Four tons of food in five hours

Wow! What an incredibly successful first Winter Share distribution! Here are some highlights.

The produce we distributed was exceptional in quality and variety.
This is the kind of share that CSA growers want to give shareholders every single distribution. Mother nature cooperated fully with us on this one! The produce highlights for me where the Vanguarden green peppers and hakurei turnips; Picadilly’s red peppers, fennel and celery and Cider Hill’s empire apples. All are fantastic treats at this time of year.

The distribution process was pleasant for all involved. Boxes and bags of produce found their way into cars, trucks, wagons, bike panniers, bike trucks, and strong arms for their ride/walk home. Children declared that they would eat spinach! (Yes, I heard this with my own ears!) The pros and cons of various apple varieties were discussed. Apple cider from Cider Hill Orchard was sipped.

Some awesome photos were taken. Kathy Martin visited and took really nice photos of the share. Jane Sedgwick captured happy children and adults getting their shares and hard working farm women. (I’ll post her photos soon.)

Lulls in the distribution work allowed farm workers to take a few nice breaks. We drank cider with Jenny Wooster when she dropped off Picadilly’s boxes. We ate a very tasty lunch of potato leek soup, bread, cheese and apples, and apple cranberry crisp. We had time to chat with one another and greet and chat a bit with shareholders. We had our pictures taken and we took pictures of the distribution. After a long day that started before 7 AM for most of us, we left the farm by 4 and went home to take naps! Special thanks to farm intern Liz Green, and helpers Molly Fogleman, Elsbeth Hearn, Jane Sedgwick and Jenny Coates for making the distribution run so smoothly.

Shareholders told us they appreciated the Ride Share program. Folks who couldn’t find someone to share a ride with were sincerely disappointed and asked for tips and help in connecting with other shareholders. Several sharers were excited about the raffle for ride sharing/biking/walking patrons: “Formaggio Kitchen?! Kitchen on Common?! Stone Heath Pizza!? We want to win the raffle!!!” It was fun to hear such enthusiasm. Kristin Bray and Allison Goodwin deserve much thanks for making ride sharing such a nice and easy option for the CSA.

— 60% of shareholders (90 people) walked, biked, shared a ride or had their share bike delivered!

— 40% of shareholders (59 people) drove alone to the farm to get their share. From the comments I heard, I estimate that fifty percent of these folks had tried, but been unsuccessful in finding someone with whom to car pool.

There were a few rough spots in the day. The morning was quite cold. Our hands and brains worked slower than we’d expected. The wind was, well, windy, and it threatened to blow the tent away until extra cinder blocks were piled on the base. My poor directions to shareholders to “park between the red tractor and the barn” resulted in many folks parking on the Sergi’s lot, next to their red tractor – a long walk to the CSA area and a longer walk back to their cars with the 55 pound share. For me, the toughest part of the day was the first hour of the distribution: 60 shares were distributed in 60 minutes. We had determined that we could distribute 15 shares every half hour without overtaxing ourselves, or the parking lot. Shareholders were scheduled accordingly. We aren’t sure how things went awry in that first hour.

All in all, this was an exceptionally satisfying day. Now it’s time to enjoy the harvest. Bon appetit!