Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2019 CSA and Farm Schedule

Welcome to our 2019 Genuine Faux Farm CSA blog post series!  We are placing these posts out on our blog as a reference to those who have signed up as well as an enticement to those who might be interested in joining us.

Here is the 2019 GFF Farm Share Schedule.  I, the Sandman, have spoken! (yet again)
Our first post in the series is an overview of the program that includes vegetable share options and pricing.  This post is intended to clarify our planned delivery dates.  Each of these dates are anticipated to have vegetables available - but please remember, the season starts slowly and builds as we go.  On the other hand, our farm is typically very good at extending into the Fall. 

Please note, circumstances may cause us to make a change, but we will do our best to communicate those changes as they occur.  Our delivery times will expand as the season goes on.  If you find these times to be difficult to manage, please communicate with us.  Our Event Calendar, is linked on our blog at the right and will get updated as the season progresses.

How the 2019 GFF CSA Works:
Think of the CSA season as having THREE parts:

Part I (April 25 - July 30) - Early season where members can use their credits for ALA Carte vegetable acquisitions for their farm share.  Note: we are willing to add new members at any point.

Part II (August 6 - November 21) - The "high season" for our farm where members will receive a share of produce harvested each delivery date.  There is no need to use the farm credits during this period UNLESS there is something extra you wish to acquire.

Part III (December to mid-January) - Post Thanksgiving where members can continue to use credits as they did in part I.
Our farm is inspected by the Inspector.  In case you wanted to know.
April Dates
  • (PART I - CSA Members may begin to use credits NOW, but new members may still join)
  • April 25 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza 5:00-6:00 pm
  • April 30 - Waverly at St Andrew's Church 5:00-6:00 pm
May Dates
  • May 2 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • May 7 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • May 8 - Wartburg Environmental Bio Class at GFF
  • May 9 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • May 14 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • May 16 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • May 18 -  Genuine Faux Farm Tour Day - 1:00-4:00 pm
  • May 21 - Waterloo Schools Kindergarteners at GFF
  • May 21 - Waverly at St Andrew's (short delivery time expected)
  • May 23 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • May 28 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • May 30 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
June Dates
  • June 4 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • June 6 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • no deliveries expected week of Jun 10
  • June 18 - Waverly at St Andrew's 
  • June 20 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • June 24 - Broiler Batch #1 to "The Park"
  • June 25 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • June 27 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • June 30 - Practical Farmers of Iowa SIP Participants at GFF
July Dates
  • no deliveries week of July 1 (4th of July week)
  • July 9 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • July 11 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • July 16 - Waverly at St Andrew's
  • July 18 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • July 25 - Cedar Falls at Jorgensen Plaza
  • July 29 - Broiler Batch #2 to "The Park"
  • July 30 - Waverly at St Andrew's
 August Dates
  • (PART II - traditional style CSA delivery portion of the CSA begins)
  • August 6 - Waverly
  • August 8 - Cedar Falls
  • August 13 - Waverly
  • August 15 - Cedar Falls
  • August 20 - Waverly
  • August 22 - Cedar Falls
  • August 24 - SUMMER FESTIVAL at Genuine Faux Farm
  • August 27 - Waverly
  • August 29 - Cedar Falls
September Dates
  • Sep 3 - Waverly
  • Sep 5 - Cedar Falls
  • Sep 6 - Broiler Batch #3 to "the Park"
  • Sep 10 - Waverly
  • Sep 12 - Cedar Falls
  • Sep 17 - Waverly
  • Sep 19 - Cedar Falls
  • Sep 24 - Waverly
  • Sep 26 - Cedar Falls
 October Dates
  • Oct 1 - Waverly
  • Oct 3 - Cedar Falls
  • Oct 7 - Broiler Batch #4 to "the Park"
  • Oct 8 - Waverly
  • Oct 10 - Cedar Falls
  • Oct 15 - Waverly
  • Oct 17 - Cedar Falls
  • Oct 22 - Waverly
  • Oct 24 - Cedar Falls
  • Oct 28 - Turks to "the Park" and the "Great Turkey Pickup"
  • Oct 29 - Waverly
  • Oct 31 - Cedar Falls
 November Dates
  • Nov 5 - Waverly 
  • Nov 7 - Cedar Falls
  • Nov 12 - Waverly
  • Nov 14 - Cedar Falls
  • Nov 19 - Waverly
  • Nov 21 - Cedar Falls
  • Week of Nov 25 - Thanksgiving
December Dates
  • (Part III - use up those credits!  We will likely still have plenty of produce!)
  • to be announced

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

2019 CSA Overview

We have offered vegetable farm shares (CSA) since 2005 and we will be offering meat poultry shares laster in the year.  The sign up season for 2019 is open now!  We would be honored to be your personal farmers for the growing season.  We have plenty of room for you to join us.

Our blog will feature our CSA for the next several days - so stay tuned.

