Month of April 2023
What is Biological Agriculture & Why Should You Care?
Dear FARMily! This month's newsletter is loaded with great information for all members and non-members alike! All of our interviews, articles, gardening tips and more are BRAND NEW this month and we have an updated calendar of events for you as well as some VERY IMPORTANT announcements too Don't miss this one - enjoy😁!
So we just finished the Winter season and we are kicking off the Spring 2023 season this week! It's always an exciting time to transition from season to season, saying goodbye to some old faces and hello to some new ones. The spring time is always a very exciting time on the farm as well as we start to see lot's of new growth and we begin to see the fruits of all our winter's work. Never-mind that the Spring is the busiest season of all, as we prepare the farm for the long year ahead!
This year is no exception! The unheated greenhouses are looking amazing, and our nursery is filling up to almost beyond-capacity (a good problem to have!). The weeding volunteers have been at it and doing an awesome job while the rest of the crew has been pushing hard to get the farm ready for Summer (and believe it or not, but we are almost starting to plant for Fall already - think onions and winter squash!). The farm is looking great and we are confident that it will be a great year (maybe our best ever!)!
The weather has been an absolute bear this year, with (officially according to my local data), the coldest winter we have ever had and that's on top of one of the coldest Fall's and now, the Spring transition has been a killer! Never have we experienced the cold being so intense during the daytime and such extreme temps at night. It's still dipping into the single digits at night, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a negative night this month - it's absurd 🙄.
With all that said, we still ended up with a fantastic Winter season. No, it wasn't perfect, and there is always room for improvement, but considering the weather, we are super proud of what we were able to provide our members. Freshly harvested radishes, carrots, lettuce, kale, spinach and more were amazing to see in the Winter and if you enjoyed the Winter season, wait until you see what we have in store for you for the Spring! We are hoping it will be a very abundant season with loads of variety (of course the first few weeks will be greens galore!)!
Of course, this week is Passover for the Camire family and that means that the farm is closed (see below for some important announcements) and the shuffle over the next two weeks is going to be INSANE! Short weeks with a short staff - it's going to be rough, but we've gotten through it before, and we will do it again😄! For those of you celebrating, we wish you a very big CHAG PESACH SAMEACH!!!!
This coming month we also have tons of classes and events planned (see below for our calendar), and we have some VERY important announcements in this month's newsletter, so please don't miss this one!
I, the family and the team look forward to serving you, meeting you and getting to know you throughout the season! Thank you so much for your support!💖
To Your Health!
WE L❤️VE OUR COMMUNITY!
⚠️VERY IMPORTANT SCHEDULE UPDATE
Please note the following schedule for the FIRST & SECOND week of the season (all locations and times are the same):
(We return to a normal Thursday/Friday schedule on week 3)
👩🌾Around the Farm This Week👩🌾
What a wonderful crew...Jessie was missed (at home with the new little one🥰!)
👈Painting with Tess is always such a hit with the kiddos! Here is Ovi showing off his beautiful artwork, joined by his sister Elisheva 🥰.
👉It's seeding season like crazy right now! Here is Farmer Aiden seeding a bed of arugula!
👈Oh me oh my, just look at that packed nursery! Looking good Lorin!
👉The lettuce lately, including this week, is absolutely incredible! So pretty, so fresh, so tasty!
👈We had some awesome volunteers at our Volunteer Day this month! Put our next volunteer day on your calendar - April 16th @ 9am!
👇Evan and Katie are moving on... We are so sad to see them go, but we are happy for them on their new adventure. They are moving to New York and will be fulfilling a greater chapter in their lives, and we give them our blessing and sent them away with a going away party - ice skating! It sure was a lot of fun, and here we see Katie and Evan, skating with Eliana...just an epic picture to represent their loving, caring and upright characters! We will miss them for sure!
