Blue Moon Winter Market: New Format

Blue Moon will be initiating a new system of purchasing produce for the winter months. December through April are months of both increased production costs (heating the greenhouses, heating the packing shed, increased labor costs etc.) and reduced production due to cold temps and shorter days. Therefore, we try to sell absolutely everything we grow in order to help our margin. We’ve tried a few different pre-sell scenarios over the years, and have decided to go all the way this year with a system of pre-pay and pre-box. This could be called a flexible CSA (community supported agriculture) model in which you order what you want, and pay on-line.

Those of you who are returning customers from previous winters are familiar with our complicated arrangements of tables distinguishing between pre-sold produce and “extras” with clipboards stashed here and there. We are replacing this cumbersome system to one in which you simply show up and pick up your box of veggies, without needing to weigh your beets, or wait in line to pay someone.

We will be using a website that got its trial run during the summer in which we, along with Prairie Fruits Farm and Bane Family Meats, offered CUFarmers, a weekly online farmer’s market.

For the winter, we won’t be offering meat or cheese (though PFF will have a stand at the Market In the Square), but will continue to use the shop over at the other website for CUFarmers.

If you have ever bought anything online, this will be a familiar process. Upon checkout, you will be prompted to create an account with a password, in order to pay with a card. Please note: you need only create this account once, the second time you order, notice the “Returning Customer” option at the top of the checkout page in order to avoid inputting your information again.

As in the past, the store will be open from Monday morning at 9am to Tuesday evening at 10pm. The pickup location will be at our stand at the Market In the Square. Here are the dates for these markets. They run every 2nd and 4th Saturday for the months of January through April. Our stand will be open from 9-11. Ordering opens on the Monday prior to the market. You will get an email prompt on that Sunday reminding you to order on Monday.

As in the past, certain green things, such as arugula or salad mix, may sell out very quickly. Availability will constantly change for some items, whereas for spinach, carrots, potatoes, and beets, there is a good supply.

A note about pricing. Produce coming out of the greenhouse (salad, spinach, etc.) is more costly than produce from the field (carrots, potatoes, etc.), and that is reflected in a price increase. You will see a small additional bump in price to account for bagging and boxing time, and materials.

On the Saturday of pickup, you will be given a box with your order in it, and then you are done. We ask that you bring your box back the next time you order.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, we can be reached at bluemoonfarmurbana@gmail.com.

Ordering for the 1-14-17 pickup will be open on Monday, 1-9-17 at 9am at our CUFarmers website.

Pop-Up Pickup 4-30-16 is Closed

IMG_3504We have salad mix, napini, bok choy, kale and more available for pre-order and pickup on Saturday!! Ordering will stay open all day. Click on the right sidebar link entitled: Winter Market Reservations.

Pickup Saturday from 9-11am at the Lincoln Square Mall in our old spot in front of Piato.

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Ordering for Blue Moon Pickup is Closed

IMG_5313Onions are planted! Thanks to our new three row transplanter set up, it only took slightly less time than to plant them by hand, but much better on our backs.

This Saturday we will have our final pickup as part of the Middle Market at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11am. Ordering will open Monday at 8am and close on Tuesday at 10pm.

We have salad mix, kale, chard, cilantro, baby bok choy, carrots, potatoes and turnips.

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Ordering for 4-9-16 is Closed

Bunching GreensLast week was a whirlwind of planting and then trying to stay out of the wind’s way. Here are bedraggled but surviving bunching greens that we transplanted minutes before the first round of thunderstorms hit last Wednesday.

Our pickup is scheduled for Saturday, April 9th from 9-11am at the Lincoln Square Village in Urbana. Our stand is on the north end of the Middle Market row of stands.

This time around we have a good amount of salad mix, spinach, and bunching greens. No more misato radishes, beets, or claytonia. We’ll have beets in a month or so, and regular radishes in a few weeks. Claytonia is gone until next winter.

Turnips are still holding out, as are Carola potatoes, Desiree potatoes, fingerlings, and German Butterball potatoes. Here is a potato guide.

