By Farmer Mike
When I sit down to write emails to you, our CSA members, normally I know exactly what I want to say. I don’t have a specific formula, but often it starts with something I thought about in the shower. I find a way to relate that theme to a movie (I did go to film school so I should use my college career for some good…) and use that movie reference as an allegory.
I picture you, the loyal CSA-er, being so impressed with the comparison and re-reading the note to friends and family, saying to them, “Check out this note, isn’t our farm so cool?!”
What happens in all probability is that you don’t bother reading my ‘witty’ note or worse yet, it ends up in your spam folder. Those that do slog through probably don’t have the bandwidth to share my notes with the other hemisphere of their brain, much less other humans. And that is OK, it is 2021 and we don’t have time for anything anymore.
But for this one 'brief' email, please hear me out.
We are so proud of the farm we have grown over the last 12 years or so and we are hoping this season becomes one of our best yet.
You ask, “Why so optimistic, Farmer Mike?”
We spent 2020 building up our infrastructure and team, becoming a force to be reckoned with. We spent tens of thousands on an office/break room to rest our weary bodies from the weather (made possible by generous grants). We are finishing up a kitchen to allow us to enjoy down time and lunch together without constantly shooing flies. We have given ourselves, wait for it, a hot water heater to - you guessed it - have HOT WATER!
“WOWZERS, Farmer Mike, you did all that?!”
That isn’t all! We bought a new tractor last year to use an important soil improvement tool called a spader. We bought a new compost spreader to make our soil preparation more efficient (thank you, grants!). We added solar panels to the barn to reduce our carbon footprint. We rented out a section of our farm for a local food recovery business that turns food into compost. We might even get an indoor composting toilet!
“Surely you must be done by now, Farmer Mike…”
Not yet! We just placed an order for an automatized wash station that will dramatically increase the efficiency of our post-harvest produce washing. With this baby, we won’t have to lovingly hand scrub every item but just place it on a conveyor belt and the machine takes care of the rest. Think of it as a car wash for carrots!
“OK, we get it, now this is getting annoying!”
I agree completely, but it is important to see just how much we were able to do so let me keep going.
Our partnership with Adventist Healthcare allowed us to distribute over 3,000 shares of our produce (along with help from other county farms and a co-op of PA Amish farms) to front line healthcare workers during the pandemic. With all that, we were still able to provide to you our dear members, produce grown from our farm, week in and week out for 22 weeks for almost 200 families.
PHEWWWW. I am done now. But it is really amazing to recap just all the meaningful contributions a small group of dedicated people can do, all while respecting our bodies (we only work 40 hours a week) and our piggy bank (the minimum we pay anyone at our farm is $15 an hour).
How do we do it? We do it because we love what we do, and we have a fantastic membership base that supports our mission and this farm. That means we need you! It is that time of year to have you sign up to support all that we do.
Inspired? I hope so! Help us be even better in 2021 by clicking the button below and learning more about our 2021 shares. Super Inspired? Forward this email to your friends and family so that they too might join and see our farm succeed.
Less inspired? We understand we aren’t for everyone. Thank you for trying our CSA out and giving us a shot!