We had a nice time visiting with folks at our open house. Even better, though, we got our potatoes planted for the year! We planted over 1,000 pieces of seed potatoes, in 840 linear feet of furrows. Thanks to everyone who helped!
A short biography of Big Leaf Farm. I thought a little information might be useful to readers of this newsletter, especially members who are new this year. Throughout the year I try to conjure up images of the farm for those who are preparing our veggies with their meals, and I thought this might provide a point of reference, especially for those who aren’t able to visit the farm throughout the season.
Big Leaf Farm is owned and operated by me (Chris) and my wife, Sara. I work full time on the farm, and Sara has a full time job with a non-profit environmental organization. We bought the farm in the spring of 2008 and started producing vegetable for our CSA members in the spring of 2009, making this our fourth growing season. We have 58 members this year, and produce the equivalent of 70 small shares. About 60% of our members pick up their produce in SE Portland, the other 40% will come to the farm each week throughout the season. Most of our members are returning from last year (34), and we welcome 19 new members in 2011. We have room on our farm to grow for many more CSA members, and are currently keeping the CSA relatively small to gain experience in growing the best produce possible on our soil and in our climate using organic methods.
The farm itself sits on land that was first homesteaded by Philip Foster (one of the builders of the Barlow Road leg of the Oregon Trail) starting in 1847. Philip Foster once had a lumber mill, gristmill, orchards, a house and a store nearby. The original 640 acres that Foster owned has long been subdivided into smaller farms like our own 14 acre parcel. Our land is mostly fields (9 acres) with 5 acres of mainly Douglas-fir woodland, and it sits on fertile valley bottom soil. Right now we are cultivating about 2 acres of the 7 that are available to us, but that keeps us plenty busy! Because we are relatively small, most of our work is done with simple hand tools, the main exception to this being the tractor that we use to till the ground and prepare beds for planting.
We’re looking forward to building on the skills we’ve learned over the past few years and providing you with fresh, healthy, tasty veggies through the spring, summer, fall, and early winter. You can help us learn even more by letting us know if you ever receive an item that doesn’t meet your expectations. The quality, nutrition, and tastiness of our produce are our highest priorities, and we hope to keep improving for many years to come. Have a great week and enjoy your veggies!