March 21, 2010


Spring is officially here, and the farm is coming alive again. We have finished cleaning the strawberry plants, planted the onions and leeks and divided our heirloom “Hoss Morgan” garlic. The greenhouse is ready to accept trays of seeds, starting in early April. The trick is to plant the seeds at the right time to have the transplants ready at the right time to have the veggies ready at the right time to put into your CSA farm boxes. Whew! We have to take the number of days to maturity and count backwards to determine the planting date, then hope that the weather cooperates.

Speaking of weather, one thing that you will get as a member of a CSA is a new appreciation for the weather. Farmers depend on a detailed forecast so we can determine how much time we have before the rain gets here, or if we can get the row covers on the strawberries before the cold hits. Also if it will be too windy to do the job; row covers in the wind are like sails, and can send one flying before the sand bag anchors are in place. Yes, we really do cover all 6 acres of strawberries with fabric. Then, if it gets cold enough, we use overhead irrigation to make ice and hopefully save the blooms. It seems strange, but the act of water freezing releases heat. If it gets really cold, the ice over the row covers forms an igloo. Believe me, this is not accomplished from the comfort of our homes. Nights spent in the ice water are the price paid for those giant earliest strawberries. Obviously, we think it’s worth it.

After speaking with many of you, I am thrilled to know that you have researched CSA’s and have joined Dennison’s Family Farm (DFF) CSA with a sense of intention and commitment. We are honored by your trust in us. Education has always been a focus of our farm; with this first newsletter I have tried to tell you something that you might not have been aware of about how your food is grown and how our farm is run. If you didn’t care about that, you would be eating just any old food. We always welcome your comments and questions. Please send us your favorite recipes for inclusion on our website.

We thank all of you who have sent in your deposit or paid in full for the year. For the rest of you, it’s not too late; please print out a membership form or just send in your deposit check of $100. It’s not the money I’m concerned about (I know you are honest), but how many of those seed trays to plant. Most of our charter members have signed up again already and many new folks have joined us, too. This is really exciting, especially considering that last year (our first) at this time we had 0 members! So please tell your friends about us. To our new members who may not know what to expect, I can honestly say that I think you are in for a pleasant surprise and lots of good eating!

Wayve Dennison

Dennison's Family Farm | (931) 937-8162 | 98 Milner Switch Rd | Elora, TN 37328 | info@dennisonsfarm.com

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