2017 CSA Shares now Available

Dear Upinngil Patron,

  Looking back to last year, in our CSA Newsletter from mid-March 2016, you can read about the sweet sound of spring peepers, the end of maple sugaring, and green pastures. This year, now late March, we have no sign of peepers, snow on the frozen ground, and we’re still collecting sap! What a difference a year makes. It’s what makes farming so interesting and challenging, the ever-changing transitions from one season to the next.
 Fortunately we have our Hoop House which has been performing better than ever, thanks to detailed soil amendments we made last fall, and careful management by salad mix guru Simon Eaton. We were harvesting twice a week in March until that cold weather returned, and it looks like we’ll be able to return to twice a week harvest next week. In the mean time, we always plan to harvest salad mix at least once a week, getting it washed and bagged into the Farm Store by 1pm on Tuesdays. This weekend we’re buying bagged spinach to fill the gap until we can return to twice a week harvests.
 Looking forward to the Spring which always does arrive, even if late, we have our 2017 CSA Shares available for purchase in the Farm Store.

 Also this weekend, our all-star cow Tidbit, top perform and boss of the herd, is due to calf. If you want to come visit that calf, as soon as it’s born, follow our twitter feed which can be found on the home page of the Upinngil website (www.upinngil.com).
 We are still collecting and boiling sap, the Maple Sugaring season continues. This we week bottled the first of this year’s Maple Syrup and you can find it in the Farm Store this weekend. We are a small sugaring operation with a little less than 200 taps, and in a good year we produce somewhere between 30 and 40 gallons. We sell about three times that amount in our Store throughout the year, thanks to our local supplier Round Mountain Farm in Northfields, MA. Our own Upinngil Maple Syrup, bottled in glass, usually sells out by mid year, so come and get it while you can!
2017 CSA Shares Available for Purchase:
Over the years we’ve had customers use CSA shares in many unique ways. Some people purchase them as gifts for other people: wedding gifts, birthday presents, house warming gifts for new residents of the Pioneer Valley. Other people maximize their strawberry picking by purchasing a CSA share with it’s 20% discount on produce and applying it to hundreds of dollars with of berries for freezing and jam. But most people become regulars, getting a taste of every part of the season, from the pick-your-own peas in the spring to the pick-your-own raspberries in the Fall. We love you all!
Attached to this email you’ll find a sign-up sheet for your CSA share.
Our CSA program has become a vital part of our diverse farm, providing just enough extra income to pull us through the winter months and rev-up for the growing season. This extra income helps us buy our seed for the coming year, make improvements to equipment, and most importantly it helps make it possible for us keep our team intact through the winter months. Thank you! Here are this year’s CSA highlights:
  • A swipe-able Upinngil card: When you purchase your CSA share you will receive a card with your balance loaded on the card. Simply pick out your produce, bring it to the check-out kiosk, enter your items, and swipe your card. Your transaction will be automatically recorded and your remaining balance will be displayed.
  • Flexible buy-in options: Rather than a fixed CSA share amounts, when you purchase your share this winter you can select an amount that best suits your budget and family size starting at $200 (see chart attached for some recommended share sizes).
  • 20% Discount: No matter what amount you decide to load on your Upinngil CSA card you will receive a 20% discount in exchange for your early commitment and deposit.
  • More Produce: Every year we continue to improve our growing methods to provide a consistent offering of quality seasonal produce on the Farm Stand. And we continue to build relationships with other small local growers to provide more variety and greater consistency.
  • SNAP Benefits CSA Share: For the first time, in collaboration with the new Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), Upinngil will be offering a CSA Share option for individuals and families receive SNAP benefits. See attached flyer from HIP for more details.
  • Visit www.upingil.com to find the CSA brochure and sign-up form

Now Hiring:
Do you know a young person looking for something to do in June? We are currently accepting applications for our Strawberry Picking Crew. We typically hire between 5 – 8 high school or college students for the three week strawberry season, and the two who prove themselves will stay on for the whole summer.  See attached job description and application.

What to Look Forward to:
  Our tomatoes are started in pots, this year by Elaine Morley of Couch Brook Farm, a lucky decision this year as we’ve had such a cold March. Elaine’s heated greenhouses will give our tomatoes the best start.  The sugar snap peas will go in the ground in the next week or two! Keep an eye out in the Farm Store for Upinngil’s Pig Share flyer for 2017.

Please don’t hesitate to email or call with questions.  Throughout the week we post breaking news on the right hand side of the website: the latest baked goods fresh out of the oven or salad mix fresh out of the Hoop House.

We look forward to seeing you in the coming week,

The Upinngil Crew

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