At the beginning of the season you will get some of our peonies as part of your Summer Share, but in addition to that with any size share in our CSA you have the ability to pick flower bouquets at the farm as part of your membership. It does not count against the “picks” of your share. It’s just free flowers. Every year, as soon as the danger of frost has past, we plant about 4,000 square feet of mixed flower varieties that we select for pretty, fragrant, highly productive, “cut” flowers. We’ll let you know in the CSA newsletter when they’re ready; usually by mid July. Then, you can come to the farm during any CSA pick up time, we’ll loan you clippers to use, and you can walk through the beds and cut whatever you want. We’ve been doing this for many years and it has become very popular. It’s nice to be able to spend a few minutes in a big flower garden. You can help keep it productive all summer long by snipping off any flowers that have gone by and just letting them fall to the ground.
Aside from the flowers, one of the other advantages is that you get to walk past the barn, the wash station, and the goats, out to the field where you can get a sample look at what we grow and how we grow it. It’s a nice way to get a more direct sense of where your vegetables are coming from. You’ll also get to watch the pigs grow as the season progresses. The small kids seem to really like seeing everything and being able to say hello to the goats and the pigs.
The flowers are mostly frost susceptible, so whenever we get the first hard frost the game is over. Some years that can be in mid September, and other years, lately, it might last until mid October. Whenever they’re done, they’re done.
If there is a disadvantage in this, it is that you do have to visit the farm to pick the flowers. We realize that the time commitment to travel to Freeport and back makes this difficult for our hard working Portland CSA members. But, those that have made the trip on a Friday after work, or on a Saturday have told us that it was well worth it to get the flowers and to see the farm. In the past, we’ve had CSA members volunteer to make bouquets for the Portland CSA members, but this ends up being a very big commitment, so it doesn’t happen often; although we welcome it if anyone is interested.