2018 Rolls in Like the Wind!

**This letter was first sent in the new year to all of our past and present customers. We wanted to share it here for all of our future members to read as well!  Thank you for checking in, and please contact us if you have any questions. 


To Our Farm Friends;

[We would be grateful if you took a moment to read this long note – BUT, if you’d rather just skip to the DIggin’ Roots Farm 2018 online CSA sign-up then please don’t forget to come back and read how important you are to us!]

2018 brings some big changes to the farm. Sarah, Wendell and I would like to extend a warm thank you for your support and participation, recently and/or in the past.  I cannot say enough how this farm is a manifestation of the commitment and trust of an entire community of people; people who believe that a different food system is possible. People who care to know where their food comes from. People who value vibrancy, diversity and care, on the plate and on the planet.

By supporting this farm you are honoring the intrinsic wealth in your community, and nurturing the potential for living systems that are both productive and beautiful. Each day, we see our role as stewards here as a gift, and we are grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for eating with us, for fueling us, for giving us a reason to do what we do.

We hope this message finds you well, moving into 2018 and the growing light of day with plentiful hope and peace and warm toes.  Here at Diggin’ Roots this time of year, we start diggin’ into the future, both near and far.  January always shakes us, happily tussled and bleary eyed from the holiday rush, back into a steadily turning compost tumbler of questions and reflections.

This is where it all begins, and ends, each season; with warm fires, a kitchen table littered with lists and brainstorms and seed packets. Spreadsheets spew from the printer. Coffee and tea mugs decorate the house.  Computer monitors open and close like corded clams. Sheep brew lambs. The fields are lush with cover crop, and soggy with rain. The list of winter projects grows with each meeting, and shrinks in feasibility with each passing day. We look at ourselves in the mirror and ask if we are happy with where we are, and are we happy with where we are headed. How do we better steer this big, variable farm creature to balance family and work and play? And self-care? There’s always the need for more of that.

From the 2018 tumbler, we can confidently report that we are, in fact, happy. We are sometimes terrified and exhausted and overwhelmed too. But mostly happy. In the past five years, we’ve managed, with your help, to take this underutilized piece of land and turn it into a veritable organic food factory. The riparian area is flush with newly planted native trees and bushes. Kestrels have taken roost in their boxes. Pasture is established and barns are fixed and emptied and filled. Irrigation lines are buried and water is spread. Greenhouses filled with seedlings moan and shake in driving winds. Flowers volunteer in the margins and bees blanket the fields in their buzz, as intoxicated as we are with Spring.

The birth of the farm was accompanied by the birth of a robust little human that loves his place in the world.  And more than five years later, in April, we’ll be meeting number two, because there is enough good love, and good food, to go around. The farm supports three full-time workers, and hundreds of eaters. Thoughtful local restaurants include us on their menus. We’ve hosted dinners under the moon and danced at weddings under the stars. We’ve made life-long connections with new friends. There have been sunsets from other worlds, and roaming crying coyotes from the shadows.  Our neighbors think we’re kinda crazy, and they are kind and supportive and helpful nonetheless. This is our home. This is where we want to be. This is where we see ourselves in old(er) age. This is where we choose to root. The food is good. The people are good. The sun gives freely and the rain gives more.

Why are we telling you all of this? Because we want each of you to know how important you are to us, and to this farm. Sarah and I try to practice gratitude, each day, for the things that bring us joy. Our good fortune to be here, in this time, with health and wealth of spirit, to have the opportunity to do something as elemental and sincere as growing food, is the thing that we are perhaps most grateful for…aside from one another. We really want you to know this, because we hope that you stay and eat with us well into the future. We hope to grow with you as we continue to make choices in pursuit of greater balance, function, and beauty.

And now, the pitch. But, first we want to say that what comes next does not dilute what came before. Regardless of your eating or financial relationship to the farm in 2018, you are forever part of the farm family and we are here as your food purveyors whenever it makes sense for you and yours.

This year, one of the emerging goals is to re-focus on our local market – to double down on the Silverton/Molalla CSA, fully maximize our restaurant sales, and continue honing our offerings at the farmers’ market. Needless to say, word-of-mouth is the most effective and efficient advertising we could ask for. Relationships are the fuel to this movement, and we depend on you for your feedback, here and in the community. The CSA is a significant and irreplaceable component of our farm model. The early season capital provided by farm members enables the entire operation to grow and improve and thrive. It gives us unparallelled planning perspective and momentum. It is the butter and the bread, but also the wheat and the baker and the oven.



​To incentivize your outreach (and continued participation) we’ve devised a new pricing structure for 2018, which includes the following discounts:

Full Share

$740

Partial Share

$540

Local Discount (Silverton/On-Farm)

  • $20

Returning Customer Discount

  • $20

Early-Bird Discount (by Feb 16th)

  • $15

Total Possible Discounts

  • $55

Referral Credits (per referral)

  • $15

Example Full Share (with Discounts/Credits)

$670

For example, if you were a Silverton full-share member last year, and you use all of the possible 2018 discounts (including one referral), you will save over $20 compared to last year’s price.  The CSA will again run for 22 weeks, from June through November.

