Farm News-Final Summer CSA

Each week CSA members receive a newsletter from the farm. Occasionally I remember to post it on here. This is the farm note from the final Summer CSA week of 2014

The end of each CSA season feels like a mark in the story of our farm. How will we look back on this season? What lessons will we carry that will make us better in the coming year? I have not always been a farmer, and I did not grow up in it. But the past seven years of my life are each defined by a season of growing. It is how I keep track of things, by counting the seasons. I am not so good with the numbers because it is easy to forget what the exact year was that we went to that one farmers market, or what year it was that all the tomatoes died in all of New England. I can count back in time by those more distinguishable events and track my own personal history in that way as well as the history of our farm.

Our farm is still so new and we are just beginning to exit the initial start up phase. And after many years of figuring out where we want to be, I have to say I like the outlook from where I am now. And the glue that holds our farm together, that ensures that we can wake up each day and go out and do what we love, work outside, grow healthy food without the use of herbicides or pesticides is our CSA and all of you. By being a part of our farm you help to contribute to the economic stability of our farm. A commitment for the season means that we do not need to spend the season running around trying to find outlets for all the food we have grown. It means we can focus on taking close care of our animals, taking the time to move them around, to protect them from predators. It means we can take the time to cultivate our crops and spread compost where they need it. It means we can scout for bugs, destroy crops that may spread disease to other crops and generally care for our farm with a great deal of intention.

There is a reason that growing crops organically and raising animals outside is not the standard of agriculture. It takes a great deal more effort, time and money to farm the way that we do. Chickens kept outside on pasture are subject to predators like fox, hawks and others. A conventional pesticide sprayed on a crop once can take care of a bug problem for the whole season. I plant multiple successions of many crops with the knowledge that bugs and disease will wipe them out before you all are done seeing them in your share. And then there are the weeds, a field of carrots would be exponentially less time consuming and easier to grow with an herbicide. Carrots grow slowly, they take their time and many times the weeds get a real head start on them. We fight against this with tractor mounted weeding tools and human muscle and sweat. And this human muscle and sweat is paid a fair hourly wage and given many of the fruits of their labor for free as well. So by being a part of the farm you are doing more than getting your weekly allotment of food, you are contributing to an alternative and sustainable future in how we eat.

So as you look towards the coming season we hope you will choose to continue to be part of the growth of our farm. If you are planning to sign up for the winter CSA and have not done so please do so soon, so I can focus, not on so much marketing of shares, but on kneeling in a field of carrots and digging them up for winter storage. And if you have questions about anything, the winter, next summer, how to cook things, something you did not see in the share that you were hoping for, let me know. Our direct relationship, at the pick ups and through our other forms of communication is another special aspect of being part of our farm.

Thank you so much for being a part of Groundworks Farm’s CSA community this season. We hope you continue to grow with us for years to come.

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