Tracie’s Farm — Important Update on Price Increase Feb 1st

Radish

Good evening,

As we order supplies for the coming season, we are seeing firsthand the effects of inflation on our costs. The impact has been greater than we anticipated, with an average increase of 30% over last year. This is the greatest single year increase I’ve seen in my seven years at Tracie’s.

As a result, we will be raising our prices for summer and fall shares beginning on February 1st. Coming to this determination has been a difficult process, and I assure you that we are not passing on the full impact of our increased costs. We are doing everything we can to be more efficient so that we can keep our prices as low as possible. As such, we are instituting a ~7.5% price increase on our shares. Starting February 1st, our prices will be as follows:

Full Summer Share $610
Half Summer Share $350
Fall Share $325

Anyone interested in knowing more about our budget is welcome to reach out. Here are some examples of items impacting our cost structure:

In 2021 we were able to buy a pack of 50 carrying trays for our field starts for $21.70. That same item now costs $39.50. An increase of 45%.
Vermiculite, a naturally occurring element that we use to condition potting soil in the greenhouse, saw a 31% price increase this year.
The biodegradable plastic mulch that we use in our fields to help reduce weed pressure and keep our overall labor costs down saw a 19% price increase over the past year.

We see our CSA as a collaboration between the farm and the community. In exchange for your support early in the season to help cover the high startup costs on the farm, we provide our members with months of local, fresh, and healthy produce. It gives me great pleasure knowing that something we produced winds up on the dinner tables of our members, and I love that it is all possible because there were enough people to chip in to make the farm work for another season.

We are not passing on the full cost of inflation because we believe in that collaboration. It is not just the responsibility of our members to cover the increase in expenses, that also falls on us. The February 1st deadline to institute the price increase was chosen to give members that had been planning on purchasing a share at the previous price the chance to still do so. I feel it is also appropriate to mention that we have flexible payment plans to fit most budgets, and that the full cost of a CSA share does not need to be paid up front. Additionally, if the price increase does not fit into your budget at all, the Monadnock Farm Share Program is a great resource for subsidized CSA shares, and we offer some shares through that program. I would like to finish by saying thank you to everyone that has supported us over the years, and I hope you know that we want to support you, too.

Best,
The Team at Tracie’s Farm

Share week 6 Summer Shares! Summer Share Signups are Open! We have a 16 week full share or an 8 week half share available. The full share gets a basket every week, and the half share gets one every other week. They feature staples and as well as lesser known varieties. In total we grow about 30 unique veggies for the summer season! Plus home delivery is an option!
Summer CSA Share Signups
Spring share Spring Shares! ONLY THREE LEFT! Limited space available! Just about 18 shares left in the spring season. We get started on March 16th and are looking forward to a bountiful spring. If you know, you know, the spring share is a great deal when there is usually still some snow on the ground.
Spring CSA Share Signups!
Fall VEggies Fall Shares! Still quite a ways out, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead, and the fall share helps you plan through the winter. Plenty of potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, winter squash, and more to last you well into January and potentially beyond.
Fall CSA Share Signups!
Turnip winter

What’s Up on the Farm

I am writing the newsletter from my parents house in Annapolis, MD tonight. My mom worked from home as a masseuse my whole life, and she has determined to make the shift from practicing massage to teaching massage. Much like farming, massage is manual labor and eventually wears you down. After years of training, she is offering her first course on Shiatsu Shin Tai massage, and I am down here learning a part of her trade. Who knows, maybe over the winters I will work as a part time masseuse!

This will be my last extended period of time off of the farm until probably December. When I get back I will do our first seed in the ground in the greenhouses–spinach, lettuce mix, brassica greens, tokyo bekana, snap peas, carrots, cilantro, dill, arugula, radishes, and turnips–and after that it is off to the races on the 2022 season. It’s always a little bit daunting of a proposition, but one I look forward to every year.

Before I left we had one of our part timers, Joe Muhonen, in for a meeting about switching to a full time position. Joe has been working with us since my first year managing five years ago, but he was only ever able to come in on Fridays. We’re both excited about having him around more often on the farm. While we talked, we prepped beds for the big seed coming up next week.

