Saturday, April 25, 2015

Finally Farming!

We planned to start planting for the CSA earlier this week but the ground was just too cold and wet.

It's always tempting to start before we have the right planting conditions but by now we know better. Planting in wet soil compacts the soil and creates less than desirable conditions for plants to grow. 

We finally were able to make some progress today. We planted peas - sugar snap peas and snow peas - and prepped the ground for potatoes and onions. Progress!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two tips for your CSA flower picking

We are finally getting a nice quantity of flowers in our CSA fields. Our members enjoyed picking some beautiful bouquets today!

We spend so much time communicating about our CSA vegetables, I thought I'd do a quick blog post on some ideas I saw in the fields today.

First, Debbie Wickham's bouquet from this morning. Do you see what is making her colors pop? That's kale! Red kale to be precise. So consider cutting a few leaves of red kale for your bouquet. Kale is on u-pick pretty much all season long.

And this is Tracy's bouquet. Here's a transporting tip: bring a tall travel coffee mug filled with water to upick. When you're done picking, put the flowers in the cup, and put it in the cup holder of your car. No spilling!

Looking forward to lots more beautiful bouquets this year!

Monday, January 27, 2014

New addition: The Grab & Go Share

For the past two years, we've conducted surveys of our CSA membership, and generally the feedback has been extremely positive. That is why we will continue to offer our full and biweekly shares without substantial changes in 2014. (Information on those shares can be found on our website.)

Of concern to us, though, was feedback from folks who tell us they have been overwhelmed by the quantity of food they receive in their full or biweekly shares. Some have small families; others have limited time for food preparation.

In response to that feedback, we are offering a new share: The Grab & Go Share. Here's how it differs from our full and half shares:
- Pick up is every week (18-20 weeks) on Tuesdays.
- Smaller size: 6-10 items per week, with an emphasis on the more commonly used crops. This makes it a good size for couples, singles and people who are busy.
- Prepacked for convenience: It will be ready for you to take home in a collapsible, reusable container. Just pick it up, take it home, and return the container the following week.
- Choose pickup at one of three locations:  Wickham Farms; the UPS Store at 300 Hylan Drive in Henrietta (across from Marketplace Mall); the UPS Store at 106 Cobblestone Court in Victor (across from Eastview Mall).
- The price is $395 for the 18-20 week growing season.
- U-pick flowers, herbs and bonus crops are not included, but you may add it for $125 for the entire season.

This share is also available for delivery to businesses or to a central area in a neighborhood. If you would like for Bill Wickham to speak to your business or neighborhood group regarding this share, please email us at

For more information about the new Grab & Go Share, visit our website. If you have questions, please feel free to email us at

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creamy Sorrel Soup

We're behind in posting! In the off season, I hope to catch up on posting all the recipes we've cooked for the CSA in order to give our members an online resource for recipes.

In our weekly recipes, we do our best to highlight ingredients that may be unfamiliar to our members. This week's recipe highlighted sorrel, in addition to the onions, carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme that all were in this week's share. This recipe was a huge hit -- the sorrel added a fresh, lemony tang to the soup.

One recipe makes about enough for four; if you want to fill a crock pot, you'll probably need to triple it.

Creamy Sorrel Soup
Adapted from this recipe on
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, small dice
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and diced small
1/4 cup celery, washed, trimmed and small dice
2 cups starchy potatoes (any of the CSA potatoes will work well), small dice
1/3 cup basmati rice
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cream
2 1/2 cups sorrel, washed, spun dry and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Place a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the butter and as it melts add the onions, carrots and celery. Season them with ½ teaspoon of salt and several grinds of fresh pepper.

Let the vegetables sweat until tender, then add the potatoes, rice and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Cook until the rice and potatoes are tender, 20 and 30 minutes. Once they are tender, add the cream, sorrel and fresh thyme. Heat the soup through and until the sorrel is wilted. Taste, adjust seasonings (it will probably need salt) and serve.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Salsa Chicken

Looking for a way to use up your CSA greens? Here's a simple and easy recipe from CSA members Denise and Art Cuestas for Salsa Chicken. You can use cilantro from the herb garden this week!
Salsa Chicken
1 Family Pack of Wegman's (or other brand of your choice) boneless/skinless chicken thighs (Bone-In works very well too)
1 15.5 oz  Salsa (medium) - they use the Wegman's organic brand, in the Latin Foods section
Chopped Cilantro
Cut mixed greens of any variety
Rice of your choosing
Taco seasoning (optional)
Grated cheese for garnish.

