the new linden hills farmers market to the list!
it seems like everything is going at double speed, so it’s delicious to sit back and look across the fields in the midst of planting.
this is where we want to be, and despite the bossy butt, it’s an awesome feeling.
on saturday, about 40 of our csa members gathered for the bossy season kickoff, and to say it was awesome is an understatement.
a packed house with standing room only!
connecting on twitter and facebook are lively in their own ways, but there’s something particularly delicious and nutritious about meeting face-to-face. we’re very passionate about what we do, and being able to communicate that to a group of kickass supporters and fellow food lovers was a stellar way to start the season off right.
steeped in the goodness of the blue ox coffee company, we were able to zip through the logistics of dropsite pickups and csa add-ons, and riff on our views about farming and the community.
it won’t come as a surprise to any of you, but we’re all about food as medicine — the preventative kind that nourishes and delights. in a very similar way, our community sustains and supports us. seeing so many people voicing their agreement with these principles made our bossy hearts melt a little.
we sure do love you guys.
also during the meeting, we were also able to articulate some ways that we aim to stand out: with our “no waste pledge,” weed n’ feed wednesdays, dirty thursdays, farm fresh fridays, and csa member events during the season.
as a bonus, you don’t have to be part of the csa program to be a member in our farm community. everyone is welcome to come out and weed and get dirty and help us pack up vegetables.
or just come visit us at the fulton farmers market on saturdays, starting on may 19. we’ll be there with the same zesty enthusiasm for making this a bossy season indeed.
the csa kickoff reminded us of why we started a farm in the first place: to feel connected. to each other, to ourselves, to our food and our land. but also connected to others.
(*big thanks to our csa members for these photos)
thanks to the warm weather, we’ve been able to get a jump on planting, and like many other eager farmers, we started seeding for transplants. for the past few months, we’ve been happily growing our micro greens, pea shoots, and sunflower shoots, but there’s a different feeling to seeding for our main farmland.
it’s exciting to think that a tiny orange seed about the size of a freckle will become a thai green eggplant at some point. then, it will become a delicious ingredient in a dinner crafted by our food-loving csa members and farmers market customers (we’re thinking now of curries and coconut milk and the mind reels with possibilities).
the space in our “hippie grow cave” at grow! twin cities feels luxurious after some limited growing in raised beds last year, and we’re filling it fast with all sorts of starter plants. in february, we planted onions, leeks, celery, and celeriac. more recently, we’ve seeded broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, chives, parsley, oregano, some flowers, miscellaneous salad greens (arugula, mustard, various asian greens) and even some poppies.
there’s something zesty and awesome about emptying a seed packet carefully into some rich soil. along with those little wannabe vegetables, we’re also planting our hopes for an abundant, kickass season.
a few weeks ago, i was reading an article about a csa (community supported agriculture), and the writer described the term as a “subscription service for vegetables.”
while that is somewhat true, it’s inaccurate in many ways as well. a subscription service offers a guaranteed product, at an agreed upon time — a “jam of the month club,” for example, promises to send a new jar of jam, without fail, at a specified time.
but a csa is different in that it asks its members to assume the risks of a farm, and those can be quite formidable: weather, pests, water issues, soil problems, and the myriad other issues that keep farmers feeling anxious.
by signing up for a csa, you’re shouldering part of that worry, you’re providing support and emphasizing to farmers that they’re not alone when it comes to facing the hazards. and to do that, you’re taking a risk. most of the time, that risk turns into reward, but there are plenty of stories where that risk turns into loss.
if that happens, though, a farmer won’t get crushed beneath the financial weight of crop loss, because those supports will be there to help him or her bounce back. it can be chalked up as a tough year, and everyone can move on to the next.
because of the assumption of risk, csa members have a level of bravery that i find commendable. to be willing to share in the difficulties as well as the bounty — often for farmers you’ve only just met, or maybe haven’t yet — is the true definition of support.
then, too, there’s the community aspect of a csa. i doubt that you’d get to know any other members of that monthly jam delivery service, and maybe you wouldn’t want to if you had the chance. but a csa creates a community of people who can meet at farm events, work alongside each other in the fields if they choose, or chat at weekly dropsites or farmers markets.