Why should Rob and Tammy Faux of the Genuine Faux Farm be your personal farmers?

  • Experienced - our farm and CSA has been in operation since 2005 and we actively seek to improve how our farm performs each and every year.
    Sign up! I, the Sandman, have spoken.
  • Responsive - you will see at least one of your farmers at every delivery and we are happy to converse with you about things you would like to see happen with your share and on the farm.
  • Reliable - we grow a wide range of crops and varieties to provide our own version of crop insurance on your behalf.
  • Responsible - we work to keep all three legs of our sustainable farm strong.  We strive to work with nature and we are active in the community - all while maintaining a reasonable bottom line.
  • Accountable - we have maintained organic certification for our vegetable production since 2007 and we are pleased to answer any questions you might have about how we grow.
  • Traceable - 97% of the produce you will receive is grown on our farm northwest of Tripoli, Iowa.  The remaining 3% is clearly labeled so you know who grows your food.  Jeff Sage grows heirloom sweet potatoes for our program.  Jeff also supplements our carrot offerings.  We grow the yellow and striped beets and he grows the red beets.  He also supplements our asparagus in the CSA if needed.
  • Flexible - there are now many ways you can participate.  Take a look and see what fits you best.
  • A Good Buy - in all years except 2012, we have provided our share holders with produce value that exceeds the share price by 20 to 40 percent.
Veggie CSA Options for 2019

Basic Package
includes 16 weeks of our traditional CSA delivery AND $100 of credit to spend on produce during any delivery week starting when produce is available and ending January 15, 2020. (most similar to our previous traditional CSA)
Price: $500

Souped Up Basic Package
make that $200 of credit to spend! (most similar to the Whole Enchilada)Price: $600

Trimmed Back Package
includes 8 weeks of our traditional CSA (every other week) AND $100 of credit to spend as above. (most similar to alternating week CSA)Price: $325

Souped Up But Trimmed Back Package
you might see a pattern here.  The Trimmed Back Package with $200 of credit.Price: $425

Western Homes / Eisenach Package
for our retiree population who might be finding it difficult to go through the produce like they used to includes 16 weeks of a scaled down share AND $100 of credit to spend on produce.Price: $260

Souped Up Western Homes / Eisenach Package
yes, there IS a pattern.  Eisenach special with $200 credit for producePrice: $360

The Details!
Credits are available for produce only.  Poultry products are separate.

Our ala carte deliveries will begin as soon as veggies start coming in (beginning April 25).  You may begin using your credits at this point.  You will have the option to reserve specific produce or wait and see what is available.  You won't have to pull out cash to buy it, we'll just mark the credits down in our book and away you go.  As CSA members you get $110 worth of produce credit for each $100 in credits purchased.

The traditional CSA delivery period will run from the week of August 6 to the week prior to Thanksgiving.  16 weeks.  If you want something extra, you can use your credits to get extra when we have it!  If you run out of credit, we'll let you add on as the season progresses.

Did you prefer the prescribed shares during the Summer?  Don't worry, we've got you covered.  As the produce comes in, we'll offer "package deals" to our CSA members that you can apply your credit towards.  It's the same thing, but you have flexibility for when those credits are used.

How will reserving produce work?  We will start with email reservation and eventually move to an online form that should be easy to access and use.  It will work much as our egg email reservations have worked in the past.  We will guarantee to have what is reserved and we will have the goal of bringing extra for walk-up purchases as well.

You can certainly share any of these packages with another person or family unit.  We ask that YOU figure out how you will split your share and we also ask that you give us contact information for all participants so we can make sure everyone gets farm announcements and is invited to farm activities such as the Summer Festival!

Pick Up Locations
Waverly:   St Andrew's Church parking lot on Tuesdays from 4:00-6:00pm.
Cedar Falls: Jorgensen Plaza in Cedar Falls, Thursdays, 4:00-6:00pm.
Tripoli: at the farm on Wednesdays or drop off at your location Tuesdays - depending upon arrangement.

How Do I Sign Up?
Send us an email at and tell us which share type you want and which delivery location you would prefer.

Want to Know More?
We welcome any questions you may have, please send them to our email address shown above.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Dollar Short

Welcome to our "Dollar Short" blog post that is clearly a day late.  Before we say anything else, Hobnob, one of our Indoor Farm Supervisors, would like to have a word with you.

A rare Hobnob appearance in the blog.
Hobnob would like to point out that all the humans out there are improperly using throw rugs in their homes.  THIS is how a throw rug should be placed and arranged.  See, even our blog gets delayed by ads... in this case, it is a public service announcement.  Perhaps we can be forgiven for that?

Farmers Considering Hydroponic Chickens in 2019

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When Mother Nature gives you excess moisture,  you consider altering your production techniques to fit what is given to you.  We've been noticing that both hydroponics and aquaponics have gotten a great deal of attention lately.  In fact, it has gotten to the point that 'x-ponics' are down-right trendy.

