Dear Norman’s Community,
As we approach the final week of our Market Season CSA and our last weekend at the stands (until May), it is time to look back over 2021 and look forward to the next one. I can’t think of a “nicer” day to reflect. I sit by a cozy fire against a backdrop of gloom, acknowledging the wind, rain and changing leaves as I write this letter. In fact I’ve just returned from my first ever coffee tasting with a local roaster that represents just one of the new products and programs we hope to unveil this winter.
In many ways this season was a return towards “normal” from the upside down world of last year. We took off our masks and returned to a market style setup even though surges and mandates kept us aware and reminded us that we are not out of the woods yet. In fact as headlines report on fires and floods, pandemics, and political division it is refreshing being part of a community that nourishes, nurtures and fosters hope showing a commitment and optimism toward the future.
That is the overwhelming sense I get each day whether I am checking in at the farm, the stands or the CSA. That is the feeling I get when I’m hearing how an Afghani refugee family is being nourished with a donated Norman’s CSA share or the thousands of pounds of fresh produce we are contributing to local area food banks such as Manna and So What Else, but mostly from our many CSA members and regular customers who renew their pledge each season, some of whose children I’ve watched grow up and maybe even have employed, now starting families of their own. I love hearing about recipes and how Norman’s remains a staple at those family dinner tables.
Looking ahead we have much we are excited to introduce or further expand upon starting with a weekend mosh up of our CSA/Stands/Curbside Pickup. Last year we experimented with Pop-Up Markets throughout the winter to develop a new gourmet brand of products. This winter we plan on doing these nearly every weekend alongside our Winter CSA. Not only will CSA Members be able to supplement their shares but non-CSA Members will be able to shop as well. Our mission is to keep everyone well fed this winter.
I’ll confess coming from being a local fruit and vegetable producer with a 100% local brand to exploring new products, such as brioche, fresh scallops and burrata. Or casting a broader net with Dutch white asparagus, satsuma mandarins or Pink Pineapples has been personally tricky to sometimes reconcile.
The way I see it, keeping our tables full and our offerings fresh keeps our community engaged, our lights on, and our crew sharp not to mention employed through the winter. So essentially it is in the spirit of Community Supported Agriculture to assure the success of next season’s crops. While our farm hibernates we are sourcing from abroad as well as local producers. We will be selective with an eye toward quality, freshness and thoughtful growing practices.
This year we are continuing our CSA Program through the winter! In the past we have concluded in mid-December, however this season we are planning on resuming January thru April until the next Market Season continues. We are hoping to offer weekly billing during winter months to offer more flexibility and a bit less commitment. The emphasis will be on fresh produce from local farms including our own, however we plan on keeping our tables filled and supplementing local produce with that grown in greenhouses or from more temperate climates. I am excited to include lots of fresh citrus during its peak season. Also expect to find apples, pears, mushrooms, nuts, greens, root vegetables, greenhouse tomatoes and peppers and fall squash.
We will continue to offer a Home Delivery program similar to last year with no commitment. Just place an order online, shop our entire catalog of produce, and gourmet goods and we will deliver on the day we are in your neighborhood. We are even offering seasoned firewood!
Last but not least, we will be launching our 2022 Market Season in a couple weeks. We expect it to be very similar to this season. In fact I’m not sure there is much I would change. There should be an EarlyBird Special for those that sign up by December 31st so stay tuned.
We are extremely thankful to everyone for their support this season including our CSA Members and loyal customers. I’m especially grateful for our loyal crew, sticking with us another season. From farming and packing, to driving trucks, to managing members, writing recipes, designing posters and operating markets. I am truly blessed to be part of an organization of such hardworking, committed and caring people and I’m looking forward to another trip around the sun.