Turtle Bend Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm in Polk County, Georgia. Adam and Mecca Lowe are growing vegetables on approximately 7 acres of family farmland using ecological methods without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Our goal is to produce clean, healthy, fresh vegetables for our local communities while protecting and enhancing our local natural and social resources.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Turtle Bend's Vegetable Subscription Now Open!

We are now accepting applications for our 2010 Spring Vegetable Subscription! This is the same thing as a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The idea is that local farmers need the direct, deliberate support of their surrounding community in order to be successful, and likewise, community members need the direct exchange with local farmers in order to fully meet their food-related needs.

The CSA, or vegetable subscription, begins during the week of May 1st and runs for 10 weeks until the first week in July.

What quantities of vegetables are included in the subscription?
Each subscription includes a weekly bag of our seasonal vegetables for ten consecutive weeks. Each week, members will receive 5-8 different varieties of seasonal vegetables. Portions will be standard sizes such as one bunch of carrots or ¼ pound of salad greens. Each week’s vegetables should be enough to provide a typical family with vegetable side dishes or main dishes for several meals per week.

What types of vegetables can we expect in the spring subscription?
Spring vegetables are often forgotten in the Southern garden, but we have a wonderful opportunity in our climate to grow both cool weather and warm weather foods. You can expect to receive some of the following foods each week: Arugula (spicy salad green), Beets, Bok Choi (asian green, good in stir-fry), Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac (related to celery, great for soups), Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Upland Cress (AKA Creasy Greens- spicy green, native plant also grows in wild), Fennel (bulb), Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi (related to broccoli, good raw or cooked), cut Lettuce, head Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onions (red, white and yellow), Peas (English, sugar snap, snow), Parsnips, Radishes, Shallots, Spinach and Turnips. We will provide recipes for unfamiliar and familiar foods.
We try to give you the most variety possible so you won’t have all of one type of food. Each week will be slightly different according to what is maturing in the field.
For example, the first week’s bag may include the following:
¼- ½ lb spinach ½ -1 lb sugar snap peas
1 bunch carrots 1 bunch radishes
1 bunch collards 1 bunch turnips
¼ lb Arugula

What is the cost?
Our subscription costs $20 per week for ten weeks. We prefer that members pay the total amount of $200 prior to May 1st if possible. We have several payment options listed on the application. If these options do not suit you but you are enthusiastic about joining our subscription, please contact us directly to discuss other payment options.

How do I receive the weekly vegetables?
We are opening the spring subscription to 40 memberships this season. Our goal is to serve the communities of Rockmart, Rome, Dallas, Marietta, Kennesaw and some points in between. We offer four options for receiving your vegetables:
1. Pick up your subscriptions at the Marietta Square Farmers’ Market. This is the preferred option for members in the Marietta and Kennesaw areas. We will be at our booth at the Marietta Square Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings between 7am and 12:00pm. This is also a good way to see what other vegetables are available from our farm.
2. Form a drop-site. We are happy to deliver vegetables to groups of at least three or more subscribers. We have a couple of groups of friends or neighbors that have formed collective drop sites and we greatly appreciate it. We have high demand for our subscription and will give preference to subscribers that participate in a collective drop site. All deliveries will be made on Wednesdays.
3. Arrange a home delivery. We may be able to deliver vegetables to your home if it is not too far out of our way. We ask that you add a $20 to your total payment to help us offset our additional costs of delivery. If you are able to find several friends or neighbors interested in the subscription, you can avoid the additional charge by pooling your deliveries.
4. Pick it up from our house in Rockmart. You can pick up your vegetables directly from our house. Rockmart customers must choose this option in most cases.

If you are interested in joining our vegetable subscription, send us an email at turtlebendfarm@gmail.com and we will send you our application. Just return it with your payment and we will include you in our subscription! We expect a high interest in our subscription, so don't wait until the last minute!

Emily Dryden's Photo-documentary of Turtle Bend

Talented free-lance Atlanta-based photographer, Emily Dryden, is beginning a photo documentary of our farm. She visited us last fall and has recently posted some of these photos on her own blog. She will continue to visit and produce her creative, tasteful and artistic images of our farm. We are so excited to welcome Emily Dryden to our farm and to share with you her wonderful work. Look for more photographs from Emily in the upcoming year, but in the meantime check out her blog and the entry about our farm: www.emilydryden.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What do farmers do in the winter?

Winter time is a unique time on the farm because all of our crops are finished. We did sow some winter rye on parts of the field as a cover crop and it is bright green if you can believe it. We have also been working this winter on building our infrastructure on the field and planning for the upcoming season. Our winter projects have included field clean-up, fence moving, and drainage improvement. We have been removing row covers and taking down trellises from last year's season. We are also expanding into the entire 8 acre field so we are moving our deer fence to accommodate more growing space. Some of the new space will not be in production until the fall or even next spring, but we want to begin working the soil and growing cover crops so we can improve soil structure, nutrient content and suppress weeds. We have been tearing out an old beaver dam that has clogged some of our field drainage. We have also ordered a tractor implement called a "disc bedder" that will mound up our growing beds so that plant roots can have more space and better drainage. We do have one crop growing in the field: GARLIC! We planted about 700 row feet of garlic for harvest in early summer. The next crops we will plant are onions and leeks, followed by spring peas and carrots! We are getting very excited for our 2010 season and have already ordered and received MOST of our spring and summer seeds! We will begin starting plants indoors as early as this week. We plan to have a larger variety of herbs and vegetables this year, along with a larger quantity. See our next entry (above) for information about how to purchase vegetables from us this season.