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Posted 3/23/2018 11:54am by John and Aimee Good.

The snow was thick on the fields yesterday, but it is melting fast today!

The old timers' say that the spring snowmelt puts nitrogen into the soil to feed the plants.

We should have some happy plants this year I would imagine!

 

I thought everyone would enjoy seeing a bit of green right about now.

So here are some pictures of the seedlings in the greenhouse.

Although the nights are cold, when the days are sunny it can be 80 degrees in the greenhouse and the plants are growing well.

Below, from left to right, are baby tomatoes, beets, broccoli, and onions.


Spring is on the way. And we are looking forward to preparing the fields for sowing. The first CSA pickups are only 10 weeks away - the first week of June!


Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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Posted 3/14/2018 1:15pm by John and Aimee Good.

BEFORE: Patches on the greenhouse, from the outside, and the inside. 
   



AFTER: New plastic on the greenhouse, 2 layers replaced

We had a great crew of family and friends over on Sunday, and together we restored the greenhouse to full functioning! We decided on Sunday because the weather forecast was for a calm day, with very low wind, and sun. Well, the morning did not hold up to the forecast, and we fought the plastic to keep it from sailing aloft. There were some strong gusts, and even the children came out to sit along the edges for extra weight!

By noon the weathermen were proved right, and the calm, warm day arrived. We were able to re-do the parts that did not get tight the first time, when the wind was billowing the plastic, and although it took longer than we expected, it worked out beautifully in the end.

And just in time! I don't know how well our patches would have stood up to leaks on the extremely cold nights this week!

You know the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, the lion is definitely roaring through the beginning of March! Hopefully the lamb will greet us as we near the end of the month. . . hoping for spring weather to arrive soon!

We may have another late start to the planting season, as we did last year after the big March snowstorm. But we are continuing to start seedlings and prepare for the season as usual. We know that the plants will catch up once  we can get them outside, and we cannot prepare fields until they are ready, so we wait on Mother Nature.

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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Posted 3/6/2018 6:41pm by John and Aimee Good.


We almost can't believe it . . . everything that happened in the last few days, was the best possible scenario. So many neighbors, friends, and family lent a hand when we really needed it. The insurance company responded immediately on Monday morning, and sent out the adjuster this morning. Our old neighbor from Kutztown, Leon Brubaker, who is a farmer and builds pole barns, came out first thing this morning with his crew to install the 2 by 4's and fasten the tarps to the roof. And then, after talking it over with us, decided he could possibly get the metal roofing and sheet the roof today. Luck was with us . . . and a very hard-working crew of Mennonites, and the roof is on the main section of the barn!

John and I just wanted to share how grateful we are for this experience. Not that it is finished, or that we particularly want it to happen again, but the outpouring of love that we have received from the community has been amazing, humbling, and wonderful. We truly are so much stronger together than we could ever be as individuals, and sometimes it takes "hard times" to realize this.

We want to thank you all, for the amazing support and kindness that you have extended to us, such kind words and deeds. We are truly grateful, we cannot adequately express how much this means to us.

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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Posted 3/5/2018 1:12pm by John and Aimee Good.

We were very worried about the greenhouse and the high tunnel surviving the extremely strong winds, beginning on Friday. On Friday morning, John and I abandoned our plans for greenhouse seeding, and spent the morning fighting the intense winds to install webbing straps crossing the greenhouse from all sides, in hopes of keeping the plastic on the structure through the storm.

Well, the plastic did mostly stay on the greenhouse.

What we were not expecting at all, was for wind to funnel down the field in a spiral, and lift the barn roof, as well as all the posts of the front lean-to, and toss it in the air, to land in the field behind the barn. Our neighbors witnessed the event, which happened in an instant.

John had been walking behind the barn to check on the greenhouse (for the umpteenth time) about 10 minutes prior.

We are so grateful that he was not behind the barn when the roof came off and landed in a heap there.

 

Above left, the front of the barn, missing the front lean-to and the roof. Above right, the back of the barn, a bit of roof still hanging onto the back lean-to, but the entire top is gone.

Below left, a crew of family, neighbors, and friends came to help us clean up. Below right, a view from inside the barn, looking up.

