Author Archive

Week 18, October 8, 2017

Our last share of the year should have been on September 27 with any bonus shares, because of good weather beginning in October.  But we needed a vacation and had the opportunity to visit Kathy’s sister in Atlanta at the end of September and beginning of October so we moved the final pickup from the 27 of September to the 8th of October.  The first week of October was very rainy.  We got more than 6 inches of rain.  While that meant that Keith and Joanne (Kathy’s parents who were staying at the house and caring for the animals and collecting eggs) did not have to worry about watering the garden it also meant that the tomatoes got too big too fast and were splitting by the time we picked them.  They were not really pretty this week.  We did pull carrots though (the carrots came out really easily in the damp soil) and harvest spaghetti squash for everyone. We also through in half a dozen eggs.  The chickens have been producing well and we were starting to get over run.

We are hoping to have one final (bonus) pickup on October 18th if the weather holds.  The night of October 10 the temps dropped to about 32 degrees but we kept the water on all night and the basil did not even get kissed with frost.

This has been a really good year.  The response from our members has been very positive.  I have had a couple of people contact me about starting CSA’s in the area, one of them hopes to include a meat share.  I think there is plenty of market for the CSA model in our area right now.  We are planning to continue with the CSA next year, though many long term CSA’s across the country are beginning to fold up.  Most of those are people that are doing it full time and have reached the point where they can no longer continue to afford the CSA lifestyle.  I say lifestyle because for many of them they would have made more money working a minimum wage job than they did producing healthy food for their communities.  We are in a fortunate situation.  Our CSA is not a vocation it is an avocation.  We are not really looking to expand.  We want to limit the number of members to what we can handle; at this time that is 10.  We have talked about adding a short season during the high production time with pickup on a different day.  This would hopefully give us a market for tomatoes, greens, green beans, etc… a second time during the week.  We wouldn’t have to add to the garden but would be able to pick a couple of times a week and the veggies do just keep coming.

Week 17, September 20, 2017

We are coming to a close for the season.  I anticipate that we will only have one more week this year.  Maybe 2 but that will be dependent on the weather.  There is no pick up next week but the last will be Sunday October 8.  This week included melons and winter squash.  We also included fall decorations, gourds, pumpkins and corn shocks.  Food is the primary purpose of a CSA but beauty, (flowers and decorative items) is also a part of the contract.  We truly want people to connect to nature and we connect by what we eat and by what we see.

Week 16, September 13, 2017

Tomatoes, Potatoes, Green Beans and Herbs

The season is almost done.  Just a couple of more weeks.  We had a nice share this week.

Thing have been a little tough this last week.  Chad had surgery last week to repair an umbilical hernia that he did not know that he had.  No lifting for the end of the season.

Week 15, September 6, 2017

What do you think is the biggest advantage of growing your own food or supporting a local grower?

For me, I think this picture sums it up.

Real Spices?

When you buy real food you know that it is real. It is obvious.  When your advertising hook for your food  is that it has real spices it makes me think there must be some unreal things in that product as well.  I hate to spend real money on unreal food.  Kathy took this picture at a local grocery store.

Week 15 of real food included:

Tomatoes

Green beans

Cucamelons

Collard Greens

Swiss Chard

Onions

Summer squash/zucchini

Potatoes

Basil

Choice of Beets, Okra, Tomatillos, Cabbage

As an added bonus everyone had the opportunity to get a dozen eggs by bringing us an egg carton.

The weather is getting colder, the nights are coming faster and the sun is not up as early.  The season is winding to an end.  We have just 3 more pick up days scheduled for the year and it will be over.

We have been canning, freezing and dehydrating so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labors all winter.  The larder is filling up with all kinds of good things.

Over the last few weeks Chad discovered that he had an umbilical hernia.  A trip to the emergency room and a follow up trip to the surgery center have cured that but the next few weeks will not involve much lifting.  Hard to do when even moving the hose for irrigation is beyond the limitations.  Some of the winter squash might even be too heavy.  The little honey nut butternut squash won’t be too heavy though.

Week 14, August 30 2017

We are closing in on Labor Day.  The bush beans are looking like they are about done and the winter squash are starting to get some color.  The Nebraska State Fair is in full swing and Kathy and I both got ribbons on some of our entries.  I entered dehydrated tomatoes and shredded zucchini.  Kathy entered her green tomato curry, 4 spaghetti sauces and a hot pepper jelly.

Chad’s Ribbons

Kathy’s Ribbons

It was a busy week for many of our members.  We had 4 members contact us that they would not be picking up their shares.  I’m not sure if the shares are so big this time of year that they can’t get them used or if they were just busy because of the fair.  I know at least

San Marzano Redorta a very nice paste tomato. Look at the flesh in that thing.