Another significant shift for us this year is meat. As many of you know, we’ve been cultivating a flock of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep since we bought the land. We started with two ewes and a ram, and now the flock has grown to more than 30 breeding ewes and one lucky ram. This year is the first year we’ve had a significant number of lamb to process for meat, and we are excited to say that we can now sell by the individual cut. We’ll also have a large amount of ground meat to offer in 1lb packages. Everything is USDA slaughtered, butchered, shrink wrapped and labeled by Mt. Angel Meats.

This is, hands down, the best lamb we’ve ever eaten. We’ve been keeping almost ALL of our animals for breeding over the last four years. Now that we’ll be processing close to 30 animals a year, it is with great pleasure (and relief) that I can say this breed lives up to its reputation as a premium meat animal. It is lean, and mild, and very tender.  The sheep are rotationally grazed on our 35 acres of certified organic pasture, moved every 2-5 days to a new paddock during the Spring, Summer and Fall.  We do not use chemical wormers or antibiotics as part of our husbandry practice.  For more information on our animals and animal husbandry please visit the meat section of our website. For now, we are offering a curated selection of pre-packed and discounted lamb boxes only to 2018 CSA customers.  When signing up for your CSA, if so inclined, please be sure to check that you are interested in learning more about our lamb and pork.

Sign-up Online!

2018 online CSA sign-ups and payments are now live, and can be accessed on our website. We hope that you will explore the website and sign-up now, but of course, if you’d rather talk to a human first, or fill out a paper form, please don’t hesitate to call or email. We are seeking to modernize and streamline the CSA sign-up process, but we do not wish to seem inaccessible! Try as we might in this age, there is nothing truly digital about growing food.

As always, we are available for questions, and we love to talk food. Please be in touch, and let us know if you have any thoughts about the upcoming season. We are dreaming of warmer days, and drooling over seed catalogs. Onions seeds will soon be setting in the greenhouse, and lambs will soon be filling up the barn. There is so much to look forward to, and the 2018 farm train is coming in fast. Please join us for the ride.

Your Farmers, Gratefully,

Conner and Sarah (and Wendell and the tiny womb-dweller)

 

 

 

2016 Fall CSA- spaces available now!

Greetings Farm Friends-

It’s nearly impossible to believe how quickly this season has flown by. It’s been productive, chaotic, rejuvenating, and filled with growth. We feel so fortunate to be farmers and be sharing our farm with all of you.

Last weekend’s farmers market (photo above) was beautiful. The colors of the produce were stunning, the sun was shining, and we just have so much fun visiting with folks on a weekly basis all summer.

Our Fall CSA will be on Tuesdays from 3-6pm with pick-up at someone’s lovely front porch in downtown Silverton. There are only 4 weeks of shares but they will be bountiful and provide you with a hefty supply of some our favorite keepers – potatoes, onions, shallots, and squash. There will also be plenty of roots and greens. This is one of our favorite times of year to enjoy the farm bounty.

Please download and send in the sign-up form. If you shoot us a quick email (info@digginrootsfarm.com) we’ll make sure to hold your spot.

With gratitude,

Sarah & Conner

2016 CSA Sign-Up is here!

Hello Friends-

What a beautiful day to be alive! Life is starting to buzz on the farm. This weekend Wendell and I cleared weeds from the greenhouse and really broke in his little wheelbarrow. Conner stripped siding off an old granary building that we’re working on repurposing. Honey bees were out, piglets were romping, and our very pregnant ewes waddled around the pasture. Almost 90% of our seed orders have arrived and we’re starting our first little seeds today. It’s pretty unbelievable how fast the winter seems to have gone by. It was enough though. Enough down time to feel ready to start it all again.

We’re very excited to have a few new CSA host sites set up. We’re hoping this will be more convenient for folks and allow for easier pick-ups. Our Silverton location has changed and we have expanded to a new location in the Belmont/Mt Tabor neighborhood. Woohoo!

The sign-up process is the same. It’s important to us that our members print out the form and read through the details. We know it may not be the most convenient and may waste some paper but it’s critical that our members understand how CSA works and what our and your responsibilities are.

Check out the photos and rambling below from last season. It’s fun to look back and even more exciting to look ahead!

