Its Summer!

 

Hello Summer CSA members! June 1, 2016

From time to time you’ll be receiving these emails to keep you up-to-date on happenings and news from the farm and bakery. Short of your visiting the farm, or just seeing you in passing at the farmers market or wherever, it’s our best method of staying connected with you.

First off, thank you very much for signing up for this growing season’s abbreviated summer CSA program. We’d also like to welcome first-time CSA participants. We say abbreviated because for the past 14 years our CSA program included a full basket of FRESH organic vegetables – everything from salad greens and head lettuce, to carrots, beets, radishes, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, squashes, etc. But, as you have probably heard, we sought out a gardener this season to take over the 1.5-acre garden and CSA component of our operation, to no avail. So the CSA offering this season is a smaller choice of organic granola, breads, farm fresh pastured eggs and grass-fed chickens and turkeys. But we’re confident that within the next year we’ll find just the right gardener who’s ready to take on the challenge of growing vegetables for regional households.

Perhaps our biggest undertaking this spring is an upcoming move of the bakery out of our home, where it’s resided the past 15 years, to a new main street, downtown Norwood location. The bakery here at the home outgrew its intended space, taking over bedrooms, etc. It’s time for a move to a bigger location. And we found just the right space: a recently renovated 1600 square feet in Norwood’s oldest main street building. It’s beautiful!

We’ve been asked, “So, when can I get fresh pastries at your new location?” The short answer is that the bakery is planned as a commercial bakery without a retail space. Our floor plan does allow for a small retail area, where folks might be able to get off the street and come in for a fresh cup of coffee and some baked goods. But first things first.

Now for some somber news. Because of a production challenge this spring (too complicated to get into in this hopefully brief newsletter – ha!), our first batch of pastured poultry will not be ready for distribution until around the beginning of July, one month later than planned. Suffice it to say, like skiing or river running or any other weather-dependent pursuit in these parts, in the world of farming we deal with the same vagaries of Mother Nature and oftentimes they are challenging and mysterious. If, as part of your CSA basket this summer you signed up for pastured poultry, we promise we will make good on your signed-up quantities by the end of the summer and into the fall. The good news is that the chickens will be better than ever!

Farming is an inherently risky endeavor. It’s through CSA programs like ours that as farmers we can trust that you, our member/partner, will be there to weather the bad times as well as the good. For that, we thank you. It’s times like these that define a Community Supported farm.

We’ve been farming steadily (except for a few day ski trips here and there, and some weekends “off”) since the beginning of April, when most of you no doubt left on your spring breaks to warmer climes. Maybe even a beach somewhere (ooooh, that sounds good!). All the coolness and precipitation, lots of it in the form of snow, has left our soils wet, which we’re very grateful for. The grass pastures look great! And water should be plentiful throughout the season.

Arriving in early April was our pastured poultry manager, Russell Todd, a Southern Californian and our intern Jonathan Krohn, who hails from the Front Range. Look for them this summer. They’re friendly guys who have been mostly mystified by the weather we’ve had. “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” has been the mantra we’ve applied so far this growing season!

In other farm news, the turkeys are thriving in their coop and will soon be exposed to the great outdoors in their free range grass pasture. We took in two piggies which are rooting about and already developing quite the personality! We’re rotating two steers in our intensively rotated pasture, both now busy munching on grass that is approaching 2’ in height, knocking it back down to a length suitable for our pastured poultry. And Laura Duncan’s bees are  loving the nascent warm weather and abundant early-season fruit tree, lilac, caragana, choke cherry, white top, dandelion and other blossoms! Spoiler alert: Dahlia, the mama goat, is VERY pregnant and due to kid within the next two weeks. Stay tuned!

The Telluride Farmers Market starts this Friday at the normal 10:30 a.m. time; the Norwood Farmers’ Marekt one week later on Saturday. Please, support our fellow regional farmers, bakers, concessionaires and artisans! If we’re serious about sustaining a local agricultural component to our lives, you have to walk the talk. A first step was joining our CSA, but there’s still more you can do. Most of you have signed up for farmers’ market pickup; we are usual ready to distribute boxes by about 9:45 a.m. If you’re picking up at the farm, your box will be available in the distribution shed.

Again, thank you for your support. We appreciate the opportunity to feed you and your families. It’s a real privilege (with a lot of work and love!).

Two of the hard working, grass eating steers on our poultry pasture.

 

Tony and Barclay

Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery

Norwood, CO