Week #6 Tuesday, August 11 – Friday, August 14, 2020

In Your Bag
Potatoesthe yellow potatoes will green very quickly—please keep them in the dark.
Carrots
Garlic
Fresh White & Red Onions
Peppers – Shishitos (in the bag) & one sweet pepper
Cucumbers
Zucchini – green and/or yellow,
Eggplant
Bright Lights Chard
Tomatoes
Big Basil Bunch! enough for a batch of pesto

Note:
Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Coming soon!
Next week, we’ll likely send some Anaheim and jalapeno peppers.  We’re hoping for a cabbage and crossing our fingers on the melons.  Another batch of green beans should be ready next week and the Roma tomatoes are starting to ripen so it won’t be long before you’ll start seeing those! 

Farm News
I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but we could use some rain out here!  I know, I know, I’ve been complaining about too much rain for weeks.  I don’t even know how it’s possible that it’s dry, but it is.  Anna arrived here on Monday morning with reports of heavy rain and stormy weather in the city, but we didn’t get any of that here.  Not that we wanted heavy rains.  Please no!  But, we could use some rain, particularly for things we’ve recently planted and transplanted.  Mike planted a bunch of cover crop and a bed of arugula a few days ago.  We also did a lot of transplanting, clearing the hay rack of all those crops that had been waiting for the fields to dry.  They get a good dose of water as they’re being planted but they could use another drink.  Having emptied the hay rack, we promptly filled it again (well, not quite filled) with newly seeded flats.    Those flats hold the final batch of transplants for the year.  One last round of beets, some fall kohlrabi and kale. 

As I write this, Mike and Erin and Anna are out in the onions beginning the harvest of the storage onions.  They’ll dry down for a few days out in the field and soon we’ll bring them up to the greenhouse to continue curing.  First, though we’ll have to get the garlic in crates to make room for those onions!

Finally the peppers are starting!  It’s not a particularly bountiful crop this year, but they’re coming along.  Everything is just a little strange out there this year, in the world and in the garden.  We’re learning to take it in stride.

Tuesday is Anna’s last work day at the farm.  We’ve looked forward to her arrival on Monday mornings and so appreciated the extra hands to help with harvesting and packing on Mondays and Tuesdays.    

As usual, deer pressure begins to increase significantly at this time of year. First of all, there are simply too many deer in our part of the county—there were eleven on our road the other night and then more in and around the gardens.  I believe we counted about 17!  The Whitetail deer has adapted well to this type of mixed land use we have in our area and management of the herd is a challenge for sure!  True to form, this year’s deer are trying out everything.  It seems as if they sample something and if it doesn’t sicken them, then thye have at it–potatoes (the vines) leeks, and onions are all on the menu!  Fortunately, we have an effective fencing system (most times) that we can move around as needed. Crops we are currently protecting are: beets, fennel, carrots, winter squash, broccoli, cabbage, melons, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and fall greens. So, take that deer!  

Week #5 Tuesday, August 4 – Friday, August 7, 2020

In Your Bag
Red Potatoes,
Carrots
Garlic
Fresh White & Red Onions
Wax beans
Cucumbers
Zucchini – green and/or yellow,
Broccoli
Bright Lights Chard,
Tomatoes
Cilantro
Basil

Note:
Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Coming soon!
I’m pretty sure we’ll have peppers of some kind for you next week.   Shishito peppers, Anaheims and Jalapenos are all looking about ready for harvest.  The bell peppers are lagging behind.  Our best guess is that their blossoms and early fruits dropped in all the rain.  They’re setting fruit now so they’ll be some of those eventually!  We are regularly checking the melons.  They are sizing up but no sign of ripeness yet.   Soon, we hope!  

Farm News
The rain has stopped at last!  What a relief.  We had 15 inches of rain in one month here on the farm.  That’s just under half of what we might expect in a year.  It was too much. 

