CSA Week #17

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:              

Hope  you’ve marked your calendar for the end of season Harvest Celebration! We’re celebrating our 25th year of our CSA program! We hope  you’ll be able to come spend the day with us!

Saturday, October 15th                                                                                                                                     Noon to 4pm                                                                                                                                                             Potluck from 12:30pm to 1pm, followed by hayrides down to the pumpkins! We’ll be pressing cider, there will be face painting and some craft tables for the kiddies, and we’re hoping to have the Circle of Children group here to make seed balls!

Fall Biodynamic Prep Meeting                                                                                                          Sunday, October 2nd                                                                                                                                8:30am -5:30pm, bring a brown bag lunch, event followed by a potluck dinner

Grass Fed Beef                                                                                                                                                               We still have a few shares left of our grass fed beef! If you meant to order, or have been sitting on the fence, the time is now to reserve your share before they’re all gone!    

IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:

  • Kale, Lacinato
  • Swiss Chard
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Acorn Squash 
  • Pears, Star Crimson

RECIPES:

Spicy Squash Salad w/Ginger-Lime Dressing

Squash Kale Soup   

Stuffed Acorn Squash w/Quinoa & Pistachios

Kale & Celery Tiger Salad

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Oven Roasted Cauliflower w/Garlic, Olive Oil & Lemon Juice

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A lovely fall morning scene on the farm today

What a change of scene from last week….we were all walking around covered in rain gear, and muddy boots….today, the crew are all in shirt sleeves and sun hats! What is that saying….if you live in Oregon and don’t like the weather, just wait a minute! We know there is more rain on the way this week-end but we’ll relish this gorgeous warmth and sunshine while it lasts!

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This little guy was found in the eggplant patch today!

It was certainly a lovely day to do some squash harvesting. At the end of each season, we all share at the morning circle what tasks we liked best and least on the farm during the season. Invariably, harvesting squash is usually high on the list. The crew  goes out into the field with lopers and clips the squash fruit from the vines, that have mostly died back by this time of year. They group the fruit in bundles in the field a certain lengths from each other. We then load wooden totes onto the back of our flat bed truck, and one person stands on the flat bed, while others toss the squash up to him/her to place in the tote….it’s lots of fun, and the pace is quick. There is a lot of counting involved as well so we know how many fruit come out of the field. All of the squash look really great this year!

You’ll have Acorn Squash  in your boxes this week…I posted some recipes for you this week that sound delicious, but if you have a favorite please do share! If you don’t eat your squash right away, store in a cool, dry dark area…they will last quite a while.

Farmer Feature:

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One of our long term crew on the farm this season is Steve Knox. Seven years ago an interest in homesteading and self-sufficiency led Steve from Missoula, Montana to Winter Green Farm. Previously a line cook and a college student, Steve earned a degree in Political Science and traveled to Nicaragua and Italy to study food and agriculture.

Once in Oregon, Steve took to the Winter Green Farm lifestyle. He developed a profound respect for the community of experienced and knowledgeable farmers who by now have taught him countless skills. He helps to train and run the harvest crews, runs the PSU Farmers Market in Portland, and helps to manage our wholesale orders. He is an eager and quick learner, and is always happy and willing to lend a hand on any task.

Last spring, Steve and his partner Terah purchased a parcel of farm land in Walton, Oregon. Steve has been raising chickens for several years, for egg production and also meat birds. This year he and Terah  raised a large single batch of chickens, which are currently for sale. If you are interested in adding more local, pasture raised chicken to your diet, you can contact Steve at 406-208-7775. The chickens sell for $4.50 per lb or $4.25 per pound when you buy 3 or more.

Farmer Feature:

Thought I would share Farmer Porter’s progress with  you….his melon crop venture was so successful that he was able to realize his dream of purchasing a fishing boat! He is now Captain Porter and hopes to take his boat out this weekend for the first maiden voyage…maybe we’ll be adding Salmon to our farm offerings in the future!

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We hope you all have a wonderful week ahead, and of course, enjoy your veggies!

Linda and all of your Winter Green Farmers

CSA Week 16

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

I would like to take a minute to talk about CSA Share pickup protocol…..we are well into the delivery season, but I’m still receiving phone calls from members who have forgotten to pick up their share, and site hosts are still talking about members wandering around on their porches at all times of the night and morning! Please….if you are unable to pick up your CSA Share by the 7pm deadline (or whatever the deadline is for your market site or residential site) ALWAYS call  your site host first! If you wait until the next morning to call me at the office, your share might not still be available. I am more than happy to share your site host contact info with you, and they are happy to make arrangements if you are late or unable to come at the designated time. Both the site hosts and the farm are invested in you receiving your veggies, but you have to help us help you do so!! Please contact me if you need  your site host contact info.

