Below is an open letter we just sent to current Full Diet members. We hope you’ll consider joining us this season, too! More details are under the Full Diet tab on this website. Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions.

Hello Full Diet Families,

Lee and I are sitting in the house on this windy afternoon and thinking about our relationship to the Full Diet model. We are very grateful that you’ve all committed so much of your nutritional needs, time, and income to the food that we raise here. We are very committed to the Full Diet model and appreciate it’s value on many levels — we really enjoy seeing all of you each week, and have a special fondness for the infusion of child energy at the farm and farmers markets.

It’s not probably not a surprise to read that our farm expenses have increased over the past year. Most notably, the cost of raising livestock, particularly those that eat grain, continues to rise substantially. Our numbers show that approximately 60% of the value of food we share with you each week is animal protein. Our second most notable increase in expense has been labor. We continue to try to employee our dedicated crew year round, and more so with an hourly wage rather than a stipend.

All told, we feel fortunate to be able to say that we are a farm that is thriving in our community. We are grateful that we can invest some in building (wait till you check out the new bathroom that will be available during on farm pick-up!) and be farmers who can take some vacation time to boot.

A 6% increase in this year’s share price for adults will help us to maintain the farm’s standards. We are keeping the price for children the same as it has been. If you’ve been a member with us before, there is no need for advance payment or deposit.

For those who are new to the Full Diet CSA, our ideal is to have two months payment upfront, that would apply to the months of May and June of this year. If this is a hardship for you, and you are serious about committing to the Full Diet CSA, please be in touch.

Full payment prior to May 1st will still be eligible for a 10% discount.

There have been a few minor detail changes from last season, for example, we aren’t limiting chicken numbers. Please read the Full Diet description on the website.

We look forward to this next season!
-Beth & Lee

Cloud watching in reverence while shoveling snow.
Shoveling snow while in reverence of cloud watching.

The same sentiment, but distinctly different.
I’m trying to turn our daily tasks on their heads.

I have seven greenhouses and seemingly never ending mountains of snow putting weight on their steel bows. I imagine them like the rib cage of an upside down whale, out of place in a habitat and needing rescuing. They are strong, but fragile.

Just before coming inside to write this, 4:30pm, i’d been watching the clouds delicately turn dances in the sky for the last hour. Soft, subtle, hues of blue and violet fading into one another. Feathery clouds, whisps, longitudinal wakes, all my words for them.

CSA members were pulling in and out of the driveway to pick-up their food. We looked at the starlings in the tree, talked about eagles, watched the dog leap through five foot snow to find a stick. We stood and noticed the clouds.

We didn’t talk about the food in their boxes and bags once. Perhaps that is not the food they came for. Perhaps that is only one course of the meal.

I breathe deep into the knowing that the body of work that I create is about nourishment. I’m trying to create a clean space to feed my senses. To feed the community of people who live near this farm. We don’t all live in the same watershed, but we eat from the same soil.

I’m learning to place the importance on the part that feels the most whole. That is the sky. The birds. The conversation. The quiet. The ability to move my body in it’s own cloud like rhythms, in deference to the needs of the farm and myself. In reverence to the clouds.

Happy New Year!

This coming week you can pre-order food for pick-up:

  • In Rockland @ 3 Crow, 4pm-6pm on Tuesday (1.6)
  • At the Farm, 3pm-6pm on Wednesday (1.7)
  • In Portland, Winter Farmers’ Market at 200 Anderson St. (pre-orders will be delivered on 1.10)

(Or simply show up at the market any week to select from our display.  The market runs from 9am – 1pm. )

Orders are due by Tuesday at 7am.  We can’t accommodate late orders.  Vegetable Order Link  and Meat Order Link

This winter we are grateful for our food wealth, and very aware of those who are struggling to get enough food on their plates.  We find that a well fed body is warm and at peace in the world.  Wanting to extend what we have to offer, a representative from the Newcastle Food Pantry is generously picking-up a donation box from us each Tuesday.

Will you help us in matching our donation?  We’re hoping you, our customers, will individually sign-up for each week of the year and make a payment of $50 that we transfer into food for the pantry.  We’ll match each $50 payment with an equal amount of our own, assuring that the pantry gets $100 worth of product from us each week.