 The only damage to the greenhouse was sustained by the roof hitting it as it fell, bending the vent pipes and fan louvers, as well as gashing and ripping the plastic in several places. We are patching and repairing as we can now, but will have to replace both plastic layers on the greenhouse at some point in the season, when it is feasible to do so.

As we have been without power and keeping the greenhouse warm with portable propane heaters, we were lucky to be able to send the most delicate plants, the early tomatoes, along home to the greenhouses of our farmer friends for the time being.

We did get power restored today, and are working to get the greenhouse back in order as soon as possible.

We are in contact with our insurance company to arrange to fix the barn, and in the meantime are working with a local contractors to fasten giant tarps on the roof.

We thank you for your support and understanding. Please be aware we may be a bit slower to attend to other matters as we are dealing with this.

We also want to say that, although we are feeling stressed by this ordeal, especially in light of snow in the forecast, we also feel extremely lucky. Lucky that John was not behind the barn when this happened; lucky to have such a good community of neighbors, farm friends and family who came together to help us when we needed it; and lucky to have the support of our members, who are with us for the long haul of each growing season.

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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Posted 3/1/2018 10:07am by John and Aimee Good.


The power of the sun grows our vegetables. We want to harness this energy to store the vegetables as well, to run the coolers in the barn.

We are collaborating with Blue Rock Station, to host a 5-Day Solar Electric Certification Workshop. Jay Warmke from Blue Rock Station will be providing instruction for up to 10 attendees. Participants will learn how to design and install residential solar PV systems, and will actually install a small solar array on the barn roof as part of the class. All participants will be able to become ETA certified installers; the exam concludes the 5-day workshop.

Here is what Blue Rock Station has to say about this workshop:

Want to learn how to install solar?  Maybe you even want to become certified to work in the solar field.  Now you can spend just five days of training (4 1/2 classroom instruction and 1/2 day taking the certification test) in a location near you - to realize your goal.

According to the 2017 US Energy and Employment Report, more people now work in the US solar industry than in oil, natural gas, and coal extraction - combined. And employment is growing at about 25% per year.

Solar electric will dominate technology in the coming decades, in ways similar to how desktop computers and the Internet transformed our society over the past three decades. Prices continue to plummet - the price of a system cut in half every three years.

This PV course is designed for beginners, so experience with electric or electronics is not necessary. In this class you will gain practical real world hands-on experience, and you will be job ready to join one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. 

You will practice on a working PV system, dismantling and reinstalling it, troubleshooting and ensuring its proper operation.  During the course you will learn to size your system according to your electrical needs, select the type of system that works best for your situation, select all the components for your system, size the wiring and overcurrent protection, price the system, size and select the battery bank (if needed) - basically, when you leave you will be able to design from start to finish a residential solar PV system and install it as well.  The course concludes with an industry-recognized certification examination.

ETA Examination fees (normally $150) and course materials (installation toolkit and student workbook - also valued at around $150) are included as part of the course fee.

$970 registration includes: instruction, textbook (Understanding Photovoltaics: A Study Guide for Solar Electric Certification Programs) starter tool kit, lunches, and the ETA Photovoltaic Installer Certification exam.

As the workshop hosts, The Good Farm will be providing delicious farm lunches for all participants!

For more details and to register, visit www.bluerockstation.com.

Please share this email or this  Solar Certification Flyer to help us spread the word!

 

Thank you!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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Posted 3/1/2018 8:47am by John and Aimee Good.


It's so good to see something green & growing!

We are getting very excited for spring.

The greenhouse is filling up with onions, leeks, & scallions, early tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli.  We continue to seed more crops every week!

Farmer John is watering the young transplants here, pictured left.


NEW DROP SITE!

We have added 1 new CSA drop site, in Jim Thorpe at Jim Thorpe Yoga, on Wednesdays from 4-6 pm.

We are currently looking to add a drop site on the western end of Allentown, in the 18104 zip code. If anyone has any recommendations of possible locations in this area, please let us know!

 

STRAWBERRIES!

Yesterday we uncovered and weeded the strawberries that we planted last fall. They are some of the strongest, healthiest plants we have ever seen at this time of the year.   We are hopeful that this will bring a great crop in June! Everyone LOVES strawberries!

 

SOLAR CERTIFICATION CLASS!