Come help make & bury the biodynamic preps!  We begin early, but welcome people whenever they come.  Please bring a brown bag lunch and a potluck dish for supper. Click on the title link for more details….
IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:
  • Stir Fry Mix
  • Kale, Curly
  • Yellow Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Red Bartlett Pears

RECIPES:

Crispy Potato-Leek Rosti

Julia Child’s Classic Potato Leek Soup

Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Casserole

Pear Upside Down Cake

Pear, Leek & Cheese Quiche

Welcome to the week of the Fall Equinox! It’s easy to welcome the change of season when you come to work and are greeted with scenes such as these….

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Guess there is no denying it now, especially with the rain arriving….fall is upon us. We’ve had a good summer, and all good things must come to an end, so they say. Plus, with the earth spinning our place on the planet away from the sun, the cooler weather is inevitable. We’ll just have to console ourselves with food! Leeks, potatoes, squashes…now those are comfort foods extraordinaire!

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Today was our first leek harvest of the season and they look amazing! Along with the potato harvest earlier this week, you will have all of the makings of a spectacular Potato Leek soup! I found some other recipes that you will hopefully enjoy to use these versatile crops. Erik, Chad, and Josh are making sure they arrive clean and neatly trimmed for you!

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You will also see some Red Bartlett Pears in your boxes this week. They may need to sit on

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your counter for a day or two, or if you would like to ripen them even sooner, you can place them in a paper sack.We are fortunate to be working with Mt. Hood Organic Farms once again this season. Mt. Hood Organic Farms is a family run farm, operated by Brady and John Jacobson, who began working the orchards in 1981, although the farm dates to the turn of the century (the main farmhouse was build in 1904). Inspired by European techniques and committed to sustainable land use, the Jacobsons undertook an extensive orchard renovation and transition to organic farming that resulted in full organic certification in 1989—the first farm in the valley to achieve this status. Numerous publications from The Oregonian to The Good Fruit Grower have written articles about the farm, and the BBC and PBS have also interviewed and filmed here.

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As better reflects their view of the importance of the integration of natural landscape and wildlife into their farming practices, and returning to the deeper origins of the organic movement, Brady and John also became certified Biodynamic® growers. They also take pride in selling directly to loyal customers of the farm, as well as to regional and national markets. A portion of their produce is also donated to School Aid®, a program in partnership with local markets. We feel blessed to be able to share the fruits of their labor with you all.

Last week, as I mentioned earlier, we dug the potatoes that are in your share this week…I thought you all might like to see our “potato diggers” in action. While most videos say “turn up the volume”, I’ll warn to to lower it! Our digger is a bit on the loud side, which is why Jeremy, Jimi, Erik and Efrain area ll wearing ear protection!! Enjoy….

Winter Green Farm Potato Diggin’

Winter Green Farm potato digger! This piece of equipment has a shovel that digs below the potato plant. The plant then travels up onto the metal conveyor…the plants either fall away, or are pulled away by the crew, as the potatoes continue on the conveyor. The crew then quickly sorts and pushes the good potatoes to the side, where they are then carried toward the bagging station. As the bags fill up, the crew lifts them off the machine, into the field row. When they reach the end of the row, the crew walks back up the row, picking up any potatoes that might have not made it onto the conveyor.

We hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy your veggies!

Linda and all of the Winter Green Farmers

 

CSA Week 15

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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It’s that time of year again! Mark your calendars for the Harvest Celebration!

This year is our 25th anniversary of our CSA program, so we’re going to make it a special day! We’ll be pressing apples, and have the amazing Elizabeth Lutz painting faces. The Circle of Children from Triangle Lake will come and make seed balls with the kids, and have their “Play it Forward” wheel. We’re hoping to have some music, and possibly a few surprises….and of course, PUMPKINS! They are looking especially large and lovely this year! Here are the details:

Saturday, October 15th                                                                                                                             from Noon to 4pm                                                                                                                                    We’ll begin with a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to share! We’ll then begin the hayrides down to the pumpkin patch, along with the other festivities. We hope to see  you all there to celebrate a wonderful season, and bring in fall together.

IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:

  • Kabocha Squash
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Red onion
  • Yellow onion

SOME SITES ONLY

  • Eggplant
  • Cherry Tomatoes

RECIPES:

Sweet & Spicy Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash Fries

Kabocha Curried Squash Soup

Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons

Baked Cauliflower Stuffed Tomatoes

Quinta Burrito Bowls

Did you feel it? That chill in the air this morning? Yep, fall is coming, although with the sun shining right now, it’s easy to forget….Chris informed me that there was a teeny weeny bit of a frost at the Simpson Field last night. Yep, it’s coming….and you know what that means!!! Squash, and all of those other change of season crops, will be appearing in your boxes…as we say goodbye to our old friends zucchini and cucumbers, we can say a big hello to the change of season bounty. Tomatoes are especially sensitive to the temperature and light changes…once the nights begin to cool in earnest, the tomatoes begin to create starches rather than sugars. Best to leave the ones you aren’t eating right away on the counter, in a dark corner if possible and they will continue to ripen. You’ll start seeing your storage crops of potatoes, carrots, squash and onions, along with some parsnips and turnips in the next few weeks. Apples and Pears will be in the boxes starting next week!

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We typically harvest the squash and let it cure in the field for a day or so, but these came right out of the field and will go into your boxes this week….if you don’t plan to use it right away, let it sit on the counter in a cool, dry spot for a couple days so the stem can cure.

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The Kabocha Squash is very versatile and can be used in recipes from soups to stews, or simply roasted, served with a little butter, salt and pepper. Roasting the squash is quite easy…the hardest part is cutting it in half, and I recommend doing so very carefully. Once you have it cut in half, just scoop out the seeds (which can also be roasted!), place in a roasting pan, on a rack, cut side down, with an inch of water in the pan…..bake at about 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a fork permeates the flesh easily. Add water if needed during the baking process. Once cooked through, turn the squash over and add your flavorings…either savory with salt, pepper and some butter, or sweet, with some butter and maple syrup, or brown sugar. While the sizes and shapes vary considerably, the flavor is consistently delicious! I’ve included several recipes, but if you have an absolute favorite, please be sure to share it with us! To roast the seeds, I just toss them in a bowl with a little olive oil, and salt, then spread on a sheet pan, and bake for a few minutes, checking them and turning them with a spatula until crispy…yummmm!

We do still have some Late Season shares available…if you would like to extend your Standard Season share for another 5 weeks, just get in touch and I can give you the details. The very last share will be delivered the week before Thanksgiving (there…..I said the “T” word!).

We hope you all have a fabulous week and of course, enjoy your veggies!

Linda and all of your Winter Green Farmers

CSA Week 15

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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It’s that time of year again! Mark your calendars for the Harvest Celebration!

This year is our 25th anniversary of our CSA program, so we’re going to make it a special day! We’ll be pressing apples, and have the amazing Elizabeth Lutz painting faces. The Circle of Children from Triangle Lake will come and make seed balls with the kids, and have their “Play it Forward” wheel. We’re hoping to have some music, and possible a few surprises….and of course, PUMPKINS! They are looking especially large and lovely this year! Here are the details:

Saturday, October 15th   from Noon to 4pm

CSA Week 14

 

img_0397SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

We will be sending your tomatoes to sites again this week in flats, so they don’t get damaged by the large amount of produce in the boxes….we count very carefully so every member will have enough for their share. Please, please only take the amount that is listed on the signage, so your fellow members will have their share! Last week, at some sites, members who arrived later were disappointed to find there weren’t enough tomatoes for them….if this occurs again, we’ll just have to put the tomatoes back into the boxes for the next delivery. Help us, help you have beautiful tomatoes!

IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:

  • Corn
  • Collards
  • Broccoli
  • Red Onion
  • Yellow Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Lettuce ~ Red Leaf
  • Zucchini

SOME SITES ONLY

  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower

RECIPES:

Corn & Tomato Pasta Salad

Old Fashioned Scalloped Corn

Corn & Zucchini Pan Soufflé

Creamed Collard Greens w/Peanut Butter & Chile

Shredded Collard Green Salad w/Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cashews

Cartelized Red Peppers & Onions

Welcome to September! Hopefully you all enjoyed a last hurrah before life gets back to its fall routine….school is starting for many this week, and from the polls I’ve been taking of the kids I know, it’s with mixed reviews. Of course, the excitement of new school clothes, new classes and old friends prevails, but with a “grain of salt” as most of the kids I spoke with lamented the passing of summer’s freedom and fun. Let’s hope this sunny weather continues for a good long while to keep spirits up, and to keep those veggies growing strong and healthy!

