Late Winter 2019 Newsletter

Riverbend Farm Late Winter Newsletter February 20, 2019

Snow. Plenty of snow. I looks great and we have not run out of places to pile it, yet. And more to come but I’ll take snow over rain any day in the winter. The days are getting longer faster now. Soon we will be out of the woods as far as really cold temperatures are concerned but the record low for today is still -20°F.

We feed the birds and even heat the bird bath so they can get a drink. After a cardinal got in and actually took a bath on a subzero morning I covered it with pine branches. Now the birds can get a drink but it is much less likely that we will find them frozen to a branch. There is a pileated woodpecker that is a regular visitor to the suet feeder. They are amazing. It is nearly has big as a small chicken.

It has been a busy winter for mechanical projects. Our daughter Jeri has her car (’92 Volvo 240) over here for the winter. It needed an exhaust pipe, fuel filter, water pump, and the odometer repaired. My brother brought his ’68 BSA Victor (B44) over to get it rideable and presentable. And I have been working at replacing the aftermarket Weber carburetor on my ’67 Volvo 120 with stock dual SU carbs. I’m also planning to add a third, high mounted brake light to supplement the two small taillights.

Mary has been burrowed in by the fire working crossword puzzles, reading, working a embroidery / quilting project, etc. She has been seeing a few more clients in her psychotherapy practice. I think she spends an equal amount of time doing paperwork and dealing with insurance as she does in sessions.

Once a week Mary takes our granddaughter Olivia to a tutor for help with reading. Olivia has a touch of dyslexia that made it hard for her to read. The tutor has really helped her read better. That has had a huge impact on her attitude and grades. It is really noticeable. Thanks to Evonne for suggesting Patricia (

I have been working on what I’m going to do this coming season on the farm. As you know our restaurant business dried up last summer which does appear to be due to the proliferation on new low priced beer and burger places in the cities. I think that business will eventually come back but it will be a while.

This year I’m going to grow a limited number of crops for our co-op customers and the restaurants that really are committed to making good food with locally grown organic produce. The list of crops is tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, and winter squash. I’ll also grow a few odds and ends because we treat the fields as our garden.

What I’m thinking for the CSA is to offer those crops and a limited selection of greens and radishes in a different format.

Last fall I had offered the last of our squash and potatoes to the Delano Community Group email list on a preorder basis. The list of available products varied from week to week and the price ranged from retail to wholesale depending on how much was ordered. For the small number of items available it was quite a success.

This year’s CSA would work along the same lines. Instead of paying upfront and getting what you get, you would receive an availability list emailed to you each week, you would select the items that you want and pay for the veggies when you pick them up. What do you think ? Interested ? Let me know.
Even with the snow it is time to start warming up the greenhouse.