we draw our members from the community, but we also create a deeper sense of community within that group.
at the bossy, we’re especially keen on boosting this aspect of our csa, because we think our members are all quite kickass, and that if they get a chance to talk with one another, they’ll find some compelling intersections.
for instance, one of our members is an amazing yoga teacher (shout out to jessie seehof carlson!), and another member has been interested in doing more yoga. why shouldn’t they tap into the bossy bond to find each other?
we’ll be hosting events — like an initial gathering slated for the end of march — that let us all enjoy the feeling that we’re in this together, that this is a shared adventure, not just two farmers and a few dozen of their customers.
and we think there’s a big difference. we want to blur the line between us and you, because we’re all bossy, and that’s the way it should be.
we know it’s been a couple months since we updated this blog, and seriously, a lot can happen in that much bossy time. so, we promise to give you weekly updates from here on out, because things with the bossy are moving and shaking!
in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been doing lately:
- sold out our csa. we’d set a ridiculously ambitious goal of selling out before the start of 2012, and our last spot filled at 9:00pm on december 31st. the power of visualization, baby! but more importantly: the power of community-minded, farmer-lovin’, kickass supporters. we’re super excited about our group of members because, of course, they rock. and if you didn’t manage to get one but are yearning to get bossy, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’d be happy to add you to the waiting list.
- started selling at farmers markets. although we don’t know yet which market we’ll be at this summer (oh, the application process…at least they don’t require essays and test scores), we’ve done some indoor markets and plan to do more over the next couple months. check out our markets page so you can stop by and say howdy to us in person.
- found shelf space. our pea shoots and sunflower shoots are now nestled into the produce section of the linden hills co-op, right below the packaged herbs. we’ve also been selling micro greens and pea shoots at local d’lish, one of the indoor market locations we’ve been attending. so you can get your bossy fix anytime.
- got some mentors. through our great farm beginnings program — an educational series done by land stewardship project — we now have mentors for our adventure. the well-established and awe-inspiring loon organics will be there through our first season to lend us advice and support. we can’t wait to learn from your insights, laura and adam!
- forged some exciting partnerships. our csa members will have unique add-ons available, thanks to barkley’s bistro dog treats, moonshine coffee, and beez kneez bicycle delivered honey. more on these later, as well as some exciting partnership announcements to come.
- found greenhouse space through grow! twin cities. since we’re currently growing pea shoots, sunflower shoots, and micro greens, and will soon be needing room to start our farm’s transplants, greenhouse space was vital. fortunately, we found some and joined a fabulously knowledgeable growing community in the process. check out this fantastic article (written by csa member meleah maynard) in the line.
oh, the bossy…always on the move. watch this space for more developments. next up: more on our new worm bins!
need a gift idea for your favorite foodie?
how about a season’s worth of healthy, organic veggies, herbs, and wildflowers?
bossy csa shares are a wonderful gift for the foodie in your life.
learn more by visiting the csa page and selecting which option best fits.
simply complete the online form or contact us directly at email@example.com / 616-915-9027.
we’d be happy to send a gift certificate directly to them or, if you prefer, to you so that you can personalize it and do whatcha do!
give the gift of health!
so bossy had the awesome opportunity of hosting a csa booth at the minnesota state fair these past two days.
thousands of people came thru and rocked our little bossy world – chattin’ organics, local food, farmin’ goodness, and of course…hopin’ for a chance to win one of our mini-shares for next season.
nearly 500 entries …..
and the lucky winner is ……
claire s. out of minneapolis!!!
congratulations, claire! we’ll be in touch!
so it’s official!
we’ve pieced together our csa program for 2012.
and yea….it’s only mid-august and you’re certainly not thinking about next year yet, but here at bossy….we’re plannin’ ahead!
plus…it’s our first season so we’re extra geeked about growing some amazing veggies for you beautiful people.
if you haven’t been over to the ”basics vs. boo-yah!” tab yet, go check it out and learn why we’re so different from traditional csa programs.
who we kiddin’ …..only bossy would have a share option called ”boo-yah!”
if ya find it tempting….sign up!
we’re currently at 20 remaining spots.
to get down n’ dirty with the details of this bossy goodness,
follow the yellow brick road to this link.