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Last week was a busy week for sure…..with the impending rain we made it a point to harvest all of the onions early in the week. We have them in the greenhouse now, safe and sound, drying and curing nicely.., we did feel blessed with a nice drenching shower on Thursday night/Friday morning, as the earth really needed some natural hydration!

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Shannon did our very last seeding of the season today, planting trays of fall onions. Last week we  seeded out Arugula for the Farmers’ Markets, as well as Stir fry mix and Radishes for CSA. We transplanted Kale, Lettuce, Pac Choi and Napa Cabbage for Late Season Shares. If any of you are only signed on for the Standard 19 week season, and would like to continue on, we do still have a few of the Late Season shares available, and that will extend your deliveries right up to the week before Thanksgiving. You’ll receive lots of goodies such as Brussel Sprouts, Romansch, Parsnips, Turnips, Celeriac root and more Winter Squash, along with greens, storage onions, potatoes, and more fall fruit. Just get in touch to reserve your spot…

GOT CARROTS?? We do! We grew lots and lots of carrots for Wholesale Markets this year and harvested 15 totes last week….probably about 6,000 lbs. Last year we were surprised by early rains and freezing temps and weren’t able to get some of the carrot crop harvested….this year we took advantage of the good weather!

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We harvest them using a Scott Viner Harvester, and 2 tractors….one tractor is towing the

IMG_0370 harvester, making sure that we keep the correct distances in the row…this tractor is being driven by Jimi Good. The tractor behind the harvester carries the tote into which the carrots are distributed from the harvester….that tractor is being driven by Wali Via.

The harvester lifts the carrots with a plow at the front, and holds them between 2 belts…they are then carried through a series of knives, where the green tops are cut off, and pushed through a side shoot.The carrots themselves are dropped onto a conveyer, which carries them up and through another shoot into the waiting tote.

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I took a couple of videos and posted them on YouTube if you would like to see the Viner in action….one is of the harvester and one is of Alden Overbaugh explaining how it works…check it out!

And of course, once they’re harvested, they need to be washed!! Farmer Chris got the job today, and here he is using our root washer…

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We hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and of course, enjoy your veggies!

Linda and all of your farmers!

CSA Week 13

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Salsa Box: This week we’re sending you a CSA Share that has all of the makings for Salsa….including jalapeños, so please do be careful of curious little fingers when you pick up your share.

Beef info: Thanks for all of the inquiries we’ve had from members this week. I wanted to let you know that all of the hamburger shares have been reserved….you will receive a good amount of ground beef in the mixed cut shares as well, so just get in touch if you would like to receive this year’s information.

CORN!! is finally ready and will be in your share this week….we typically have corn ready to harvest mid August but this year it has been ripening later than usual, which might be the reason your boxes seemed a little lighter the last week or two. The boxes are so full this week that we need to send your tomatoes on the side…each site will receive enough tomatoes for each member in flats, and will have signage as to how many to take. Please take only your amount, so those members who come later to retrieve their boxes have enough! Thanks for your consideration on this….

IN YOUR CSA SHARE THIS WEEK:

  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Red Onions
  • Corn
  • Jalapeños
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Summer Squash ~ you will receive either green or yellow zucchini, or patty pan
  • Carrots

RECIPES:

Red Salsa

Best Fresh Tomato Recipe

Pico de Gallo

Perfect Grilled Corn Salsa

Grilled Chicken & Corn Salad w/Avocado & Parmesean

Mexican Grilled Corn w/Cilantro

There goes August! Moving right along….I can tell by the flurry of phone calls, asking to change deliveries for Friday, that many of you are headed out of town for the last weekend hurrah before school begins and life gets “real” again, for those with children, or those of you in school, or teaching. It’s been a glorious summer, and looks like a lovely Fall is right around the corner. Cooler days ahead, with even the chance of a little bit of the wet stuff!

This is the time of year when we plant our new crop of strawberries! We only keep our strawberries plants in the ground for 2 years before we remove them, as the plants are not as productive the older they become. It’s a full crew event, as we have many rows to fill.

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We order what are called “slips”, which are basically barefoot strawberry plants.