Carola: Mid-starch, buttery flavor, yellow flesh. Uses: Very versatile, from roasting to baking to gratin, delicious.
German Butterball: High starch, yellow skin and flesh. Uses: great for baking, roasting and frying. Try making “toasties”.
Desiree : Pink skin, yellow flesh, moist firm texture. Uses: salads and stews.
Purple Viking: Purple/pink splashed skin, white flesh, moist texture. Uses: we have used them mashed and in salads, creamy texture.
Laratte Fingerling: yellow flesh, waxy. Uses: roasting!

To order, click on the link entitled: Winter Market Reservations on the right sidebar or the banner at the top of the page.

For first time users, click on the link entitled Winter Market: How it Works on the right sidebar.

 

 

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Ordering for Pickup 3-26-16 is Closed

white russian kaleLots of white russian kale, bunching greens, spinach and more available for pickup on Saturday from 9-11am at the Lincoln Square Village.

It is full-on spring everywhere at Blue Moon complete with a greenhouse planted in tomatoes, beet seedlings and garlic greens popping out of the soil outside, and hundreds of pounds of potatoes freshly cut up and ready to be planted this week.

To order fresh produce and storage crops for pickup up this Saturday, go to the link on the right sidebar called, “Winter Market Reservations.”

First time users should click on the link entitled, “Winter Market:How it Works” also on the right sidebar.

 

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Ordering for Saturday 3-12-16 is Closed.

shea picHere is Shea giving the freshly germinated chard seedlings a drink.

We will be back at Lincoln Square Village on Saturday from 9-11am for another pickup.

We will sell out of salad mix quickly today.

Though low on salad mix, we have lots of arugula, bunching greens, spinach and storage crops (potatoes, carrots, beets and misato radishes).

Our ordering will open tomorrow at 8am. To order, click on the right sidebar entitled “Winter Market Reservations”.

Ordering will close on Tuesday at 10pm.

For first time users, click on the link on the right sidebar entitled “Winter Market:How it Works”.

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Ordering for 2-27-16 Pickup is Closed

Germ ChamberHere is our first seeding of the year: tomatoes and parsley. They are in a very warm chamber to encourage germination.

There will be another pickup this Saturday, 2-27-16, at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11am at the Middle Market. They don’t tell us our exact spot until Thursday, but most likely we will once again be in front of Calico Jewelry on the northern end of the Middle Market.

Ordering will open at our website tomorrow at 8am and close on Tuesday at 10pm.

For first time users please click on our information page on the link on the right sidebar entitled “Winter Market: How it Works”.

Our produce news is that we will have slightly more salad, spinach, and bunching greens than two weeks ago, so green things shouldn’t sell out as quickly as they have the past few pickups. In this strong February sunlight the plants are going to start growing like gangbusters, so we hope we are underestimating amounts this week. We are getting our second wave of spinach cuttings, and third wave of lettuce cuttings. We have new lettuce and greens seeded in the ground, and that will be coming in sometime in March. We have our kale disease under control, but the plants are still embattled, having suffered all winter.

We are all sold out of napa cabbage and garlic, and this may be the last week for beets! We are still swimming in crunchy carrots and have at least a month of turnips in storage. Potatoes are holding up, We discovered a box of All Blue Potatoes, so those are on the list this week, along with our regular potatoes.

On farm news, we have tomatoes seeded and germinating in flats, ready to plant in our heated greenhouse in March. Parsley and green onions are germinated in flats and on track for an April planting.

Thanks for bearing with us last week during our truck troubles. We are working on our communication and will be switching to a new email service before the weekend, and should we need to communicate with all our customers again, we’ll be able to send instant email updates, instead of in batches.

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Truck is fixed and on the way, we should be ready for customers by 9:45. Sorry, but we had a bad battery.

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Truck Troubles. We will be late to Pickup.

Our truck is currently unusable. We are working on solutions. We will know more soon. Look here for updates.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is our truck, painted last summer. It took 20 years to get this done!

We will have a pickup this Saturday at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11. This time we will be joining the Middle Market in the main corridor where Art Mart used to live. (Sad to see them go.) They haven’t decided where they’re putting us yet, but we suspect it will be close to our old spot at the Holiday Market, in front of the main doors.

After this gorgeous weekend, we are looking at a week of colder temperatures, which will include Saturday.

