Thursday, May 26, 2011

For New Customers

Welcome to Foothill Farm

We have been farming this soil for 20 years.  It was organic from the first day, 10 years before the Government decided to make rules and regulations for organic.

Our farm practices
We were the first registered organic grower in Santa Clara County.  We do not use pesticides or herbicides.  We make compost and buy organic compost from Zbest.   Our farm inputs include endomycorrhizae, remineralization both with greensand and fines from Santa Clara Valley, blood meal, bone meal, dolomite lime,  Organic Sul-po-mag, fish emulsion, kelp, and feather meal.  We have no employees.  We have occasional help from friends or relatives, our adult children and their friends.  This our family farm.  Our children were raised here, my brother lives next door and is raising his children here.

Traveling Chicken House
We also raise free range laying chickens and support a colony of feral cats.  And yes, we treat them all with kindness.

Seeds and Plants
Our seeds come from all over the world.  Most of the folks we buy seeds from are like minded and farm in the same conscientious way that we do.  We also raise and save our own seed.  Most of what we grow you won't find in a store and often not even at the farmer's market.

Heirloom Tomatoes
Every year we conduct trials to test old and new vegetables and farm practices.  We are running concurrent field trials of upland rice, rare tomato varieties,  kenaf, Italian heirloom dry beans and a new corn for polenta/baking.  We are also collecting wood char for an experiment with terra preta, a form of carbon sequestering.  In 2011 an onion trial to develop an onion suitable for San Martin.  In 2012 we worked on a carrot and melon trial.  What's new for 2013?  New types of beans, garbanzos, and black-eyed peas - Cicers and Vignas.  Although you won't taste these this year, you will in future years.

We cooperate with other farmers, sharing research and trading seeds.  We also share information with the USDA and the Istituto di Genetica Vegetale in Bari, Italy.  We help other farmers by offering their products to our CSA.  In 2012 we worked with Oils of Paicines to bring organic olive oil to our customers.  For 2013 we have asked a small farmer in Alaska to make soap for us.

We deliver in Morgan Hill at People and Planet on Mondays and door to door in Morgan Hill and at the Santa Clara Valley Water District on Wednesdays (this drop is ONLY for District employees).  New this year:  Poolside in San Jose on Wednesdays (this drop off is only for Presentation High School).  During the spring boxes may be delivered every other week, and in the summer, every week.  We are limited to 20 families. 

The cost per box is $35.  There is a $30 NON-REFUNDABLE fee to sign-up.  You can quit anytime, as long as you give us a week's notice.  You can go on vacation and not pay for your box, as long as you notify me a week in advance.  You can also cancel your box on Sonday of any week or skip a box, if you have too much produce.  However, if you forget to tell notify us, you will be charged for the box.  If you have an emergency such as a sick child or you can't make it to pick-up your box, notify us by e-mail the morning of your delivery by 9:00 a.m.  We will cancel your box at no charge.  Once we pick for you, the box is yours and you will be charged.

You can specify allergies or dislikes of vegetables or other items and we will not put them in your box.

The boxes are packed for a family of four.  If you are a vegetarian, you will find that you will run out of produce before the week is out.  If you are an omnivore, pretty much you should have plenty of veges.  You can specify no eggs.  Eggs are up to the chickens, but normally you will get eggs once a month

If you do not cook, you will not like our CSA.  We provide a wide diversity of food, best suited to those who like to experiment and try new things, or old things.

We try to provide interesting products to our subscribers at no charge.  We make bread or baked goods, jam, juice, salsa, pickles, dried vegetables and fruits.  These are prepared in our own kitchen with supplies from our own farm and neighboring farmers.  Please return the jars when they are empty in your box/bag.  We recycle everything, again and again and again.  Questions about ingredients or recipes are always welcome.

Seasonality and Timing
Sign-ups are generally in January.  That is when the seeds for summer crops are started.  It happens that sometimes folks drop out and there is a place open mid-season.  The main season is Memorial Day through Thanksgiving (May-November).  Some years we start as early as April and end in December.  All farming is weather dependent.  The fall season runs from December through March.  There are only 5 spots for the fall season, as much of the farm is resting and so are we.   We work 7 days a week through the season.  There are no tomatoes in May and there is no lettuce in July.  The boxes change with the season.  The above photo of the box was taken in September, at the height of the harvest season.

Boxes and Bags
We assign 2 bags or 2 boxes per customer.  You must return one when you pick up the next one.  For example if you pick up a bag on June 2, when you come to pick up your next delivery on June 16, we expect you to turn in a bag.  Likewise at the end of the season, we expect you to turn in all bags.  If you do not want to be bothered with this, please provide your own bags.  If you have 2 bags or boxes out, your next delivery will be packed in whatever I can find to pack them in.  If you don't return the bags/boxes you will be charged $25 each for them.

Choices Choices Choices
1.  Once a week box $35.00 - Packed for a family of 4 - $140 a month.
Note that some months have 5 weeks!
2.  Once a week bag $25.00 - Packed for a family of 2. - $100 a month.
 Note that some months have 5 weeks!
3.  Box every other week $35.00. - $70 a month
4.  Bag every other week $25.00. - $50 a month

To simplify bookkeeping, I'd like you all to pay by the month, due at
the beginning of the month, with your first delivery.  Please put your
payment in your box or mail it to me.

We will start up in April and go through September.  If you suddenly find you have a change of circumstances and are not able to pay, please let us know.  We'll work it out.

The farm is always closed for 4th of July.  We donate all produce to the food bank that week.  As many folks are on vacation that week, it just seems to work out.  If you need extra produce for an event or holiday gathering, let us know and we'll see what we can do. 

Visiting the Farm
Please call or e-mail ahead.  Never on a Wednesday or Thursday as we are busy picking.  Fridays are the best day to visit.  Please no pets and wear sturdy shoes.  This has been a farm for over 100 years and the archeological evidence has turned up shards of glass, nails, chess pieces, hinges, bolts, bones, etc.  None of which are pleasant to find with your feet.  (So far there has been no gold, diamonds, or treasure beyond the beauty of the earth and growing things).

See May 31, 2010 for the general info on becoming an intern.  Want to spend a day as a farmer, learn how to can?  It can be arranged. 

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