Small Family Farm CSA

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kale February Twenty-First, 2011

Winter time is healing for farmers.  It is a time of rest and relaxation and for a farmer's energy to be less focused on their crops, harvest and delivery schedules and to become more focused on their own personal health and their family connections.  At high tide, in the midst of an overwhelmingly chaotic summer, work and the tasks at hand will literally carry a farmer away like a rising wave.  We can be carried away from those things in our lives that help us maintain balance and order and spiritual purpose.  But all rising tides eventually hit shore and the water recedes once again.  Winter is my shore.  It's when my feet touch the ground and the struggle to float gives way to the primordial struggle to stand on my feet and become conscious of them.  I would not respect or appreciate the movement, power and fluidness of the water if it was not for the stabilizing, fixed and constant land to model the contrast so clearly for me.

The ebb and flow of a Midwestern, four-seasoned Gregorian calendar year is wonderful to witness.  Your farmers are awaking from a winter slumber and coming out of hibernation. We are awaking from the most rejuvenating of seasons with fresh ideas, fresh perspective and fresh motivation. The folks at the Small Family Farm in particular are gearing up for their best growing season ever. We are armed with 5 years of experience running our own CSA farm and the lessons learned on this land. We are young and extremely passionate about educating people about where their food comes from and enriching the bond between an eater and a farm. We are hopeful for a grassroots movement towards sustainable economics and ecosystems. We believe from the depths of our hearts that the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model will aid not only in the existence of this one farm, but in the health of our communities at whole.

Your farmers at the Small Family Farm are making improvements in their farm. As each year passes we are repairing, renovating and re-modeling. We are making improvements in our operation to make the 2011 growing and delivery season run smoothly. We recently purchased a new little tractor for the farm, or a ‘cultivating tractor’, or if you know farmer speak, a Farmall 140. These little tractors are very popular in the world of vegetable production farms for the use of cultivating or “weeding”. We bought a cultivating attachment for this tractor called a “basket weeder”. The baskets will spin across the surface of the soil ripping out weeds. We are hopeful this little investment will save on physical labor, time and ultimately money spent on the farm.

In many ways we wish to maintain a similar size that we were in 2010. We are hoping to regain our 160-member CSA program and not try to get much bigger in that way. We will be opening up a little more land this year to help improve our vegetable rotation plan. We still feel that we have a lot of improvements to make to the management of this land and with the help of experience, proper equipment and a little extra time, we hope we can get there slowly.farmall

One leap we will be making this year is hiring a full time employee. The last five years of our CSA operation have been sustained by the incredible work ethic and drive that your farmers have to manage the farm themselves. But one lesson we’ve had to learn the hard way, is that we can’t do everything oursleves. We believe that we have found a young, hard-working and motivated young woman who can help us on our farm. She is equally as interested in learning about growing organic food as we are interested in teaching her. We feel she will be a wonderful addition to our farm.

Join us again for the 2011 season! Maintain a connection with your farm and your farmers. Remember that by signing up with a CSA farm you are promising to support a farmer through the unpredictable nature of a growing season. You become not only financially, but spiritually invested in this community building program. Attend our on-farm events this summer and bring your friends to the farm to teach them about where your food comes from. You can actually sign up online via our website or print out a sign up form and mail it to us. Early Bird Pricing is $445 for a Summer Share and after April 1st the price changes to $475. Your farmers want to encourage you to sign up early so that we have your commitment before the season begins.

Check out our Calendar page and come and see Jillian at a CSA fair near you!