 

We are hosting a 5-day Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) Certification Workshop, May 7th - May 11th, with Blue Rock Station. We will be sending an email tomorrow with the complete details, as well as a flyer to share, post, and distribute.

Designed for beginners, this workshop will offer hands-on experience installing a system on our barn roof, as well as "classroom" education, and will conclude with an industry-recognized certification examination, to get people started as PV installers, for themselves or as a business.

Keep an eye on your inbox, and please help us spread the word!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

Like us on Facebook!

Posted 2/22/2018 2:36pm by John and Aimee Good.

Dear %%user-firstname%%,

Today is CSA Day! We would like to take a moment to thank you, our members, for making the commitment to eat the CSA way, for supporting our family farm, for joining with us to try to change the world . . . one vegetable at a time. It is your support that makes it possible for us to continue to do this very challenging, but amazing work.

You can wear this ribbon with pride! You are a CSA member hero!

Feel free to share this image and pass it on. . . to spread the good word.

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

Like us on Facebook!

Posted 2/22/2018 1:49pm by John and Aimee Good.

Dear %%user-name%%,

Do you have spring fever? I know I do!

We were excited to see the first onion shoots unfolding and reaching for the sun, to stand up tall and straight.

The shoots always come out of the soil bent in half, middle of the stem first, and then unfurl to straighten, unlike any other plant we know. It's kind of neat!

 

Do you want to know what is in store for this season on the farm?

We are trialing some exciting new varieties this year . . .

Silver Slicer cucumber, an  organic, open-pollinated variety, bred by Cornell University, which is reported to be "the best eating cucumber of them all. creamy-white tender skin, long and slim, buttery crunchy crisp fruits, neither watery nor ever bitter."   fedoseeds

2 new winter squash varieties: Tay Belle Acorn squash and Winter Luxury Pie pumpkins. Tay Belle Acorn squash have a nutty, sweet, dense flesh, with flavors reminiscent of chestnut, excellent for baking and stuffing. Winter Luxury pie pumpkin is an organic variety, known for excellent pies, baking, soups, etc. in a pretty little pumpkin package.

Tomatoes: several new variety trials, including: Orange Jazz, Cherokee Carbon, Granadero paste, Bobcat, Betty, and Motomaro, all chosen for flavor, hardy plants, beauty, and productivity. Orange Jazz, an organic variety, is a beautiful orange and yellow striped beefsteak variety, "strikingly sweet flavor with a hint of peach". Betty is beautiful red slicer, with a" sweet, full-bodied flavor." Cherokee Carbon is an Heirloom Marriage, where a breeder crosses an heirloom variety with a hardy producer to create a variety with heirloom flavor in a stronger, more productive plant.

Other new variety trials include potatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, peppers and more.  New crops include fennel bulb and watermelon radish for autumn harvest, romaine lettuce heads for spring/summer.

 

We have some big building plans for this year . . .

We will be building another high tunnel this year! We received an EQIP grant for a 30' by 96' high tunnel, which will house the trellised tomatoes, and the older tunnel will house trellised cucumbers and late season lettuces.

We are hosting a solar electric (Photovoltaic) certification class! We are partnering with Blue Rock Station to host this class. More information to come on that soon!

 

Looking forward to spring!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

Like us on Facebook!

Posted 2/20/2018 3:15pm by John and Aimee Good.


It's the final countdown:    CSA Day is this Friday, February 23rd!

If you have been with us on this mailing list since the beginning of February, you know this is the magic day, the day to say "yes!" to a happier, healthier you by joining a CSA!

If you are new to this list, you can catch up on all the great posts you missed this month here, on our blog. ( "What's in a CSA share? Nitty gritty details of membership .. . Take the CSA Quiz! . . . What other CSA members are saying. . . CSA questions answered . . . and more.)

Making the commitment to join this week is important because it GUARANTEES that you will get a spot in the CSA this season, sets you up for an easy 6 month payment plan, and BONUS! - you get a free GOOD FARM tote bag at your first CSA pickup! (Special offer only good for CSA signups on or before February 23rd!)

If you are excited about our CSA program, and are ready to join the 115 other members already signed up for this year, click here to Sign-Up Now!

Do you want to know the details of our CSA Membership package again?

We review all the details below. 

