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Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you have a day full of love.

I wish we were celebrating, but unfortunately our entire family is down with the flu AGAIN. Yes, this is the second time in a matter of four weeks. Whatever strains of flu are floating around, they are unkind and not friendly. I’m actually on the mend, but I’ve been nursing high fevers in my two kids for three days while Josh was at a farmer conference at Breitenbush Hot Springs, though the minute he arrived at the retreat, he came down with the flu, so it wan’t fun for him to be there this year. From ear infections to sinus infections to high fevers to stomach flu, the four of us have been sick in some way since early January. Everett attends kindergarten, which is how this all happens—little kids are vectors for illness. Okay, enough of my complaining about flu!

I do have to say that Teodora and Gregorio pretty much harvested, washed and packed all 100 boxes for you this week while Josh was gone and I was hanging with kids. I don’t know what we’d do without them. They are amazing!

When we finally get better and stronger, we’re going to start moving forward here on the farm. We’ll be putting up the new hoophouse soon (did I say we were going to do that last time?) and next week we plant all the hoophouses with spring crops. We also begin all of our major seeding for the spring as well as start getting the soil ready with all this nice dry weather, so next week is going to be busy. We also start markets up again in a few weeks! Here we go again!

This year is going to be a little different as I’m (Melissa) working part-time off the farm as well as going to graduate school part-time to get my MFA in creative writing. Yes, I’m crazy! But, it has been my dream for 10+ years and I’m finally pursuing it and so so excited, but I’m going to be one busy lady. I’m going to withdraw from the farm a little bit so I can stay sane, but I hope to make an appearance here and there at the farmers’ markets at least. And because my book project is about the farm, I definitely need to stay close to the dirt!

In Your Boxes:

  • 4# Carrots
  • 2# Onions
  • 5# Winter Squash – Scarlet Kabocha
  • 1# Spinach
  • 4# Potatoes
  • 1/2# Braising Mix
  • 1# Baby Leeks
  • 1# Beets – I make a grain-free, sugar-free brownie: Almond Flour Brownies. Shredded beets would go great with this.
  • 1 Bag Multi-colored Popcorn – Airpopped with some olive oil splashed on top and tossed with a little sea salt, kelp powder and yeast is the best way to eat this. My kids go crazy over this snack!
  • 1 bu radish (yes!!!! so so so so sweet!) – Josh seeded these red radishes in the aisles of our hoophouses back in October, so they’ve been growing all this time and have just matured. They are so sweet. My son eats them raw in his lunches—that’s how good they are! A really nice experiment that we will definitely do again next year. So nice to have a change in vegetables right now. I’m sure you feel the same.
  • 2# turnips
  • 1/2# shallots

Enjoy!

M, E, A, & J

RECIPES FOR YOUR WINTER CSA BOX: Feb.14.CSA

Ava and Everett - farm kids in the Ford truck.

Ava and Everett – farm kids in the Ford truck. A nice reminder of how good summertime is!

market2012

The Farmer’s Markets are just a few weeks away, so it is time to start thinking about purchasing a Barking Moon 2013 Market Card.

The Grants Pass Market begins: Saturday, March 2nd

The Tuesday Ashland Market begins: Tuesday, March 12th

How It Works

* You purchase a credit at the beginning of the farmers’ market season called a “Market Share”.

* We have 3 Market Share options. Shares are limited and must be purchased by May 1st to receive season discounts.

* Use your Market Share card at any of our farmers’ market booths in the Rogue Valley from March through November. We sell at several farmers’ markets in Ashland and Grants Pass.

Why join our Market Share Program?

* You save up to 15% on produce at our market booths.

* Unlike a typical CSA share, you get to choose  what you want to eat.

* Your financial commitment to our farm at the beginning of the farming season is critical to help us fund seed purchases, employees, supplies, equipment, cultivation and planting.

* Together, we create a strong personal connection as the food we grow makes it to your table, strengthening our community through locally-grown organic vegetables.

DOWNLOAD our MARKET SHARE BROCHURE & REGISTRATION FORM HERE: Market.Share.2013

Questions? Call 541-846-6297 or email barkingmoonfarm@gmail.com.

Oh my, how time flies! Hard to believe that we have arrived at the fifth box already. Today marks the half-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. January 31st is typically the day modern pagans celebrate the Gaelic festival, Imbolc, which is held to celebrate this transition into spring. Because I’m a writer, I’m extraordinarily interested in etymology, which is the study and history of words and their origin. Imbolc comes from the Old Irish i mbolg which means “in the belly”. This refers to the pregnancy of ewes or ewe’s milk. In agriculture, ewes and does are bred in the fall and as the snow falls and the weather turns cold, their bellies grow until spring when they birth onto the warm ground. For farmers, spring brings birth, renewal, warmth, growth, celebration—everything we farmers love.

I’m happy to say goodbye to January today. January is the hardest month for me personally. While it invites refuge and introspection, I find it becomes too dark and too deep for me. Our plates of food become repetitive—kale, squash, roots and protein. By this time of the year, I’m ready for some new vegetables. How do you spice up your dinner plates during this time of year? Do you celebrate the half-way point between winter and spring? We do. I joy in this transition from winter to spring, especially as the sun comes back for longer stretches of time. I know then that warmth is not far away. And too, in February, the plants start growing again. That’s a reason to celebrate, if anything. We also begin sorting seeds, planting seeds, planning. It is a all a good time. As William C. Bryant has written, “the February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.” Or William Blake, “”In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”  With that, embrace your February and enjoy your box!

P.S. We raised enough money to purchase the hoophouse and plastic! Thank you everyone who contributed. You are all so wonderfully supportive and amazing!

P.P.S. Save the Date for our February 17th Winter CSA brunch. This is a special event on our farm just for CSA members. The meal is made entirely of Barking Moon vegetables and local meat. We eat in our greenhouse together while enjoying music and sun (hopefully!). Fulcrum Dining will be catering the event. More details to come. We hope many of you can come.

In Your Boxes:

  • 4# Carrots
  • 2# Yellow Onions
  • 3 ea Sweet Dumpling squash
  • 1/2# Salad Mix
  • 4# Yellow Finn Potatoes
  • 3/4# Braising Mix (Kales are not growing right now, but they will start soon…we hope!)
  • 1# Black Beans
  • 1# Beets
  • Burdock Root, also know as Gobo: This may be new to some people, so I’m sending you some links for more reading on what this is and how to prepare it. Serious Eats Burdock & Burdock recipes & this looks amazing: Braised Beef & Burdock
  • 3 ea garlic
  • Red Savoyed Cabbage

RECIPES FOR YOUR CSA BOX: Jan31Recipes

Have a great two weeks,

M, J, E & A

This was taken at last fall's Farm to Fork event at our satellite farm. We are standing in our winter/fall crops, which you've been eating all winter!

This was taken at last fall’s Farm to Fork event at our satellite farm. We are standing in our winter/fall crops, which you’ve been eating all winter!