We are beginning to dig out and that feels good.  We sat down and re-worked our fall planting plans to adjust for the fact that we were unable to get into the fields to plant for most of the last month.  Finally, we got the fields prepped and even transplanted a few of the things that have been sitting on our hayrack begging to be planted, a red napa cabbage, a green cabbage and some leeks for the fall.  Next up is a round of beets, some Bright Lights chard and a kale mix. We mowed down several plantings of broccoli that succumbed to disease in the wet conditions and, having harvested the crops in our spring field, we were able to mow down what had become a weedy mess, getting it ready for a cover crop. We may even be able to tackle some things that have been on the to-do list for weeks, it seems:  fence the winter squash, write thank you cards, wheelhoe in the cabbages, make hay, trellis the raspberries. 

It hasn’t been an easy year. I think most of us can say that.  Even though we’re not seeing some of you each week, we are so cognizant of your support of us and of this farm. We knew this year was going to be different. With the core group’s help and the support of our pick-up site hosts, we put together a plan and logistically, it’s all working. Of course we miss seeing you. Of course we miss the rich conversations and the yummy potlucks and all the work we did together. But, we’re working with what we’ve been given and we know you’re there with us. We feel that strongly and it’s important to us. We love getting your notes and e-mails and seeing the pictures you’re posting on Facebook.   They are what carries us as we head out to the field. 

It has been good eating lately though, hasn’t it? Mike and I take turns cooking and this is the time of year when it’s really fun and easy to cook. I love that.    Refrigerator pickles, roasted vegetables, simple salads, fresh salsas, coleslaw have all been making their way to our table. Kristin’s recipes, Larry & Katy’s cooking videos from the website and Jess’ compilation of recipes on Spring Hill’s website have all been useful. Check them out!

I hope you are all well.  Stay in touch.  We love hearing from you.  

Week #4 Tuesday, July 28 – Friday, July 31, 2020

In Your Bag
Cabbage, Carrots, Garlic, Fresh White & Red Onions, Wax Beans, Cucumbers
Zucchini – green and/or yellow, Eggplant,  Lettuce (Red & Green), Cilantro, Basil
Tomatoes – Reds along with salad tomatoes: Sungolds, Bronze Torch and Green Tiger

Coming soon!
Red potatoes again next week.  We’ll have tomatoes too and maybe some Swiss Chard.  Our peppers lost blossoms and early fruit set in the heavy rains but we’re hoping for some soon!

Farm News  from Anna Kleven
Hi everyone! My name is Anna Kleven. I’m working at the farm two days a week this season. I’m going to share a couple of my memories of going to the farm as a kid, and some reflections on what it’s like to have grown up on the farm, and, as a young adult, return to work here.

As I arrive at the farm on Monday morning,  I recall how my brother Sam and I used to hop out of the car and make a beeline for Sunny (the farm dog’s) hut down the hill. Before we did anything else we would pick the ticks off his ears, wondering how he would survive without our biannual grooming. Now as I get out of my car I’m greeted by Wally, the Chow-Lab mix that has taken Sunny’s place. Wally is a different sort of dog. What he lacks in farm dog instincts he makes up for in prince-like charm. He is most likely to be found waiting to be let inside the house. I should say that last week he impressed us all by chasing a deer out of the field. (Though it was a bit performative. He was looking over his shoulder to make sure we were watching.)

As we head out to the fields, I remember negotiating with my parents for more play time. When they finally released us from fieldwork we would round up the other kids and climb to “The Pines,” a secret spot on the top of the hill behind that flanks the community building. There, we would dig holes in the cold sand and cover them with a thin layer of sticks and pine needles to trap and wound any adult that might follow us and try to return us to work. The path to the pines is overgrown now that the last Wright-Racette kid has left, and I am no longer evading farm work.

