This page will contain the Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Weekly Newsletter.
CSA Newsletter 2-23-20
Just one more week until we begin our weekly online market and deliveries for the 2020 season! This week on the website, we still have available our 10, 20, and 40 week equivalents with their promotional discounts. This is a great way to save on CSA, and to help us get started on the right foot with all the upfront cost of Spring planting. Additionally, if you have any friends or neighbors interested in CSA, please encourage them to make an account and sign-up! The 40 week equivalent and its huge 20% discount will disappear after next week, so now is the time to act on that if you’re interested:
In this last week of the winter interim, it seems an opportune time to discuss a bit about the farm and its history. The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm is the vision of Angela Magney, who moved to the property with her family in 2012. The farm is on the border of Caldwell and Lyon Counties in the “Pleasant Valley” north of Highway 62. Initially the farm was a family endeavor, run with the help of her career military husband Ray, and their children Jonah, Hannah, and Eric. However, as her children aged and began their own life journeys, it became necessary to hire people from the community. Currently that’s Caroline, Patrick, and Stacy. That’s why we refer to ourselves collectively, as the Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team!
Growing crops and raising animals in a way that is both sustainable and ethical is of the utmost importance to us. We grow our crops in the soil, adhering to the organic standard, and have since the inception of the farm. This means we are not using synthetic chemical amendments or biocides. Our use of deep tilling is limited to forming new beds, after which, we use the gentle process of “tilthing” to stir the top inch of soil so that seeds may be planted. This allows soil structure to develop, reduces erosion, and allows the beneficial microbiome of the soil to flourish. By nurturing the land, its capacity to provide seems to improve every year.
We are all passionate about the value of local agriculture and its role in strengthening communities. While there are many new companies that promise to “solve” food with technology, we believe there is still something special and valuable about utilizing the fertility of the land, clean water, and sunlight to produce local food. The gentleness of organic practices means the living things we steward are not “rushed” to reach the table. Instead, they grow, in their own time, accumulating energy, and passing that to us as nutrition. This process has served humanity since the beginning. We hope that by participating in CSA and the farm events we intend to host throughout the year, that you come to feel connected to the land and this process of growing food.
Next week will officially begin our 5th year of offering CSA! Thank you so much for being a part of our community and supporting our farm!
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
Just a newsletter this week. We will not be having a bonus market as we are busy preparing for the main season CSA which will begin in March. All the seeds are ordered and have arrived. If you’ve been following along our facebook page, you might’ve seen a photo of Caroline preparing seed trays in the greenhouse. In just two weeks’ time, those trays should be ready for planting outside. It is remarkable to think that this time last year, that greenhouse was not even constructed. In many ways, we are far ahead of where we were last year.
Yet being prepared and being without anxieties are not the same thing. Outdoor plots are still very wet from historic winter rainfall. It has been our strategy to pursue very early plantings of all vegetable varieties. When it’s sunny and 68° in February that seems like the right move, but dips down to 14° are a bit hair raising. Nothing is certain in agriculture, but so it is with life as well.
There will still be a seasonal ebb and flow of vegetable varieties, even with early plantings. If you’re new to CSA, here’s an idea of what you can expect. Spring will have many leafy greens and rooted vegetables. As we reach summer, variety will expand. Some leafy greens will depart in the warm weather, but bold Summer vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes will take their place. Towards the end of summer, late ripening peppers, eggplants, and melons will arrive. Autumn will see the return of leafy greens, as well as the arrival of hearty vegetables like winter squash, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. By participating in CSA, you will get to experience fresh, local, seasonal eating. We hope that in doing so, you come to feel more deeply connected to the Earth from which our produce grows.
Though there is no bonus market this week, the market is open for the purchase of the 10, 20, and 40 week membership equivalents with their respective discounts. If you have any friends or neighbors who might be interested in receiving our local, organically grown produce, please encourage them to sign up! http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
As always, we thank you for your support,
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
Bonus Market #2
We’re offering a bonus market this week! The market is open now. Orders placed between now and Tuesday evening will be delivered Thursday (February 13th) at the usual time. We have some great vegetables available including our sweet mini cabbages and a limited supply of brussels sprouts! Check the site for the full selection: https://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
As the days begin to lengthen and bright sunshine begins to pierce winter overcast, the time for serious Spring planning is upon us. This past week, the team has been very busy filling in the farm map and seeding chart for the coming year. Officially, seeds for the 2020 season have been ordered; a daunting financial figure by the time the entirety of the farm is planted in two rotations of vegetables. Our ability to meet this figure and start off on the right foot is thanks to all of you who participated in and purchased “seasonal” subscriptions during the January bonus market. We thank you all so much!
