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A glowing greenhouse keeps soil safe

Dear Katchkie Farm CSA Members,   

Happy April! We're ecstatic to see buds on trees and encounter the once-rare jolly smile of warm New Yorkers. It's amazing what a little sunshine can do for us all. We've also given our newsletter a spring face lift. What do you think?

This past season's mean winter wore us down, but did you know that it was actually great for Katchkie Farm crops? Snow is considered "poor man's fertilizer."

Consider: the nitrogen and water cycles go hand in hand. Because the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen gas, water falling from the sky contains this important nutrient. Unlike rain, snow stays put, so when it begins to melt this time of year the soil gets a hearty and even dose of this crucial input.

Katchkie Farm is a NOFA-certified organic farm, meaning we don't rely on the chemical fertilizer used in commercial agriculture. While industrial farms will use hundreds of pounds of nitrogen per acre, the drops that fall from the sky are estimated to be only a few pounds per acre. Nonetheless, we appreciate any help Mother Nature can give us in growing luscious produce for you all season long.

Furthermore, snow protects vegetation and soil from high winds and low temperatures, ensuring that root systems stay safe. What's grisly for us is good for plants!

Field Notes from Farmer Bob and Kristy:

"In just one week the landscape has changed. Last Sunday it snowed and what had started to look like a springtime landscape was once again covered in white. However, temperatures continue to climb, and last week's blanket of white has quickly melted off to finally leave rich looking muddy brown fields that are quickly showing a hint of green.

The ice has broken on the pond and completely melted off in what seems like overnight. We're glad to see our feathered geese friends back, too. The tables in the greenhouse are filling with sprouting seeds, and the spinach in the other two greenhouses will have to be completely harvested soon to make way for transplanting the cherry tomatoes.

Below are some photos of the small seedlings that are soon to become your CSA vegetables!"




"The unusually cold days have been spent completing shop projects, like adding water tanks to the carousel transplanter (not to be confused with the water wheel transplanter in the photo below), an improved compost spreader, and a cool and crazy thing that makes three raised beds at once! More about that next time.


We've completed the construction that began last spring on the CSA pack room. Now we're waiting for more days above 50 degrees so we can get some bright white paint on the walls. The space is fortunately very insulated to keep it cool during those warm summer afternoons, or this past week when it was too cold to paint.


Why do we do this? After the harvest we get the produce into the coolers as fast as possible to keep your shares chilly until they are delivered to you. Now the produce will stay at an even temperature, but we might have to wear coats! All this will hopefully take some stress off the crew and those precious veggie plants."

Links We Love
Make sure to catch the amazing new documentary The Hand That Feeds

The USDA has a nifty new veggie storage app that will be helpful for CSA season

Footage from this year's TEDxManhattan is now online. Stephen Ritz is the man!

You've heard of the Farm To Table movement; what about Farm To Seder ?

The water wheel transplanter waits patiently

Help The Sylvia Center!

The Sylvia Center has entered the 2015 Seeds of Change® Grant Program and needs your help to get out the vote! From April 9 to April 27, you can visit the Seeds of Change® website to vote once per day. If awarded, this grant will go toward supporting Fresh Food Comes from the Farm, a full-day program in which students learn about where food comes from, how it is grown, and how to cook it into a healthy meal.

Search for The Sylvia Center in the Gallery of Growers.

A Special Announcement

A PhD student in Management Sciences in the University of Le Havre, France is studying CSAs, how neat! She is looking to extend her research to our own Katchkie Farm CSA. If you would like to be interviewed for her research, please email Sonia at

Finally, make sure to sign up for your CSA before we sell out! 

As always, if there are any questions, comments, or concerns please contact

Seasonal Recipes 



Butternut Squash Risotto


Mushroom Lentil Herb Burgers and Crisp Slaw


Mushroom Walnut Pate


If you have any recipe tips or suggestions, please send an e-mail to