Once we finish harvesting, we load the bins of vegetables onto the back of a trailer, pulled by a four-wheeler. I climb onto the trailer with them. Erin waits for my signal that I’m ready to roll before pulling away. She tells me that ATV safety is a required class in the local high school. Facts like this remind me of how much I don’t know about rural life. In some of my communities it is common to be judgmental, insead of curious, about rural lives and livelihoods, and give credence to damaging myths about rural people. Conversations with the farmers are fascinating because they have lived on both sides of the urban/rural divide, and their stories topple my flimsy stereotypes about people out here. Mike is kind enough to recommend articles and podcasts by his favorite rural commentators. I’m learning a lot.

We break at noon. It’s lunchtime when the absence of members is most acutely felt. When members are here, potluck lunch is a precious moment of reciprocity. The farmers have been feeding us; at lunch we return the favor. The instinct to reciprocate is deep in all of us – I remember reading in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweetgrass, that it’s common for babies to hold food to their parent’s mouths. Industrial food systems obscure, but do not weaken our reciprocal relationships with the people and the land that feed us. Being members at Spring Hill gives us the chance to be conscious and active in these relationships.

As I prepare to leave the following afternoon, I am struck again by how many seasons they’ve seen through on the farm. Every season, for 30 years, they have renewed their commitment to this project. In a time when our lives have been forcibly slowed, our options narrowed, and the division between work and home blurred or dissolved completely, I can’t help but think that we can all take a lesson from our farmers. I’ve gotten a tiny glimpse of the adaptability, patience, imagination, and long term thinking that it takes to sustain their commitment to this one place and this one community, through all kinds of adversity.

As I leave the farm and drive down 6th street, I remember begging my mom to speed up so I could get the fluttery feeling in my stomach on the downhill. A MN kid thrilled by some minor topography.

I feel so lucky for this chance to learn from the farmers and see Spring Hill in new ways.

Week #3 Tuesday, July 21 – Friday, July 24, 2020

In Your Bag
New Potatoes, Carrots
Garlic, Fresh White & Red Onions
Green Beans, Cucumbers
Zucchini – green and/or yellow
Lettuce (Red & Green), Arugula,
Dill, Parsley/Thyme/Basil bunch
Note:
Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Coming soon!
We’re hoping for a cabbage next week along with carrots and more fresh onions – coleslaw time! Our second planting of beans is a wax bean.  They’re not too far away and it looks like more broccoli is on its way.

Farm News
The garlic crop is in, safely tucked into the greenhouse where it is drying down. We pushed hard on Friday to get it done before more rain came that night and then again Saturday night. It’s been a little tricky trying to get field work done.  Every time the ground starts to dry out, more rain comes. It looks like more of the same this week. We’re trying to play catch up as we can, taking advantage of the small windows to plant and cultivate. It can be frustrating seeing all the plants on the trailer waiting to be planted and watching weeds grow while we’re unable to get in and cultivate. All in good time. All in good time. 

As I made the first round of deliveries with Tyler… pick-up site hosts – Susan and Jim in the Seward neighborhood – kindly gave us a print with a barn and silo, rain clouds hovering overhead, and the title of Wisconsin author, Jerry App’s book, “Never Curse the Rain, A Farm Boy’s Reflections on Water.” I try to remember to not curse the rain. That hasn’t been so easy these past few weeks and I find myself wondering if the rains of Jerry App’s days on the farm looked different than the rains we’re experiencing now.  

Cucumbers! I can’t say that we fully solved the mystery, but we are getting cucumbers! A couple of conversations with nearby neighbors revealed that they had similar issues with their cux leading us to believe that it was weather related as opposed to an issue particular to our farm and fields. It helps to know that.  

We’ve been scheming about how to make some adjustments to our field and planting schedules given the impact of the rain. We took part of one garden out of production and put it into cover crop right after the 7” inch rain. The open beds were to be planted over time with directed seeded greens and it just wasn’t going to work to have those beds open so we’re looking at alternatives.  Perhaps some bok choy for the fall, maybe some late kohlrabi and more kale, all crops that can be transplanted into bio-mulch and potentially mulched rather than direct seeded into open ground. It’s a new puzzle we’re working with and we’re trying to figure out how these new pieces fit together.  

