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

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

 

Prepare for PEPPERS!

We went a little overboard sowing seeds. A year away from growing veggies and we lost perspective….We had doubts anything would grow, we didn’t know the land, the market, what it would be like farming with a little one, and now- we have so much food! It’s amazing and we feel very fortunate to have found homes for most of it but we’re not too sure about the peppers.

We LOVE them so I thought I’d give a little run down to entice folks to buy them up. We have a fair amount of varieties but our two main ones (and favorites) are highlighted below:

The Jimmy Nardello’s pepper is sweet and light when eaten raw.  It is also a Slow Food Ark of Taste variety. It is considered one of the very best frying peppers as its fruity raw flavor becomes perfectly creamy and soft when fried. A friend once sauteed these with garlic and served them over goat cheese- I was in heaven. They are our go-to for grilling up whole and then putting on burgers, sandwiches, etc. They are also great in eggs, sauces, salsa, you name it.

  
Sweet Sunset Italian Mix is a blend of yellow, orange, and red Sweet Italians that create a gorgeous meld of color. Many subtle trait variations on the Italian theme, with shoulder type, wall thickness, length, and tip-bluntness at play. Terrific salad peppers with few seeds and rich saturated color. We prefer these over the Nardellos for using fresh- so good in salads of all types.
We will be grilling these up in bulk to stash in the freezer for some winter sunshine : ) Let us know if you’d like a bulk order to do the same.

Getting ready for market!

We are going to have melons and sweet corn! These two crops won’t last long so come out and get ’em while you can. From left: ‘Haogen’ galia-type melon, ‘Delicious 51’ cantaloupe, and ‘Tuxana’ open-pollinated sweet corn.

Haogen MelonPMR Delicious 51 Melon

 

New Things

It’s raining! I love the smell but I can’t help but wonder what it means for market tomorrow. If you’re reading this- don’t let it deter you! Produce-wise this is one of our most exciting harvests yet. Tomorrow we’ll have TONS of tomatoes (ask about bulk discounts), heirloom zucchini, fresh onions, carrots, green beans (1st harvest for this succession so super delicious), basil, beets, cilantro, peppers, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, fennel, garlic, Caribe potatoes (we love them and Conner is cooking them up right now), and cabbage.

The other very exciting news is that our produce is all over town! We have been sharing the goodness with Old Oak Oven, Creekside Grill, and Silver Grille. Today we also sold bulk tomatoes to Portland Homestead Supply so that they could have tomatoes on hand for canning. After slow tomato sales at market last week we got busy here as well and now have huge pots of roasted heirlooms needing to be canned….

Speaking of canning, a little rain is a perfect excuse to put up some veggies. We hope you’ll come by tomorrow. Ask us about our favorite freezer/pantry filling recipes – soups, pesto, sauces, etc.

 

Old Things

Well maybe not that old but it has been awhile since I’ve had time to sit at the computer….Since the last post we’ve gotten three Black Welsh Mountain sheep, been selling produce all over town, gotten awesome DRF organic t-shirts, gotten 5+ hours of uninterrupted sleep, and eaten some really good food. Absolutely wonderful weeks.

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One of our three new lambs.

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Market leftovers + Old Oak Oven dough= dinner

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Silverton Farmer’s Market July 27, 2013

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Silverton Farmer’s Market July 20, 2013

Early June Update

There hasn’t been much time to write lately. Between lack of sleep, a Brassica weed seed bank that is keeping us very busy, off-farm work, and a 6 month old learning how to crawl- we’re glad to just be taking photos! The Silverton Farmer’s Market has started and we’ll be there the first weekend in July. A week ago we weren’t sure what vegetables we were going to have for market and now we’re worried we might have to start sooner than that. After a long hiatus we are so thrilled and thankful to be growing our own produce again. It feels so good!

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Just to give you a sense of the INSANE weed pressure we are dealing with. It could be worse- at least they are easy to pull annuals. (These beds were re-tilled.)

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Chard- our first harvest!

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Baby farm feet

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Planting strawberries.

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100 feet of raspberries!

Breaking ground and other exciting things…

We love friends who help us pull weeds.
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Friends helping weed the garlic.

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Family make it possible (and keep us sane).

Our kitchen window view.
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Our kitchen window view.

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Attacking the blackberries that were eating the barn.

first starts 2013
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We couldn’t wait for a greenhouse to start some seeds.

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Breaking ground with our disc on the 2 acres we’ll be farming this year.

pasture discing
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The pasture after one pass with the monster disc that we hired out. This fall we’ll be seeding it to perennial pasture.

drain
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We got a drain installed on this building so that we have dry usable space.