Pick the week of your choosing.  (Check out the calendar here to see if your ideal week is free). Or let us simply fill in a blank week.  We are happy to use your name or anonymous as the donor.  Gift for someone’s birthday?  Anniversary?  Ultimately, getting more food on the table of people who need it is the goal.

You can make your donation here:Order Food Pantry Donation

 or mail me a check to Dandelion Spring Farm with a note designating your donation:  30 Brick Hill Rd, Newcastle, ME 04553

I’m looking forward to packing these boxes each week,

Best,

Beth

Good Customers and Community,

While we’ve been growing and stock piling food (really, you should see the mountains of roots in the walk-in), I’ve been negligent in my virtual presence. Apologies to those of you who’ve felt left behind in the hustle and frost.

How to get your food this winter:
Midcoast Farm (Newcastle) Pick-up folks:
For November we offer you a Winter Roots Stock-up ($125) and a Winter Meats Box ($150). These will offer plenty of vegetables and stuffing items to make it through your holiday dinners and many more meals. They can be ordered separately or together.
Pick-up will be on November 25th and 26th from 3pm-6pm at the farm. Please order by Nov. 21st. There are a limited number of boxes available. (Milk will be available day of pick-up)

In December we may go back to our self-select boxes.

Rockland and Camden:
For November we offer you a Winter Roots Stock-up ($125) and a Winter Meats Box ($150). These will offer plenty of vegetables and stuffing items to make it through your holiday dinners and many more meals. They can be ordered separately or together.
Pick-up will be on November 25th from 4pm-6pm in the lower level of 3 Crow Restaurant on Maine St. in Rockland. There is parking by the back door! Please order by Nov. 21st. There are a limited number of boxes available. (milk will be available day of pick-up).

In December we may go back to our self-select boxes.

Portland and So. Maine folks:
We will continue to be at the farmers’ market in Deering Oaks each Saturday until Thanksgiving. (We are hopeful for a space at the winter market and are first on a waiting list for an open spot!)

AND

For November we offer you a Winter Roots Stock-up ($125) and a Winter Meats Box ($150). These will offer plenty of vegetables and stuffing items to make it through your holiday dinners and many more meals. They can be ordered separately or together.
Pick-up will be on November 26th from 7am-9am either at Monument Sq. or on Anderson at the site of the winter market (details TBA!). Please order by Nov. 21st. There are a limited number of boxes available. (milk will be available day of pick-up).

—–
We are sold out of both turkey and lambs for the season. For those of you who pre-ordered already, I’ll be in touch with you about pick-up and/or cut lists in the coming weeks. We do have a lot of big broiler chickens (5#’ish at $4.50/lb). Send a word if you’d like some of these birds.

Spread the word,
And we hope to see you soon!

-Beth and crew

Events

While in a farmer’s eyes sometimes it doesn’t feel like the height of summer until we are all eating so many tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers we can’t stare another ratatouille in the face – and we aren’t there yet – it’s still feeling pretty darn summery over here.  The tomato plants are now nearly as tall as I am.  The crew did a semi-annual 4th of July toast, each eating our first cherry tomato of the year.  Soon your turn will come, too.

tomatoestall

Harvests have been large, restaurants are reporting record numbers of dinners, and the farmers’ markets feel like they are really kicking into gear.  It is always a pleasure to see the return of our seasonal community members complete with stories of their own long winter, and continual amazement of the beauty here.  We agree.  The families we see every week, all year long, are the foundation to what can sometimes feel like summer mayhem.

kidsscallions

And then we happily add events!  We love sharing what we do with you, and what’s nicer than a simple invitation to sit down, be it on the grass or a formal dining table, and share a meal?

This Wednesday, July 9th : Picnic time!  4pm-7:00pm’ish.  Uproot Pie Co. will be cooking in the wood-fired oven.  The vegetable stand will be set-up.  Tall Trees Snack shop fills in the rest.  No charge. Relaxed.  Bring a blanket and neighbor.  It’s a simple, lovely, time.