In the wildlife world, Patty’s had a couple of bear sightings this year, a young one sauntering through the onion patch and one older fellow back near the cabin in the woodsWe have a new swallow hanging out at the farm this year, a cliff swallow – cliff swallows actually. They’ve built a really cool mud nest with a circular entrance right at the peak of the Community Building. The barn swallows, manage to build a nest or two in the shed every year, just had “fledgling day” last week. As the babes learned to fly, we found them hanging out with us on the ledges of the hoop house as we picked beans nearby.  Monarchs are happily (it seems so anyway) fluttering their way around the place and we are enjoying watching them. We must have a couple of cranes nesting nearby because they’re flying overhead a couple of times every day with that distinctive honk of theirs. It all keeps us pretty entertained as we go about our work.

Week #2 Tuesday, July 14 – Friday, July 17, 2020

In Your Bag
Fennel, Beets
Kohlrabi,
Fresh garlic, Spring Onions
Zucchini – green and/or yellow
Broccoli, Lettuce – green & red
Beet Greens OR Swiss Chard
Cilantro, Basil

Note:
Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, and you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Spring Hill Bags
It’s important to us that you wash your bag (using unscented soap please) and return it each week. There’s a box at each pick-up site for returned bags. Tyler will be picking them up each week and we’ll be counting on getting them back to pack next week’s bag. Thanks again to those who sewed a flap into each bag.  We think it’s working to keep the veggies fresh!

Farm News
We’re adjusting to the new rhythms and systems on the farm.  It’s required lots of planning and thinking about how to creatively get our work done while following protocols we’ve set forth to do what we can to protect our co-workers, Spring Hill members and ourselves.  There’s the delivery system which most of you can imagine looks entirely different.  Rather than a group gathered around a wash tub sharing stories while cleaning and bunching green onions, we have two tubs separated by a good ten feet, one person at each one cleaning, washing, bunching.  Rather than a line full of people of all ages, each one stationed at a tub of vegetables, three of us, socially distanced, walk the line of vegetables each filling the bag start to finish. We set it down for Tyler, who tucks the flap in and carefully and efficiently packs the van. We’re getting it figured out, but it sure is different! In the fields too, we’re adjusting so that we can tend to tasks while physically distancing ourselves from each other. We find we do more tasks individually. Sometimes we have to remind each other of the need to distance. Sometimes Mike and I find ourselves distancing from each other! I think it’s fair to say we’re all doing our best to work with it. We fully understand that we are quite fortunate to live and work where we do and to have your support as we muddle through.

We continue to see the impact of the 7” rain of a few weeks back. Over the first couple of days, we could see which gardens were hit especially hard. We figured we had lost a newly seeded carrot bed. A couple of more days out and we came to understand that a couple of newly transplanted crops had to go.  They essentially drowned in too much water. Now we’re noticing a lack of nutrition in some of the older crops. That much rain can drive nutrients deep into the soil making them unavailable to the growing plant. Further exacerbating this issue, plant roots sitting in water can die off, again weakening the plant as it’s unable to access the nutrition it needs. Finally we’re concerned about disease. That much moisture, followed by heat and humidity is a set-up for plant disease. We’re seeing a little in the broccoli but hoping that cooler weather and less humidity will settle things down.

On the bright side, we started the garlic harvest yesterday and hope to finish later this week. It looks to be a lovely crop and we are always extra thankful for a good garlic harvest!!

On the mysterious side, our cucumbers are not producing at the moment.  They are beautiful, healthy plants with no mature fruits. We have several theories and will keep you posted.

Some adjustments to make, some good stuff, some hard stuff, a mystery to solve. That about sums it up!

Hoping you’re well!  Stay in touch.

Week #1 Tuesday, July 7 – Friday, July 10, 2020

In Your Bag
Napa cabbage
Spring Turnips
Radishes
Garlic Scapes
Fresh garlic
Spring Onions
Zucchini – green and/or yellow
Broccoli
Lettuce
Red Russian kale
Cilantro, Basil
Note: Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Welcome to Tyler, Anna and Welcome Back To Erin!
First, we offer a big, huge, honkin’ welcome back to Erin Link!  Erin is back for her fourth year at Spring Hill and we are so, so grateful to have her here.  

