Written by Farmer Mike.
So here we are.
With that, I bring you “Farmer Mikes Rules For Making the CSA Not Make Farmer Mike Completely Mental and Have a Breakdown on Week 1”, or as we at the farm like to say, “FMRFMTCMFMCMAHABOW1” for short.
1. CSA is not a sprint, it is a marathon. If you are new to eating locally, the first thing you will want to do is email me after week one or two, “Where are the tomatoes?” This is one of the most important lessons as a CSA member – everything is seasonal. Tomatoes don’t grow in cold weather so we plant them and eat them when they are happiest, which is summer. Here is a great resource for understanding when you may get a certain item.
2. Our emails always have the info you need. This is very important when it comes to dates and times. The answers are almost always there. Check oneacrefarm.com or your email before you send us a note about something - that will give us more time working in the field and less time responding to emails.
3. We love giving our annual tours. But alas, this won’t happen this spring. That is a major shame since the majority of this whole experiment called CSA is educating the member about what a farm is and what a farm is not. As soon as social distancing restrictions are lifted, we will have the tour. It is simply the most important thing for you to see our farm to help you understand the community you have joined.
With that I will now go into a very long tirade about my philosophy, performed as an interview.
Whenever I get interviewed, and it’s happening more and more, I am asked the same question…
Interviewer: What do you want folks to know about what it takes to support a local farm?
Farmer Mike: (My truly obnoxious answer is always the same…) The philosophy ‘the customer is always right’ is completely wrong. My philosophy is, the customer is usually completely clueless. As the trustworthy caretakers of the land, it is our #1 most important job to educate members about the who, what, why and how of growing nutritious food.
You (sitting at home or work, reading this now): How dare you say this Farmer Mike!
Farmer Mike: I say it since I know myself. I am a customer and I am a moron. I have no idea how most things outside of my small farm world work, so I trust the person I pay for a product or service, that they have my best interest at heart. We are so lucky to be part of a robust local economy of small businesses that truly do have our best interests at heart. That trust is super difficult to achieve when it is a major international organization.
You: What is your point Farmer Mike?
Farmer Mike: My point is that the only thing I am selling is trust. A few years ago when I learned another local farm (no longer in operation, thank goodness) was buying non organic produce and reselling it as his own organic produce, I went completely mental. Why was I so angry? It was because I sell trust and as soon as you have any doubt about who
I am or what I am doing, I have no more business.
And with that one quick story that my returning members have heard before…
A few years back I was online researching deli paper. I use this to wrap our tomatoes, so they don’t bruise. That day, I spent literally a whole hour reading reviews about which brown paper product is the best. I finally settled on one and purchased it for $14.
Minutes later Oscar walked into the barn to tell me the weed eater had just died. This tool is crucial, especially that day, as we were doing maintenance work on the deer fence. I ran to our local small engine repair place where Carl, my friend from high school’s father, was the proprietor.
“Carl, I need a weed eater”.
He replied without hesitation, “Grab that one over there, it is perfect for your scale.” I grabbed it and paid for it immediately. I didn’t look it over once, didn’t check the price, didn’t read a review, didn’t do a gosh darn thing but head back to the farm. A $400 purchase made in under thirty seconds.
It didn’t occur to me until later how I agonized over a $14 purchase of freaking deli paper yet spent 0 time even considering a major $400 purchase. The difference, I think we can all say, was TRUST.