Well, just like TV shows and movies, once someone comes up with what looks like a new idea and others decide it could be a good thing to do, everyone else copies the basic premise and dresses it up differently.  So, of course, we have noticed all sorts of off-shoots from the basic hydroponics idea.  A fairly recent development has been the 'hydroponic poultry system' that has been getting significant attention in poultry productions states that dealt with excess rain in 2018.  Apparently, poultry producers were noticing that flood waters broke into feed bins and mixed the feed into the water.  The birds were quite adept at finding the food and water mix, stationing themselves on perches that allowed them to dip their beaks into the water and getting everything they need nutritionally at one time.  The other positive was that their droppings could be moved away by flowing water, which meant the farmer did not have to clean out a coup.

Apparently, the new system features a recycled water system with a series of perches placed at the water surface.  Automatic feed distribution systems place a nutrient-rich feed mix on the 'supply end' of the 'pond' and filters on the other end collect the 'back-end product' (yes, that would be poo) which can be composted and used for fertility in fields.

We thought we'd skip the perches and get the birds inflatable life rafts.  Or maybe we would just do ducks...

Rhetorical Farm Cart

If a 'rhetorical question' does not require an answer, then it makes sense that a rhetorical farm cart does not need to carry any payload.  Sometimes, it is all about the existence of the item and the point it is trying to make - at least that's what we've been told.   We purchased this new cart at an auction recently for $15.  Why did we buy it?  Well, we were running short on cash and needed an influx of money somehow...

Now, hear us out on this.  Usually, a little cart like this, in good shape, with good tires, would cost a minimum of $100.  Heck, we've seen a pile of tires go for $15.  In fact, we've seen another running gear without a deck with similar characteristics go for a couple hundred dollars.  At the very least, we figure we saved $50 on this rhetorical farm cart.  So, technically, we are in the positive by $50 or more.  We're still working out why the balance in the checking account went DOWN however.

Volunteers Defeat Invasive Plants on the Farm

Invasive species are a problem in nature, but human tendency towards cultivation and other modifications of the landscape actually increases the odds that invasive species can take hold in every environment.  Our farm is not immune to the problem.  We have had a number of "Rogue Sunflowers" popping up through the snow drifts in March.  Happily, we often have service trip groups from Wartburg come out the farm each year and this year's task was Rogue Sunflower removal.  Nice job ladies!

Straight Line Genetics

We have been working on breeding vegetable crops that have a 'straight-line' trait to help us control competing weeds.  Anyone who farms agrees that rows and seed beds that run in parallel lines are much easier to cultivate AND it makes it possible to run drip line for irrigation.  Can you imagine running drip line for rows that look more like a snake than a ruler?

Plants with the new 'straight-line' trait operate a bit like some of the Computer-Assisted Design software products.  Plants "snap to grid" and correct their position within the established row, making up for human fallibility when it comes to planting.  We are noticing that the genetics have had a tendency to drift away from the target plants, however.  Did I mention that the Rogue Sunflowers seemed to be in a straight line?  Hm.

There is one obvious issue with the seeds from this new breeding program - we have to be careful how we orient the seed when we plant it in the ground.  If they get turned in the seeder, the plants won't be able to agree on WHERE the row is supposed to be.  Needless to say, we're working on a seeder to make sure each seed goes into the ground in such a way that all of them understand where the row is supposed to be.

Now, if we can get the weeds to grow in straight lines, that might a good thing too - as long as they don't choose the same line as our crops.

Tiny House For Felines

You probably have noticed the 'tiny house' concept for humans - well, here is the next new thing for pets - the litter bucket tiny home!  We read about cat lovers in a Chicago suburb placing litter buckets in the alleys and other locations where feral cats tend to be found.  After all, those poor critters suffer in the elements too!

There have apparently been a few issues with this approach that have yet to be addressed.  We have addressed one of them with Soup's personal 'tiny home' on the farm.  You see, most of the buckets in Chicago were put out with the lids on.  People were forgetting that cats do NOT have opposable thumbs and opening a lid is not likely to be easy for them.  When asked about this, one person said they were worried that the open side would result in the cat getting wet in a driving rainstorm, so they wanted to leave the lid there as a 'door' that the cat could shut.

Our solution allows the cat to get in and out just fine.  We figure if there is a driving rain coming in the opening, the cat can jump out quick and spin the bucket around in another direction.

There were several other problems noted with these tiny homes, but we'll let you figure out that bucket list on your own.

Some Assembly Required

Used kitchen for sale - some assembly required.
Figured It Out Yet?
We're always a 'day late and a dollar short' for our April Fool's posts.  So, if you hadn't figured it out by now - this is your official notice!  We hope you enjoyed it.

If you'd like to see prior year installments, here they are!
2018 April Fool Post
2017 April Fool Post
2016 April Fool Post
2015 April Fool Post
2014 April Fool Post
2013 April Fool Post
2012 April Fool Post