You can contact us though the following email address:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Geese In The Morning

Just coming over for a visit

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eggplants and Romas On Vacation!

After the long CSA season, we did the unthinkable...and went on an actual vacation! To the beach! Will and I went round and round about whether to take along a fabulous as they are, the last thing I wanted was to haul any part of the farm to the beach. period. In the end, I acquiesed; I said sure, a watermelon would probably be a good thing to have with us - as long as it's not a whole truck full of watermelons that we'll be selling on the side of the road! (we have actually DONE this -long ago on one of our 'family visit' trips to texas...never again!). What I didn't really understand was that Will was actually having much bigger visions about vegetables on vacation. Why not bring a big bag of Roma tomatoes? and hey! Why leave those nice eggplants behind? What could I do? Sure - let's bring tham all! hey - they've never been away from home before...they probably would love the beach!
So here are the two lucky eggplants - winners of the 'go to the beach' lottery. First, they relaxed on the sand and took in the scenery

...then spent some time sunning...although their tans were already fabulous

Here is everyone around their little camp fire - no, they did not sing any songs, but a good time was had by all!

After having been part of the organic farm experience, and then enjoying the 'vegetable vacation of a lifetime', the eggplants met their destiny as a very tasty crabmeat-stuffed eggplant dinner.

The romas made it back to Louisiana, but gave themselves to a tomato-basil-garlic pizza last night...that was ok with them, I think - they did have fond memories of their lives in the garden with their garlic and basil friends.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

One More Time - With Feeling

Well...that's it...we're done. One more CSA season is history. And a good season it was. I think we even have all (or most all) of our baskets back! Flower jars too! And for the first time, we didn't need to supplement baskets with what are called 'value-added items', otherwise known as jars of pickles or jelly or such, or (as we all remember) loaves of bread for everyone! We could even have folks go out and forage for a week or two. But it will be a beautiful thing when Will gets the tractor and just mows it all down. Lets hear it for cover crops. Here are baskets ready to be filled for the weekend (a fraction of the total baskets of course)

And one last table lined with tomatoes. Dont' let those little melons fool you - they are also stacked up under the table, and there are two wheelbarrows full on the carport.

Here's Sarah after she graciously went out into the heat to pick just enough hot peppers for a few members

...and here is the ubiquitous Mousey-Tongue, waiting for little Gwen to arrive with this weeks' issue of The Neighborhood News. I am here to tell you, that between her newspaper and cookies she baked, she now has her $100 (one quarter at a time) with which to buy her American Girl doll. You go, Gwen.

After some sleep and the putting away of all vestiges of this year's garden (hats, gloves, scissors and shears, bags, buckets, bins and baskets....and much more), we will call upon our dedicated and fabulous members to help us rip and tear and put the field to sleep for the fall. And they'll come help...many were actually asking about this (!) - hey - how many CSA's have members who will come months before the veggies come in and after its all over...this is what is meant by 'CSA' It's called COMMUNITY Supported Agriculture for a reason; it's not the dropping off of a box and 'here are your veggies for the week YOU figure it out'...ours is actually a community. wow.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Catnip and Figs and Flowers

Multiple cat pictures...not exactly on purpose, but the cats seem to be keeping close to activities lately. This morning I went out to pick figs; Will seemed anxious about them, but there aren't armloads of them ready to pick. I had bought some netting and Will, with the help of a CSA member, covered the tops of three of the fig trees - then a big bad storm came yesterday and blew the netting right off! Stepping around the trees and getting my boots caught in the net was a little unnerving - mostly because I had visions of bumping a wasp nest up in the darkness of all of those branches - in which case I'd have to run...and you can't do THAT with netting wrapped around your boots, now can you? In the end, I picked what I could reach and what was ready (I did dodge a cardinal at one point). And in my daily hunt for herbs to dry got a basket of catnip...thus the picture of Mousy-Tongue checking out the basket...and zinnias for the kitchen. Got to get in there and trim and stuff the herb dryer with the catnip before it begins to wilt.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Cat In A Basket

...too small of a basket, but he doesn't seem to care.

Well, it's Week 9...

last year, there were only 8 weeks of the CSA - this year, we wanted to pull it through nine weeks,,,and we will. But it will be interesting. Sure, everybody gets watermelons for the second week (yea!) Outside of that - yes, there are tomatoes and of COURSE hot peppers...some eggplants, some cucumbers, some field peas...figs, for all. The herb beds are a crazy mess, but that's always the case late in the game. You just have to go through and find what's there. Oh, it looks fairly organized up front in the herb beds, but I've been drying herbs for the past few days and they're flowering like crazy, so getting to the good stuff takes a little doing. Will has promised to take the weedeater to the top of the basil...this may force it to give us another go-round for the late summer. By Monday of next week, Will is going to be out there cutting most things down and doing some plowing...getting ready to cover crop most of the garden for the fall. Like the insane people that we are, we've already been talking about what we're going to plant for the fall. The greenhouses give us all kinds of opportunities - few of which were realized this sumer, as they were slow in coming together in the spring. But now that they're up and functioning, we can plan for greens and early strawberries...and I'm trying to convince Will that artichokes would be so cool..they need to be over-wintered. It seems to get harder and harder to get excited about going out in the garden in the early morning and working until the sweat is just dripping into the dirt before you give it up and come inside..that's my m.o. anyway - the only time I feel eager to work. This morning I was out working a long fencerow of perrennial herbs. I didn't plant any of that in the garden this time, not even in the herb beds...I didn't want it sacrificed to the tiller. So if I keep at it, I'll have permanent stores of bergamot and ox-eyed daisies and hyssop. I don't know aout the feverfew. It dos NOT like the heat. We'll just have to see. In the meantime, it's only Tuesday, and this weekend we'll see all of our CSA members one last time. Sad in a way, but it's been such a good's tempting to think about doing it all over again in the fall...but in order to do that, we'd need about ten hours of sleep a night for the next month!

