our scoop

little Grasse is a garden project that feeds Canton area residents. Our CSA (community supported agriculture), encourages a meaningful connection with the foods you consume daily. This naturally grown food will be distributed weekly via an interactive share in quantities that will significantly impact our shareholders diets. Conveniently located a mile from downtown, we require member involvement in the garden during the growing season. Our base share is vegetables and we also offer an additional share of animal protein. We welcome all people genuinely interested in gaining more knowledge of food issues and gardening skills.

12.16.2014

Letter to shareholders AND 2015 signups open



Greetings shareholders,
Here we are, reviewing the season and gearing up for next year. Overall it was a productive, albeit not very hot summer. It was an amazing carrot and potato year, less impressive for peppers and eggplant. A single early frost blasted our tomatoes and basil; otherwise they would have made it through October distribution. Here’s to barn parties! The spring event was so memorable we just may try that again sometime.  The greenhouse has been built and we look forward to starting our transplants in there come 2015. Our live-in apprentices were great; thank you Emily, Lauren and Kaitlyn. There were fun groups for the Garden Mornings. The burning question is: will next season’s potlucks contain such hits as Lew’s guacamole and Grace’s dumplings?! We can certainly hope so. Also positive were the many group discussions and tours at the farm including students from Canton and Massena High School, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam, state assembly woman Addie Russell, congressional candidate Matt Funiciello and the board of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA). It’s encouraging that the farm continues to draw interest both locally and regionally.

                We are sharing next season’s sign up information sooner than in past years. The majority of our spending occurs in winter and early spring, as such we’re encouraging households to sign up as soon as you are able to. This will cover winter costs of seeds, soil and such. Here’s a link to the 2015 SHARE WRITEUP which can be found on the right panel of the blog along with the SHARE SIGNUP form. Once the form has been filled out, we’ll send you an online invoice for the first payment. While we do prefer payment in full, we understand that is not realistic for everybody’s budget, as such you have the option of being billed up to 3 installments, paid monthly. 

                Shareholders always compliment the ‘As You Like,’ distribution option. It’s intrinsically pleasing to choose how much or little of an item you take. We love to share the bounty this way and it involves less labor on our end in dividing and packaging. Also, members are more likely to consume what they willingly took. We want to keep offering veggies like this whenever possible. How can we keep this option alive? It’s possible if all households sign up for one share per adult in household. Up to this point, we’ve encouraged members towards this option, but HAVE NOT REQUIRED it. Due to the modest size of our town and the farm, we never want to turn away interested subscribers, but it makes it hard to level the investment playing field due to unlimited quantities being available to households who are feeding more mouths with only one share.  Either there is equity across households or we have to parse out every item. It’s a frustrating conundrum, but vital for all to understand. To put it into perspective, the cost of two Fresh Full Season shares will be $750 (same as last year). Split into three payments that is no more than a smart phone bill and a dinner on the town. Please, invest in this community resource (and your health) as much as we all do in Verizon, AT&T and other mega corporations! Do you worry that will be too many veggies? We encourage members to think beyond the quantity of food and more towards the security of knowing that a diversity and bounty of fresh veggies will be available to you as members of this community farm.
 
                Are you aching for Fresh veggies before mid-June distribution rolls around? Does the close of the CSA season come too quickly in October? Consider the new add-on share, ‘You Pick Greens’! This share is meant for folks who want to extend the season with salads and hardy greens. It’s available for 8 weeks total (4 in the spring and 4 in the fall) and will include a variety such as head lettuces, salad greens, spinach, arugula, kale and Swiss chard. 

As ever, we look forward to the adventures that 2015 will bring. Let us know if you have any questions. 

All the best in this holiday season,
Flip & Bob

11.26.2014

Year-end survey summary

Greetings All,
We are sharing some of the survey results in black. In red are responses from us.

Top 6 favorite vegetables in order
1. carrots
2. garlic
3.tomatoes
4. kale
5. potatoes
6. onions
This is much as we had expected and are all vegetables that we consider staples of the CSA and thus try to offer regularly. We will continue to plant an abundance of all these crops and distribute them as much of the season as we are able to.

Least favorite vegetables
1. Kohlrabi
2. Pie Pumpkins
3. Dill
While the kohlrabi was not a total surprise, the pie pumpkins certainly were! It was a bountiful year for pumpkins. Think beyond the pie is our suggestion. These can be used in many entrees and will store at room temperature. We will plant more squash in proportion to pumpkins next season. We only gave out dill and kohlrabi two times and do not plan either into our projected rotation as regular items to distribute. That said, we made some totally killer quick pickles combining the two .

Multiple shareholders mentioned their difficulty getting to the farm to participate due to busy schedules.
We understand that is a challenge for some and hope that does not outweigh the benefits of involvement in the farm.  We feel intensely grateful and awed each time a garden morning comes to a close. It's a lovely, bustle of activity and seeing the participation from you all is truly great. Together we all create a strong future for local diversified agriculture.

