May 13 2014

growth!

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it’s a busy, busy time here at the farm! winter weather has FINALLY (dare we say it?) left the region, and even nights that get chilly don’t go deep below freezing now…we hope!
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we finally got the floor poured for our new washroom in the lower part of our barn! i plan on doing a more detailed post about it later this week, but for now, just know that we are so excited to have a cool clean place to have a walk in cooler, our freezer and fridge, washroom and storage area for the farm. Brad and Andy Jacobs did an incredible job with the masonry and we’d recommend them to anyone who could use their services.
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we’ve brought many of our plants out of the greenhouse to be hardened off for planting, and many more have been planted and direct seeded. we are about a week behind for the season and we’ve decided to push back our CSA distribution date back one week to begin June 4th. we’ve heard from many other farmers in the area that the long winter weather conditions has forced their schedules behind as well.
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we have already processed two batches of fresh whole chickens this season and will try to process for parts this week depending on the size of the birds. we are really liking the hatchery for our broilers this year- the birds are much hardier as little chicks and are growing beautifully once they are out on pasture.
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our new hens are sizing up quite nicely as well! we hope they start laying in late June as our original flock is beginning to age out of being prolific layers. we have the new set of hens in their pasture next to our original flock and the roosters are VERY interested in them…we’re waiting a few more weeks before we formally introduce two of the roosters into the flock, although one has gotten himself in there more than once.
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if you are one of our market customers, we are looking forward to seeing you at Canandaigua, Brighton and the new Pittsford farmers market this season! If you joined our CSA, THANK YOU. we are truly enjoying growing your food right now. if you are still interested in joining our CSA, we still have room for more members! please let us know ASAP! thanks so much!


Apr 21 2014

CSA Information Nights!

we are pleased to announce three information evenings over the next two weeks:

please join us to talk about the farm! we’d love to give you an idea why we decided to become local farmers, and what being certified organic and sustainable means. we’ll give information about our different CSA shares as well as have sign ups available for you. we accept major credit cards, checks and even cash!

Tuesday, April 22nd (Earth Day!) at Victor Central Schools at 6pm:
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Wednesday, April 30th here at the Farm (1089 County Road 28) at 7pm:
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and
Thursday, May 1st at Riddle Chiropractic 555 North Winton Road at 7pm:
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Apr 15 2014

tax day, hooray!

it’s tax day! johnny used to always say every quarter “i’m a lucky man to have to pay taxes. when i was a kid in Brooklyn during the depression i used to collect rags with my cousin eddie to sell for a few cents.”
IMG_5975 (here they are all grown up on Ed’s wedding day)

he went on to do a lot of different things in his life, but nothing brought him greater joy than being a member of the FDNY. he loved being a public servant and was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a (then) brotherhood who cared for him well after his retirement in 1973. he was so proud of the men he worked with, and we were so grateful for their support after he died.
IMG_0681 (the three of us on our wedding day)

we miss you, johnny. we wish you were here with us today to toast paying taxes and all the people and services they support. in honor of him, we extend our thanks to all of you who pay your taxes, and all of you who serve the public- teachers, first responders, health care workers, municipal, state and federal employees, grant writers and the countless others who receive some compensation from our tax dollars. thank you.


Mar 31 2014

CSA Membership Update!

snowy chickens

just a quick update from our snowy, muddy farm– we originally had April 1st as our cut off date for CSA Share sign ups, but we understand that the extended winter weather isn’t exactly INSPIRING thoughts of green pastures and fresh crispy salads. yet. so, while we have had quite a bit of interest, and a good response for share sign ups (thank you!), we haven’t quite met our goal for the season. we’re extending the sign up date until May 1st to give anyone who still wants to be a part of our certified organic CSA the time to join us!

