The 2016 CSA Season Will Soon Begin.

apple blossom and bee

Alas, spring is here, and the farm has been a busy place. Apple trees are blooming, honeybees are pollinating, and almost all of the crops are in the ground.

Although, I do have to admit, the early growing season has gotten off to a wonky start. Crops that are planted in the hoop house (a plastic-covered structure used for season-extension growing) are doing well. But the crops planted out in the field have been growing very slowly. Frosty the Snowman paid a visit here a week ago and blasted us with a hard freeze. While all the outside crops survived his visit, some of the brassicas (kale, cabbage, and broccoli) have a bit of a frosty fringe. They’re fine, but they’re just a little crabby after the freeze. Needless to say, the inside crops are much farther along than the outside crops, so I will keep you posted on the overall progress of all crops. (Yes, I did use the word “crops” six times in this paragraph…make that seven times…)

But first….

I will be sending you a weekly newsletter every Monday throughout the season to let you know what will be in your box that week, as well as other news from the farm. I’m using this Mail Chimp online software, and sometimes it may get blocked from your email system. So I need to make sure that everyone is able to receive this email each week. So…if you did NOT receive this email, please let me know. Wait a minute….ok that won’t work [head slap] so let’s try this…. please reply to this email by saying “blah blah woof woof” or anything else you want to say, so I know you received it. If you don’t reply, then I’ll track you down to figure out the best way to send this to you.

And second….

If you would like other family members, colleagues, or friends who are sharing this CSA with you, and you would like me to add their email to the weekly newsletter, please reply with their email address and I will include them as well.

And now….

Ok, drumroll please…brlbrlbrlbrlbrl….TING…. here is the schedule for the 2016 season. As you can see, the first box will be ready next week for the FULL SHARE members. The first box for HALF SHARE members will be the week of June 6. Of course, I have added the disclaimer “subject to change” which covers my butt in case the outside crops refuse to cooperate so I may need to add another hiatus in the schedule so they can catch up to the inside crops. Anyhoo….. here you go.

2016 CSA SCHEDULE*
Prepared 5/24/16
(Subject to change)
WEEK ONE Tuesday 5/31 St. Cloud Full share only
Thursday 6/2 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full share only
Friday 6/3 Cambridge Full share only
WEEK TWO Tuesday 6/7 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 6/9 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 6/10 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK THREE Tuesday 6/14 St. Cloud Full share only
Thursday 6/16 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full share only
Friday 6/17 Cambridge Full share only
WEEK FOUR Tuesday 6/21 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 6/23 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 6/24 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK FIVE Tuesday 6/28 St. Cloud Full share only
Thursday 6/30 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full share only
Friday 7/1 Cambridge Full share only
WEEK SIX Tuesday 7/5 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 7/7 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 7/8 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK SEVEN Tuesday 7/12 St. Cloud Full share only
Thursday 7/14 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full share only
Friday 7/15 Cambridge Full share only
WEEK EIGHT Tuesday 7/19 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 7/21 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 7/22 Cambridge Full and Half shares
HIATUS No CSA this week 7/26 – 7/29
WEEK NINE Tuesday 8/2 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 8/4 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 8/5 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK 10 Tuesday 8/9 St. Cloud Full shares only
Thursday 8/11 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full shares only
Friday 8/12 Cambridge Full shares only
WEEK 11 Tuesday 8/16 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 8/18 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 8/19 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK 12 Tuesday 8/23 St. Cloud Full shares only
Thursday 8/25 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full shares only
Friday 8/26 Cambridge Full shares only
WEEK 13 Tuesday 8/30 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 9/1 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 9/2 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK 14 Tuesday 9/6 St. Cloud Full shares only
Thursday 9/8 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full shares only
Friday 9/9 Cambridge Full shares only
WEEK 15 Tuesday 9/13 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 9/15 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 9/16 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK 16 Tuesday 9/20 St. Cloud Full shares only
Thursday 9/22 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full shares only
Friday 9/23 Cambridge Full shares only
WEEK 17 Tuesday 9/27 St. Cloud and Vital Images Full and Half shares
Thursday 9/29 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full and Half shares
Friday 9/30 Cambridge Full and Half shares
WEEK 18 Tuesday 10/4 St. Cloud Full shares only
Thursday 10/6 Mora and Sapsucker Farms Full shares only
Friday 10/7 Cambridge Full shares only

*I know… you hate asterisks… but this is just a reminder that as a CSA member, you share the risk with the farmer….meaning that there may be some crop failure, or Mother Nature could have a bad day and decide to take it out on the Sapsucker Farms crops….

And more stuff….

Here are some add-on items for sale from Sapsucker Farms. Just let me know if you would like any of these items throughout the season and I can add them to your CSA box whenever you want them, and I will coordinate payment with you as well. For those of you who have already ordered any of the items, you are good to go. Here are the prices for each:

Very fresh free-range eggs – $3 per dozen
Maple syrup – 17 oz. glass bottle – $15
Honey – 1 lb jar – $6
Honey – 2 lb jar – $12

Minnesota hand-harvested (by yours truly) wild rice. 1-lb package –  $10 

add ons

Organic farming practices….

I am frequently asked about the various organic techniques we use here on the farm to manage pests, weeds, diseases, and so on. So throughout the CSA season, I will try to highlight one of these techniques in each newsletter. This week’s feature is: Building Natural Habitat.  One of the most important organic management technique is to let nature do the work for you. By having natural habitat surrounding the veggie fields and orchards, it attracts the predator bugs that will happily feast on the bad bugs. Here at Sapsucker Farms, we maintain 40 acres of native prairie natural habitat which is divided into three different fields. While it may seem counter-productive, the best way to regenerate the native prairie is to burn it up. This past weekend we did the prairie burn and it is always an incredible sight to behold. Just click on the photo below to see a very short video of the fire as well.