Aside from that, I work daily on the business and management end of the farm. Preparing schedules for the coming year, working out budgets, updating our website. Seeing some of the costs of goods for this year was pretty sobering. The website is still under construction while it has it’s main pages up and running. Working through the Farmers Business Planning Course has given me a lot of material for the site, as well clearing up some motivations of my own on the farm. I was never one for mission statements, but as part of my homework the last week I was tasked with coming up with a vision, mission, and purpose statement for the farm. I have to say, going through this process has totally changed my opinion. I now see the value in writing down a guiding philosophy for decision making on the farm, and I wish I had done this work years ago. I am hoping to share some of the work I am doing once the class is done.

That’s all for tonight. I hope every one has a great week, and in just a short 6 weeks I will start to see some of our spring share members on a weekly basis! Can’t wait!

nolan farmer

We are Hiring for 2022!

2022 marks our 23rd year of growing vegetables, and we are looking for a few of inspired individuals to join us!

We look for hardworking, enthusiastic, and self-motivated team players who are serious about farming and have a positive attitude. Employees are expected to work long days on your feet(paid hourly), lift 30lbs, follow directions, and pay attention to details, while having a good time with the rest of the crew.

Full Time positions are Monday through Friday — ~45 Hrs/wk — >28 Weeks out of the year — $13/hr

Lunch Provided on All Work Days

Please E-Mail Jack with any Interest in our Employment Positions

Farmers@TraciesFarm.com

Barn and Greenhouse Specialist

Positions Available: Full Time

Position Description: The barn and greenhouse specialist position does exactly that, they focus on keeping the barn and greenhouses running smoothly. The barn is the hub of activity on the farm as the farmers come in and out, customers visit the store, and members come to pick up. In the barn, this position primarily deals with the washing and packing of all produce, stocking the farm store, packing orders, and preparing for markets. In the greenhouses, this position is involved with potting up seedlings, watering, moving trays between houses, keeping the plant stand stocked, and pruning and trellising cucumbers and tomatoes.

The barn and greenhouse position requires close attention to detail, excellent organization, and ability to follow specific instructions. There will be crossover with the field tasks, but the focus is in the barn. Barn and Greenhouse Specialists are expected to be leaders in the barn when workshares and field crew are with them.

Full Time: ~45hrs/wk @ $13/hr. April – November

sarah farmer

Workshare!

Don’t have the time to commit to an entire season? The workshare position is perfect for folks that want to spend a day out of the week working and learning on a farm! We love having workshares on the farm because it is an opportunity to meet members in the community. The farm feels more alive with lots of people around. Workshares fill a wide variety of roles on the farm.

Lunch Prep
Farmers Market
Harvest
Weeding
Wash/Pack
Field
& Delivery Drivers!

In exchange for working seven hours per week on the farm, workshares are fed lunch on their workday and receive a weekly basket of produce with the bread and egg options included. Typically those hours are completed in one day, with the exception of the lunch prep workshare.

If you are interested in a workshare position, please call or email Jack:

443-994-4629 — Farmers@traciesfarm

Newsletter 1/17/22

Petunia
Good evening, everyone! I hope people had a relaxing three day weekend (maybe even more people got it with the snow?), and happy MLK Day. I’ve spent the past week and a half getting back into the rhythm of the farm in the winter. I’ve had plenty of computer work to get done, as well as some maintenance in the greenhouses. I hope everyone that got the greens last week enjoyed them, and my apologies to everyone that reached out just a little too late. Here’s a shameless plug to sign up for a spring share ASAP! There are about 18 shares left, and we get started in just over 2 months. That’s just for the start of shares. Bed prep for the spring has already begun! I was getting rid of greens last week to prep for the beds that get seeded on February 2st. I’ll seed 8 beds on the first day of February: Spinach, Lettuce Mix, Arugula, Brassica Mix, Radishes, Turnips, and Carrots. By February 23rd the heater in our propagation greenhouse gets fired up, and we fill the benches with onion transplants and more spring crops.