This season we are offering 4 share options:
Vegetable Share (7-10 items a week) for 24 weeks from May 28 to November 5th for $625
Juicing Add-On Share (3-4 bunches of greens & other unique juicing items) for the same 24 weeks for an additional $275
Whole Frozen Chicken Share 12 chickens (around 4lbs per bird) every other week beginning in June for $252
Egg Share One Dozen Eggs per week for 16 weeks beginning in July for $84.

and remember! We have weekly pickup every Wednesday here at the farm or on North Winton Road in the City of Rochester from 4-7pm.

we’d love to have 40 members this season, so if you are interested, please let us know ASAP! you can download a copy of our member contract here: Member Agreement for 2014 and as a reminder, you can see what crops we expect to harvest as we set up our planting schedules for the greenhouse: Lakestone Family Farm Expected Crops 2014 Season

thanks so much for your support!


Mar 26 2014

What’s In A Share?

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So, we’ve received a lot of questions about what to expect in your share if you join our CSA. “How much produce is it? will it be enough to feed my family of four? will it be too much for us if we are just a couple?” “Can we buy a half share?”

We are planning on distributing about two bags of produce each week. We don’t want to overwhelm anyone with more food than they think they can eat, but we also want you to receive the value that you’ve paid for!

After much consideration and discussion with other CSA farmers and shareholders, we decided to offer full shares this year, as well as a juicing add on which includes 3-4 additional bunches of greens every week. Of course, you are more than welcome to split your share with anyone as you see fit. In our experience, half shares can be tricky depending on what’s been harvested that morning- do we “halve” the content of a box- giving you a half of a bunch of greens, 2 potatoes instead of 4, 3 carrots instead of 6, etc. or do we take a “full share” and divide it’s contents by “value.” we’ve known farms that try and accommodate their members with both options and oftentimes people still end up unhappy with what they receive. since this is our first year running a CSA, we decided to keep our shares as is, and not overwhelm anyone with food that no one wants to waste.

However, being former share members ourselves, we know how much of a challenge it can be to transition into a CSA style way of eating. (what do i DO with kohlrabi!) Eating pre-chosen, in season food every week is delicious but ambitious! (why so much kale? WHYYYY??) And even if our best intention is to follow the USDA guide of filling half of our plates with vegetables at every meal, we are living a busy life of working full time and raising three kids, so we definitely try to prepare simple, family friendly meals every day.

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Our goal is to provide shareholders with a variety of recipes and ideas on how to do what we do- sometimes, make something fancy with your food! but more often, prepare your produce to be easily made and enjoyed by your family. We will have a weekly post on our recipe page that will list everything in your share and different ways to prepare it- both with links to recipes as well as some of our family favorites. eventually as we go along this season i hope to have a page that will list each vegetable as they come up with a picture and a link to specific recipes. we’d love it if you send along your favorite recipes as well!

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Another comment we’ve heard from interested people is “I’ve been in a CSA before! I didn’t even KNOW what half of the stuff was that I was getting!” and to that we always reply “we don’t grow anything we don’t eat!” and that’s the honest truth- when we started farming, it was a natural extension of what we had already been gardening for ourselves for years. we really only grow foods that we all enjoy eating. many of the crops we do grow are specialized varieties of foods you are already familiar with- oftentimes they are heirloom varieties or rarer versions of existing vegetables, like radishes or lettuces.

the following is a chart that details what we expect to be harvesting and when:
Lakestone Family Farm Expected Crops 2014 Season

hopefully this answers the question of what to expect in a share! keep the questions coming- we love to answer them!


Mar 16 2014

ask us about the farm!

have questions about organic farming? it’s more than just some weird, elitist label, we promise!

peppers and eggplant

we’ve gotten a few questions so far- like what makes certified organic farming different from other farming methods? and what does it mean to be “certified organic” versus “natural” or “local” or “small”? what are GMO’s and why should you care? what do our chickens eat? why aren’t our chickens eating “vegetarian?” why does it seem like organic food is SO much more expensive than regular food?

ask us! we’d love to answer your questions! we are going to take a question every few days and post a response here and to https://www.facebook.com/lakestonefamilyfarm .

thanks!


Jan 31 2014

CSA News!