Sunday, July 03, 2011


We had no idea the melons were ready...Will has been watching them carefully and had calculated that they would not be ready until next week-we didn't promise anyone a watermelon for the 4th of July. He had been watching one big one in particular and he cut it a couple of days ago...but he figured we'd only have a few that were mature enough to take...not nearly enough for all of our members. The raccoons had not been in there taking a chunk out of a melon and moving on to the next. The critters will let you know when the melons are ready - I remember last year - the raccoons preferred the yellow melons over the red - I don't think we got even ONE yellow watermelon - every single one had a big bite taken out of it. This year, Will put out a trap after the coons got into the corn. He snagged one a couple of weeks ago in the trap (of the Have-A-Heart kind of course); usually he drives down to the river and lets the little beast loose;this time...uh...I'll let Will tell it if he's so inclined... a most unfortunate occurrence. Anyway, since that first coon, we haven't had another visitor. And SO, Will goes out and checks things Friday evening and lo and behold - It's Melon Time! So all of the members got two for the 4th, and will have two next weekend to end the CSA season.

About Our CSA

We are entering the sixth season of our CSA (Community Support Agriculture). What began as an experiment for the creative marketing of our produce has developed into a fulfilling experience for us and our members, one that we so look forward to each year. What you will find below is an explanation of how we operate the CSA, the cost, length of season, expected commitment, etc. We ask that you read it carefully before responding. We have dedicated members that stay on year after year, but for a number of folks, it is challenging to come out every Saturday for nine weeks running and to have time to participate. For those who love the quality of the vegetables, herbs, and flowers – and who like the experience of planting, harvesting, and interacting with others who have the same likes, it is a very rewarding experience. Please read on…

What is Community Supported Agriculture? (CSA)

Community supported agriculture is a movement that got its start in this country in the mid-1980’s, driven by a desire by neighborhood groups to re-connect with local growers and producers. The CSA movement is enjoying increasing popularity and availability with each passing year. The goal of CSA is to involve the vegetable-eating-public more intimately with “their” farm. Why do I use “their” in that description? Because in CSA, members buy a share of the farm which, in effect, provides them an ownership stake in the vegetables produced. In that respect, the farmer and consumer become partners. There are many benefits from this relationship to the farmer and consumer alike. For the farmer, it provides a guarantee of sales so he can plant to supply his contract. It also minimizes the time required to market the produce, freeing him up for what he does best, which is…farm. For the consumer, it guarantees a steady supply of farm fresh produce for a fixed price, encouraging healthy eating, and promoting a sense of participation and community around the farm that has been long lost in the age of industrial agriculture. For both the farmer and consumer, it promotes a bond based on trust and mutual interest. For those interested in information on CSA and farms that have set up these systems, the web has worlds of information available with a simple word search.

Why did Port Hudson Organics decided to become Port Hudson CSA?

For most of you who have spent any time visiting our farm and talking with us, you are aware that Thais and I both work full time, maintaining our little farm, bee hives, yard, and other farm-related activities in our “spare” time. This means that virtually every waking hour that we are not at work you would find us in the field or manning the produce tent (or carport). As we expanded our farm-related enterprises to areas such as biodiesel, berries and bee hives, the farm demands finally exceeded our available time. So in 2009, in order to continue our farm sustainability effort and reduce our time commitment (primarily the time spent selling), we tried a concept that is becoming increasingly popular across the country in the “Eat fresh, Eat local” movement, that is, the CSA farm. In the spring of 2009, we enrolled (what ended up to be) 25 CSA member families, and were blown-away by the success of the venture. Member enthusiasm, assistance, and clear appreciation for the unsurpassed quality of our produce resulted in an excellent experience for everyone involved. Since then, we have expanded our enrollment to approximately 40 member families, which is a comfortable carrying capacity of our one acre garden. At this point in our lives, with regular jobs and other commitments, we have no plans to expand further.

What kind of vegetables are grown and how are they distributed?

