News and blog

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Posted 7/18/2017 12:51pm by Tim Livingstone.

What's the first thing you do when you wake up?  Well for me it has been to check my phone and see if the weather forecast has improved.  It is only my 6th year of making hay, but out of the six, I only remember one year that was anywhere close to this difficult to find a good window of opportunity.  We haven't had that much rain but it just keeps coming in small amounts.  This combined with the humid weather, has made hay making a real challenge.

As I said in an interview last week, growing many different crops is our security.  When one crop does not do so well, others do OK so we always have something.

Winter squash is looking really good as are the onions, Celery, Celeriac, and much more.

While I can manually pollinate tomatoes in the greenhouse, squash and melons are two crops that require pollination by bees. Bee populations have been down the last two years so I was some happy to find a bumble bee in a squash flower.  Just a few years ago the field would have been buzzing with them everywhere.  I don't know what is happening but whatever it is, it is a problem much larger than just here on our farm.  We do all we can to keep them healthy and give them the resources they need so I certainly hope the populations rebound.  I'm seeing more mason bees and orchard bees which live locally and can do an effective job as well.  

Posted 6/30/2017 4:18pm by Tim Livingstone.

We are accepting more Veggie Box sign ups again!  If you sign up before Monday night July 3 we can pack you a box for later in the week.

Just click the Sign Up tab of our website or click here to begin the Sign up process.

We are currently full at two of the three locations in Fredericton but still have room at most other locations.

If you have any difficulty signing up, just send us an email.

Thank you for your interest in our boxes and we look forward to adding you to our program.

Tim

Posted 6/27/2017 6:32pm by Tim Livingstone.

We still have lots of Strawberries.  I was afraid the rain would damage the fruit and it did damage some, but we still have lots and lots of berries.  Looks like our harvest will be at least double what we have harvested in previous years.

I was talking with someone who works with growers in Quebec today and he said that growers he knows spray their Strawberries 21 times in the season. Conventional Strawberries are at the top of the list of the "Dirty Dozen" for most sprayed fruits.  It makes it even more amazing that we are able to grow berries that do not have any chemical spray or fertilizer used to grow them.  A few have complained about the price, but when you consider the options, I'd like to think the price is very reasonable.  

We encourage you to stop by and stock up on berries for winter since our berry season will probably be over next week.  Our berries start earlier and finish early due to the system we use to grown them.

Happy eating!  Tim

Posted 6/21/2017 9:52am by Tim Livingstone.

Boxes start this week!  

Welcome to our 2017 summer/fall box program.  This letter is to share some important details about the program.  Please read it, and feel free to email us if you have questions.    

Be sure to wash ALL produce before eating.  

Bring your own bags or boxes for taking your produce home, and leave our boxes at the pickup location.  Each box costs about $2.00 when boxes go missing it adds substantial cost which we do not want to have to pass on.  If picking up at a store, please do not ask at the stores for their bags or boxes.   Your returning clean egg cartons and berry boxes also helps keep our costs down.  

You should receive an email reminder the night before pick up, but it is your responsibility to remember to pick up your produce during the specified pickup time.  Please look at this reminder email weekly and take note of any particular details associated with your specific pick up location.  

As much as possible, we donate any boxes not picked up or we donate an equivalent value depending on the perishability of the product.  We encourage having a friend or family member pick it up for you if you are unable to.  

We do our best to make sure all produce is great quality, but occasionally, things do happen and we miss something.  If you do have an issue, we need to know within 24 hours of the pickup, and preferably with a  picture, in order to honor it.  

Lastly we commit to providing you your value over the course of the season. Please remember that some of the early boxes will be light on value, but that value is made up later in the season when more crops are available. 

As always, we love to hear feedback and feel free to rate your boxes so we know how we are doing.  Your weekly reminder email will contain a rate link so you can keep us informed with how you like the boxes.

Thank you for your support.  We look forward to serving you.

Strawberry Hill Farm team.

Posted 6/6/2017 7:03am by Tim Livingstone.

Dear %%user-name%%,

We still have room in our summer/fall box program and would love to have you join our box program again.  This is our last call and then we won't bother you again this season.  

If you have already signed up under another email - Thank you.  If you have not signed up and would like to receive boxes again this season, please sign up soon since the start of the season is only just over two weeks away.  

If you sign up and pay before tomorrow night (June 7) you are still eligible for discounts of 3% to 5% depending on your method of payment.

Click here to begin your renewal process. Or just copy and paste the link below into your browser:

%%renewal-link%%

After an unseasonably cold and wet spring, the weather is finally looking up and crops are growing well.  We are slowly catching up on planting.  

Feel free to spread the word around to friends and neighbors as well since we still have room for more.  If you have any difficulty signing up again, feel free to give our office a call at 506-325-0286.

We look forward to having you back this season.

Your friends at,
Strawberry Hill Farm

Posted 3/1/2017 8:11am by Tim Livingstone.

We have had a challenging winter but overall it is working out OK for us.  For those who haven't heard, the closure of our largest wholesale account and subsequent losses related to that closure, have forced us to restructure and diversify our markets a bit more.  