2 were busy because of the fair. We gave away one share and canned and dehydrated a bunch of the tomatoes many like the one above

I picked one of the Wisconsin Orange Flesh Honeydew.  It has a nice flavor and is very pretty.

Wisconsin Orange Flesh Honeydew grown in Nebraska

Here are pictures of the Week 14 share.  Only 4 more weeks this year.  Where has the time gone?

Week 13, August 23, 2017

Monday we celebrated the eclipse.  It was incredible to be in the path and we had 52 people at GI Acres celebrating with us.  Thank you to everyone that was able to be here.  Kathy and I also took our State Fair entries into the fair.  I entered dehydrated grated zucchini and dehydrated tomatoes,  Kathy entered 4 spaghetti sauces, hot pepper jelly and green tomato curry.  GI Acres produce hopes to take some ribbons in these competitions.

Our guests, friends, family and friends of friends and family. Thank you all for coming to GI Acres for this once in a life time experience!

We are full into summer production and this week’s share shows that.  We did skip the summer squash this week and no one seemed to care.  It means there are plenty for the chickens.  The weather has been great.  We got over 3 inches of rain one night.  August has been particularly wet this year.

 

Week 12, August 16, 2017

Tomatoes, Green Beans, Eggplant and Summer Squash.  We are in the heart of summer production and the garden is treating us well.  The weather has cooperated and we haven’t had major issues with bugs. Keep your fingers crossed.  The hardest thing is getting all of these posted.  I am posting this almost 2 weeks late but I will blame the Eclipse since we had to clean the house and had 52 people at GI Acres for the eclipse.  Competing interests can be an issue.  The other factor is that we don’t have lots of similar things in the shares now.  Summer provides diversity of product.  In my mind the difference between Roma and Early Girl tomatoes is not as important as the difference between Kale and Swiss Chard.  If you disagree please provide feedback to that end.  The shares are getting really big and people are taking 3 bags home.  That is really fun to see and very satisfying.

Week 11 August 9, 2017

Our veggies were not as blemish free this week.  We got a bit of hail on Friday night last week and it dented up a bunch of things.  The tomatoes are coming in strong and the beans and cucumbers are slowing down. Some of the summer squash and zucchini plants are on their last legs.  We need to replant so we have some for the end of the season.  The winter squash are starting to get ready and we have a bunch of pumpkins that volunteered this year.  This week we had: sweet corn, tomatoes (more than 12), a cucumber, kale, eggplant, summer squash/zucchini (3 each), spaghetti squash or Lakota squash, choice of okra or beans and basil.  We cut open a water melon to share but it was under ripe so we fed it to the chickens and rabbits.  The colors of summer are strong in the share this week.  Over the last tow week we have also included a dozen eggs for each member as a bonus.  Half our members got a dozen last week and half got a dozen this week.

Week 10, August 2, 2017

We are on the down hill side of the season.  Only 8 weeks left until the end of September.  If the weather holds we may get a couple of weeks into October.  Tomatoes are starting to turn.  We are getting some of the fun ones we planted.  Mostly it is early girls and the solar flare with a few other reds mixed in.  The color of this weeks share is incredible. reds, oranges, greens, purples and yellows.  So much different from those first shares of the spring that were mostly green.  This week the share included: Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Leeks, Basil, Garlic, Summer Squash/Zucchini, Eggplant, Green Beans, Beets, Lettuce, Thai chilis, Serrano chilis, chives and nasturtium blossoms.  Also included was choice of Swiss Chard, Okra or Cucamelons.  The okra and cucamelons are not pictured.

Week 09, July 26, 2017

Sorry this is so late.  This week it is more helpful as history rather than for our members to be able to remember what everything is.  There weren’t a lot of confusing greens this week though.  This week saw the first real move into the summer veggies with corn, tomatoes, and beans. It is hard to believe that we are half way through the season.  The garden has been bountiful and we have been blessed.

About GI Acres CSA

GI Acres is located on the western edge of Grand Island, Nebraska. The garden takes up about half of an acre. We also have chickens, rabbits and bees

Our farm is not USDA Certified Organic and we do not anticipate applying for such status. We strive to produce healthy vegetables using natural methods of fertilizing, building soil, and controlling pests such as insects and weeds. Those healthy vegetables will begin in mid to late May with herbs, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. During the season you can expect a variety of greens, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn and potatoes along with tips about how to cook and preserve your weekly share. The season will conclude in late September or early October. We aim for a 20-week season.

We did not grow up on farms but we did grow up in families with large gardens, eating a variety of fresh produce and canning/freezing the excess. We have maintained the tradition of growing and preserving food for our family for the past 20+ years. GI Acres is our attempt to share that passion for good food with our community.