Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 24 is National CSA Day!

Do you have your CSA share yet?! Our goal is to move out the last of our few remaining share, so we can focus on farming and the important projects of the season ahead, including planting our new land into organic orchard and building our deep winter greenhouse for winter growing. Will you join us?

Friday, February 24th is National CSA Day. "CSA is the most direct connection that an eater can have with his or her farmer and is a connection to the land that an eater can’t get in any other way. Through CSA, we imbue food with meaning, story, and connection. In a world of intractable problems, being a CSA farmer or CSA member is an act we can take to make life better for our land, economy, and community as a whole." Excerpt from A Vision for 5 Million CSA Customers by 2030

CSA isn't just a meal delivery service, it's a connection to your food and farm. A way to support the health of your family, while also supporting your local economy and the health of your environment. It's an adventure, it's community building - with the bonus of being delicious!

Our members are at the core of what we do - thank you! This isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle - it's a labor of love that we are proud to do.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Orchard Update, From Up a Ladder

Pruning tools and piles in later winter.
With the early February thaw, orchard pruning and any clean-up from the winter is in full-swing!  The mature trees are taking their final shapes with each cut, while the young trees are being formed for future years.  

Pruning mature trees is much different than pruning the young; over pruning the young trees can stunt them for a long period of time, whereas the mature trees are able to rebound the stress of pruning more quickly.  

Soon to follow pruning will be grafting, staking out the new orchard area, transplanting trees from the nursery and sticking in those companion plants for the trees!  

Come April, the Alternative Roots Farm will have a whole new look.

Follow orchard updates on our ARF Apples page and on facebook.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Phenology Report

Follow along on Facebook to get John's phenology reports!
In 2017 I am making it a goal to post more about Phenology and what we are observing in nature/climate around our area. For those of you who are not familiar with the term "Phenology" its the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. So, after that brief introduction here is your phenology tidbit for the week: Keep a look out for raccoons this time of year, its mating season for these guys! Yes, warm weather will bring raccoons out of their winter slumber on a sunny day in January, but right now they are more than just out for sunbathing, they are looking to find a mate! 
Another thing noticed is that with these warm day time temps and cool night time temps, you way want to start thinking about getting your maple syruping equipment out - by the weekend were are expecting day time highs of 40's and lows in the teens, perfect for sap to be running! 
Last but not least, I have always enjoyed the phenological part of farming, especially in the orchard. People ask, "when do you prune" and to be honest, there is never a specific "Date" that I start - rather I think of it much like maple syrup running, I prune when the day time temps are at or just above freezing and the lows at night are below freezing. I do this because it shortens the amount of time between when we prune the tree (literally a wound), to when it can start healing. Pruning too early in the winter can open the tree up to injury from the cold. So when do I start? Some years in late January, some years in Mid-February and maybe years even in March. In 2017 I will be starting this week!
Farmer John

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 CSA Sign Up is Open!

We invite you to join us for our 6th season of CSA at Alternative Roots Farm! We will again be offering Full and Half CSA Shares, as well as Farm Shares (sold out). Apple Shares, Fall Shares and new Winter Shares, will be available later in the season.

What is CSA?  We love CSA because it connects us directly with you, our customers, but there are many reasons why CSA is a great model for food production and delivery!

2017 CSA Details  Veggies, apples, weekly newsletters - we work to support you and your use of your weekly/bi-weekly deliveries.

Email us at to reserve your share today!

What our Members are Saying...

"We have been doing this for a couple years now and the quality and service has always been exceptional! We love trying the new items and enjoy the old favorites. I like how it helps to get us to eat a little more healthy than normal. You both are so nice and always answer any questions that we have! I love being able to eat locally sourced organic food!!"

"We loved being a part of the CSA share! We did the half share and looked forward to fresh organic produce with new recipes from the newsletter. It was worth every cent. Thank you!"

A few photos of last year's boxes:

Early season CSA box: yellow cucumber, parsley, beans, celey mini, shell peas, radishes, 2 kohlrabi, green cucumber, spring onions, snow peas, garlic scapes.

Mid-season CSA box: mixed tomato quart, zucchini, red cabbage mini, basil, yellow & green cucumber, bunching onions, shallots, round summer squash, carrots, mixed heirloom beans, swiss chard, mixed wax beans, oregano, beets.

Late season CSA box: carrots, potatoes, trio sweet peppers, swiss chard, leeks, mixed quart specialty tomatoes, shallots, red & yellow onion, garlic bulb, green pepper, 2 slicer tomatoes, bunch mizuna salad greens, apples, ground cherries.