I’ve been working on a new website to replace our old one over the weekend. It is up online now. There are sure to be some hiccups as I finish off some of the final touches. The pertinent information is sound, though. Check it out if you haven’t been in a while! It still needs some more information–I’d like to add some recipes–but there are plenty of photos, and it’s an upgrade from our previous site. While I was working on it I realized I should be asking members to review us online from time to time. So if you have anything positive to say or have been happy with our produce, and are feeling motivated, give us a review on facebook, google, yelp etc! It can be really important for an online presence, and anything is appreciated.

https://traciesfarmnh.wordpress.com/

There’s been more this week. I’ve spent a lot of time working on our seed order, and we have seeds on the way. I am taking part in a Farmers Business Planning Course at the Hannah Grimes Center sponsored by the Cheshire County Conservation District. The conservation district paid for 6 farms tuition in the course, so big thanks to them! We had one class so far and it is really great to be in a room full of farmers talking about business goals. I believe there is going to be another course next year? If so I highly recommend all farmers, both established and prospective, check it out!
Even though there is more, I’ll end it there. Check out our shares for 2022!
Share week 6 Summer Shares!
Summer Share Signups are Open! We have a 16 week full share or an 8 week half share available. The full share gets a basket every week, and the half share gets one every other week. They feature staples and as well as lesser known varieties. In total we grow about 30 unique veggies for the summer season! Plus home delivery is an option!
Summer CSA Share Signups
Spring share Spring Shares!
Limited space available! Just about 18 shares left in the spring season. We get started on March 16th and are looking forward to a bountiful spring. If you know, you know, the spring share is a great deal when there is usually still some snow on the ground.
Spring CSA Share Signups!
Fall VEggies Fall Shares!
Still quite a ways out, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead, and the fall share helps you plan through the winter. Plenty of potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, winter squash, and more to last you well into January and potentially beyond.
Fall CSA Share Signups!
nolan farmer
Barn and Greenhouse Specialist
Positions Available: Full Time and Part Time
Position Description: The barn and greenhouse specialist position does exactly that, they focus on keeping the barn and greenhouses running smoothly. The barn is the hub of activity on the farm as the farmers come in and out, customers visit the store, and members come to pick up. In the barn, this position primarily deals with the washing and packing of all produce, stocking the farm store, packing orders, and preparing for markets. In the greenhouses, this position is involved with potting up seedlings, watering, moving trays between houses, keeping the plant stand stocked, and pruning and trellising cucumbers and tomatoes.
Full Time: ~45hrs/wk @ $13/hr. April – November
Part Time: 16-24hrs/wk @ $12/hr. June – October
The barn and greenhouse position requires close attention to detail, excellent organization, and ability to follow specific instructions. There will be crossover with the field tasks, but the focus is in the barn. Barn and Greenhouse Specialists are expected to be leaders in the barn when workshares and field crew are with them.

Field Specialist
Positions Available: Full Time and Part Time
Position Description: Field Specialists are concerned with carrying out the day to day field operations. The fields are carefully maintained and we look for individuals that are able to pay attention to details and follow instructions. Field crew deals with all harvesting on the farm as well as planting, weeding, trellising, bed prep, grass maintenance, and mulching. Field crew members will be taught how to drive the tractors and use field equipment.
Full Time: ~45hrs/wk @ $13/hr. April – November
Part Time: 16-24hrs/wk @ $12/hr. June – October
Being able to work quickly and efficiently while alone is a must, as well as being a leader in the field when workshares or barn crew members are with them.
Workshare!
Don’t have the time to commit to an entire season? The workshare position is perfect for folks that want to spend a day out of the week working and learning on a farm! We love having workshares on the farm because it is an opportunity to meet members in the community. The farm feels more alive with lots of people around. Workshares fill a wide variety of roles on the farm.
▪Lunch Prep
▪Farmers Market
▪Harvest
▪Weeding
▪Wash/Pack
▪Field
▪& Delivery Drivers!
In exchange for working seven hours per week on the farm, workshares are fed lunch on their workday and receive a weekly basket of produce with the bread and egg options included. Typically those hours are completed in one day, with the exception of the lunch prep workshare.If you are interested in a workshare position, please call or email Jack:443-994-4629 — Farmers@traciesfarm

Tracie’s Farm Newsletter — Happy New Year!