Things are going to be different at the farm this season. There’s plenty to be sad about in that regard. We can’t even begin to tell you how much we will miss the opportunity to work with you on the farm. BUT, we are excited to welcome two new people on board. Actually, they’re not new TO the farm at all, but new in their roles WITH the farm. Tyler Mahony will be Spring Hill’s delivery driver. Tyler (son of Wendy Fassett & Kevin Mahony) has grown up on Spring Hill vegetables and will now be driving a van full of them to Minneapolis and St. Paul each Tuesday and Friday. We’re looking forward to working with him! Anna Kleven (daughter of Kari & Tom Kleven) will be joining us for a full day of work on Monday and Tuesday morning in July and August to help with vegetable harvest and packing. Anna’s been coming to the farm with her family since she was young and we’re thrilled that she’ll be joining us in the fields this summer.   

Thank you!
Thank you to Spring Hill’s Core Group! We relied heavily on this group as we tried to imagine what this season might look like. It was extremely helpful to have this thoughtful group gather several times (virtually) to consider all kinds of options from every which angle. Wendy Fassett, Joe Knaeble and Marilyn Johnson really dug in with us on figuring out the details of vegetable packing and delivery. Thanks so much! Spring Hill’s pick-up site hosts all offered thoughts and suggestions and we’re grateful to each of them for continuing to share their space with the farm membership. Thank you also to all the women who sewed flaps into our Spring Hill bags. The flaps provide a new way of keeping the vegetables fresh as they travel. Well done all and thank you!! Special thanks to Joelle who served as the transport service. We’re grateful to those of you who contributed to Spring Hill’s delivery fund. There’s been extra expense involved with Covid-19 and your contributions help a lot. Finally, many of you have volunteered to do all kinds of things;  help on the farm if needed, be a back-up driver, deliver vegetables to those who may need home delivery, host a Spring Hill Pop-up Market and on and on. As we all find new and different ways to feel the strength of human connection, this generosity of spirit has been truly overwhelming. Thank you all. 

Farm News
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. I’ll give you the good news first just in case you’ve had enough of bad news in which case you can read the first paragraph and forgo the second one. The good news is things have come together and, amidst all the challenges, we have a really nice first bag of vegetables for you! Actually, knock on wood, it looks like the first few bags will have a nice mix of veggies.

And now the bad news. About a week ago, we had 7+ inches of rain at the farm in just a few hours. That was A LOT of rain. Too much rain. A drive around the block the following morning saw our neighbors canoeing across their field, just the top inch or two of their fence line exposed. Even though we carefully mulch sections we feel are particularly vulnerable to erosion, farm on the contours and regularly cover crop, we were discouraged by what we saw in our fields. We take soil conservation seriously and it was heartbreaking to see the movement of soil in some of our garden sections. It’s hard to see the soil pounded like that.  We lost a carrot planting and some newly transplanted beets and cauliflower. We’re working to understand and address the issues, knowing that while 7” rains have been extremely rare, extreme events are becoming more common.  

Spring/Summer 2020

Dear Spring Hill Members,

As we move closer to the vegetable harvest and delivery season, we want to update you on how Covid-19 is impacting the farm.  Members of Spring Hill’s Core Group have met several times since March to discuss the pandemic and the farm’s response.  At the heart of these discussions has been the goal of doing our best to protect the health of Spring Hill members, farmers and those who work at the farm.  

To that end, we’ve made some difficult but necessary choices.

For the time-being, we are cancelling on-farm community activities, including Spring Hill’s beloved member-based harvest/delivery system.   Instead, for the 2020 season, only Patty, Mike and Erin (perhaps with some limited hired help) will be working on the farm.  They will pack the bags on delivery days using recommended safety protocols, and all the vegetables will be delivered to pick-up sites by one driver in a single van. 

