1431 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803

Open Tue-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5

Another sappy Thanksgiving email

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Thank you!

We wouldn’t be where we are without our CSA members

Farmers tend to be fairly frugal by necessity – this is not a rich man’s profession after all (there’s a sad saying among farmers that the best way to make 1 million dollars farming is to start with 2 million dollars).

It is fairly common for farms to take out a loan from the bank in the late winter to early spring and pay it off the following fall when they’ve sold their crop. Every year.

As we all know, it is hard to get ahead when paying interest is involved.

This is where the CSA model came about as a way to help farms.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. And the original premise was that in the fall/winter, community members would pre-pay the farmer to receive a share of the farmer’s harvest the next spring-summer-fall. This would allow the farmer to buy seeds and other supplies needed to grow the crops… without getting a loan from the bank. No more hard earned money going towards interest. Allowing the farmer to slowly but slowly gain their self-sufficiency.

We were one of those farm that took a loan out every spring. And paid it back every fall. Year in and year out.

Then in 2000 Ruth started the CSA.

And we stopped needing a loan every year. In fact, since then, the only loans we’ve taken have been for some vehicles/tractors, and we managed to score 0% financing on all of them.

Our CSA model has changed over the years. People no longer need to pay for 12 weeks at a time. Records exist on more than paper. Holds, add-ons, and different pick up locations are all possible.

But the people haven’t changed. You want to feed your family fresh, healthy food. You want to support your local farmer.

So thank you to those first 30 members who took that risk over 20 years ago on a new program. Thank you to each and every one who has tried our CSA since then. And thank you to everyone today because it is your support that keeps this farm running. We could not do it without you.

a small ditch - about 5 inches deep - dug along the length of a greenhouse

…Ok, that’s enough with the ooey gooey emotions. Thanksgiving is over and I wouldn’t want you to think we were thankful at other times of the year. That’d be weird.

*insert not quite seamless topic transition*

One of the things that gets talked about during the holiday seasons, is lines, boundaries, not letting something get to you, etc.

We decided to jump on that bandwagon and draw our own line.

It just so happens to be a line in the dirt. Several inches deep. With framing on one side.

Ok, ok, we dug a ditch.

The property is covered in ditches. Has been for decades.

They make it hard to walk safely (while there are other reasons we don’t do farm tours, the huge ankle-twisting risk of the ditches is right there at the top of the list).

They limit where/how we can position fields.

But they also divert rainwater. They keep soil and crops from being washed away, especially in deluges.

So the rewards of the ditches outshine the determents.

We’re even putting a ditch in in a high tunnel.

No, it’s not for rain – the tunnel is covered – but rather for ground water.

Do you remember the pepper plants that just shriveled up this summer from too much water? We’re putting in a ditch in that tunnel so hopefully that doesn’t happen again. We’ll see if it works.

The downside is we then lose the now trenched ground as a growing place.

But maybe the remaining ground will have healthier, more productive plants.

So it’s a trade off. Less growing space, but the remaining ground is situated better for growing. Hopefully.

a small ditch - about 5 inches deep - dug along the length of a greenhouse

Now taking orders for Christmas

I know, I know, Thanksgiving just happened. But Christmas is less than a month away.

Order by Thursday, December 15th.

Fresh geese, ducks, turkeys, and pies available.

Pick up at the farm on Thursday 12/22 (noon to 6 pm), Friday 12/23 (9-6), or Saturday 12/24 (9-3).

Visiting Flynn and imagining him in striped socks, optional.

Flynn, a buff orphington rooster (golden feathers with big red comb and wattle) in 3 different poses wearing striped socks and elf shoes.

We also have an assortment of wreathes, swags, and mantle pieces available at the store.

Some seasonal inspiration:

5 pictures of things that are in-season right now: green acorn squash, purple and white daikon, baby bok choy, sorrel, granny smith apples

Happy Eating!

Elizabeth

 

P.S. the persimmon jam is in

This is one of the weekly newsletters that is emailed out every Saturday night (no more, no less). If you liked the information make sure you sign up so you can get my (moderately) snarky writings delivered right to your inbox. You can read it on the website – obviously – but a copy of the newsletter isn’t posted to the website until several weeks later.  

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About Highland Orchards

Completely surrounded by suburbia, our small farm has been growing beyond expectations since 1832, just north of Wilmington, Delaware.

Growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, Highland Orchards provides true “farm fresh” for the community all year. If you want to shake the hand of the farmer who grows for you, here is the farm! With plants in the ground or under cover in tunnels, we grow for every season. A family farm, we have three different generations involved in running the farm right now.

Come see us to eat fresh, eat local, and eat well!