We grow a wide variety of Spring and Summer vegetables (generally about 20 different varieties). At any time during the season, you can expect around 12-15 different offerings, and 6-8 culinary herbs. We also grow cut flowers, usually zinnias and sunflowers. Each week members will receive a selection list by email. Members then make 7 selections of vegetables and 2 selections of herbs from the list. Members can check off their first and second preferences and we will make every effort to supply the members with their selected items. In cases where we are short on a particular item, say, yellow squash, we will substitute another available vegetable (for example, zucchini) from member’s second choice selection if at all possible. Members are free to make notes on their list if there is a particular vegetable they do not want (for example, zucchini) and we will try to honor their request. The amounts (pounds or numbers) of vegetables or herbs per selection were based on an approximation of equal value based on the prices we have charged for these items in the past. And as last year’s members know, the amounts of produce on the list are the minimum amount you will receive. Often, when there is a surplus beyond what has been selected, we will throw in some “lagniappe”. Members should note that there are a couple of exceptions on the selection list: a bouquet of flowers, when available, counts as two selections from the herb list; similarly, watermelon, when available, counts as two selections from the vegetable list. Each week, a basket with all of your produce and herbs will be made up with your list attached. Blank lists will be available for you to fill out for the following week, as the mix of produce and herbs change with the weather.

Can I select more than one of a particular item?

Yes, if you want 6 pounds of tomatoes one week, you can simply put the number “3” next to the selection “2 lbs. tomatoes” on your sheet and pick four other vegetable selections to make a total of seven selections. If we have enough tomatoes to satisfy your request, we will provide that amount. If we are short, we will attempt to at least provide you with one selection of tomatoes and make up the rest of your basket with other choices. We will let members know each week which vegetables we expect to have in abundance. For example, due to space considerations, we have limited plantings of corn and each planting is generally available for only one Saturday, so we will be encouraging members to select as much corn as they can from the list on the weeks that corn becomes available (we try to send out weekly emails on the state of the farm). Of course, members will also be given preference for the purchase of additional vegetables if, for example, you want to freeze a bushel of corn when it comes in and there is surplus available.

How will the CSA Baskets be distributed?

Members choose to come to the farm either Friday evening or Saturday morning each week during the season. Once you arrive, you can choose from a variety of garden activities in progress and lend a hand. This can range from planting and/or picking vegetables; washing, weighing, and bundling produce; cutting and arranging flowers; cutting and separating herbs to order; helping to pack baskets with weekly selections; sitting under a tree with other members and stripping beans off of plants. Occasionally there is a bigger project at hand, such as erecting the cucumber fence or helping to mulch rows with hay. There will be weeks when you are not able to help due to your schedule, but we find that most of our members help out almost every week. The process takes about an hour, and when you leave you bring your weekly basket with you. Many find this outdoor activity in the garden a respite from their work week in an office!

Members are asked to pick up their CSA baskets each Saturday by 10:00 AM. This is probably the biggest commitment you will make as part of the CSA. We understand that it may be difficult to come every Saturday for 9 weeks, but there are a couple of strategies you can employ to make this easier. (1) you can buddy-up with one or more members in your area and go on alternate Saturdays, each delivering or holding the other’s basket for pick up at their house; (2) you can send a family member or close friend; or (3) you can come Friday afternoon to help with the harvest and bring your basket home with you then (we had a lot of members take this option, as we do a lot of harvesting on Friday in advance of the Saturday bedlam).

What if you have a crop failure or natural disaster?

A CSA is a partnership between the farmer and the consumer, and within this partnership is an understanding of shared risk. That said, we do not expect members to bear the full cost of a catastrophic failure, nor have we ever experienced a completely failed season. Should the worst happen, members will be reimbursed a portion of their investment and we will do all in our power to make it right with members through a combination of refunds and discounts on following seasons.

What time commitment is asked as part of the CSA?

CSAs, by definition, include member support. Each week, literally hundreds of pounds of produce must be harvested, hundreds of bunches of herbs must be clipped and tied, and dozens of flower bouquets must be picked. Without member support, this is logistically impossible for part time farmers. Hence, we ask members to commit to help in some fashion (picking, sorting, filling orders, etc) according to their abilities every other weekend or so (we are not rigid on this). We have found that members enjoy becoming involved in the process. Learning about how food is grown and harvested is an uplifting and educational experience. After all, that is why we do it. And it is an integral part of CSA farms across the country. We are assuming that you found us because you appreciate this connection, and we hope that you can find the small amount of time to required to experience that connection.

What is the cost?

Cost of the CSA membership is $350. This covers 9 weeks of farm fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers of your choice. This comes out to about $38 per week, probably more than you would pay at the grocery store for conventionally-grown produce, but less than you would pay for organic produce at Whole Foods. The quality of the produce, however, cannot be approached by any supermarket, and the experience is priceless. Also, membership in the CSA includes a pint of our farm honey when it becomes available.

In Summary

So that about covers it. If you want to experience first hand the pleasures of seeing, smelling, picking and eating truly wholesome food, please respond quickly to this email. We would appreciate some information on you and your family, and why you want to join the CSA. We will let you know within a few days, and will ask for payment at that time. We ask that you understand that we have about twice as many families on the waiting list as we have openings. However, if you do not make in into the CSA this year, we will give you first shot at joining next year if you are still interested.

Thank you so much for your interest in our little farm. We hope to see you this spring.

Will & Thais Perkins

Port Hudson Organics CSA