Spring Hill will also be instituting a set of protocols for the pick-up sites once the harvest season begins.  You’ll get a note about this closer to the time when vegetable deliveries begin, but you can expect to be asked to use the provided hand sanitizer at the site, to wear a mask when you pick up your vegetables and to allow for social distancing at the pick-up site.  

On the fun side, we would like to try a “pop -up” market this spring to offer some additional fruits of the farm!  We will have rhubarb and would like to get it to you somehow!  The idea looks something like this:  we would take preorders for the rhubarb (no charge, quantity to be determined), deliver it to a central location or two, and offer you the opportunity to swing by for a contactless pick-up. If this works out, we can imagine continuing with this throughout the season, with things like garlic scapes, basil for pesto, etc.  

Some of you have asked, “If we can’t come to the farm, what can we do to contribute?” Community has always been at the heart of Spring Hill and we certainly do not want that to change.  As we support and care for each other during this time, here are a few things the farm needs:

1) We would like volunteer drivers (ideally 1-2 from each pick-up site) who could deliver a bag of vegetables from a pick-up site to a member’s home.  We are anticipating that there will be some members needing home delivery for the season or just for a week or two.

2) We will also need a roster of volunteer drivers available to serve as a back-up to our hired driver/van.  Depending on the situation, this could mean one person driving the farm van filled with vegetables to pick-up sites in the Twin Cities or perhaps a small fleet of drivers using their own vehicles to transport vegetables from the farm.  

3) You could host a Spring Hill “pop-up” market this season.  We would need space to set up our 10×10 tent in your yard or use of a garage for 2-3 hours.   This could be a fun way to socialize – from a safe distance – with farmers and other farm members.

4) If you are able, consider contributing financially to help cover the extra delivery costs, perhaps the amount you would have paid in gas for a trip to the farm.  It’s important for you to know that Spring Hill does have an Emergency Fund, established to cover unexpected, unpredictable situations (think tornado, farm accident – we weren’t imagining a pandemic!). With the change in vegetable delivery, this fund will be significantly depleted.    While the farm will be okay for this season, we also acknowledge that we will lose a significant portion of our emergency cushion in using these funds.  

This pandemic has brought to light so many issues in our country, including some glaring problems with our centralized food system.  It has made very clear the importance of a robust, broad and healthy local food system and just how significant it is to have the support of a community of people like Spring Hill members.   Thank you for everything you do.

We will miss connecting with you on harvest/delivery days.  It’s no substitute, but we are regularly posting on Spring Hill’s Facebook page as a way of sharing what’s happening on the farm.  We encourage you to post as well!  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch with Mike or Patty or any one of Spring Hill’s Core Group members.

Warmly,

Mike & Patty with Spring Hill’s Core Group,
Brenda Beyer, Jessica Fischer, Nancy Dilts, Cathy Dolan, Wendy Fassett,
Marilyn Johnson, Bill Karns, Joe Knaeble, Michelle Grabowski, Erica Perl,
Dan Philippon, Katy Podolinsky, Larry Schmidt, Albert Veeder

Winter/Spring 2020

spring

We are full for the 2020 growing season

Spring Hill Members,

It’s 2020, a new decade, and we are ready to farm!  The seeds are ordered, the potting soil has arrived, and our garden plans are in progress.  

Last year we made a number of changes in order to adjust to the physical reality of farming in our 60’s.  Those changes worked well, and we are eager to fine tune the system.  Again this year we plan to begin vegetable deliveries right after July 4th.  Weekly deliveries will continue through September, followed by two bi-weekly deliveries of fall vegetables in October.  In many ways we are hoping for a season much like last year when we had excellent yields and few crop failures, making for bountiful bags of vegetables. 

As we reflect on the nearly 30 years of farming at Spring Hill, one of the things that stands out is the impact of climate change.  Indeed, we see the impact almost daily.  The average annual temperature has gone up, as has the average rainfall.  The increase in rain comes mostly in the form of single-event large-precipitation storms.  (In fact, the incidence of 2”-plus rain events has gone up three-fold.)  We now see more plant diseases, and new pests are making themselves known.  All of this has an impact on what and how we grow.

