First time CSA member? Are you receiving SNAP benefits? Know someone who is?
We are approved to accept Food Stamps (SNAP) to pay for CSA Shares and if you are a first time CSA member with SNAP benefits you can apply for “Double Up Food Bucks”. “Double Up Food Bucks” is a program available through the Portland Area CSA Coalition that doubles the purchasing power of CSA members who pay with SNAP up to $200 a year! Double Up Food Bucks provides matching money to help make CSA more affordable. You must be a first time CSA member to qualify. All SNAP participants must make an initial payment of $50 to the farm (can use SNAP) followed by five monthly SNAP payments processed in June-October. Contact our farm for more information, or visit this website: Double Up Food Bucks
February 2nd is a festival day that has been celebrated by many traditions throughout history. Candlemas is celebrated as the day Jesus was presented in the temple, 40 days after his birth. Imbolc, which translates as “in the belly” since it a time of lambs calving, and also known as St. Brigid’s Day, is one of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals”, and commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, as the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers are visible, while underground seeds are climbing toward the light. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year.
And then there’s Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today….6 more weeks of winter, but who’s counting?
On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.
Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State. Groundhogs hibernate during the winter and actually come out in the spring to find a mate, not predict the weather.
As farmers, we just need to trust that Spring will come, and continue in forward motion with grateful anticipation. Here at Winter Green Farm we are doing just that! I’m writing today to let you know that signups are open for the 2017 CSA season! The website is up to date, and I will be mailing out the renewal information to last year’s members very soon. Feel free to call/email to renew if you would prefer not to receive the mailing.
As you saw above, we are participating with the Portland Area CSA Coalition in their Double Up Food Bucks program again this year, which offers assistance for those who are in need and receiving SNAP (Food Stamps). They received enough funding this year through grants to expand the offer outside of the Portland area, which means the offer is available in all of the locations we deliver to.
We realize that not all those in need receive SNAP assistance, and we have an on farm Financial Assistance Fund as well. In order to raise funds for this fund this year, we are hosting a drawing to WIN A CSA SHARE! Any funds you donate to our Financial Assistance Fund will go directly into this fund, to help those in need afford healthy, organic food. You will then be entered into the drawing. We are hoping for a minimum of a $5 donation, but larger amounts will be gratefully appreciated. You can add those donations to your online membership on our website or on your renewal forms. Help us help others!
We look forward to sharing the season with many of you once again this year, and welcome new members to share in the harvest!
Spring Blessings….Linda and all of the Winter Green Farmers