Monday, May 3, 2010

Prairie Orchard Farm Opens Up Farm Shares

This is the newest newsletter from Prairie Orchard Farm. They have opened up their Friends of Prairie Orchard Farm Shares for anyone interested in owning a season of their farm. I won't go into much detail because the newsletter speaks for itself. All I want to say is that it is great to support Manitoba's local farmers whether you purchase your meat and dairy from farmers, buy from businesses that sell local, attend the farmers markets, or purchase into a farm like this. Without further ado here's the newsletter:

"Friends of the Prairie Orchard

Here are the details of the farm share/CSA option you are anxiously and patiently waiting for! There is also important information about the U-Pick.

What is a farm share (CSA)?
A farm share is an arrangement where we grow food and you eat it. This arrangement is called a farm share because you are required to make a commitment to us by paying in advance for produce that you will receive throughout the upcoming growing season. In exchange our commitment to you is to grow nutritious food that is not produced from genetically modified seeds or grown using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Together we share in the risks and rewards of gardening, i.e., weather, insects, wildlife and bumper crops.

How will the farm share work on our farm?
Currently, our fruit and vegetable farm is approximately 9 acres (4 fenced and 5 not fenced). We have divided this area into plots which will be designated for a number of purposes. For example, a portion of these plots will strictly be for our farm share gardens. Other plots will be for U-Pick gardens, fruit trees or future seed supply.

Limited farm shares: This is our first year and we know there will be a lot to learn. Therefore we are limiting the number of shares we will be offering. Limiting the number of shares will allow us to focus on providing you with the best produce and service that we can.

Cost of a farm share: A share will cost $250.00 and produce will be provided for a 10 week period (12 weeks if the growing season allows for it).

Payment: Full payment is due May 28, 2010. Early receipt of payment would be appreciated as it would help ensure that all of the people who are committed to purchasing a farm share are given the opportunity to do so.

Priority: Those of you who have already expressed an interest in the farm share option have been placed on a priority list. Priority has been assigned based on the order we received your emails or telephone calls. However, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible to confirm your intention to purchase your share for this growing season. All new interest will be prioritized accordingly.

Amount of produce: On average you will receive approximately 5-10 items per week. Of course this will be dependent upon the growing season and yields. All produce from the designated farm share gardens will be distributed in the weekly shares.

Drop off locations: We are currently making arrangements for drop off locations in Winnipeg, Morris and Lowe Farm. Drop off locations in Winnipeg will be made according to where the majority of our members live or work. As soon as we know where everyone is located we can start “organizing” our delivery strategy!

Door-to-door delivery: Direct delivery will be an option for an additional cost which will be dependent upon your location.

Purchasing additional produce: Additional produce can be purchased from designated U-Pick gardens (if available) and delivered with your weekly share. Please call us in advance with your request. (Please note: additional produce cannot be purchased from the gardens designated for farm shares. Additional produce can only be purchased from U-Pick gardens and dependent upon availability).

What about the U-Pick?
You will receive a weekly email informing you of the in-season items. Picking will be done on a first come first serve basis. An additional email will be sent to inform you when picking has been completed for that week. Calling ahead to ensure produce is available and to book a picking time will reduce disappointment.

So far the seedlings are looking great! We have tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, onions, leeks, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugala, fennel, cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelon seedlings. Some carrots, beets, radishes, spinach, swiss chard and potatoes have been seeded outside. The rhubarb has emerged. The strawberry plants survived the winter. Most of the fruit trees are budding. Some raspberry bushes have been transplanted. The windows have been placed in our first building and gravel has been brought in to set our
new (used) green house on.

As usual, we can’t wait to hear from you, so write to us at
Thanks again for your interest, support and patience!

Eric Gluck and Jodi Griffith
Box 37, Lowe Farm, Manitoba R0G 1E0"

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