Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BGF News - January, 2018-Vol. XXXIX, No.1

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation this month: Snow: 3.0"
                                        Rain: 1.0"

Happy New Year to everyone, just a bit late.  We hope your holidays were happy, merry and bright! 

It has been an interesting winter already. The extended mild fall weather did much to lull us into complacency, but the -22° that we got down to over New Year's Eve brought us right back to reality!
Full moon rising over the high tunnels on New Year's Eve (-22°)

 Then we saw -20° again last week...brrrr! It was enough to freeze up every water hydrant on the farm which we've never seen before. These conditions are hard on everyone on the farm, 2-leggers and 4-leggers alike. Chores take at least twice as long and have to be done many more times a day to ensure the animals all have water to drink. Eggs have to be gathered 4-5 times a day to make sure they don't freeze in the coops and it takes FOREVER to put on enough insulated clothing to go out and do these activities! Especially when the crazy boy-dog insists on playing frisbee in sub-zero temperatures in the snow! Boys!! Huge thanks to our crew members/neighbors the Heartsills who did farm chores for us during part of this time, so that we could make a short trip to visit family in Colorado!
Don't let him fool you, he was pouting because he only got one treat.
While we still have plenty of winter left, we did get our first preview of spring (mud-season) earlier this week. Temps were as high as 50° and then we had thunderstorms! While the January thaw is very common, the 1" of rain is not. Luckily the ground had thawed enough that it didn't appear we had much run-off. Given how dry we were last season, we will take every inch of moisture we can get!
The ladies enjoying some frozen high tunnel arugula
Speaking of spring, the preparations have already begun for the upcoming season. Most of the seed orders have been placed and are on their way to us. Next up are the supply orders that includes things like: potting soil, pots, flats, packaging and CSA boxes. In about two weeks our winter "lollygagging" will come to an end, as the seed sowing season begins. First up will be onions, leeks, shallots and long-season herbs.
Let's talk some more about those CSA boxes! Now is the time to sign up for the 2018 Summer CSA. Renewal emails have gone out to our veteran members and we will hold spots for them until February 1st, at which time we will open any available spots to new members. If you are a veteran 2017 CSA member and didn't receive a renewal email, please let us know ASAP and we'll get you rolling. We wouldn't want you to miss out on the beautiful bounty of produce that we are planning for this season. If you would like to become a new member of our CSA or have questions, shoot us an email to mail@bluegatefarmfresh. com and we'll get you rolling.
A rainbow of farm-fresh goodness!

If you can't wait until spring for farm-fresh products, we continue to do our VegEmail deliveries all winter long. Every 2 weeks you can order from our list of available products and we will deliver them to Des Moines, Knoxville or you can pick them up on the farm. Eggs, fresh produce, stewing hens, popcorn and herbs all rotate through our availability list until the start of the farmers market season. If you want to receive the VegEmail announcements, just fill out the form here: Mailing List and be sure to indicate which delivery location you prefer.
Packing VegEmail orders
Is an occasional newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.
That’s about it for now, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Luci & Indigo)