Yet, thanks to your support, we’ve been able to implement agricultural practices that increase our resiliency and protect our valuable soil.  While adaptation is not easy or cheap, it is required.  We continue to study, to observe, and to try strategies that point us in the direction of long-term sustainability.  When you visit the farm, you will likely notice more cover crops than ever and lots of mulching in the gardens.  These are two important practices that help protect and build our soil even as big rains pound the soil.  Hoop houses also help mitigate some of the unpredictability that weather brings.  Last year we replaced our four smaller hoop houses with two larger ones, and we are eager to learn the management involved with the bigger growing space these hoop houses provide.  

Sadly, we said our final good-byes to Patty’s Dad, Bob, this winter.  Bob loved being part of the Spring Hill Community and wholeheartedly supported the farm.  He would be pleased to know that the land we began preparing last year will be seeded for monarch butterfly habitat this spring.  The seed mix we will be using contains over 30 different species that provide food and habitat to the monarch butterfly as well as many other native pollinators.  The mix contains such delightful names as Rattlesnake Master, Common Sneezeweed and False Boneset in addition to several critical milkweed varieties.  Bob would also be thrilled to know that a patch near the beehives is being planted with a honeybee mix providing his beloved bees with pollen and nectar throughout the spring, summer and fall.

As is true most years, we will likely have a few shares available after returning members have signed up for the season.  Please feel free to refer Spring Hill to your friends, family and coworkers.

We are looking forward to seeing you again this summer!

Warmly,

Mike & Patty

Week #14 Tuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 2019

 In Your Bag:
Cabbage
Winter Squash
(Butternut, Sugar Dumpling)
Celeriac
Yellow & Red onions
Garlic
Yellow Potatoes
Black Radishes
Brussels sprouts
Carrots
Kale
Cutting celery
(great for soups and stews!)

Spring Hill Members,

It’s the last week of vegetable deliveries this year. The weather this week affirms that it’s time to shift gears. Even so, there is much about the rhythm of the growing season that we will miss. The growing season provides us with an urgent sense of direction and purpose. The list of things to do is clear. It’s often too long, but it’s always clear and direct. Dig carrots, trellis tomatoes, plant radishes. As the days shorten and cooler temps and more darkness settle in, there’s more time for thinking and reflection. One of the things we’ve been thinking about of late is this notion of community and belonging, what that means and how it happens. The farm – the land, all of you, our work together to support it all – has been one of those important places where we feel a strong sense of community. Our shared work is laid out in the farm’s guiding principles: share in the work to create a farm that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable; share the risk and share the bounty; make decisions together; ensure that the size of the farm holds in balance considerations of land, community, and farm viability; work together to nurture a friendly and creative community. It’s a work in progress, surely, but we’re doing it. Together. Thanks to ALL of you for making Spring Hill possible, for signing up to share in the risk and bounty, for sharing in the work of harvesting and packing and vegetable delivery and for supporting us in this year of adjustments. 