🏆TOP TEN MOST SUSTAINABLE FARMS OF 2023!🏆
We are so humbled, honored and excited to
announce to the world that we have received some wonderful recognition! Agri Business Review Magazine has awarded us as being one of the Top Ten Most Sustainable Farms of 2023!
We aren't perfect, and we still have a very long way to go, but we are very honored to be recognized and validated for our hard work over the last 9 years!
Thank you to our amazing team, our incredible volunteers and
our beloved community for all your support, your efforts in making this place what it is today and for standing by us through this amazing journey over the last 9 years! We love you all and are beyond-words grateful.
"Agriculture, crucial for human life, is
one of the world's largest industries. It's size, along with unsustainable farming practices, make it a major cause of air, soil and water pollution. Amid concerns about the impact of modern agricultural methods on the environment, Ahavah Farm rises to the occasion with a strong commitment to bringing sustainability to farming..."
Ahavah Community Upcoming Schedule
👉March 31st @ 10am: ADULT EDUCATION! How to Grow Your Own. Part 2 of 4. w/ Lorin Mattemore. Register HERE
👉March 31st @ 11am: FAMILY FRIENDLY! Ahavah Community INDOOR Spring Market
👉April 6th & 7th - Farm Closed for Passover. NO FARMER'S MARKET THIS WEEK!
👉April 10th - 13th - Farm OFFICE Closed for Passover. Events, CSA distribution and all programing WILL continue as usual, including the Farmer's Market. Only the office will be closed.
👉April 14th @ 11am: FAMILY FRIENDLY! Ahavah Community INDOOR Spring Market
👉April 21st @ 9am: TOUR! Farm Tour - Explore. Experience. Learn w/Farmer Yosef. Register HERE
👉April 21st @ 10am: ADULT EDUCATION!- An In-depth look at Biological Agriculture. Part 1 of 4. w/Farmer Yosef. Register HERE
👉April 28th @ 11am: FAMILY FRIENDLY! Ahavah Community INDOOR Spring Market
👉April 28th @ 11am: KIDS ACTIVITY! Painting w/ Tess!
Go to www.ahavahfarm.com/classes to learn more, to register and to see the rest of our schedule of events and classes!
Founded in April of 2018, our mission is to connect people who are facing food insecurity due to financial struggles to locally-farmed, regeneratively-grown produce, and to provide education centered around healthy living and environmental consciousness. We do this by offering donated memberships to a local CSA program. Memberships include a weekly bag of produce along with discounted (often free) farm tours, classes, and events.
We want to help participate in the creation of a local food-system-economy, build on a diversity of local and regenerative food education and provide activities and children's events centered around environmentally responsible agriculture and pure, beyond-organic, local food.
🚨Donated share applications for SUMMER close MAY 1st!🚨
Ahavah Community Initiative's applications for a free SUMMER CSA membership open on April 1st and closes on May 1st. Do not miss this opportunity.
All accepted applications include:
🥕Free Veggie-Share CSA Membership (18 weeks of fresh, local vegetables)
🥕Offering FREE garden plants for you to grow your own!
🥕Free and discounted classes
🥕All regular membership discounts.
🥕Free delivery available on request.
🥕Fully anonymous. You are treated like any other member.
👇👇👇👇CLICK HERE TO APPLY👇👇👇👇
☝️☝️☝️☝️CLICK HERE TO APPLY☝️☝️☝️☝️
Oh the amazing power of community and crowdfunding!
Every week, at all of the CSA locations, we have a bin or jar that looks similar to this. We ask all of our members to consider bringing just one dollar with them every week to help us provide a CSA membership to a families in need next season.
Don't say your dollar isn't important! The only way crowdfunding works is if we all participate. Your $1 is vitally important and it is directly through this program that we raise the majority of ACI's food donation funds than any other fundraising program, and yet it is the absolute easiest for all of our members to participate!
During the Fall season, your Bring-A-Buck dollars will allow us to donate Fall CSA shares to families facing food insecurity and to offer subsidized shares to struggling families as well.
PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR BUCKS!🙏
Gardening Tip of the Week:
"Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Home Garden."
- By Yosef Camire
One of the key aspects of sustainable/regenerative gardening is the use of beneficial insects to control pests and promote plant health. In this article, we will discuss a regenerative gardening tip of the week that emphasizes the use of beneficial insects.
Tip of the Week: Encouraging Beneficial Insects in the Garden
Beneficial insects are those insects that are natural predators of garden pests. By encouraging these insects to live in your garden, you can reduce the need for harmful pesticides and create a more sustainable and healthy environment for your plants. Here are some tips for encouraging beneficial insects in your garden:
Plant Diversity: One of the best ways to attract beneficial insects is to plant a diverse range of plants in your garden. Different insects are attracted to different plants, so planting a variety of plants will help to create a habitat for a diverse range of insects.
Plant Flowers: Many beneficial insects are attracted to flowers, so planting a variety of flowering plants in your garden can help to attract and retain these insects. Examples of flowering plants that are attractive to beneficial insects include daisies, sunflowers, and marigolds.
Avoid Chemical Pesticides: Chemical pesticides can be harmful to beneficial insects, so it is important to avoid using them in your garden. Instead, use natural methods such as hand-picking pests and using row-covers to protect plants.
Provide Shelter: Beneficial insects need shelter to live and reproduce. You can provide shelter by creating habitat areas such as brush piles, rock piles, or logs. These areas can also provide nesting sites for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Consider Companion Planting: Companion planting is the practice of planting different
crops together in order to benefit one another. Certain plants can attract beneficial insects that will help to control pests on nearby plants. For example, planting dill or parsley near tomato plants can attract predatory wasps that will help to control tomato hornworms.
Avoid Using Chemical Fertilizers: Chemical fertilizers can harm beneficial insects as well as the environment. Instead, use natural fertilizers such as compost to nourish your plants.
Practice Crop Rotation: Crop rotation is the practice of planting different crops in different areas of your garden each year. This helps to reduce soil-borne diseases and pests, which can help to create a healthier environment for beneficial insects.
By following these tips, you can create a healthy and sustainable environment for beneficial insects in your garden. By doing so, you will reduce the need for harmful pesticides and create a more balanced ecosystem that promotes the health and growth of your plants.
🚨NO RAISED PRICES SINCE 2019!🚨
For 4 years in a row we have not raised prices. Even in the midst of the current skyrocketing of food prices all around us, we have felt it very difficult to us and unfair to pass this on to our members.
"Our mission is to provide health to our region, healing to our earth and love to our community by growing the purest and most environmentally responsible food available."
Whenever we make a major decision we always ensure that it follows our mission, and raising prices doesn't seem to fit our model of loving our community, especially if there are still areas where we can improve. Therefore, we have decided to NOT RAISE PRICES IN 2023! Instead of raising prices we will be focusing on changing our schedules, increasing efficiency, increasing our programming and capitalizing on areas of opportunity. Hitting our budget will be difficult, and if we need to pivot, we will let you know later down the line, but as of right now, NO RAISED PRICES🤯!!
🙏PS. This ONLY works with YOUR support. Please spread the word and help us sell-out so we can continue to maintain this as long as possible!
🚨Registration for Summer Veggie-Shares is NOW OPEN🚨
Please share this with your friends and family! We have plenty of Summer CSA memberships available and plenty of discounts and flexible (and customizable) payment plans available - please reach out and ask!
👆NO CSA PRICE INCREASES SINCE 2019!👆
Ahavah Community Market
Every Friday from 11am to 1pm!
Since we started our Farmer's Market in the Summer of 22', it has been on a ROLL! Our vendors love being here and the community has such a great time supporting their neighbors at
our markets, every Friday* from 11am to 1pm.