Sarah & Conner

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2015 Fall CSA

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2015 Spring CSA

Over the summer hump: Melons and kale collide in cool nights and fleeting light. Zucchini remains, the mildew gains, pears ripen to blush while tomatoes slightly refrain. Jimmy Nardellos belong in a pan, with butter or oil, or both, or bacon. Fry until blistered, sweet and smooth, then smother on spuds, Fingerling good. Basil blooms in bees, finds new life in the blender and Kohlrabi is…well…tasty, we promise, on salads, or with dips, yeah we know it looks weird. The Apache red sweet corn flashes some magenta genes, and the Spanish onions cure to a dusty rose sheen. Armenian cucumbers swell with the last full summer moon, and we are full too, with love, and friends, and food. We embrace this time of year, as the sun loosens its blazing grip, sweetly slips into seeds, nesting and thrift. One hand grasps a waning summer, while our feet dance on beans, threshing power from the season. With good reason. #fortheloveoffood #digginrootsfarm #overthehump

 

 

 

Autumn Harvests: Fall CSA

It’s been a quiet season here on the blog but certainly not on the farm! This season has been as busy as usual with more helping hands and animals than ever before. We doubled our regular season CSA and the Silverton Farmer’s Market exploded with new customers. It’s been amazing and invigorating. While we’re looking forward to things slowing down, we’ll miss our weekly excuse to get off the farm and interact with everyone. Saturday October 10th is the last day of market and Tuesday October 13th is the last regular season CSA but there is still so much food in the field!

Join us for our Fall CSA for 6 weeks on Tuesdays from October 20 – November 24th. This will only be available for pick-up in Silverton. Shares will be bountiful and include carrots, beets, kale, chard, chicory, celeriac, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, onions, potatoes, shallots, cilantro, kohlrabi, spinach, and lettuce. I’m sure I’ve left a number of things off that list as well. The size will be great for a family of four vegetable eaters but many of the items will store very well. You can always find someone to split it with if you’d like. Cost is $200.

Please send us an email if you’d like to sign-up! There is limited space available.

The Beginning of a New Season

Greetings Friends-

It has been too long since we’ve sat down to write a word or two. That’s what happens when you get swept up in a website redesign, spring planting, and the ease of posting to Instagram. We hope you’re following our journey through images, but it can’t always take the place of a thoughtful note. The winter season came and went in a flash. Eleven lambs have been born, our application for organic certification has been submitted, our website redesigned (!), and many many seeds have been sown.

We’re branching out a bit more this year with double the CSA members and new drop sites in downtown Silverton and SE Portland. We’ve added our market share and will be bringing local organic goodies from Hummingbird Wholesale to our Silverton Farmer’s Market booth. Speaking of the market- it starts this Saturday the 9th! We relished in our last Saturday of calm before jumping into this season but we are SO excited to be getting our good food off the farm and into the community.

We’ll be bringing butter lettuce, cilantro, leeks, kale, chard, and more. Come snag some local freshness, learn about the CSA, and venture out of hibernation. We look forward to reconnecting!

Sarah, Conner, and Wendell

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Organic spring kale and chard

 

New Year, New Happenings

Greetings!

Thank you for visiting our page. We are in the midst of getting a new website up and running (bad timing) and so have been somewhat neglectful here.

Please email us at info@digginrootsfarm.com if you are interested in a CSA for 2015.  We are planning for pick-up on-farm, in PDX, as well as a market share! More info very soon!

In the meantime, we’ll dream of summer warmth and bounty!

Happy plants and happy people!

We wanted to offer a brief update about what’s happening here on the farm. It has been a very nice spring thus far – mild temperatures, light rain, decent sunshine, and lots of loving hands on the ground.  As always, our friends and family are indispensable in our pursuit to balance production with property management. 50 diverse acres is no small undertaking. We have a number of new systems in place that are working to make life easier, one of which is our first employee! Conner also set up our cultivating tractor to lift some burden from our bodies. The irrigation system is finally (almost) in place, with more valves and more capacity. The hoop house/high tunnels that we’ve worked on for the past year are finally (almost) finished and are full of plants.  And to help with property maintenance in the pursuit of meat, we have a lovely flock of sheep munching away on our fall-planted pasture.

After a year of farming this land we have a little perspective and an idea of what we’re in for. Something we learned last year was that as good as our soils are, they are delicate and need some special care. Years of conventional management left them depleted of organic matter.  They also fall on the clay side of the spectrum, and so compaction is an issue. This spring we waited longer to till, resulting in nicer seed beds and less disruption of soil structure. Waiting is hard to do since we’re impatient to start eating from this land, but in the long run, the better we treat our soils, the more we’ll get from them.

So much for a brief update! You’re probably wondering where we are now….In relation to last year, we have MANY more plants in the ground and MUCH less weed pressure – two things we are extremely happy about it. We’re hoping to be at our first market on June 21st  and the CSA should start the Tuesday before or after. We cannot wait to begin harvests!

Your Farmers,
Conner, Sarah (and Wendell)
And to help you remember what the season holds in store…

Lamb number one has landed!

We haven’t spoken much about our lambs yet on the blog. We currently have 11 (+.5) on the farm, all received over the past 6 months. They are a breed we’ve kept before and loved- Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. They are a hardy dual purpose breed with beautiful wool and delicious meat. Over the past month we’ve been wondering when lambing would start…There are 7 more ewes left to go. Fingers crossed for healthy births.