News from the Farm | February 20, 2023

While it’s tempting to have an update solely comprised of adorable lamb photos, we’ve recently gotten questions about a few things that I wanted to address first!


We’re world-famous for our sweet, crunchy Nantes carrots. We generally have our first carrots in early/mid-November, this year not until the end of January – a result of needing to start over after the heat wave, compounded with slow plant growth in fall and winter due to low sunlight levels and a cold November and December. This year’s carrots taste good, but they’re looking a little anemic and a little “ugly.” I’ve heard a few theories but the leading one is that it’s related to the water. Due to the drought conditions and lack of rain, last summer’s water had high concentrations of salts and minerals. These are adverse growing conditions and the plants have consistently looked stressed. We’ve applied some supplemental potassium to help the plants out but it wasn’t a silver bullet. So the carrots are a little pale. Seeing a sudden change in size between weeks is perfectly normal though – it happens when we change from one planting/succession to the next (more about that here). And we always get some with legs or other funny shapes – though I’d never seen a braid until last week.


We have a long history of growing spring tulips, generally with the goal of having them for Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl of flower sales (though for us Mother’s Day is more significant). BUT, we planted our tulip bulbs later than we wanted (in the second week of December) due to wet weather. Then the plants grew very slowly in the cold weather. The timing is hard to predict exactly but Dru and Hannah guessed we would have tulips starting on the 14th. As the saying goes “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” We didn’t deliver any tulips until the 16th and at the end of the week, only two of the five CSA days had gotten them. Something always seems to go wrong with the tulips, from timing of harvesting and watering to gopher predation, making them a stressful crop to grow.

But we do it because we know how much everyone loves them. We will get folks their flowers, just a little later than originally planned, and we’ll have some for the farmers markets too. During the summer, we always have some kind of flower that we can use to fill an order, but not this time of year. But we know how much people love them and keep doing it every year.

Joining the CSA & the Wait List

A few folks have mentioned that a friend, colleague, or family member wants to join the CSA but doesn’t know how long they will have to wait. And the answer is: they don’t! We created a waiting list at the start of the pandemic when faced with an overwhelming level of interest in joining our CSA, but we took people off that list as quickly as possible and ended the waitlist last spring. So anyone can sign up to join the CSA at any point on our website!

How to Use Your Produce

When you get something in your box that you don’t know what to do with, or need new ideas for – I’d recommend:

  • checking the Veggie Notes section of the Beet newsletter (also available on the website).
  • looking at some of the recipes on our website. We have an impressive repository, sorted by produce type. We’re always adding to the collection and currently working to make sure recipes are correctly tagged and attributed to the right produce to make it as useful as possible.
  • open up a cookbook (one you own or head to the library) or search the internet! Many people tell me they’ve found great recipes by doing an internet search with a combination of a few items they want to use (i.e. “broccoli and watermelon daikon”), or a veggie and a type of meal (i.e. “napa cabbage soup”) and have found great ideas.
  • reach out – send me an email and I can point you towards a few more ideas.

And when you find a new favorite dish, preparation or storage hack, and more, let us know so we can share it with everyone else!


And as promised – an update on the sheep. The 2023 lambing season is almost done. All but a handful of ewes have successfully given birth to a rambunctious and adorable group of lambs. Over 140! Two ewes had quadruplets!

– Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager