Spring Greetings From Tinicum CSA

Spring greetings from Tinicum CSA! The first seedlings of lettuce, kale, scallions, and swiss chard are beginning to shoulder their way into the world. Soon the greenhouse will be filled with a greater diversity of vegetables eager for transplant outdoors. And the ground is actually dry enough for tilling.

March 2019 is proving to be sunnier than last year, and your farmers are feeling optimistic about the growing season.

Speaking of farmers, I’m happy to be working with Phoenix Byrne this season. Phoenix is from Levittown, PA and has been farming in Bucks County for the last couple of years. Phoenix began their farming career with my friends at Roots to River Farm in Solebury. I met Phoenix there in 2016 during a work exchange between farms and since then we’ve enjoyed talking shop about fun vegetable varieties and farming techniques. Phoenix is excited to continue farming at Tinicum CSA. Phoenix brings a fantastic combination of farm experience and vegetable-enthusiasm to the table and I’m very excited to spend the season working with them. In Phoenix’s words, “this year will be about honing skills, sharpening intuition and further cultivating relationships of depth with the land, plants, and community.”

Your farmers are already busy, working to make this the most abundant year yet!

I am also excited to work with Taylor Quinn who will join us as this year’s Field & Distribution Helper. Taylor also began farming at Roots to River Farm, and even worked with Phoenix at a prior job. The farm crew already feels tight- knit even as we just begin the season. Taylor brings both farming experience and graphic design skills to the table, so you may see some more artistic chalkboards during distributions this season. Taylor is excited about how the farm “is a place that nurtures community relationships through food.”

A Few Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

This winter, I went on a quest to buy an antique tractor. My goal was to acquire a restored 1940s-era Planet Jr. walk-behind tractor. The tractor is antique, but it’s very versatile and can be used with many different attachments. I’d seen other farmers using this tractor with something called “finger weeders” which, as the name implies, can significantly reduce the amount of time spent hand-weeding. The challenge was that this old tractor is highly sought-after, and very hard to find. After an arduous search that included trips to far-flung farms, rambling chats with old timers and even an antique engine show, it ended up being a Craigslist post that did the trick. In early February, Amanda & I found ourselves driving to the Connecticut suburbs to pick up the newly restored Planet Jr. Here is the Plant Jr. with a 3-row finger weeder set-up in the greenhouse.

I’m looking forward to putting it to good use this season.

I’m also excited about the 2019 Pick-Your-Own crops. This year the cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, okra, & thai peppers will be directly behind the flower patch. This means that all of your favorite pick-your-own veggies will be easier to find and faster to pick! You can imagine the new arrangement in this photo of last year’s flower patch.And I’m thrilled to continue offering raspberries, which did quite well last year.

It’s always fun for me to see you all enjoying the farm. It’s especially gratifying to see folks walking out of the field with a pint of cherry tomatoes and a colorful bouquet of flowers. Each week I’m reminded that Tinicum CSA is all about the community coming together to enjoy this farm experience, while taking home a generous helping of healthy vegetables. Here’s to an abundant 2019!