Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 18 (B-Week) Share List and Farm News

FARM NEWS: Today we wanted to give you some insight into the way our packing house works. Most farms have enough work on their hands with just growing, harvesting, and packing the produce into boxes, where it gets taken away by a wholesale distributor. We have the additional challenge of BEING that distributor ourselves.

There are 14 dropoff sites peppered around 5 counties. 4 to 8 different kinds of shares are being given out on any given week. Then there are different counts for the A and the B week schedules. So this makes literally over 200 different numbers that the Packing House Manager needs to work with,  over the course of 2 weeks! Where many farms just have storage shelves on the wall, we have white boards with giant spreadsheets!

The job of getting the correct amount of produce picked, washed, packed, and delivered to you is one of the most challenging on the farm. To help you understand how  hard this job actually is, it involves working lifting the 40 lb crates of produce day in and day out, as well as some pretty advanced arithmetic (such as counting produce in crates, multiplying by how many crates, dividing by the number of members per site, etc) and a good memory for special orders, paperwork, and more.
 Our Packing House Manager Ernesto, who has filled this position for more than 5 years, came down suddenly with Appendicitis at the beginning of August and was been out since then recovering from surgery. He just returned to work this week. Welcome back Ernesto! In the meantime two other staff members Chris and Onorio have pitched in to fill the job, which was new to them.  Thank you Chris and Onorio!

All it takes to make a mistake, is to count wrong or use the wrong number. This causes an occasional shortage of something like one bunch of flowers or a couple of half dozens of eggs. We know that when those last few people coming to pick up their shares realize they’ll have to wait for us to make it up to them, we know this makes people sad and upset. We so much appreciate your patience with this system, which we continue to strive to improve so as to make things run smoothly all of the time, not just most of the time.

These days we are competing not only with other CSAs nearby, farmers markets nearby, but also with so many door-to-door delivery services (they mess up your order too sometimes!), faux-CSA delivery services (aggregators buying wholesale from a variety of sources, and putting a box together – with most of the produce NOT being organic in most cases), and supermarkets doing delivery and selling organic produce – mostly non-locally grown – for which the farmer received almost nothing.
Your support of CSA support really makes our farm possible! It really makes a difference to us, and makes it possible for this 85 acres out here on the East End of Long Island to stay open and agricultural. It makes it possible for us to offer fun activities in the summer for visitors like you, to enjoy a slice of country life and learn about where your food comes from. If you are reading this and your friends and family are not newsletter readers, please let them know for us! CSA started out as an ideological movement, and became more of a consumer option, but it is still one that really contributes to doing good in the world, above and beyond the transactions that we both engage in. We just want to make sure you are aware of our appreciation.

Share items for Oct 7, 10:
Red and green shishito gourmet peppers, 10 (excellent roasted, or with potatoes, you can also preserve them in oil in the fridge after roasting) ($5)
Red onion, 1 ($1)
Bok Choi, 1 head ($3)
Tat Soi (green or purple) (like Bok choi, great sautéed with some garlic and soy sauce for a stir-fry), 1 bag ($3)
String beans, green purple or yellow, 1 quart ($5)
Winter squash, spaghetti AND Acorn (1 piece each) ($6)
Potatoes, 1 quart ($4)
Spinach, 1 bag ($4)
Radishes, 1 bu ($2.50)
one tomato – most likely the last of the season! Proud to be bringing you tomatoes in October, when no other CSA is giving any to their members. ($2)


Fruit share:   3 lb apples mixed varieties Macintosh, Gala and others ($11) AND sekel pears (fun mini pears that kids and adults love) ($5). Total Value: $16

Flower share: cosmos, celosia

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

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