THOUGHTS AND NEWS FROM US AT
CHASE STREAM FARM.
Hello Chase Stream Farm Supporters! We have survived and dare I say, thrived during our first epic winter in Maine. I think we were lucky, however, as our family in Massachusetts seemed to get hit harder than us up here. We tried our hand at making maple syrup - gathered about 60 gallons of sap and made a whopping gallon of syrup. So, so, so good, but dang - that's a LOT of work!
Our hard work and investment in heating one of our high tunnels is paying off as we are providing fresh spring greens, radishes, and turnips to various accounts. We made our first "big" delivery to the Belfast Co-Op a few weeks ago, and they continue to want our products - as much as we can produce! This is a big cry from just last summer when we struggled to even give away our beautiful heirloom tomatoes. To say we've learned a LOT over the past 6 months would be an incredible understatement.
We are continuing to refine our plan and have found there is still room for a lot of market growth producing and selling fresh produce on the "shoulders" of the season - meaning our infrastructure allows us to grow early in the spring (even if there's snow outside, the heated high tunnel stays warm enough to grow green things inside), and late into the fall and winter. The summers will be dedicated to "value-added" products - relishes, chutneys, canned tomatoes, etc. I've even been encouraged by several local friends to make and sell kimchi - it was a huge hit at a local community dinner a couple of weeks ago. My mother is so happy that I'm not just embracing, but about to make money off of my Korean heritage!
I have two 3 lb packages of bees arriving next weekend. Hold on to your bonnets, this means that we're about ready to introduce, on purpose, about 24,000 bees to our property. OY!! I give thanks to God for YouTube videos.
We are also prepping the fence line for 5 female yearling sheep that should be arriving in late June. This number may jump quickly to 10 as our neighbors are considering getting rid of their sheep, and we are considering accepting said sheep.
The grand opening for the United Farmers Market in Belfast is scheduled for the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. There are about 60 vendors and we are one of five vegetable vendors. We are very hopeful that this will be a great market for us to continue showcasing our produce and generate the revenue we need to start hiring veterans.
I continue to gather the materials and networking necessary to develop our training curriculum for our resident training internship program. We're looking for a good name for that part of the business - so if you've got some ideas, don't hesitate to throw them at me. I'm thinking along the lines of names like "Bloomsdale Academy" (Bloomsdale is a variety of spinach), "Marketmore Program" (Marketmore is a variety of cucumber)...you get my drift, something more military would be nice.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. We are grateful for all of you every step of the way.
Happy Growing, Anne, Tim & the boys