White Russian Kale
Muir Head Lettuce
Mixed Hot Peppers
Winter Squashes Galore!
Notes from the Farm
The whole point of the CSA concept is rethink the roll of food, the roll of agriculture, in our daily lives. Nothing happens without food, and without a major intellectual reach, transactionally charging units of food for money is as preposterous of an idea as paying for each breath of air you take...
But, I know, we all know, it's much more complicated than that... money makes the world go round.
There are models of CSA type agricultural systems that have evolved all over the globe concurrently with the modern capitalist ideology of the 20th century.
In the 1970's there were community-agriculture type models that were developed in Chile and Japan... The model here in the united states, first popularly instituted in '83 or '84, right here in New England, mined their influence from the Biodynamic communities of central Europe.
Indian Line Farm in Massachusetts and Temple-Wilton Farm in New Hampshire, both getting organized around the same time, are largely credited as the spark of the CSA movement. They, without us getting too bogged down the details, essentially developed budgets for the farm, reached out to an active, invested, community base, came to an agreement on costs and goals, and members of the community paid what they could based on their family and situation to meet the budget, then would just come and get food from the farm... beautiful.. and it worked... it still works.
This model of CSA farming is easily the most pure form of connecting a community to it's food... and from this, inspiration birthed countless variations on this model... connecting communities to their food production in a way that benefits everyone. There are models that mirror the original free choice, there are modified free choice options, market style set models (what we do), there are box programs (similar to us, but we pick the individual items out for you... like if you can't make it to a pickup and we box it up for you), there are credit style free choice programs (where you pay a set amount and get that amount of food [or a little more] in return)... it goes on and on... but in my heart, deeply fissured in my heart, I'm always thinking about how we can get back to the garden... to that original impulse... to remove the reductive transactional itemized way of viewing food and rewrite our relationship to one of the most basic needs...
A free choice farm, a farm that serves the community, takes trust, compromise and hard work. Harvesting food for a hundred families when you know what everyone is going to get is super hard... harvesting food for a hundred families when you don't know what they are going to want to take that week is harder... We're lucky that we have a farmstand, we could re-home any stray food into the stand... but guessing and meeting the level of desire is a daunting task.
There is also the community member dynamic... how much food do I take? We all balance on the line of getting what is fair... either fair to the individual consumer to get enough for themselves or fair to the other members not being greedy as to negatively impact them... it's not easy navigating individualism in a community... I struggle with it pretty constantly.
But this is the ultimate goal, COMMUNITY supported agriculture... You are not the community and I am not the agriculture, we are collectively all of it... we are all the community supporting all the agriculture... and I want to give it a try.
This week you'll see something different... we are going to put out bins of all the food we have, all that we've harvested, all that we think you'll need to meet your weekly vegetable needs... and we want you to take what you think you need... what you can use... what makes sense... and leave the rest for the other members.
You all may not get all of what you want, some things will be limited, but my hope is that you will all get what you need, what you deserve, that you wont be shy and short yourself, but that you'll also be generous to your other members... and more than anything, my hope is that this model will bring more joy to your CSA experience.
I've wanted to do this for years... decades now... but I've been too scared, to afraid to give up control, to disappoint all you all... but if not now, when? When do we take the leap? The risk? To do something, some small thing, to fundamentally change the way we relate to each other and our experience of living... and I know that getting to decide how many beets you want, or if you want them at all, may seem insignificant... but it's not... like breathing is not insignificant... you don't breathe a number of allotted breaths a day... you just breathe... you live... look at the clouds through the trees, the sun move across the sky, the darkness rise every evening...
On your terms you breathe, and eat, exhale relaxing your shoulders, and breathe... and eat... and it wasn't a transaction... and nothing was taken from you, and you gave nothing you didn't intend to give...
Thank you for supporting us this season.
We love you more than you'll ever know...