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Lettuce Chat, 03/15/2021, Year-In Updates

Hi there Friends and Fans! We're celebrating a couple of anniversaries! It's a whole year in, since we opened our online store. A whole year! Almost unbelievable, and my goodness, how time flies! The online thing has been a learning experience for us here at ESH, and we have to say that y'all have been amazing throughout this year. While I am still trying to work out all of the kinks, I feel like it is ultimately advantageous, in the aspect of farmers market efficiency. And even if that was the only advantage, it proves to be a biggie.

The other anniversary we are celebrating is our on-site ESH farm store, located in Purcellville. Our fantastic local (and some not-so-local) customers have been wonderful! We have been able to provide fresh greens to y'all throughout the year, right out of our front door, which we understand is a pretty big deal. Shout out to Abby, The Reeds and their beautiful Goldens, Cynthia, and all of our drive up Friends!

A few Friends and Fans have inquired as to whether we will keep both of these outlets open in the future. The answer is an enthusiastic YES! It will continue to be our mission to make our lettuce, herbs, and microgreens available right here at the farm, as well as keep our online store open. As the lettuce volumes (a great informational blog post) continue to increase, and even when we have more than plenty of lettuce for purchase in person at the farmers markets, we will continue to offer pre-ordering for all who love to use it.

For those who may be new to our blog/site/farm, please allow me to recap some important information. (We invite you to peruse our website. You'll find a wealth of information within our many pages. The FAQ page can also answer many burning questions you may have. I have linked several pages here for your knowledge and convenience, just in case you'd like to see them.) On to some important details. We have two online store options, and four farm stand options. One online store is right here on this website, all you have to do is click on the "shop" tab, pick out your faves, choose your pick-up location, and pay. Another option is through the Loudoun Made Loudoun Grown Marketplace. This uses the Local Line website for your shopping convenience. Through Local Line (LMLG), you have mostly (I'm expanding the selection) the same items for purchase, and the same pick-up locations. (Technically, that's three options, but who is counting, wink wink.) Even though the sites look different, they all accept secure payment through Square.

One thing I must note on the Local Line store is the ordering lead time. If you choose to order through LL, and your preferred date for pick-up is not available, that means it is too late to order. We do prefer that orders be placed well ahead of packing time on Friday, so we know what we need to prep, and don't miss any orders. Either way (either site), we do still request that you order before Friday at noon, if at all possible.

For our farm stand or location pick-up options, we have our on-site ESH farm stand, open Wed-Sat 9am-noon, M. Franklin Studio and Boutique, Falls Church Farmers Market on Saturdays, DuPont Circle Farmers Market on Sundays, and our brand new location at Reston Farmers Market, located at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Rd., Reston, VA 20191, on Wednesdays from 2-6pm (soon to be 3-7pm). Big huge ESH welcome to our new Friends and Fans at Reston Farmers Market! We look forward to getting to know you and your families. You're going to love what we have to offer!

So, what's old, what's new, and what can we look forward to in the near future? First, I have only had one person find the hidden coupon code that is somewhere in our website pages (excellent searching!). Someone out there could get a nice little surprise when they order (spoiler alert - it's a one use per person coupon). But is there another code hiding in the site? Get to searching! ESH farm stand customers can still use the "farmstand" coupon code. Next up, we are retiring a few microgreens. Shiso and popcorn micros will no longer be available. The rest of the micros lineup will continue in their rotation as usual. On to mache. This week is the last week of our seasonal mache crop. We will have it available for you through this weekend (March 21, 2021). It will return next winter, as it is a winter-only crop at ESH.

New item alert! We are exited to announce that we are giving catnip a trial run. Did you ever think that would be a thing? Well, if you know our Head of Lettuce at all, this is not surprising, and it's something to celebrate! (Personally, my own cat is thrilled about the catnip I have brought home for her to try. Smalls says, "Thank you Lettuce Lady!!") Thus far, the catnip plants are happy and growing nicely in the greenhouses. So in the near future, we will be offering hydroponically grown catnip for purchase. (I will be writing a whole blog post about catnip use soon.) Finally, living heads will be returning to market soon (we are aiming for April). Spring is starting to spring in the greenhouses, and one by one, the varieties of lettuce heads are growing to a fair market size. We just had Romaine available at the market this weekend, as a nice little surprise.

Friends and Fans, I think that just about covers it. Not too shabby a year, we think. Our little lettuce farm fam appreciates all of you who have stuck with us through this year, and also those who have found us and taken us in. We love our Friends and Fans! As always, please keep tabs on our News and Updates tab on this web site, or our Facebook page, to keep up with the latest information. Alicia and I try to keep them up to date. Until next time!

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