A huge thank you from all of us to Spring Hill’s pick-up site hosts, Joe & Colleen Bartels, Jack McGrath &Erin Mohr, Robin Schow & Greg Bernstein, Anne Holzinger, Laura & Paul Morrill, Mary & Michael Vanderford, Beth Franzen, Heather & Brett Struwe, Wendy Fassett & Kevin Mahony & Karen Fassett-Carman, Susan Hoch & Jim Haefemeyer, Helen Torrens & Jeff Haberer. Your generous hospitality is so appreciated. Thank you also to those who plan the events that bring our community together to work and celebrate. Sandra Haff, Karen Melander, Sue Poore, Robin Schow, Helen Torrens, Greg Tromiczak, Polly Vollmar-Heywood, Barb Wright & Marian Wright have all generously given their time and talents to make these events possible. Spring Hill’s Core Group helped guide the farm through a period of transition this past year. Many thanks to the creative and thoughtful minds of Katy Podolinsky, Brenda Beyer, Nancy Dilts, Cathy Dolan, Larry Schmidt, Michelle Grabowski, Wendy Fassett, Jess Fischer, Marilyn Johnson, Bill Karns, Joe Knaeble, Erica Perl and Dan Philippon. Led by Brenda Beyer and guided by Bob Wright, Spring Hill’s bee team of Suzanne Dahl, Janet Peters, Cathy Dolan, Maria Merrigan, Maja Radovanjija tended to Spring Hill’s bees and were sweetly rewarded for their efforts. Once again, Michele Gersich successfully and gracefully handled Spring Hill’s Harvest/Delivery Calendar. Thank you so very much! Kristin Dyrhaug kept us all tastefully supplied with ideas and recipes for cooking up what’s in the bag each week. What a gift!

Many, many thanks to Erin Link who has worked on the farm for three years now. She is an integral part of the farm and we are so very grateful for her work. Thanks as well to Avery Hanson who joined us this season. What a treat! 

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the season on Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Mineapolis, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE for a potluck dinner.

Warmly, Patty & Mike 

P.S. Look for a survey coming to you by e-mail soon. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the season. 

Week #13 Tuesday, October 8– Friday, October 11, 2019

 Farm News

This past week the World Dairy Expo was held in Madison Wisconsin. It’s been a really tough few years for dairy farmers for all the reasons you can imagine. If farmers were looking for hope from our Secretary of Agriculture, they surely left feeling more than disappointed. Many are expressing outrage. What they heard, what we all ultimately heard from Sonny Perdue was “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.” Farmers and farm groups are responding loud and clear. Johanna Rupprecht of Land Stewardship Project had this to say, “The most important thing to remember, of course, is that the message isn’t true. Nothing is inevitable about factory farm dairies. Nothing is inevitable about the current course of U.S. agriculture. We’ve gotten to the point we’re at because of deliberate choices that have not only allowed, but heavily subsidized and supported, the big to get bigger and push out the small.” And Danielle Endvick of WI Farmers Union wrote this: “I sense a fire growing in the belly of the family farmers I meet in my work with Farmers Union. Farmers are weary. But there’s a growing flicker that’s starting to feed a change in the narrative. No more will they be spoon-fed a top-down vision for rural America. Instead, I see a drive for a farmscape where fair prices, local food systems, clean water, and land conservation are at the heart of farm policy.” It’s going to take imagination and creativity and lots of hard work. It’s going to take organizing and pushing hard for a different set of priorities and policies. Farmers can’t do this alone, but working together, we can create change! 

 In Your Bag:

Winter squashbutternut
Yellow Potatoes
Yellow Onions
Carrots
Garlic
Beets
Celeriac
Kohlrabi
Peppers
poblanos (dark green) sweet red & yellow
Brussels sprouts
White Russian Kale
Ethiopian Kale
Celery leaf

Schedule for the End of the Season

NO DELIVERIES OCT. 15th & 18th
Final Bag: Tuesday, Oct. 22/Friday, Oct. 25 

Every other week shares, please check the schedule sent by e-mail: If you are getting a bag THIS week (Oct. 8/11), this is your last bag of the season. Thank you so much for your support this season! If you are NOT scheduled to get a bag this week, your final bag will be delivered on October 22/25. If you have questions, please ask!

Harvest Dinner Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Mark your calendar now for Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm. We’ll gather and celebrate with a potluck dinner at Cabrini Church in Minneapolis, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE, 55414 

 Harvesters for October 22 and October 25

Tuesday, October 22 – Kathleen Sullivan/Mark Ambroe, Peggy Rader, Peggy Steif Abram Dan Barras and Candace Malisow, Heather & Brett Struwe, Mark Werley

Friday, October 25 – Lynn Cibuzar, Aurelia Wills, Pat Jones/Allen Gibas, David & Alice Musielewicz & Pam Morgan, Wendy Fassett