Our CSA – A Holiday Sample

Greetings and Happy Holiday!

Golden Sweet Edible Pod Pea

Golden Sweet Edible Pod Pea

It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t shown you what the Parker Family Farm email list looks like.  So along with the follow-up tutorial on field tomato trellising and some photos of the plethora of vegetables coming out of the garden, I’ve included a sample of the weekly email that we send to our customers.

Gourmet Lettuce Mix coming along nicely!

Gourmet Lettuce Mix coming along nicely!

If you recall from my series of posts earlier in the spring regarding Debit Style CSA vs. Box Style CSA, I run the Parker Family Farm CSA under the Debit Style System.

Each week our members receive an email from us which lists what we have available from the garden, the root cellar, and/or from the hens.  I’ve pasted a copy of the email from last week below.  As you can see, it also includes all the information our customers need to remember when picking up and ordering (I’ve deleted the pick-up addresses for obvious reasons).  Also note that our members receive discounts on some items.  As I discussed in earlier posts, it is a huge advantage to have members prepay for their shares (one of the major advantages to the CSA model!) and these discounts are a way of saying thank you.  It’s really easy for our members to order.  They just respond to the email with a list of the items they would like and we take it from there.

Hello, any orders are due by Tuesday at 8pm.  Thank you for your participation in our local food web. 

Fresh Harvest
Baby Head Lettuce – $1.90 per head.  Members only price!  Save 5% off our Market stand price.
Red Romaine Lettuce – $2.50 per head.  Members only price!  $3 at market.
Pac Choi – $2 each.  Cooking tips available at my blog.  eatreal.bangordailynews.com
Red Russian Kale – $3 per bunch
Bunched Chard – $3 per bunch
Green Spring Bunching Onions – $1.50 per bunch.
Broccoli – $3 per pound.  Members only price!  $3.25 at market
Salad Turnips w/ greens. – $3 per bunch
Garlic Scapes – $2.50 per bunch
Snap Peas – $4 per pound.  Members only price!
Basil – $2 per bunch.  Members only price.  I’ll be charging $2.25 at market this season.
Eggs – $5 per dozen.
Root Crops
Dark Yellow Storage Type Onions – $2 per pound.  Probably the last chance to get them until the new crop in the fall.
Red Shallots – $4 per pound
Golden Shallots – $4 per pound
Pick-up information – Please call Ryan at *** if you have any trouble finding the pickup location.  Special thanks for the individuals that allow us to leave our coolers at their homes and places of business.  Beyond this generous assistance, these individuals are not involved in the actual growing, harvesting or delivering of the produce, so please contact Ryan at *** with any questions regarding your order or our farm.
– Newport – At the farm in the milk house- Anytime after 2pm on Friday. 
– Bangor –  Union Street.  Anytime after 3pm Friday. Produce will be in a bag with your name on it in a cooler.
– Bangor –  Maple Street.  Anytime after 3:15 pm Friday. Produce will be in a bag with your name on it in a cooler on the porch.
– Central Street Farmhouse – Central Street (directly across from Bagel Central in downtown Bangor).  Coolers will be available on Friday, anytime between 3:30pm and 6pm when the store closes (and doors are locked – no late pickups).  Please be sure to pick-up within this time frame.
– Hampden – Hampden Farmer’s Market at the Town Office in Hampden.  Produce will be available for pick-up Fridays from 2-6 pm.  Any produce not picked up will need to be picked up at the farm in Newport the following day..
Please be sure when ordering to include your pick-up location so we can have your produce at the right spot.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up for the Members Choice Share or have participated in the past.  If you do not wish to receive further availability emails, please let us know and we will remove your name from the list.
Thank you,
The Parker Family
Snow Peas are ready!

Snow Peas are ready!

That’s all there is to it really.  We send our emails on Sunday night (or Monday morning if we forget, which can happen in the hustle and bustle of summer).  At this time of year the list gets steadily larger each week.  For instance, this week all of the items above will be listed again (minus the storage onions) and we’ll also add shell peas, beet greens and possibly lettuce mix if we continue to have warm weather.
Speaking of warm weather...you have to make hay while the sun shines.

Speaking of warm weather…you have to make hay while the sun shines.

I also got a chance to shoot a follow up video to show how I use the same techniques for tomato trellising both inside the hoop houses and out in the garden for the field tomatoes.  Near the end of the video you can see one of the tips that sets us apart from some of the other small farms in the area.  Even though I’m growing a lot of vegetables on a commercial scale, I find the ideas and principles of what people nowadays call Square Foot Gardening (incidentally not a new idea and I am working to model my gardening on the original square foot gardeners who achieved amazing things in Paris during the early to mid 1700’s – La culture maraîchère).  
I hope this post finds you enjoying a happy and safe holiday with friends and family and that you had a chance to get to your local farmers market or pick up your CSA bag before your weekend festivities began.  There is nothing like a collendar full of fresh shell peas, a plate of the first sliced cucumbers of the year and burgers sizzling on the grill…at least if the vegetables are from your own garden or that of a farmer you know and trust and the burgers are from grass fed cows who lived their lives on pasture in the sunshine and fresh air.  Local Food.  Eat well – be well.
Ryan Parker

About Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker is a farmer, writer, artist and musician. He currently lives in Central Maine with his wife, two children, a golden retriever, some pigs and chickens. He raises pastured and forested animals and grows a diverse range of vegetables without synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or taxpayer subsidies.