We are waiting for seeds to germinate, and leaves to get bigger. We have almost worked our way through all of our spinach, and are about a week off on beginning a cycle of second-cuttings. For that reason, spinach is going to sell out quickly. So will salad, head lettuce, and all of the fresh produce. We are going to have a few bags of braising mix for sale this time, which is a mix of tatsoi, mizuna, and baby kale, with possibly some arugula if we can get any. These are the ingredients of our salad mix without the lettuce. It makes a wonderful salad if you happen to like sturdy, strong-flavored leaves.

Of course, all of our storage items will be in abundance. Carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, and misato radishes. As usual, if you didn’t happen to order these items, but you want some anyway, feel free to take them from any table. We always bring extra.

For any new users, click on the right side bar link titled: “Winter Market: How it Works” if you need more information on how to do this.

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Ordering for 1-30-16 is Closed. Head Lettuce and Arugula Sold Out

IMG_4967Here is a pic of the Blue Moon Farmhouse on Monday morning. Looks different now. We are on track for the pickup on Saturday, January 30th at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11am.

Ordering will open Monday at 8am and close Tuesday at 10pm.

We are having production problems with our salad mix, so it will be limited again, as well as bunching greens.

We have plenty of carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, and misato radishes.

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Pickup 1-16-16. Ordering is Closed

35819369_3dfa63642bWe will have our next pickup on Saturday January 16th, at the Food Court in front of Piato at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11am.

We don’t have as many bunching greens as we normally do at this time of year, we are battling disease thanks to the warm fall, and the recent moisture. All of the bunching greens will sell out very quickly. Bok choy will also sell out quickly as we are about to run out of our September seeded bok choy.

We have a good amount of salad and spinach. Also lots of carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, and radishes.

Below is a guide to our potatoes.

Potatoes:

Carola: Mid-starch, buttery flavor, yellow flesh. Uses: Very versatile, from roasting to baking to gratin, delicious.
All Blue: High in antioxidants, marbled blue/white flesh, med to high starch. Uses: great in potato salads, baked or boiled.
Desiree : Pink skin, yellow flesh, moist firm texture. Uses: salads and stews.
Purple Viking: Purple/pink splashed skin, white flesh, moist texture. Uses: we have used them mashed and in salads, creamy texture.
Laratte Fingerling: yellow flesh, waxy. Uses: roasting!
French Fingerling: Marbled pink/ivory flesh, waxy firm texture. Uses: roasting and grilling!

We will have Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery with us again for the pickup on the 16th. Stay tuned for an update on what cheeses they will be have in stock.

After the 16th, we will have one more pickup on January 30th. We do pickups every other week in the winter. Starting in February, our pickups will happen at the Middle Market. Same time, different place in the mall. We still don’t know which spot they are going to give us, but we’ll let you know.

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First Winter Market Coming Early This Year 1-2-16: Ordering is Closed

IMG_4773Here’s a shot from our final carrot harvest in November. Those are just a few of our carrot containers ready to go into the cooler.

We have so much fresh produce that we are starting our pre-ordering early this year.

Pickup will be at the Lincoln Square Village in front of Piato in the food court from 9-11am.

Ordering is open and will close on Tuesday 10pm.

We’re going to change the ordering system slightly to try to make the markets easier. (FYI, we are going to have an extra person working to cut down on the wait times.) You will only have to pre-order the freshly harvested produce. We’ll let you know what storage items will be available, and we will bring enough to satisfy your carrot and potato needs.

Baby Bok Choy, Salad Mix, and Spinach are available for pre-order. These items will also be pre-bagged.

We will also bring carrots, beets, turnips, napa cabbage, and potatoes to buy.

For any new users who may have questions, click on the link on the right sidebar: Winter Market: How it Works.

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Warm Winter For a Change

winter crew 2015Here are Adrian, Jenny, and Abad (and Maggie) taking a break, standing in front of a greenhouse planted in claytonia, collards, and white russian kale.

The winter has been warmer than usual so far, which means we spend less time covering our crops inside the greenhouses, and less time having to work around the packing shed freezing. It also means salad mix and spinach are growing especially well.

Tomorrow, 12-12-15, we have our penultimate Holiday Market at the Lincoln Square Village. Then, we’ll take a break for a few weeks in January, and be back on January 16 for our online winter market. Look for more details about that in the coming weeks. It looks like we’ll be joining the Middle Market for the months of February, March, and April.

See you at the market tomorrow and enjoy the good warm weather!