 
Share week 6
Happy New Year, Everyone! I am writing this newsletter from quarantine in upstate NY where I spent my New Years Eve, and as such have not been able to return to the farm since. Friday night I started to feel symptoms of COVID, and on Saturday morning I tested positive. Luckily it has been a mild case, but it is taking a frustratingly long time to test negative and drive back to New Hampshire. I have been able to get plenty of computer work done in the mean time. Lately I’ve been working on our master schedule for 2022, which includes all of our seeding and planting dates, as well as our projected harvest dates and more maintenance tasks. It is always fun to farm from a computer–it’s so under control!New Years has always been my favorite holiday of the holiday season. I love the feeling of a fresh start, like you can leave everything behind you and just focus on what is to come. I don’t think I am alone in feeling that a lot of 2021 can be left behind, and although 2022 hasn’t begun the way I would have liked (see: me being stuck in quarantine in upstate NY) there is plenty more of the new year to come. There is also plenty from 2021 that I am grateful for. It was another year of learning and growth, as they all are on the farm, and I wouldn’t cast that aside for anything. I got to work with a wonderful group of people this year–some I have been working alongside for years, and others that I got to form new relationships with. I picked up new hobbies off of the farm. It turns out that I LOVE playing ultimate frisbee, and joined a pickup league over the summer. I met loads of new people through ultimate, and even a couple of new farmer friends. It turns out the real die hards even keep playing through the winter. I’m not quite at that level of obsessed yet, but on a warm(er) day when I don’t have much to do I go out and play from time to time. I think the most important lesson I learned in 2021 was that I need to take some time for my own personal interests outside of the farm. I love my job, and often when people ask me why I work so much I say its because it is also my hobby. Planning and growing and tending to the plants is just genuinely what I want to do with my time, but because it is my job and my biggest hobby, it can quickly become my whole life. I learned to step back a little bit and find some things I enjoy off of the farm, and that taking some time for myself will not doom the season. Actually, it helps me stay fresh longer through the season without getting burnt out on it. So as much as I am looking forward to the new year, I am grateful for everything 2021 had to offer. The good and the bad.If anyone else has anything they are grateful for from 2021 that they would like to share, please send them my way! I love to hear what others have to say, and if I get enough replies I’ll put some of them in the next newsletter. Happy 2022, everyone. Here’s to hoping it’s the best year yet.
Summer CSA Share Signups
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Spring CSA Share Signups!
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Fall CSA Share Signups!
Spring share Fall VEggies
Summer Shares
After listening to feedback from our members, we have decided to implement a few changes to our summer shares in order to best serve our members.

▪One Size Share, with different frequency.

Instead of multiple share sizes that often left the half share with a basket that never felt like enough produce, we have decided to make the half share a difference of frequency. Now there will just be a Full Share and a Half Share. The full share will receive 16 weeks of produce throughout the season, and the half share will receive 8 weeks of produce. This is a change a long time in the coming as we have noticed other farms using this model for share sizes with great success. We believe this will result in a more consistent and bountiful share for all of our members.

▪Removing produce add-ons to include the most variety in all of our CSA shares.

Add-ons were once used as a way to allow members to boost the amount of produce in their share each week. The removal of add-ons will make for a more equitable share for all of our members, and give the farmers a little more leeway to include veggie items that many of our members would have liked to receive, but couldn’t justify shelling out the extra cash for.

▪One distribution day in order to simplify harvest and provide the best quality produce to all.

We used to pass out to members on two days in order to split up the labor of harvest, and ease the burden of distribution on our barn crew. That meant that baskets would differ a little bit on share days depending on which day of the week we were harvesting. With only a single share day, all baskets will receive an equal share of the produce, regardless of share day. I look forward to this change as it will make for an improved product for all.

▪Dropping the canning share sizes, but offering more bulk produce options to our members.

The large family share and the family share used to be shares that members would use if they were interested in canning and storing. Although we will not be offering these share sizes anymore, we plan to increase the availability of bulk produce for our members to use for storage. CSA members will have access to discounted bulk produce such as: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Basil, Beans, and any other produce we grow extra of that is suitable for putting up.
Feel Free to Reach Out.
I understand this will come as a big change to some of our members. Particularly members that used to get the family and large family share sizes. Please keep in mind that we are only implementing changes because we feel this will benefit all of our share members, including those that used to receive the larger share sizes. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to farmers@traciesfarm.com.