Being indoors has been awesome too! No matter the weather, we will always have a market loaded with all your local favorites from grass-fed meat, local veggies, plants, crafts, delicious food and more! It's a great market and it's so nice to have such a great event even out here in Peyton! We hope you join us and bring your friends and family - EVERY FRIDAY* FROM 11AM TO 1PM!
👉👉*IMPORTANT!* PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NO MARKET APRIL 7TH - THE FARM IS CLOSED FOR PASSOVER OBSERVANCE👈👈
📢FEATURED VENDOR OF THE MONTH!📢
WINTERS BEEF CATTLE RANCH
(Taken from winterscattleranch.com. 4.3.2023)
We are 5th generation Colorado Cattle Ranchers located in Rush Colorado. We take great pride in raising high-quality Black Angus beef. It takes 2 years for a Beef to be ready for butcher.
During the winter months, our cattle receive feed high-quality feed, hay, cattle cubs minerals, and Salt. We care
greatly for our animals and want them to live a happy, healthy, natural life. We do not pen up our cattle. They are on grass until they go to butcher. This helps with the quality and flavor of the meat.
When it's ready for your table, we offer high-quality dry-aged beef. Once you taste how good our beef is we
can promise you will not buy from a grocery store again. 🇺🇸 Thank you for supporting your local Ranchers!
Come visit Winter's Ranch at our Farmer's Market every Friday from 11am to 1pm!
ATTENTION LOCAL ARTISANS!
We are so excited about our current line-up of vendors, but we are still seeking more!
👉If you are a local vendor and are interested in attending our farmer's market, please reach out directly at email@example.com and we will send you information and the vendor agreement.
🥕EXTRA VEGGIES and PLANTS FOR SALE🌻
Please be sure to check out the extras table at all of our CSA pickup locations: available for all members and even NON-MEMBERS!
Simply come to any of the CSA locations on Thursday and Friday and pick up some of our beyond-organic veggies for sale!
Food bearing plants also qualify for SNAP !!!
For Payment: Cash or Check at the drops or the balance can be sent via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Venmo to 719-233-7828
⚠️ATTENTION SNAP D.U.F.B. MEMBERS!!⚠️
We have a very important and very disturbing announcement to make: The State of Colorado is cutting our Double Up Food Buck budget and we will no longer be able to offer DUFB at our Market tables and our CSA pickup locations for extras. We are VERY heart-broken about this development and have decided to offer a flat 25% discount to any of our SNAP members moving forward. We are so sorry that we will no longer be able to offer 50% off, and we hope that our 25% offer will be helpful.
URGENT - YOU CAN HELP!!!
This is a letter from Nourish Colorado's Director of Healthy Food Initiatives, Daysi Sweeney:
Colorado Families are struggling to have enough to eat. YOU can do something about it! We have some great news and an important opportunity, but we don’t have a lot of time. We reached out last week to tell you about an opportunity for an amendment to the state budget to fund critical and proven programs that help keep families fed.
Double Up Food Bucks, partially funded by the state's Healthy Food Incentive Fund, is in 28 counties. In 2021, it provided a total of $1,352,790 spent on fresh and Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables to SNAP recipients. SNAP navigation services brought in more than $60 million in SNAP benefits to Colorado families to help them afford groceries and prepare nutritious meals.
These programs are making a difference and that is why state senators approved an amendment to fund these important initiatives! This would not have happened without our wonderful partner in this effort, Hunger Free Colorado, and activists like YOU reaching out to show their support. Well, we need your help again!
The Colorado House of Representatives will consider a similar amendment as soon as TOMORROW (Tuesday). This one would actually provide even more support to help make sure in these difficult times that we can help even more people who are facing food insecurity. Please take a couple of minutes RIGHT NOW to send an email to your representative to ask them to vote YES on the amendment to support the Healthy Food Incentive Fund and SNAP navigation and outreach!
With so many families facing high food costs due to inflation, we need to do more to support Coloradans struggling to access nutritious food. This is an action you can take right now to help! Please take a moment to make your voice heard.
THANK YOU for being in this with us!"
