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Community Supported Agriculture - Andrews Family Farm Orientation

CSA farmhands at Andrews Family Farm.
CSA farmhands at Andrews Family Farm.

Andrews Family Farm in Boulder County.
Ellen Mahoney

Although there was plenty of snow covering Boulder, Colorado on Thursday, April 29 and a low of 29-degrees - by afternoon the sun had come out and the snow had disappeared into needed moisture for local farms.

It was day one for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Andrews Family Farm that started in 2007 and is owned by Rich and Elaine Andrews.  The farm, located in East Boulder County, and has about six acres and grows a wide assortment of organic fruits, vegetables, hops and herbs.  It is as beautiful as it is bountiful.

Earlier in April, Elaine had emailed everyone in the Thursday afternoon working group to meet at her home for a one-hour orientation meeting and a trek around the fields to see what had already sprouted.

Elaine prepared herb teas and other edible foodstuffs including 10-inch asparagus from one of her fields.  People remarked at how delicious the asparagus was and how hearty it looked.  Elaine told the group about Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that talked about early appearing asparagus.

Carol walked into the meeting holding what looked like an ornate cake, but was actually an oyster mushroom she had cultivated.  She placed the mushroom on the table and we all marveled that it looked a bit like a tuba.

Once the meeting began Elaine passed out an overview for everyone that covered farming practices, goals for the season, what to bring, organizing the work, organizing your share, calendar and record keeping, safety considerations, plant health and produce quality, food safety and communication.  The beginning of the piece talked about the farm and said, “We are in our 4th season with the hope of living more independently and sustainably and supporting the relocalization movement.  The business plan has changed over time from growing peppers and fruit for farmers’ markets to providing locally grown vegetables for the community through the CSA as well as raising hops and herbs for wholesale markets.”

A CSA work slip was stapled to this written overview.  These slips indicate what tasks are done and what is harvested for that day. 

Elaine asked us to choose a colorful woven basket we liked for taking home our produce.  She had a huge stack of baskets in front of her fireplace.

After the meeting we walked out into the fields and took a look at the veggies such as arugula, spinach, lettuce, and garlic that were already beginning to show green. 

A hawk flew overhead and a white and brown horse stood gazing at us in a nearby field.



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