There is a lot of text here, but please don't be tempted to ignore it. This has all the info you may need about our CSA. Just scan, and then read where you want to learn more. And feel free to get back to us with any questions! 

Benefits of CSA Membership:

  • 24 weeks delicious produce, June - November, picked fresh daily, so you get the best in flavor and nutrition. (CSA small share from September pictured right.)
  • 100% Good Farm-grown, 100% certified organic, for your peace of mind.
  • 2 share sizes to meet your needs, plus members can add-on weekly items via the online store, CSA Extras.
  • Upick garden open to all members, 4 days/week seasonally, so you can spend a day on the farm.
  • Extra shares to make it a one-stop-shop: Fruit, eggs, bread, cheese, and new - coffee (coming soon!)
  • E-newsletter with cooking tips and recipes to teach you the art of seasonal eating.
  • Pick up on-farm in beautiful Germansville or at convenient delivery locations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
  • When you know your farmer, you can trust your food.

SHARE SIZES & FEES:

  • Small share (most popular size, feeds 2+ adults) 8 items weekly, at $26 per week, or $625 for the 6 month season, June - November
  • Regular share (family size, feeds a large family or 4 adults) 10-12 items weekly, at $35 per week, or $840 for the 6 month season, June- November

PAYMENT PLANS:

20% Deposit due at signup ($125 for small share, $168 for regular.)

Remainder: 4 payments in the same amount as the deposit; due March 30, April 30, May 30, June 30.

SHARE SIZE DETAILS:

80% of members prefer the small share. It is suitable for couples, small families, etc. with an average of 8 items weekly. An item could be a bunch of carrots, a head of lettuce, 6-8 oz. salad mix, 2 lbs tomatoes, 2 lbs potatoes, a melon.

The small share is about 2/3 the size of the regular. We do not offer a half share because certain items, such as a melon or head of lettuce, are not easily halved.

The regular share is for large size families, or for those who want to put up lots of produce for the winter months, with 10-12 items weekly. Some members also split this size share with another family, alternating weekly pickups.

PICTURES ARE WORTH 1000 WORDS: Check out our CSA showcase of small shares.

PICKUP OPTIONS:

1) On-farm, market-style, Tuesdays (1-6pm) or Fridays (2-7pm), or Boxed Share on Saturday mornings (9 am - noon)

  • Market Style pickup: Members pick and pack their own shares. Set amount of staples (ie. tomatoes, onions, potatoes, sweet corn, carrots, etc.) plus selection of greens, and rotating choices of unusual & unique veg. (think beets, turnips, radishes).

2)Boxed share delivery

  • Boxed Share: All the staples and usual favorites included weekly, plus rotating selection of unusual and unique items.

*** CURRENT DELIVERY SITES

1) Allentown, 3-7 pm, Sanctuary for Healing Therapies & Mama Flower's Remedies, 2358 Sunshine Rd. Allentown PA 18103

2) Hellertown, 3-7 pm, Doggy Dao & Cat's Meow, 1238 Main Street, Hellertown PA 18055

3) Kutztown, 2-7 pm, Young Ones, 26 S. Whiteoak St. Kutztown PA 19530

4) Trexlertown, 2-6 pm, Livewell Integrated Health, 8026 Hamilton Blvd. Breiningsville, PA 18031

* New locations may be possible. If you would like us to start a new pickup location, please contact us with your suggestion. We need a minimum of 10 shares to create a delivery site!

UPICK GARDEN: All members are welcome to visit the Upick garden to harvest their own berries, fresh flowers, herbs, peas, beans, cherry tomatoes, and more during open farm hours. Upick crops are included in the cost of a CSA share, and amounts are set according to share size. Delivered shares may receive 1 week of berries and 1 week of snap beans in their boxes as well. 

Open Farm Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 am - 7 pm. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am - noon.

EXTRA SHARES:  We partner with other local farmers and producers to offer "extra shares", to enrich the CSA experience and make a one-stop-shop of local foods for our members!