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I’m almost done….

We are excited to announce that in April we launched a new flavor of our Yellow Belly hard cider. In addition to our (award winning) Semi-Sweet original hard cider, we now have Ginger Yellow Belly which is a ginger-infused hard cider, made with ginger that we grow right here on the farm. Our Yellow Belly is available in 170 + stores throughout the Twin Cities and Central Minnesota, plus it is served on tap and number of restaurants and bars as well. Here is the list where you can find Yellow Belly. Perhaps you might want to pick up a bottle to enjoy during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

YB

Now I’m done….

Wishing you all a very delightful Memorial Day weekend. And I am looking forward to the upcoming CSA season as well.

Cheers,
Debbie

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Huge Thanks to the Mora High School Students.

MHS kids

Despite the crazy, unusually cold weather we had, just before another deep freeze, the students of the Mora High School agriculture class spent the day working on the farm. It was such a blessing to have 14 additional sets of hands to help get caught up this spring. A great group of kids, with their wonderful teacher did a terrific job working in the hoop house and in the field. And everyone went home with goodies from the farm.

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Introducing Ginger Yellow Belly Hard Cider

YB

We are happy to announce our new Ginger Yellow Belly Hard Cider. This is our original semi-sweet small batch hard cider, infused with fresh ginger root which was grown here on our farm. You can find Yellow Belly at these retailers in the Twin Cities and Central Minnesota. We are currently expanding our distribution into the Northern regions of Minnesota as well. Ginger Yellow Belly is now being added to the shelves along side our original Semi-Sweet. If you don’t find it on the shelves, ask your retailer to contact our distributor, Bernick’s and they will happily help to get Yellow Belly and Ginger Yellow Belly on the shelves.

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2016 CSA Sign-Up Now Open.

Week 10

2016 CSA signup is now open. Pick up locations include:

Made of Mora, downtown Mora, MN

City Center Market Co-op, Cambridge, MN

Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud, MN

Full share – $480, 1/2 bushel box of fresh produce, 18 weeks from early June – early October.

Half share – $280, 1/2 bushel box of fresh produce, every-other-week from early June – early October, for a total 9 weeks throughout the season.

See complete details about what we offer in our CSA and how to join our CSA. Available through our online store.

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Yellow Belly wins People’s Choice Award for Best Hard Cider.

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We had a wonderful time at the 2016 Fourth Annual St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour in St. Cloud last night. The River’s Edge Convention Center was packed with 3,000 craft beer enthusiasts ready to sample over 250 craft beers, hard ciders, and hard sodas from around Minnesota and the world.

Even though our location was in the corner, we were easy to spot with our booth adorned with an array of posters highlighting Minnesota humor. To our surprise, many fans wanted to take our posters as a souvenir, so towards the end of the day, we handed them out to those who appreciated them.

The attendees then voted for their favorite beer, favorite brewery, and favorite hard cider/hard soda beverage. We were so excited to learn that our Yellow Belly Small Batch Hard Cider was the winner of the favorite hard cider/hard soda category! And congrats goes to Beaver Island Brewing Company of St. Cloud who won the People’s Choice for Best Beer, and Best Brewery!

Thanks to our niece Carrie Noble and fellow Mora resident Nate Robertson who helped out with sampling, and of course, partaking in tasting the many delicious beverages through the event.

booth

event

more booth

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Cyber Monday: Super Fun Gift Ideas.

Mn Gift pack

It’s been a busy shopping weekend with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, now Cyber Monday. If you haven’t already finished your gift shopping, here are a few more ideas that are unique and fun for everyone. And the best part is that I can do all of the work for you too, including packing up the gifts and sending them to your loved ones. Just visit our online store and see the delicious, Minnesota grown items we have to offer.

For those of you here in the Mora area, no need to add shipping on to your order, so just contact me at farmers@sapsuckerfarms.com and I can make arrangements to meet you in town or here at the farm.

SAPSUCKER FARMS GIFT IDEAS
Organic Minnesota Maple Syrup
17 oz glass bottles – $16
One-gallon plastic jug – $68
Minnesota Wildflower Honey
1-lb glass jar – $7
2-lb glass jar – $13
Minnesota Wild Rice
Hand-harvested
1-lb package – $11
Minnesota Gift Pack – $48
1-lb glass jar of honey
17 oz glass bottle of maple syrup
1-lb package wild rice
All in a hand-crafted wooden crate made by a local artisan.
As you’re planning your get-togethers with family and friends, remember to pick up some of our Sapsucker Farms Yellow Belly Small Batch Hard Cider. You can find it at these retailers throughout the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Duluth, and East Central Minnesota.
Thank you for your on-going support of our farm, and I promise that this will be the one and only promotional email you will receive from me.

May God richly bless your holiday season.

Cheers,
Debbie

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Fresh Ginger

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This year was the first time I grew fresh ginger on the farm, right here in Minnesota. I am happy to report that it was a success. I planted about 10 pounds of ginger seed and now have about 30 pounds harvested. With the success of this year’s crop, I plan to plant a whole lot more in 2016.

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Happy Thanksgiving.

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I admit I am a little behind on the fall farm work this season. But since it’s been a warm fall, it ends up being an advantage. This year my Thanksgiving assignment is potatoes. So I dug some up fresh from the garden on Thanksgiving morning. Doesn’t get any fresher than that.

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