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Volunteers needed for crop cycle on Sept 12

crop cycleHey local farm need volunteers to help host bikers visiting farms on Sept 12.

If you are interested in the ride http://illinoisorganicgrowers.org/crop-cycle/

If you might be willing to help host http://agroecologyandsustainableagriculture.org/?s=crop+cycle

Here is the list of farms and times volunteers are needed..

Farm volunteer start time volunteer end time
Stone Court Farm 630 830
Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery 830 1130
Heirloominous Farm 830 1130
Blue Moon Farm 845 1300
Autumn Berry Inspired 915 1330
Sola Gratia Farm
* FAMILY RIDE
1045 1400
University of Illinois Student Sustainable Farm 1100 1500
Prosperity Gardens 1130 1530
Tomahnaus Farm 1230 1700
Stone Court Farm
* MEAL
1315 1700

Let us know if we need to help you get to the farms

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Closed: Pop-Up Pre-order Opportunity for Saturday 4-25-15 at Lincoln Square 9-11am

IMG_3501We have so much produce that we are going to open another pickup for this Saturday 4-25-15 from 9-11 at the Lincoln Square mall in front of Piato at the Food Court. We have arugula, napini, spinach, bok choy, white russian kale, and carrots on the order sheet. In spite of the cold weather, the greenhouses are still toasty warm and the plants are growing.

Ordering is open now, and will close tomorrow night at 10pm. Click on the link on the right sidebar entitled: “Winter Market Reservations”. For first time orderers, click on the link on the right sidebar entitled: “Winter Market: How it Works”.

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Ordering for 4-18-15 Pickup is Closed

IMG_3444Here is Abad washing a barrelful of carrots, enjoying the 30 mph wind.

We will have napini, green garlic, spinach, salad mix, arugula, baby bok choy, kale, carrots, potatoes, and beets on the order sheet.

Pickup will be on Saturday 4-18-15 at the Lincoln Square Mall from 9-11am at the Food Court in front of Piato.

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Ordering for 4-4-15 is Closed

napiniWe will have another pickup this Saturday, 4-4-15, from 9-11am, at the Lincoln Square Village in front of Piato. Ordering will open on Monday at 9, and will close on Tuesday at 10pm.

For our pickup on Saturday, we will have spinach, kale, chard, and claytonia, as well as carrots, potatoes, and beets. We are adding a new product this week, calling it Spring Greens Mix. We have a lot of different greens: claytonia, baby kale, baby arugula, baby tatsoi, and baby mizuna. Our newly planted lettuce isn’t quite ready yet, so we are cutting what is of perfect size, and mixing it. It’s delicious, eat it like a special, delicate salad. We also have some purple majesty potatoes for all of you purple potatoes fans.

For all new users, please click on the link on the right sidebar entitled, Winter Market: How it Works.

 

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Ordering for 3-21-15, first day of Spring Pickup is Closed

The arugula that germinated one month ago is now ready to be harvested. This bunch right here is hosting green lacewing larva (aphid eaters), so we didn’t cut it this week.

We are in full swing seeding and planting in the greenhouses, and even have a tomato planting scheduled soon. Imagine that, tomatoes…

This week we will have salad mix, spinach, kale, claytonia, chard, as well as carrots, potatoes, beets, and turnips.  For first time users, please click on the link on the right sidebar entitled “Winter Market: How it Works”.

Our pickup will be on Saturday, March 21, at the Lincoln Square Village from 9-11am, at the Food Court in front of Piato.

The week after, March 28th, we will be at Prairie Fruits Farm for their on-farm breakfasts, on-farm sales, and baby goat viewing.

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Ordering for 3-7-15 Pickup is Closed

spinachcloseWe will have all the good stuff this week: salad, spinach, claytonia, kale, collards, carrots, and potatoes. To order, click on the right side bar: Winter Market Reservations.

 

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Come Work at Blue Moon Farm!

IMG_4044Blue Moon is hiring. We have three positions that we are looking to fill: Operations Manager, Equipment Operator/Farm Hand, and regular old Farm Hand.

We are looking for various levels of experience in these positions, full and part time availability. If you want to be a farmer, if you want to continue to farm, or if you just want to work outside and eat well, please apply.

If you click on Employment/Internships on the top banner, you can get a more detailed description of what we are looking for in each position, and from there you can download our applications.

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