  • Fruit: 16 weeks of delicious local fruit: mouth-watering peaches, both yellow and white varieties; Bosc and Bartlett pears; and many different varieties of apples, including Honeycrisp, Keepsake, Liberty, Jonagold, and more, grown in Kempton, PA by County Line Orchards, with low-spray methods (not organic).     
  • Eggs: 1 dozen fresh, certified organic, pasture-raised eggs from Spring Creek Farms. You can see and taste the difference of truly pastured eggs in the beautiful orange yolks.     Weekly share:  23 weeks ($150)
  • Bread: Artisan breads from The Daily Loaf: fresh-baked whole-grain loaves made from organic flour, water, salt and sourdough culture. Styles include Multi-grain, Whole Wheat, Onion Rye, Seeded wheat, as well as seasonal specialties such as Blueberry and Sweet Potato, pre-sliced for convenience.   Weekly share: 21 weeks: $140
  • Cheese: Biweekly share, 2 wedges of hand-made artisan cheese  hand-crafted by Valley Milkhouse and Birchrun Hills Farm, small batch, family run operations producing award-winning cheese: fresh cheeses like feta and creamy fromage blanc to soft-ripened cheeses such as brie to aged cheeses including rustic tommes, blues, and nutty alpine styles. Birchrun Hills Farm has their own pasture-based dairy operation and Valley Milkhouse uses milk from Spring Creek Farm, a certified organic, pasture-based dairy.      11 weeks: $185
  • Coffee: from Bake Oven Roasters, more info coming soon!

 

Great! You made it through!

Now that you've reviewed the details, you can head on over to our Sign Up page if you are ready to become a member!

Please remember, we are here to talk to you about our CSA program. You can email, call, or even come by for a visit. We believe CSA is the best possible way to get farm-fresh delicious produce and we would love to show you!

P.S. Tomorrow we will send the step-by-step instructions on how to sign up!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

Like us on Facebook!

Posted 2/20/2018 2:36pm by John and Aimee Good.

As CSA farmers, we value our members. We always strive to provide a good value in our shares, in a number of ways.

In 2017, we recorded the weekly share items and amounts, and compared them to the cost of certified organic produce at our local Wegman's or farmer's market, depending on the item.

Week by week, we entered the data . . .

And the numbers were amazing!

In 2017, a bountiful year, small share members received $770 worth of produce, while regular share members received $1190.

So . . .  members got $8-$18 more value per week than what they paid!     This is a great deal!

When you think about the extra benefits not included in the numbers above - the Upick garden, the farm education, and the fact that the produce is unbelievably fresh, it becomes a deal that is hard to pass up.

Let's make another comparison. The average American family of 4 spends about $222.50 per week on food, on a moderate budget, according to the USDA*. *Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at 4 Levels, June 2017, (varies according to children's age and thrifty, low-cost, moderate, or liberal food plan.)

Using these data, a weekly small CSA share is only 12% of the weekly food budget for a family of four.

I just found this really interesting, and thought maybe you would also.

Although I like the stories about the plants and the people on the farm the best, sometimes the numbers tell a good story too.

 

We  have more stories to share with you . . . about our plans for 2018, new varieties, new add-ons, and more.

The story of the 2018 season actually began today, with the first seeding of sweet, red, and yellow onions in the greenhouse!  Farmer John is on the left, and or new farm apprentice Megan Sonier is on the right. I was taking the picture of course!

 

We are excited about the start of the new season. We want to share the 2018 farm with you!

Don't forget, if you sign up for your CSA share by CSA Day, February 23rd, you will get a free Good Farm tote bag!  

1 week and counting!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

The Good Farm

www.goodfarmcsa.com

8112 Church Road

Germansville PA 18053

484-262-0675

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The Good Farm is a certified organic farm raising vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and farmer's market. Farmers John and Aimee Good specialize in providing the best quality and most flavorful varieties of the vegetables you love to eat- the staples! We have happy members - over 70% return every year!

 

Many customers say they eat healthier, feel better, learn to cook new things, save money, and even lose weight by joining the farm. We are all connected to farming, as we are all eaters. Experience seasonal eating. Support a type of farm that you can believe in; the kind you imagined as a child; where people pick the produce by hand, the soils are thriving, and the fields are full of life. Become a CSA member or visit The Good Farm at the Trexlertown Farmer's Market. Because "it's all GOOD!"

 

"Eating is an agricultural act" - Wendell Berry

8112 Church Rd.
Germansville, PA 18053
484-262-0675
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