Hello Friends of Shalom Orchard and Winery,
This is the first of what will become weekly updates of what is happening here at the farm. Everyone who is receiving this is a CSA member, expressed an interest in our CSA, or has been a long-time supporter of our farm. As you all know, this is the first year we have organized a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a way of connecting people to their food and to develop support systems for local farms. We are very excited about this new venture. At this time there are about 10 families who are becoming part of Shalom Orchard CSA. We can include a few more families or individuals, so spread the word! We hope to start weekly pick-ups (or in some cases, deliveries) toward the end of June when lettuce, peas, radishes, scallions, baby carrots, chicken, lamb, and eggs will all be available. We will also be planning our first dinner for you, in appreciation for your support and help you get to know each other!
We are starting to get very busy with the melting of the snow and the beautiful Spring days we have been enjoying. We have finished the pruning of the apple and cherry trees, have received our first shipment of broiler chicks, and have our seeds and are starting to lay out the gardens. We will begin planting peas and potatoes during the last week of April. This year we are using a hoop house to get a jump on some veggies so we’ll start planting in there at the end of April as well. We have an arrangement with Darthia Farm to grow our seedlings as we don’t have a heated greenhouse this year. All seedings must have been grown organically, so they have been kind to help us out. May will be the big month for planting, so let us know if you want to come out and get your hands in the dirt!
We are very pleased to have Molly Marquan as an apprentice this year. She came to us through the MOFGA apprenticeship program and will be spending a few days in May with us and arriving for the season at the end of May. She is a student at Bates College and is currently finishing a semester in Ecuador and Chili. We are all looking forward to her joining us! We continue to be very blessed to have Khimba Lee with us for another season. Her experience from last summer will be invaluable as is her energy, support and friendship. Thank you, Khimba!
As many of you know, our boys Ric and Jacob are both graduating and going off to school this fall. Ric will attend Southern Maine Community College in South Portland to study computer graphics and Jacob will attend Boston University. We are so proud of them both and will miss them terribly. Jacob will be working on the farm this summer and knows that he must return every August for the rest of his natural life because he is the BEST blueberry raker!!!! Daughter Kendall and her family are moving to Ashaway, Rhode Island, where son Ben lives with his family. This is the area they grew up in and where their Dad lives. Our nest is really emptying this summer, but we are very happy for all of our children and grandchildren!
We have located some sheep to start a new flock. As some of you know, we raised Rambouillets for many years but had to get out of sheep for a few years. We had to go to Maryland to find a breeder and we will be getting four sheep, a ram and 3 ewes in May. We have missed sheep very much, especially the wonder of lambing. It’s been very strange to hear the peepers start up and not hear the bleeting of the baby lambs at the same time.
For those of you who are CSA members, we would appreciate your final payments. Our address is: P.O. Box 4, Franklin, ME 04634. For anyone interested in joining, please call us at: 565-2312.
We are looking forward to sharing the 2005 season with you all.! We thank you all for your support.
Charlotte and Jim