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker, then pour 3/4 bottle of salsa over the chicken.  On a low setting, it usually takes about 3 hours to cook.  On a high setting, about 2 1/2 hours or so.  the best way to check to see if it is finished is to check a few times as it is cooking.

Prepare rice (quantity of your choice) while chicken is cooking.

When the chicken is fork tender, it should be finished.  Mix in the rest of the Salsa, and if you like some taco seasoning of your choice.  Add chopped cilantro to your taste.

On dinner plates or pasta bowls, place a large helping of a variety of cut greens (any kind).  Spoon as much or as little rice on top of the greens.  Top the greens with the chicken salsa mix from the slow cooker. Top with a little more fresh cilantro and grated cheese for garnish.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away

A wise old farmer by the name of Don Wickham (Bill's Dad) has a saying:

"A dry year will scare you to death.
A wet year will starve you to death."

There seems to be a misconception that a lot of rain is good for farmers.
The reality is that we'd like about an inch of steady rain each week.
In the past week (Thursday to Thursday), we've gotten 4.25 inches (so far).

 Here are a few snapshots of what too much rain has done to some areas of our fields.

The picture above shows what the erosion from too much water has done to our early planting of beans. Thankfully, the beans at the end of the row -- in the top right corner of the picture -- are looking good. Our later plantings of beans were not affected. That means we may have a smaller quantity of beans available early in the season.

 This is what too much rain has done to some of our spinach. As Bill says, it is toast.

The spinach in the bottom of the picture is dead. Glad there's some further down the row that looks green. We planted a large quantity of spinach this year, which will help the situation.

Another complication of the rain is that we have not been able to do any field work this week. When the ground is wet, we cannot plant or weed. We plan for successive weeks of planting to give our CSA members a steady supply of crops. We were not able to complete any of this week's planting schedule.

 At this point, the rain is a challenge, not a disaster. But we will be most relieved if we have a dry weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thoughts on Splitting a CSA Share

Dividing a share can be a great way to experience a CSA!
Although we’re still about a month away from our first harvest, it’s a good time to do some thinking and planning for the upcoming season. If you are splitting a share for the first time, you may want to have a conversation with your partner to make sure you have a common understanding about the upcoming harvest.

Are we paid up?
We send invoices to only the first/primary name on the membership form. It is up to that primary member to either collect from the other member, or remind the member to pay their share to our farm. Your account will need to be paid in full to participate in the first harvest distribution.

How will we pick up our share?
We ask that members take the entire weekly share in one visit to the farm, or in a single delivered box. At the farm, you may not take a partial or half share. There are a couple of ways to handle this:
1.  Pick up your share together and divvy it up then. We are fine with that happening at the farm, as long as it doesn’t hold up the line for our other members.
2.  Alternate pickup weeks. The advantage of this arrangement is that you only have to deal with pickup half the time, and you do not have to plan your pickup time around another member. We are sympathetic to our members who are waiting around at pickup while his/her partner is delayed!

How will we divide our share?
Keep in mind that every share is the same, regardless of whether or not the share is being divided. Some of the contents of the share may not split equally or easily. As an example, you may get 1 watermelon, 5 carrots, 5 tomatoes, and/or 1 head of cabbage. It will be up to you to decide how to divvy it up.

When Tracy, our director of marketing, joined her first CSA program, she divided a share with her friend, Jackie. Here’s how they worked it out.

Tracy and Jackie alternated picking up the weekly share and taking it home. On your pickup weeks, it was up to you to divide any amounts that didn’t divide easily.

As an example with the share above, Tracy might divide it this way:
- She would take 2 carrots and give Jackie 3, and then take 3 tomatoes and give Jackie 2.
- She would cut the cabbage in half and the watermelon in half, so that they each got half.

On Jackie’s week, she might decide it differently. She might give Tracy the whole cabbage and keep the whole watermelon.

Once the pickup person was done dividing the share at home, she’d leave it in a bag on her front porch for the other person to pick up at her convenience.

 3. Is everyone getting communications?
This year, we’ve added space on our membership form for information about a second member. That way, we can send emails to both members. We also have another phone number to call if the share is not picked up (we will make courtesy reminder calls the first few weeks). If you would like additional email addresses on our email distribution list (such as for spouses), please feel to call or email Tracy or Mary at or 377-3276.

Questions about splitting shares? Feel free to email Tracy at