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WEEK 4: and there's more....

Posted 6/29/2018 3:36pm by Melanie & Kevin Cunningham.

Dear friends and farm-ily,

Meet your farmers: Jackie, Daniel and baby Elias... Daniel was accepted as a Shakefork apprentice in 2016. His roots are in the urban landscape of Anaheim, Orange County, and he came to us with no prior farming experience. With a great reference and a successful in-person, working interview, we decided to take a chance. My oh my, are we glad we did! His partner, Jackie, joined our team 2 months later and quickly becoming an essential part of the farm crew. In 2017 they came back for a 2nd season, this time growing a little baby. After Elias was born in September of 2017, Jackie and Daniel opted to stay through the winter, wanting to experience a Humboldt winter for themselves. This is their 3rd season at Shakefork!!

I asked Jackie what she loves most about farming, and she gave the answer I expected: "The work!" Both Jackie and Daniel value the hard work of farming that always comes with visible results at the end of a day. They also really enjoy providing food for the community and the appreciation from our CSA members and market customers. Daniel says, "You never go hungry, and the seasonality keeps it fun in the kitchen. Feeding friends and family - I like that!"

Meet your farmers: Jackie, Daniel and baby Elias

Clyde and Elias hanging out while we pack CSA shares. Clyde and Elias: farm kids!!

Strawberry abundance... Last week we picked 330 baskets; This week, 550! Incredible, I know... we can barely believe it ourselves! When we have surplus beyond the CSA and what we can sell at market, we'd like to offer all of you a stellar deal on bulk berries. Buy a flat (15 baskets) for $55, 25% of our market price. Freeze 'em, jam 'em, pie 'em or just eat 'em. Let us know if you're interested, and we'll put you on a "to-call" list. 

Strawberry harvest_2018.

More about peas... We've been saving our snow pea seed for a decade, since our farm's inception in 2008. We purchased the original biodynamic seed through Turtle Tree and have been stewarding it ever since. The season is abundant, but brief, and our plantings are definitely on their way out. Our first peas were sown in the greenhouse in at the end of January and planted out in early March, with successions to follow every few weeks through April 1st. We had beds prepped early and tarped. As starts became ready, we rolled the tarp back and planted, then installed trellis. The forethought and winter work really paid off!

Our beloved Jackie with our beloved snow peas.

Snap peas and pesticides... Did you know that conventionally grown, imported snap peas are on the "Dirty Dozen" list? This means they are very high in pesticide and herbicide residues. This residue is particularly harmful to children, as well as to adults with health issues. Just another reason to savor our organically grown, very local, just picked snap and snow peas.

Here's some ideas for making good use of your CSA peas:

Ideas for using peas in the kitchen. A recipe to try with seasonal ingredients.

They're coming... In Carlotta, tomatoes have to be planted in a high tunnel to really thrive. We planted ours out in April, and they are loaded with fruits galore. We spend about 16 hours a week trellising and pruning. So much work, but worth it (we hope).

They're coming!! The promise of green tomatoes...

Love from your farmers and oxen,

Melanie, Kevin, Jackie, Daniel, Kyla, Colleen and Gregg

Tex & Joseph, Duke & Earl, Thor & Oden

#22degreehalo above Duke and Earl