On Saturday, July 12th : Salad Days at Watershed Center for the  Ceramic Arts.  This is our neighbor, with whom we are making a stronger connection with every day.  The intersection between art and agriculture is close to my heart (if not my finger tips).  Please join us for the wonderful event.  All of the details can be found HERE.

Sunday, October 12th : Our 3rd Annual on farm dinner with Fore St. restaurant.  This five course meal has become a highlight of our Fall.  Buy your tickets now:  TICKETS.   In past years we’ve donated the proceeds to Mainly Girls and MOFGA.  This year we are turning the tide a little bit.  Watershed Center of the Ceramic Arts and us share a road in desperate need of repair.  It’s not a fancy request, but the funds will go toward repairing this ground.  It is the literal earth that the milk truck drives over every other day to pick-up our portion of the load, harvest vehicles, market trucks, visiting arts, and good employees travel.

We hope to see you all soon.

-Beth and crew

 

 

We are farmers who continually like to learn and stretch what we are doing into new layers.  We also value community, conversation, and eating well.. all of the time.  Despite the early summer onslaught of field work, we’ve been making lots of time for workshops. 

Cheese making : last Sunday was our 2nd in the a series.  We have plans for a third that will focus on hard cheeses.  Date : TBD

Dye Workshop : Wednesdsay, June 18th, 5pm – We will use natural dyes to color wool yarn.  There will be a second workshop in early fall using blossoms from our summer plants.

Chickens : We sell our birds to you whole.  We have plans for a future summer workshop with Chef Frank from Three Lily Farm to learn how to break down a chicken and diversify our chicken cooking palate!

Picnics!  : relaxed events – The 2nd Wednesday of the month June, July, and August.  4pm until dark.  These are always a farm favorite.  Our June picnic was very busy with children running around and adults enjoying food, conversation, and the open farm fields.  Wood-fired pizza and the farm stand make sure no one goes hungry.

Market Night! : Every Wednesday we set up the farm stand and Tall Trees snack shop makes farm inspired treats to take home.  4pm-6pm. 

We hope to see you at an event soon!

 

 

 

IMG_0994

 

I think spring is the most beautiful time of year.  Hands down.  I do not get my camera.  I do, however, stop and try to soak it in.  And I did happen to use the phone camera to record this carrot, a gift of winter, that I found while hilling our early potatoes.  (It did not taste good).

What have we been doing?

  • watching BEES (!)  dance with the flowers and in and out of their hives
  • transplanting thousands of seedlings
  • noticing how amazing dandelions are once they go to seed — unbelievable tensile strength in those perfect seed head orbs!
  • direct seeding more plants, including a new batch of greens every 7-10 days
  • watching carefully the color, size, and growth of our transplants.  cold spring soil, which is quite wet in places, has challenged some of our seedlings
  • listening to the sound of wind in the trees (a sure sign of a change of seasons)
  • feeding our new piglets – this is the first batch we will officially be able to certify as organic
  • listening to the morning owl calls while we feed these new piglet friends
  • watering in the greenhouse… again, and again, and again
  • learning to tune out the white noise of the greenhouse fans and instead focus on all of the amazing plant potential those seedlings offer
  • finished building our new 30′ x 144′ greenhouse
  • planted that big new greenhouse baby to tomatoes
  • getting excited about not building greenhouses (two more to go this spring…. smaller, for speciality herbs and flowers).
  • loving watching the perennials we planted last year fill up the front herb garden, and introducing customers to less common herbs
  • harvesting big loads of greens.  especially appreciating the return of spinach to our regular summer line up (a few years ago I had relegated it to a winter only crop)
  • feeling uncertain how we will manage the big greens harvest, and roots, and squashes, and, and, and.. as the harvest list continues to grow.  And  also knowing that every year we manage to get the work done.

I’m sitting at the picnic table, strong lilac scent in the air, starlings making a racket over head, sun on my back.  I really do go through my days taking account of the incredible beauty that is around us.  Spring leaf colors and flowers, and plants during their biggest growth phase, are really the best.  My pocket notebook is also filled with to-do’s, as we are still early into settling into this new season.   The detail holding is incredible.  But so is this lifestyle.

 

 

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