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We then mix up a biodynamic root dip made of 1/3 clay, 1/3 sand,1/3 cow manure and some of the biodynamic 500 preparation. We mix all of that with enough water to make a slurry

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and dip each plant in this slurry before it goes into the ground. This procedure helps to ensure that the plants get off to a great start, and are well rooted in the earth.

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It can be kinda messy, and does take a long time, but our crew have great attitudes and always make the best of it….that’s why they’re awesome!!

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If any of you have developed an interest in the biodynamic way of farming, you might be interested in attending one of the Biodynamic Association gatherings at the farm. We typically host the spring and the fall events. The fall event is coming up on October 1st. We make many of the biodynamic preparations that day, and you are welcome to come join in. You can visit the Oregon Biodynamic Association website for more info…I just checked, and the event isn’t posted as yet, but should be soon.

The end of season Harvest Celebration will be on Saturday, October 15th this year. While the event is usually lots of fun, as we celebrate the end of another season and the members come to collect their Jack O Lanterns, this year should be even more so! We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary of sharing our  CSA with you all, and we’re hoping  you’ll mark the date and come celebrate with us.

Hope you all enjoy your veggies this week!

Linda and all of your farmers

 

 

CSA Week #12

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Strawberries….last week I announced that we would be able to offer bulk flats of berries to CSA members. Apparently, the strawberry patch didn’t get the memo! We are in a lull right now, and it could be a while before we are harvesting enough berries to offer bulk flats to members…my apologies for getting your hopes up! I will keep a list, in a first come, first serve manner, keeping those who have already requested berries at the top of the list. As soon as the berries are abundant again, I will let you know!

Organic Grass Fed Beef availability is now open! For those of you who requested the current info, you should be receiving it in your mailbox or email any time now. If you haven’t requested the info and would like to receive it, just let me know and I’ll get it out to you, or you can look online at our website for the info….Winter Green Farm Organic Grass Fed Beef

  • Cilantro
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Onion

Some Sites Only

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

RECIPES:

Mango w/Cilantro, Coconut & Chile Powder

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Sweet & Spicy Green Beans

Eggplant Sandwich

Gazpacho

Fresh Tomato Tart

It looks like we may have made it through the heat wave section of our summer, as cooler weather rolls in..I know our crew is happy to hear that, especially the irrigation guys, as they have been running ragged trying to keep everything hydrated. The good thing about the heat is that the warm weather loving crops are growing so well…we started having some crew picking zucchini on the weekends, as they seem to grow inches overnight!

A FARMER PROFILE:

We have been very fortunate to have Lucero join our crew this season. She has been interested in working on a farm for a long time, and has spent the last 3 months with us. She grew up in a very small town in the mountains of southern Mexico, far from everywhere.  In those times, her family grew their own vegetables at home. With time, this custom has been lost.  Along with the disappearance of home agriculture, many traditional crops are not cultivated any more in her home town.

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Lucero studied Biology at University, and began working on plants because of her experiences with plants and agriculture as a child. After completing her PhD in plant genetics, she did postdoctoral studies at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Breeding (CIMMYT), in Texcoco, Mexico. CIMMYT is a public research center focused on helping the world’s poor by breeding better strains of crops. Crops bred at CIMMYT have saved the lives of millions of people worldwide. Her projects at CIMMYT, and later on at Pioneer in the US, were focused on understanding how plants respond to drought. Lucero mainly worked on a model plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, but also a little bit on maize.
After almost 25 years working in research, Lucero is ready to explore her long term interests in holistic approaches to farming. She came to Winter Green Farm because she had met Mary Jo and Jack many years ago. Lucero says “While I’ve been here, it has been a pleasure to learn that Winter Green Farm is one of the most respected organic farms in all of Oregon.  I’ve had a wonderful experience over the last couple of months. The greatest lesson that I’ve learned is that farming can be an act of love, feeding the people you care about most, while caring for the land. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that Winter Green has given me, and to all the nice people I’ve met here. My next step is to learn more about organic farming in Mexico.”
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Lucero with  her visiting father Don Thomas, her husband Stewart, and her brother Victor

Lucero hopes to start her own organic farm in Mexico one day, and hopes to join us once again next season to continue learning on Winter Green Farm. We have thoroughly enjoyed having her with us…she is a very conscientious, and efficient crew member, always smiling and ready to offer her hand wherever it might be needed. We all look forward to her return next season and wish her all the best as she heads home to Mexico.
We hope you all have a great week ahead and enjoy your veggies!
Linda and all of your Winter Green Farmers