The beginning of the year is always the most anxious time for vegetable farmers. There are so many unknowns: How late will frosts continue? Will fields be dry enough to plant by our projected dates? How will we pay our team members to plant crops before the abundant production of late Spring begins? Some of these questions, only fate can answer. Others, we can be proactive in our approach.
That third question of making sure our team is compensated fairly for their labor is the benefit of the CSA model. It’s been a while since we defined CSA in a newsletter, but the acronym stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” It is our belief that agriculture, particularly the sustainably minded organic agriculture that we practice, is an asset to the food security and health of our region. Your participation in the CSA allows our farm and team members to not only exist, but to live well. We hope that in some way, our service allows you to do the same. If you haven’t already, please consider committing to one of the 10, 20, or 40 week memberships that we have made available at discount on the market website. We are committed to serving you, our community, with the best produce from our farm. We are so grateful for this opportunity!
The Magney Legacy Ridge Team
We have some exciting news! This week we will be having a “Bonus Market” to celebrate the launch of the 2020 season! The bonus market is open now, you may place your orders between now and Tuesday evening. The bonus market bags will then be delivered this coming Thursday, January 30th.
The bonus market is a nice surprise made possible by relatively mild January temperatures. Low light levels, both in daylight hours and from cloudy skies make predicting harvests at this time of year difficult. Hopefully, we will have a few more bonus markets before the official start of the season. So, keep your eyes peeled for further emails about additional bonus markets! The farm team is certainly tired of all the dreary days and is ready for the chance to get out harvesting some the beautiful vegetables that were planted last fall.
Weekly CSA deliveries will begin the first week of March. This year, the “full season” will be 40 weeks. We’ve made a couple minor changes to how the CSA website functions with the goal of making it an easier and better service for you! Most notably, we’ve gotten rid of the clunky “delivery fee item” and replaced it with an automatic 20% delivery surcharge. On orders between the $20 minimum and $25 this actually saves you a bit of money, and on larger orders, it helps us pay for the additional packing materials and labor required. It is our hope that this change makes placing a custom order easier than ever.
We would also like to announce this year’s incentives for pre-loading an account balance. If you pay $237.50 we are offering a 5% credit ($250 even, 10 week equivalent), if you pay $450 we are offering a 10% credit ($500 even, a 20 week equivalent), and if you commit to the full 40 week season equivalent by paying $800 we are offering a whole 20% credit to bring your balance to $1000! Any money preloaded in this way will be added to your existing account balance.
Buying these options really helps us get the ball rolling. The beginning of the year is always the most , financially difficult time for the farm because the bulk of our expenses occur (seeds, planting labor, and so on) yet our newly planted vegetables take time to grow and there are no farmers’ markets to bring in additional income. If you are able to support us in this way, we would be so grateful for your investment in our farm.
Overall, we are looking forward to a great year, full of healthy vegetables grown using organic practices. We have a lot of exciting things planned, including offering a first-come-first serve supply of fresh eggs, produced right here on the Magney Farm by our small flock of heritage breed chickens. We hope to expand the variety of vegetables on the CSA website this year, including some totally new ones. We are so grateful to be a part of this community, and look forward to serving you, our customers and friends this upcoming year.
Thank you so much for your support,
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s preassembled bag will contain mini tiger stripe pumpkins that are similar in texture a spaghettis squash with a pumpkin flavor. The bag will also contain spring mix, mini cabbages, carrots, kale, dill, and sun dried tomatoes in olive oil with garlic. Custom orders may be placed on the website at http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
We’ve made it! The final week of this year’s CSA, to be delivered, this Thursday, just two days before the Winter Solstice. This year has been full of both challenges and successes. Overall, we feel it’s been an important year of growth and has proved the resilience of the farm team on multiple occasions.
Work on the farm continues even as the chilly days become more frequent. This past week, we did our harvest and managed to make it to the Holiday Farmer’s Market in Paducah. For those of you who visited Patrick and Caroline there, thanks for coming out! It was a lot of fun! This coming week, we’ll work on planting the final high tunnel for Spring CSA shares, as well as doing more crop planning for the coming season.
As for next year’s CSA, we will almost certainly not be making any deliveries during January. If you have any remaining balance on your account after this week, it will simply roll over and be available to you when we resume CSAs after the winter interim. We may offer a limited availability Winter CSA, for you, our current customers, as early as February. We tried this out last year and it worked well. Some of that will depend on how the tunnel crops do and the amount of daylight (non-overcast days) we have this winter. We will be keeping you updated via email.
As always, but especially this week, we’d like to thank you for being a part of our community and CSA. Your support allows us to keep achieving and keep growing healthy delicious vegetables for Western Kentucky. We intend to continue improving upon our CSA service and are excited for what 2020 will bring. It is our hope that you will continue to be there with us.
Wishing you and the ones you hold dear the best throughout this season of holidays, and on into the new year!
Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s preassembled bag will contain spring mix, acorn squash, parsley, kale, carrots, and radishes. Custom Orders may be placed on the website at http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
This week’s CSA marks the second-to-last of the season. After a dicey stretch in November, we should be in good shape to fill the last two orders, though we regret losing some of the variety that would have come from our outdoor grow space. Nevertheless, the high tunnel grow spaces are looking beautiful and the vegetable quality they have produced has been excellent. We hope you have been enjoying those vegetables as much as we have enjoyed harvesting them.
Farm activities this week have revolved around planning for next year, harvesting, and cleaning out the tomato tunnel. In order to “turn over a tunnel” we must first remove the crop debris. In the case of crops that require elaborate trellising, such as tomatoes, we also must remove, clean, and store all the reusable trellising materials, which include our string “rollers” and clips. After that is attended to, we remove any fabrics and weeds, then the soil can be fertilized and “tilthed.” “Tilthing” is a gentle stirring of the top two inches of soil, which leaves soil structure and beneficial soil organisms unharmed. At that point, fabrics may be returned, irrigation laid, and seeds or transplants of new crops can be put in the tunnel. Each season the team seems to get more efficient at performing these tasks, and we can turn over tunnels much faster than we could when we began.
The featured vegetable of the week is carrots. Carrots are of course a familiar vegetable, but it’s worth exploring why some week’s carrots have looked different than others. The carrots of this and last week’s bag are a variety called “Chantenay Red Core.” The stubby appearance of this carrot is partially genetic (it is a shorter, thicker variety) and partially due to being stalled mid-growth by that early freeze. The hard November freeze prematurely killed all the top growth and for the last three weeks, the carrot roots have been focusing all their energy on regrowing those leaves, but not very much on growing themselves. Each season brings new challenges, and each setback puts us closer to mastery of a given crop. This year we feel we have started to hit our stride on producing root crops, finding not only what is optimum, but also their limitations. We are glad to have you enjoy the bounty of this journey.
As we move forward, we hope you will choose to continue supporting our farm through our CSA and Farmers’ Market presence. We are so pleased to be a part of the West Kentucky community, and hope to continue to grow with you.
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s CSA will contain Arugula, Butternut Squash (Amish Grown), Mixed Kale, Carrots, and Radishes, . Custom orders may be placed between now and Tuesday evening on the at http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
Welcome back! We hope you all had a good Thanksgiving holiday or have at least managed to get through another one. This can be a trying time of year on many fronts, and we are certainly not immune from the hectic-ness of the holiday here on the farm. Nevertheless, there are 3 more CSA bags left in the year, and we are both proud and grateful to be delivering fresh, locally grown vegetables so far into December.
Since the last newsletter, the team attended a day-long FSMA training which stands for “Food Safety and Modernization Act.” This is a broad Obama era policy just now coming into effect. The goal of FSMA training is to increase safety in the food industry, particularly in regards to preventing foodborne illness incidents (like those plaguing Romaine lettuce at the grocery). Much of FSMA is common sense, and a large portion of it relates to water-use practices that we do not use. Nonetheless we are always striving towards best-practices and seminars like this help us become a better farm.
This week’s featured vegetable is the radish. Radishes are really hip right now, and it’s no wonder because there are so many exciting new varieties. This year alone, we’ve put 5 varieties in bags ‘Sora’ (the classic round, red and white), ‘French Breakfast’ (the long finger-like red and white), ‘Pearl’ (round, solid white), ‘Watermelon’ (large round, green exterior, bright pink interior), and ‘Plum’ (medium, solid purple). Radishes are excellent for health as they contain Vitamin C and a smattering of trace minerals. Additionally, the peppery taste is caused by the presence of compounds that some preliminary scientific evidence suggests may be active against certain cancers and pathogens (particularly yeasts). This week’s bag will contain the ‘Plum’ radishes, and we invite you to “think outside the salad” and broaden your culinary horizons. Radishes are excellent roasted, in stir-fries, and as soups. The tops may also be cooked as greens.
As always, we thank you for your support of our farm. We are beginning to plan for next year and hope that you will join us for the 2020 season. Have a great week!
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s Preassembled Bag will include Bok Choy/Tatsoi Mix, Spring Mix, Lacinato Kale, Pie Pumpkins (Amish Grown), plum radishes, and carrots. Custom orders may be placed between now and Tuesday evening on the website at: http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
REMEMBER NO DELIVERIES THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING.
Wow! Last week hit some record setting lows! We had a chance to survey the farm while doing harvest for CSA. Regrettably, some vegetables were irreparably damaged earlier than we had hoped. In particular, the head lettuces were hit especially hard. Collectively this will probably mean that the remaining 4 CSAs will be somewhat similar in composition. However, we are happy to report that we anticipate being able to fill them. In some ways, events like this early deep freeze help us learn. We’ve collected a lot of information about the absolute endurances of vegetable varieties as well as learning what does and doesn’t work for frost-proofing. That information can only truly be obtained by experience and we will use it to become a better farm in the future.
