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CSA – Week #10

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Well we did it – we were hoping to not find out until we actually went to the Erie County Fair on Sunday – but a few people let the “cat” out of the bag –
First place carrots – we didn’t think we would win on these cause they were really hard to find and they were tiny!!
And some blue ribbon Bell Peppers!!!  I was so excited – we ended up taking about 30 different kinds of produce and so far we heard that we also won Blue Ribbons on Eggplant (again very tiny!!) Green beans, yellow beans, green tomatoes, and jalapeno’s!!  We can’t wait to see if we won on anything else!  Funny how you can get so excited over the little things!!  It was a great end to our week!!
On a sad note – we ventured out into the tomatoes to really get a good look at them – the hail was worse than we thought – so bad, in fact, that I am not sure I will have them for the CSA – we don’t even think that we will be having our U Pick tomatoes – in our 32 years of farming we have never not had U Pick tomatoes!!  Last year was the corn and onions and this year is the tomatoes!! On a good note – the winter squash and pumpkin crops look amazing – the fields are packed full – so maybe that is God’s way of telling us that just because the tomatoes are not good there are plenty of other crops that will keep us busy!!!
This week full shares will receive 8 items and half shares will receive 4 items.
***New this week*** Green Bell Peppers
***New this week*** Jalapeno’s
***New this week***Romano Beans – these are a flat bean and very delicious!!!
Cubanelle Peppers
Yellow Hot Peppers
Sweet Banana Peppers
Beans – still plenty of beans for canning or freezing
Red Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage
Green Cabbage
Sweet Corn
Red Potatoes
Garlic – if you want bigger quantities it is $5 a pound
Kale
Yellow Zucchini
Green Zucchini
Don’t forget to come on either Tuesday or Thursday between 2 – 6 p.m.
Hope you all have a great week!!!
Gail

 

U PICK BLUEBERRIES ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON – THANKS AND WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT JULY 2018

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Heading into Week #9

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Good news first – we passed our Food Safety Audit with flying colors! The auditor couldn’t find anything – that was a great way to end our week!!
This week is a clean up kind of week – Paul is cleaning up the fields by cultivating – it’s one of his favorite jobs!  He rides the tractors and cleans up the weeds on the edges – it always looks nice when he is done!!
We have been trying to clean up the tomatoes – they did get  hit pretty hard with the hail!  They have marks on them and the ones that did get hit are rotting – so we are hoping to salvage those!!
Hail marks on tomatoes
 
Hail marks on Bell Peppers.
We are actually doing something this week that we have never done before but are giving it a try (it’s on my bucket list!!)  We are going to enter a bunch of our produce in the Erie County Fair!!!  Paul says not to get my hope up too high – but I am hoping to win at least one blue ribbon – we are going to the Fair next Sunday so I will let you know how we did!!!!
This week Full Shares will receive 8 tickets and half shares will receive 4 tickets.
Available this week is………………….
***New this week*** Cubanelle Peppers (sweet)
Yellow Hot Peppers
Sweet Banana Peppers
Beans – Green and Yellow 
(Still have some for freezing or canning just let me know and I can have them ready for you!)
Green Cabbage
Red Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage
Sweet Corn
Red Potatoes
Garlic
Kale
Zucchini
Yellow Zucchini
Cucumbers
Herbs – there will be a cart outside – 1 ticket for 1 herb
I look forward to seeing you either Tuesday or Thursday from 2-6 p.m. – if you can’t make it on your regular day you are more than welcome to come on the other day!!
Have a great week!
Gail

 

BLUEBERRY U-PICK

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THIS WEEK BLUEBERRY U-PICK WILL BE ON MONDAY, TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY FROM 8-6 – FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE BLUEBERRY HOTLINE AT 585-345-1591.

Week #8 – The produce is getting plentiful

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What a difference a week makes – we didn’t get too much rain this week (Paul said that in the past 3 weeks we have received over 8 inches – ideally an inch a week is perfect!!) The sun has been out since Wednesday!!  All the veggies are enjoying getting dried off, growing and loving life!
We said good bye to my brother this morning  – he left at 6:00 a.m. – we did all go out to dinner with my cousins on Wednesday to Charcoal Corral – one of our favorite places to eat in the summer!
What better background than a corn field!!  So in between my brother and myself is my cousin Jim and his sister Dori – we had such great times growing up and it’s nice that we were all able to get together and share some more memories and lots of laughs!!
This week we have a LOTS of beans – so if you want to freeze, can, eat many, this is your week to do so!!!  You can get either yellow or green and we will sell them by the 8 quart basket for $12 – a half bushel for $20 or a bushel for $35.  We have both yellow and green.  If you would like to pick up the beans when you come for your CSA pick up just let me know ahead of time so I can have them ready for you!!
They say that if beans are really fresh they will stick to your clothes.  We were picking beans on Friday using the bean picker machine and this is what my sleeve looked like when we were done!
You can’t get any fresher than that!!!
This Wednesday is our GAP audit.  This weeks email is going to be about GAP and what it stands for – GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices – and what it boils down to is that it is all about food safety.  Nobody wants to get sick after eating anything and the way you handle the food needs to be done in the most safest way.
We sell a lot of produce to Wegman’s and back in 2012 they told all of their growers that for us to be able to sell to them we needed to be GAP certified.  It was a little scary at first – but once we jumped into it and got our feet wet – we did just fine.  Basically what it boils down to is paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork!  We have to keep track of: the temperature of the cooler everyday – every time we clean off a knife we have used to cut something in the field we have to document it – the containers that we pick into can not sit on the floor they have to be on something like a pallet – we have to have written documentation on how to take a water sample (because writing scooping the water into a container and putting a lid on it doesn’t count!!) We have to test our well water and ponds every 4 weeks – we have to have an identification code that we put on our boxes that go to Wegmans that if there is ever a recall by looking at the code we can tell you exactly what the the product was – what field it was picked out of and what day it was picked.  Yes – it’s a lot of work – the kicker is we have an audit every year (ours is Wednesday, August 2nd at 9 a.m.) and we have to pay $92 an hour from the time they leave their office until they get back and finish their paperwork.  The USDA does the audit.  They will then do a surprise visit – usually sometime in September and again they charge us the $92 an hour!  On the positive side – Wegman’s will give us $600 each year to help us cut down on the cost – that is very helpful and we really do appreciate that!
It’s a lot of work, but the end result – having the safest produce possible for our consumers is what it is all about.  Sometime when you are in the produce section just watch people.  We deliver the produce – we have followed all the necessary procedures guaranteeing it is washed and packed the way it should be.  The consumer will pick up a vegetable – put it to their nose and put it back.  They will cough into their hand – pick up the produce and either smell it or decide to take a different one. It’s crazy – in Europe when you go to a farmers market you can not handle any produce – you tell the farmer what you want and they bag it up for you!  Hmmm!
Well, that is my annual spiel on GAP and all the good stuff that goes along with it!!
This week Full shares will receive 8 items and half shares will receive 4.
Available this week will be……………
***New this week***  Yellow Hot Peppers
***New this week*** Sweet Banana Peppers
***New this week*** Yellow Beans

Green Beans
Green Cabbage
Red Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage
Sweet Corn
Red Potatoes
Garlic
Kale
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Cucumbers
I look forward to seeing you either Tuesday or Thursday from 2-6 p.m. – if you can’t make it on your regular day you are more than welcome to come on the other day!!
Have a great week (I will be glad when Wednesday is over!!)
Gail

 

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