⚠ ⚠ ⚠ BAGS! We need your bags (PLEASE🙏) !!⚠ ⚠ ⚠
Thank you everyone for recycling your LARGE bags with us! When we receive your bags we immediately quarantine them for 2 weeks before reusing them to ensure they are safe of any yuckies. Thank you for bringing them and any others you may have (we need any large PAPER-ONLY grocery bags you may have) THANK YOU!
Refer a friend to Ahavah Farm's CSA and you BOTH will receive $35 in credit to use ANYTIME you want! Use to buy extra vegetables, or take $35 off your next CSA purchase - your credit will never expire!
New members simply send an e-mail to email@example.com to let us know who referred you and you BOTH receive your $35 certificate! It's that easy!😁
Meet YOUR Community!
Interview #2 for 2023 with Lorin, our Nursery and Garden Center Manager!
Yosef and Lorin connect for their second interview together, and the second interview of the season from Ahavah Farm. Lorin is, most importantly, an incredible human and, less importantly ♥️, she is the BEST microgreens grower on the planet and nursery extraordinaire! I hope you enjoy the video and please take the time to leave us a comment and a thumbs up to let us know you enjoyed it!
Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization and we couldn't do it without you...but we need more help!
We need help with so many things:
Harvesting, washing and prep.
General farm cleanup
and more...got a skill you want to share? Let us know!
Volunteering is Monday through Friday 9AM to 4PM.
Please let Jessie know you are interested, she will send more information and necessary paperwork, and we will welcome you with open arms!
What is Biological Agriculture &
Why Should You Care?
- By Yosef Camire
Biological agriculture, sometimes known as "biodynamic agriculture", "ecological agriculture," or even "bio-organic agriculture" among other names, is a holistic approach to farming and gardening that focuses on creating healthy, sustainable ecosystems by using biology to grow the healthiest and purest crops available - instead of chemicals (even "Organic" ones). The goal of biological agriculture is to promote the healthiest soil possible while increasing biodiversity to produce nutritious food in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible - and primarily focused.
What is Biological Agriculture?
Biological agriculture is a science-based approach to agriculture that uses the principles of
ecology, agronomy, and soil science to promote healthy, productive ecosystems. It is based on the idea that healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy food system, and
that by working with nature, we can produce abundant, nutritious food while minimizing our impact on the environment.
At its core, biological agriculture is about creating a balanced ecosystem in which plants, animals, and microorganisms work together to support one another. This means using techniques like crop rotation, intercropping, cover cropping, and natural pest control to promote soil health and biodiversity.
Why is Biological Agriculture Important?
Biological agriculture is important for several reasons. First, it can help to promote food security by increasing the resilience of agricultural systems and reducing the vulnerability of crops to pests, diseases, and climate change. By creating healthy, diverse ecosystems, farmers and gardeners can ensure that their crops are more resistant to environmental stresses and can produce higher yields over the long term.
Second, biological agriculture can help to promote soil health and conservation. By using techniques like crop rotation, cover cropping, and natural pest control, farmers and gardeners can reduce soil erosion, promote better soil structure, and enhance nutrient cycling. This not only improves the health of the soil, but it can also help to mitigate the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil.
Finally, biological agriculture is important because it can promote biodiversity and protect wildlife. By creating diverse, healthy ecosystems, farmers and gardeners can provide habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife that can help to pollinate crops and control pests.
How Can We Learn and Implement Biological Agriculture in Our Own Home Garden?
If you're interested in learning more about biological agriculture and how to implement it in your own home garden, there are several steps you can take:
Start with the Soil: Biological agriculture begins with healthy soil. Take the time to test
your soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels, and work to improve it with organic matter, compost, and other soil amendments. Use techniques like cover cropping and crop rotation to promote soil health and reduce soil erosion.
Plant a Diverse Range of Crops: One of the key principles of biological agriculture is to promote biodiversity. Plant a diverse range of crops, including annuals, perennials, and cover crops, to promote a healthy ecosystem that can support a range of beneficial insects and wildlife.
