* Launch info Week 41 (Jan 25-31) TapRoot 2016

Good Morning Members, (sorry for the essay - but it is quite important that you read the info below)

2016 CSA will be launched Wednesday for CSA members.  Before launching I would like to hear from the members who are able to join this evening on the members call ~ it will likely inspire changes.

Here are the details for the call:

Hi there, 
Patricia Bishop is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 
Topic: TapRoot Member Meeting
Time: Jan 26, 2016 8:00 PM (GMT-4:00) Halifax 
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/252573654?pwd=Nbim4V1Q8Ao%3D
    Password: TapRoot
Or join by phone:
    +1 647 558 0588 (Canada Toll)
    Meeting ID: 252 573 654 
    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=oen8a-sa3LUVL00utnJFy4jsaj1TVS7K 

Major changes that we are planning for 2016 ~ Balancing as we move into year 8

When you go to sign up again for your CSA there will be some major changes.  Please continue to join us on our journey and help us become better at being your farmers by a) sticking with us through these changes and b) providing constructive feedback as we go into 2016. Thank you so much!

1) Offering 38 weeks. April 4 - Dec 24th. 

Background: We have offered the 50 week CSA because I/we have had a strong opinion that because we are able to offer local food year round that we will and that is what we do. We need income year round and we want to provide employment year round. It is also easy for  members to have the flow of local food from the farm be routine year round. So why the change? The truth is that I (Patricia) am feeling strongly that Josh and I are becoming weary. This isn't an easy statement to make. I feel that we need to create some space to focus on wrapping up a season and planning for a new one outside of the day to day activity of running the farm. We have tried over the past few years to hire people who could manage the farm activities so we can do this other piece of farm business work and we've been blessed with great team members who have helped shape TapRoot. At the end of the day we have not been able to offer enough for the commitment that is required to oversee management  aspects of the farm. We've accepted this now and this is one very big reason why I am wanting to make this change this year. We are also making this change to align our fiscal year with our CSA year which will make one aspect of our work easier to manage. The plan is that we will offer 2017 winter shares in September but it will likely be into January or February before we start up to give us time on the farm to wrap up and plan for the year ahead. 

2) Offering one size for fruit and vegetables.

Background: We've loved offering the two sizes. When we take a critical look at the expenses and income and activities we find that the small CSA share has the same effort in packing time and box cost but with less return. As you can see from our financials (click here), we need to tighten things up seriously. The small share is our largest seller so this is very risky and quite frankly, scary. We have discussed and debated and come to a $20/week share size. A bit less for those who are use to large amounts and a but more for those use to smaller amounts. Also, we've found that often the small share value in the box is much higher which is unfair to the large share members. The idea here is that this will reduce confusion and costs and still provide members with a great share of veggie from the farm each week. 

3) Flower shares on hold

Background: These decisions to reduce or change don't come easily. We have had a dream and the dream is having to change or modify. The flowers have been so lovely! We have been so thankful for Tim and then Jill and always Valarie in planning and creating beautiful bouquets. Again, the costs to offer the flower shares and the impact on the overall flow of activity was more than the farm can manage at this time. 

4) Making a few changes to delivery locations and times ~ some of your requests we have not acted on, not because we don't think they are great ideas but we just don't have the capacity to sort out the details before launch time. You will see some changes to please review carefully. 

5) This year we ask that you print the membership agreement and send it to us. We'd also like a family picture for the members wall. We haven't had it for awhile and we miss seeing your faces.  

We are really excited to launch a new year, year 8. We hope these changes are ones that you are able to accept.

If you didn't see the results from the survey please check out last weeks newsletter. 

With a smile and a skip and a carrot to munch on, onward we go.


ps. Veggie, Fruit, Meat, Eggs and Full Monty all will be available for members only for 1 Week ~ sign in then click on sign up ~ Tomorrow/Wednesday. 


Recipes from Denise's Test Kitchen

I've tried recipes from Saveur before and they've always been great. I'm making this delicious Tuscan Bean Soup tonight!

I love napa cabbage and I love this delicious grilled chicken-sesame salad! The marinade is really tasty, the texture is both crunchy and chewy, and the combination of flavours is perfect.

Oh my gosh--we made this banana blueberry baked oatmeal over the weekend and it was a-maz-ing! No watching the pot with this recipe. Throw everything into a baking dish, put it in the oven, and then go and have your shower. When you come back, TA-DA! Easy peasy, and so good!

Any recipe that dates back to my grandmother's day is a slam dunk in my books. This apple nut cake calls for Crispin apples--chosen for their sweet flavour--which grow really well here in the Valley. It's been some time since I've enjoyed my grandmother's apple cake, but this tastes darn close.

Easy + crock pot + balsamic reduction = doesn't matter what the dish is! :) But add Brussels sprouts to the mix and you have a pot full of deliciousness. Two thumbs up for this slow cooker balsamic Brussels sprouts recipe.

So much delicious food for these cold and beautiful winter days... Have a great week, everyone!