We now are a weekly vendor at the Cultural Market in Fredericton every Saturday.  While this has not helped our work/life balance, it has gone fairly well and we plan to be there every Saturday year round.  We are hoping to find a Fredericton person who can help us with the selling so that we can spend some weekends together and with our kids but for now Kirsten and I are alternating Saturdays.

For the spring season, we will serve our Fredericton box customers through the Cultural Market on Saturdays.  We will have meats and eggs here each Saturday as well.  Aura Whole Foods and True Food Organics also carry a selection of our veggies and meats and are open during the week for those who aren't in town on Saturday.

Nanette's Healthy Pantry in Grand Falls and several stores in Moncton including Codiac Organics, Sequoia on Mountain Road, and Corn Crib will continue to have a selection of our products as well.

Now is also the time to sign up for your summer boxes.  You don't need to pay till June 7 but at the very least, please sign up so that we can plan and so you can be assured that your spot will be held.  With two other box programs having gone out of business in NB in the last year, it is quite possible we will end up sold out before the season starts.

We have made the decision not to increase our summer box prices even though minimum wage has increased now well over 10% (when you factor all our extra costs linked to the wage) in the last two years and other expenses have increased considerably as well.  We are putting plans in place to hire a couple fewer people and increase efficiencies to take up the extra cost so we do not have to pass this extra onto our customers for at least one more year.  

We look forward to continuing to serve you all again this summer!

Tim

Posted 12/24/2016 10:48am by Tim Livingstone.

We would like to wish all our customers and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

At our end of season employee dinner we figured that Strawberry Hill farm has directly supported 35 people during it's fifth growing season.  You have helped make this possible through your support of a local family farm.

2016 has been an interesting year in many ways.  Elton (our oldest son) was able to spend time on organic cattle farms in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland.  Nollie started her own herd of cows and chickens.  We had a great team working here on the farm and got our crops harvested and field work done earlier than ever.

Sadly two wholesalers who supported small NB farmers both ran into financial trouble which has impacted many farmers in the region, ourselves included.  We are thankful for our many other direct customers who together make up the majority of our sales and supported us through these challenges.

We are looking forward to 2017 and assessing whether we can increase our box program while also working on improving other efficiencies on the farm.

We hope you all have a restful and enjoyable Holiday Season and wish you a productive and happy New Year!.

Tim, Kirsten, Elton, Nollie, and Bruce

 

Posted 11/8/2016 2:55pm by Tim Livingstone.

Good Afternoon %%user-name%%,

We are able to open up a few of our popular bi-weekly and monthly meat box options for a limited time offer.  We have also added a third "3 Meat Box combo" to the list.  It will only be available for sign up for a few days, so if you are interested, we suggest you sign up right away.

Our Winter Meat boxes will go during the same season as our winter vegetable boxes, starting next week and finishing the first week of March.

If you want to get in on this limited time offer, just click the Sign Up tab and choose the box option you want.  

Delivery for the meat boxes is only offered at Codiac Organics in Moncton, and the Canadian Tire on Smythe street or the boxes can be picked up from our farm. 

Feel free to call or email if you have any questions.

Tim

Posted 11/2/2016 7:25am by Tim Livingstone.

Good Morning %%user-name%%,

This is the last week of the summer/fall box program and the winter program starts in two weeks.  We have had great fall weather and have lots of veggies both in storage and planted in our greenhouses for your winter boxes.

Did you know that your supporting Strawberry Hill Farm through your participation in the box program has directly supported at least 35 people over the summer?   Many more have benefitted indirectly as well.  We would all like to thank you for your support and wish you a great holiday and winter season.

Last weekend we enjoyed a farm meal for the crew.  From right to left - Back row:  Elton, Ceasar, Stephen, Phillipe, Danik, Claire.  Front Row:  Tim, Kirsten, Andrew, Nollie, and Odulio. Whelan, Jorje, Wyatt, and Lori were not able to be there.

Our winter program is over 75% sold but there is still room....  If you have not signed up for winter, you still can by going to the Sign Up tab on our website or clicking this link.  http://www.strawberryhillfarm.ca/members/types

Again, thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

The Strawberry Hill Farm Team.

Posted 9/19/2016 3:43pm by Tim Livingstone.

Good Evening to all our current and past customers.

Winter Sign Ups are now open and ready for you to sign up.  Just go to our website and click the Member Sign Up tab or click here to reserve your box.

Notes for winter Sign Ups:

Timing: Boxes come every two weeks in the winter and we skip an extra week over the holidays.  Box size is a little larger in winter because it lasts for two weeks.

Eggs: We are limited in the number of hens we can keep so our eggs typically sell out well before our boxes do.  Please sign up for eggs right away if you want them.  We are working on a way to limit eggs to returning customers only, but at this point we have no way to prevent new customers from ordering them.  In light of this, please sign up for your eggs right away even if you wish to wait until the end of October to pay.

We look forward to sending you veggies this winter!

Tim

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