Friday, December 18, 2015

2016 Shares Are Available, Early Birds!

Joe spreading winter rye seed, a cover crop that will help build the soil, 2015
While we're mostly done with manual labor in 2015, we're already looking forward to 2016, which will be our 5th year as a farm, and our 3rd in Winfield. We've been investing a lot of time, sweat, and money into improving the land here, and we hope it's showing up in the CSA shares. Behind the scenes, we're starting to think about which varieties of crops we'll be planting next year and how we might adjust our methods and plans; and it won't be long before we're placing those seed orders and completing the farm map for 2016. My oh my, how the time flies.

Covering established strawberry plants with straw, November 2015
We do have big plans for this upcoming season, and we'd love for all of you to be a part of it. We're making a concerted effort to have more fruit (because, really, who doesn't love fruit?), including the installation of perennial fruit trees/bushes. Also, in addition to plans for ensuring a better melon yield, you can expect a better mulberry harvest, strawberries (from the crop we planted last year), and the reintroduction of ground cherries. Mushroom production is also on the list of potentials, as is significantly increasing our shelly bean production (shelly beans, abound!) We're constantly looking to add more perennial herbs and vegetables, and are planning to expand flower production by quite a bit (the bees will thank us). And that's not all! We have a couple of other ideas up our sleeve that we'll announce at a future date. Carolyn is chomping at the bit to share, but we're pulling on her reigns.

Week 17 CSA share, 2015
If you sign up by January 15th, you'll lock in our early-bird price, y'all! Early sign up helps us secure the funds to buy seeds, supplies, and infrastructure improvements that'll make next season even better than the last! That being said, we understand that a CSA share is a large financial commitment for many, and December is an especially tough time to be shelling out money. So, as always, we try to lessen the burden by offering multiple payment options and payment plans. You can learn more about our CSA shares in general, including payment plans, here. Your early support is really the motor that drives Three Plaid (and CSA in general), and we couldn't do it without you. Snag a share here!

Songbirds take flight in Mint Creek pasture
Lastly, as some of you know, we have a pretty close relationship with Mint Creek Farm--a sustainable, pasture-based livestock operation near Kankakee. We've worked for them over the past few years, love them like family, and believe in what they do, so we're happy to expand offerings of an optional add-on for our members. While we're still working out participating drop spots, we are happy to announce that a wider array of meat and egg CSA options (monthly and weekly, fresh or frozen) will be available this year. Click here to learn more!

Please don't hesitate to email us with any questions. And snag an early bird share while the gettin's good! We'd love to grow for you.