A couple shareholders mentioned in their surveys that it did not seem like 1 share was enough for their entire household. 
We'd like to remind families that whenever possible, one share per adult in the household is the best option in terms of adequate food for you and financial security for us (different calculations for college students). This allows us to distribute items As You Like, without worrying about the fairness to individual households who have invested differently.  If you believe in the farm philosophy and the food produced here, we hope you can find it in your budget to level the playing field in regards to shares while increasing our economic viability. 

Over 95% of respondents rated they were, 'very satisfied,' with the quantity and quality of vegetables received in the share. The survey noted 100% satisfaction with our communications to you.
We do strive to provide open clear communication. If ever you have suggestions for potential improvements, do not hesitate to suggest ideas.
 
Assorted shareholder memorable moments:

We especially appreciated the experience of garden mornings and being part of the farm community.


Making a delicious, complex dish in which every major ingredient was locally sourced!  

I looked forward to each Friday and the surprise of what fresh vegetables I would be getting. I loved the warm, welcoming feeling of the barn and how easy it was to understand the process. 


Being able to feed the pigs and chickens, and hang out with them and the ducks, and know that all the meat I'll eat this year came from happy animals who lived a good life.

Having fresh edamame and seeing the whole plant.  

When my mother visited and it happened to be a garden morning day, so she came with me and I got to show her, basically, what I think is the essence of what's best and loveliest about living in this area--the sense of community and connection with the natural world, among other things.

Making my first strawberry rhubarb crisp! 

The party in the spring for the greenhouse was my most memorable moment with regards to the farm this year. 

The September Garden Day. It was my first time working on a farm, and I was able to share this moment with all of my housemates! 

Looking down the row of planted garlic and knowing there is another year of growth.   


dorothy harvesting peanuts
HAVE SAFE & PEACEFUL HOLIDAY.

11.21.2014

Fitting around this season of Thanks, consider signing the Slow Money Pledge today.
Do you ever feel like things are just moving too fast? With all the billions of dollars zooming around the planet, we should not be surprised to end up with cheapened food, millions of acres of GMO corn, billions of food miles, dying Main Streets, kids who think food comes from supermarkets and obesity epidemics side by side with persistent hunger.

But there is a better way. There is a movement that's bringing money back down to earth, appreciating the energy of small food entrepreneurs who are forging new, healthy relationships in our communities. littleGrasse is interested in helping to build a new kind of investing and a new kind of economy. And we hope you'll join us in tackling these vital issues.

Check out Slow Money and sign the Slow Money principles to get involved.
http://www.slowmoney.org/principles

11.11.2014

November update

While we have settled into calmer fall routines, there has still been a pleasant variety of action around here. A few recent happenings:
cider pressing workshop for students
sauerkraut making: shredding cabbage
sauerkraut making: salting cabbage
mulching field with leaves from canton village
mulching fall planted garlic

sowing seeds in greenhouse

10.25.2014

Fall Storage Share pickup

It's time for the one-time distribution of the Fall Storage share.  Some opt into this share as an extension beyond the weekly Fresh offerings that have just wrapped up here at littleGrasse. For others it is supplemental beyond home gardens or other local options. Whatever the reason, we're excited to offer this delicious bounty of veggies to enjoy during autumn meals and the upcoming holidays.

PICKUP: daylight hours TUESDAY OCTOBER 28th.
 Your veggies will be in the share pickup room in the barn. They will be divided by veggie, as the weekly pickups are. The white boards will list the quantities allotted for each of the vegetables. Plan for around 10 minutes to gather your items together. There will be cardboard boxes and plastic bags available here and you are welcome to bring your own (esp paper bags).
Offering includes:
BEETS
BRUSSELS SPROUTS
CABBAGE
CARROTS
GARLIC
KALE
ONIONS
POTATOES (three varieties)
PIE PUMPKINS
WINTER SQUASH

Email us if you have any questions. While someone will be at the farm during the day, we won't necessarily be hanging about the barn when you stop by. 
Bon appetit!

10.21.2014

final pickup-share details

Last pickup for weekly shares! The memory of spring planting is still fresh in our minds. Such is the north country growing season, a short whirlwind of action. Don't let PIE PUMPKINS intimidate you. Not a pie maker? Use in muffins, soup or custard instead!

SHARE OFFERING:
BRUSSELS SPROUTS
CARROTS 
CILANTRO
GARLIC
KALE
ONIONS
POTATOES-red, white or blue
PIE PUMPKINS
SPINACH
The pickup for those with fall STORAGE shares is next TUESDAY. 
owen with mondo potato newly unearthed

10.20.2014

garden morning pics

Included below are a couple pics from last weekend's garden morning, 3,000 garlic planted, 1,000 shallots, fence cleanup and a couple hundred pounds of brussels snapped from their stalks. That's allotta brussels! You'll see their bounty in this week's distribution. The rain held off just long enough to hear a few tunes from Camilla, Rosemary & Catherine. Already looking forward to next year and the musical garden morning possibilities.