Welcome to Lakestone Family Farm!

We are pleased to announce that we are starting a limited number

of CSA shares for our growing season in 2014!

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What is a CSA?

CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” – simply put, a farm grows a set number of shares of produce, etc that are pre-purchased for the following growing season. You get a week’s worth of fresh, local produce from us to enjoy every week. members will receive 7-10 items from the garden based on what is ready for harvest. Here is a list of all of the items we grew last year and when they were harvested, to give you a sense of what you should expect.

 

Our farm is certified organic through NOFA-NY certified organic llc – we don’t use any pesticides or treatments that aren’t OMRI approved- and as a result, sometimes you may see a nibble here or there from a bug or a critter. We do our very best to use natural and sustainable methods to reduce insect and animal pressure on the garden throughout the year. we are committed to reducing the amount of chemicals that go into our earth and to increase sustainable growing practices at Lakestone Family Farm.

 

produce shares will begin the week of May 25th 2014 and will run 24 weeks until November. Pickup will be either at the farm or at a location in Rochester near Winton and Browncroft on Wednesdays from 4-7pm. We will offer a limited number of weekly egg shares at $5.25 a dozen for 16 weeks starting in July as well as a share of 12 whole frozen chickens for $5.25 a lb every other week starting in June. For those of you who make juices and smoothies, we are also offering a juicing add-on to your vegetable share for 24 weeks for $275. please check our contract for further information.

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A seasonal membership will cost $625 for 24 weeks of produce, and we will accept a (non-refundable) 50% deposit at any time with payment in full by April 1st. If shares are still available after April 1st we will require a full payment with your signed contract.

If you would prefer to pay the full amount by credit card, just call us and we will set that up with you.

If you would like to join the Lakestone Family Farm CSA, please give us a call at 516-314-8209 or drop us an email at lakestonefamilyfarm@gmail.com to reserve your space!

 

You may download the PDF of our Member Agreement for 2014 and return it to us with your deposit check for $325 at your earliest convenience. payment in full is due by April 1st, and memberships will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. we strongly recommend that you call or email us to guarantee your spot!

 

There is no work requirement, however you are welcome to visit and volunteer at the farm at your convenience- just give us a call and we can set up a mutually beneficial time.

 

Want to learn more about CSA’s? localharvest.org is a great resource, with tips and questions answered: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

 

Of course we are always available for your questions as well!

please call Denis at 516-314-8209 or email us at lakestonefamilyfarm@gmail.com for more information!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Jan 22 2014

Help Wanted!

Employment opportunities at Lakestone Family Farm for the 2014 season

 

JOB DESCRIPTION:

We are looking for motivated self-starters who are interested in the success of the local food movement in the Finger Lakes area of New York.  Applicants must be fit and able to lift fifty pounds repeatedly. Farm laborers will assist in all aspects of Lakestone Family Farm’s production.  Tasks will include but are not limited to:

VEGETABLES: seeding in the greenhouse, weeding, transplanting, watering and irrigation, harvesting, washing and packing vegetables for CSA shares and for market and cleaning and maintaining washing and distribution areas.

CHICKENS: maintaining egg flocks including collecting eggs, feeding, watering, changing bedding, washing eggs and maintaining perimeter fencing.  Meat bird production to include care of new chicks, daily movement on pasture, feeding, watering, harvest, packaging and cleaning processing area and supplies.

 

AVAILABILITY

Interested applicants need to be available from April through November. If you are a student arrangements may be made as more help is needed in the summer months. Most positions will be full time averaging five 7 to 9 hour days per week, with fewer hours in the spring and fall, and more hours during long summer days. There are limited part time opportunities available.

 

COMPENSATION

We are offering $10 per hour to qualified applicants as well as vegetables as they are available throughout the season.

 

TO APPLY

On farm experience is a plus but not necessary.  Please send a cover letter explaining your interest in local organic farming as it pertains to our farm, a resume, and two references to Denis and Patricia Lepel at lakestonefamilyfarm@gmail.com

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