Practice Natural Pest Control: Biological agriculture emphasizes natural pest control methods, such as companion planting, crop rotation, and the use of beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. Avoid using synthetic pesticides and herbicides, which can harm beneficial insects and disrupt the balance of the ecosystem.
Conserve Water: Biological agriculture emphasizes water conservation techniques, such as drip irrigation and mulching, to reduce water waste and promote healthy soil moisture levels.
Learn from Other Gardeners: There are many resources available for learning about biological agriculture, including books, websites, and gardening groups. Look for local gardening groups or community gardens where you can connect with other gardeners and learn from their experience.
The BEST way? Come to Yosef's Bio-Ag class (4-part series starting April 21st). Learn more about the class here.
Biological agriculture is a holistic approach to farming and gardening that emphasizes soil health, biodiversity, and sustainability. By working with nature, we can create healthy, productive ecosystems that can provide us with nutritious food and protect the environment. If you're interested in learning more about biological agriculture and how to implement it in your own home garden, please learn about and register for Yosef's Bio-Ag class (4-part series starting April 21st). Yosef's 4-part series is an in-depth look at biological agriculture and how it impacts our planet, our health and our communities. This class is an interactive and hands-on class with some powerpoint class time and field time. Classes are approximately 2 hours in length and cover all the fundamentals and basics related to biological farming and gardening. A very valuable class for beginners and a great review for experts. Learn more about the class here.
The Ahavah Farm Nursery & Garden Center
🔥🔥🔥OPENING DAY SALE!!!! SAVE 20% OFF ON OPENING DAY - FRIDAY, APRIL 21st from 9am to 3pm!!🔥🔥🔥
Pre-order your heirloom, beyond-organic seedlings for your 2023 garden, have them guaranteed and delivered when YOU are ready! Save 10% through February - go now to www.ahavahfarm.com/nursery to get a head-start on your garden - today!
🌱🌱Go to www.ahavahfarm.com/nursery to place your order today for a 10% savings!🌱🌱
Ahavah Farm Nursery and Garden Center
Opens April 15th!
The Ahavah Farm Nursery and Garden Center is ready to re-open for another amazing season! Join us on-farm, and in our nursery store Monday-Friday from 9am to 3pm, starting April 21st - AND SAVE 20% ON
We will continue to offer the purest, locally grown plant starts you will be able to find. PERIOD.
🌿All 100% Beyond-Organic, Heirloom, Chemical-Free Varieties.
🌿Grown 100% from seed, here at Ahavah Farm.
🌿Tried and true varieties for our area.
🌿Rare Varieties! Everything You Need - from onion starts to lettuce seedlings to tomatoes and peppers and even to indoor Varieties and living herbs...we grow it all!
We will also sell our very own seeds, Asher's planter boxes, pots, soil and other items available as well. Come check us out and support us as we start small and aim for a bright future of supporting our Calhan, Peyton, Falcon communities!
🚨🏷️Updated discounts for CSA shares!🏷️🚨
🚨*NEW* - Updated Membership Benefit's🚨
We are SOOO excited to announce our new membership benefits for Auto-Renewal Members and for Non-Auto-Renewal Members! There is a one-time membership fee for all NEW Auto-Renewal members. (All CURRENT Auto-Renewal members will be grandfathered in indefinitely with no membership fee.)
🚨Easy & Flexible Payment Plans!🚨
🥕Introducing Paypal "Pay Later" options on the website! These are no-credit check, interest-free online payment plans so you can make 4 smaller payments directly through Paypal. Ahavah Farm benefits as well by paid immediately, thereby providing the farm liquidity, while giving our members flexibility and ease of mind!
🥕We also still have FLEXIBLE and CUSTOMIZABLE offline pay plans in place if you would prefer to make payments via check. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on offline payment plan and to set up your payment schedule.