The vegetable we’d like to highlight this week is Tatsoi. Tatsoi is fairly new to us, but hails from Asia where it is used much in the way we would spinach. It is delicious raw in salads, cooked down like a Southern green, or as an authentic addition to stir-fry. Tatsoi has a great crunch to it, and differs from bok-choy in that it does not have the “bulb” formed from enlarged leaf bases. Tatsoi is superlative in its Vitamin C content among leafy vegetables and has a smattering of vital trace minerals as well. We hope you are able to stay healthy this cold and flu season with the help of this delicious green!
As always, we thank you for your enduring support of our local farm. It is with your help that we hope to continue to grow.
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s bag will hopefully contain Sweet Potatoes (Amish Grown), Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Arugula, oregano and Acorn Squash (Amish Grown). Custom orders may be placed between now and Tuesday evening on the website at: https://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
Wow! There are some scary November numbers in the forecast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. As of writing this letter, there is a forecasted predicted low of 13° F early Wednesday morning, following a Tuesday that is not predicted to get above 28° F. We wish that we could confidently predict a great CSA, but these are January numbers in early November. This severe of cold this early is nigh unprecedented and despite having all the vegetables tucked under frost cloth (even the ones already within tunnels) these temperatures truly threaten the survival of even our most cold hardy crops. We wish that we could say otherwise, but this is an unusual year.
It is our intention to take CSA orders as usual and then evaluate crop survival on Wednesday. In the event of irreconcilable freeze damage, your order will be refunded, and we will send an email detailing how we intend to move forward. It is possible that we are overreacting here and that crops will survive and carry on just fine, but we are venturing into uncharted territory for Fall. We want to be transparent with you, our customers and community members, as well as preemptive in our approach.
On a bright note, we are looking forward to our 2020 season and are beginning our planning process, as well as discussions on how to expand the offerings of the farm. This starts with an evaluation of the varieties we offered this year where we have conversations about the taste and performance of various vegetables. We would love to have your input on this as well! If there’s anything that really stood out in the bags of this year, things you’d like to see more or less of, or perhaps something new entirely, please send us an email! We are your CSA, and while we can’t promise to be able to fit everything into our rotations, your input will be both valued and considered.
We are so happy to be a part of your community and to have you a part of ours. In some ways this has felt like a very milestone year for us, with many things starting to click into place. There have been struggles and there will continue to be. Farming will never be an easy venture. Yet through your support and our teamwork, we believe we will continue to grow.
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team
This week’s preassembled bag will contain Spring Mix, Butternut Squash (Amish Grown), Collards, Carrots, Mixed Tomatoes, and a Head Lettuce. Custom orders may be placed on the website between now and Tuesday evening on the website at: http://magneyfarm.locallygrown.net/market
This past week was wrought with successes and calamities. We always seem to find that adaptability is the key to moving forward. On the front of successes, Thursday’s CSA was a race against the chilling winds of a cold front and the onslaught of pint-sized traffic hazards known as “trick-or-treaters.” The team worked together and completed harvest and then distributed the CSAs as planned. No children were harmed in the process, and we hope that all of you who received vegetable bags this past week were pleased with the fresh and healthy vegetables therein.
This week’s calamity was the record setting hard freeze we experienced Thursday night and Friday morning. Though we expect November to bring freezing temperatures, a 8 hour sustained low under 29 F is unusual for the first day of the month. Unfortunately this caught us a bit off guard. We were able to get the majority of the lettuce plot protected under frost cloth, but our two brassica plots were left without protection. Brassicas are fairly frost hardy, but in truth, we did sustain significant foliar damage to many of the plants. Sweetness of the leaves should go up with the frost whip, though the visual leaf quality may be down. Few crops were outright lost, but this is a substantial and disappointing set back. Most tragically, a near-ready Brazilian variety of broccoli was all but killed back. That variety had seemed like a great bet when it was 90 degrees at the start of October, but such is the nature of farming.
We’d like to close with a bright note on the success of our farm to table dinner. It was a lovely night and we enjoyed hosting all of you who were able to attend this year. Coordinating an event of such magnitude with the facilities available to us represents a huge triumph of teamwork for everyone involved. Stacy, Rachel, Caroline, Patrick, Hannah, Eric, Grandma Sue, Ray, and Angela were all instrumental in the various components of making this come together. Farm events are something we would like to do more of in the future, and if you didn’t make it to this one, we would love to have you at the next.
None of what we do would be possible without you, our CSA customers. Through the difficult times and the great ones, we thank you for supporting our endeavors towards local, sustainable agriculture. We are so grateful to be a part of your community.
The Magney Legacy Ridge Farm Team