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CSA vs Farmers Market: How to know which is best for you

This was a big question for me when I got interested in eating better during college in my early twenties.  I lived in an apartment and couldn't have my own garden.  Then, I learned about local food, and thought, 'Hey, I want to do that!  I want to support local farmers and get fresh, healthy veggies from them.'

But, how? 

Easier said than done in the slow-recovering atmosphere of Lewiston/Auburn, Maine in the early 2000's.  At that time, there was a small local Farmers Market starting up and two small organic CSAs on the outskirts of town. 

What's in a Summer CSA share?

Are you interested in taking the leap to join the Ripley Farm CSA in 2018?  The most frequently asked question about our farm share is "What's in a box?" 

A typical Ripley Farm CSA box contains a seasonal blend of 7-9 organically grown vegetables emphasizing popular favorites accompanied by occassional specialties not found in grocery stores.  We aim to have a seasonal selection of greens for salads, easy veggies for raw snacking, and veggies for cooking in every week's box. 

Up Close and Beautiful: Our first harvest of 2017 in pictures

We're back at it: another year of harvests!  As we begin our ninth year of harvesting what we grow, it is still amazing to see the beauty and strength of the plants that are our food.  We love what we do and are excited to share it with all of the people who support our farm and eat the produce that grows here.

Meet your Farmers, Part 1

As you know, we can't grow 5 acres of MOFGA Certified Organic veggies, herbs and flowers without the help of awesome people!  And we are in luck to have four awesome people working for us both full and part time to help get it all done!  I want to share with you my recent mini-interviews with each of them.  Read on and get to know who grows your food at Ripley Farm!

 

 

May the Season Begin

Happy May!  Here we are on the other side of a long winter.  The snow is gone, the birds are back, the grass is green, and we are ready for our ninth season farming at Ripley Farm! 

Do you take the winter off?

"What do you do in the winter since you can’t farm?”  This is the most common question we get as vegetable farmers in Maine.  Sure our growing season is short with a frost-free period between the end of May and the middle of September.  Zone four, I believe it is called.

With highs in the single digits in Dover-Foxcroft in February this week, I wish I could show you pictures of us on the beaches of the Caribbean taking the winter off…

Celebrating the Meaning of CSA!

What does CSA stand for?  C-ommunity S-upported A-griculture! 

Those three words mean a lot to us at Ripley Farm...

They mean local people coming together from Greenville to Hampden to Lakeview Plantation to Corinth and everywhere in between to support our farm. 

They mean friendship, smiles, warm hugs, and uplifting conversations week after week, year after year. 

They mean sharing good food with people who appreciate the hard work that goes into producing it. 

Thanksgiving for the Harvest

I love the timing of Thanksgiving.  In the course of our year as farmers, we begin in the winter with planning the coming season, purchasing seeds and supplies, and repairing building and equipment infrastructure.  The first seeds go in the ground in May.  And then we’re off to the races. 

June: Plant, weed, plant, weed.
July: Plant, weed, harvest.
August: Plant, weed, harvest.
September: Harvest, weed, harvest.
October-November: Harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest…………

Cooperators of the Year 2016 event at Ripley Farm

"We'll be there on Friday at 8am to start setting up," they said.  And they weren't kidding!  Just as our employees got here to start work that morning, several more cars rolled into the farm drive.  Soon after I could hear sounds of persistant banging on metal.  Sounds like they're working on the railroad, I thought to myself.  Clink, clink, clink... and I looked out of the window to see a white party tent being erected between our large hoophouse and the PYO flower garden.

Welcome Sara Moody!

Super-farmer-mama?  It may appear from a couple of photos I posted to Facebook recently that I’m getting out in the fields and working all the time with a tiny baby strapped to my chest. 

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