Saturday, February 28, 2015

National CSA Sign Up Day!

Today, February 28th, is national CSA (community supported agriculture) sign-up day (yes, it's a real thing!).  

So if you haven't chosen how/where you're getting your farm fresh goods this season head on over to check out our Buying Club.

Details about the Program: HERE  
Order your first box: HERE

If you're already a member THANK YOU and I can't wait to see in June!    

Some highlights.... 
  • Access
    • Home or business delivery
    • On-farm pick up
    • Farmers' market pick up
  • Affordability
    • No upfront commitment or cost
    • Order weekly or month to month subscriptions
  • Appeal
    • Build your own order
    • Choose exactly what you want and the quantity you want 
    • We are the farmer!
Buying Club box delivery/pick up begins the first week in June!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Convention Season: PASA

This past weekend I attended the PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) Conference in College Park, PA. 

It is a pretty different conference than the MidAtlantic convention. Instead of giant equipment, nursery stock companies, and my beloved cider contest there is a diverse range of supplies for keeping and processing chickens, a large handful of organic fertilizer companies, and a huge (I mean massive) silent auction....oh and lots of yummy food! 

However the biggest difference in the PASA and the MidAtlantic is the average age of the attendees. It is a very young conference.  The average was probably around 30.   

I really liked being at the conference and feel like I took away a lot of interesting information. I have a bunch of fun ideas and hope that I can transition current practices to some new ones.  So stay tuned as the season starts to see some new things we're going to try to implement. 

And now for the pictures....

"Grow like a Boss"

seed exchange
baby fig trees
a fun silent auction item.  first question: do you know what kohlrabi looks like? All of our Buying Club members do! 
espresso + chocolate milk = heaven
tools designed for "groundbreaking women"
shrubs in every flavor
seeds with great packaging to get kids involved in the garden
another great sign posted on the conference walls
live plants for sale

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Farm Comes First

Farmland Trailer

I finally got the chance to watch the film Farmland by award winning director James Moll.  You can watch it on Comcast OnDemand, YouTube, Amazon, Blockbuster OnDemand...and a bunch of others.  The movie follows a handful of young farmers as they start their own farming operation: 1 being a first generation farmer, a few having the reins passed to them (in the transitional phase between young and old), and one having landed into running the operation after his dad became sick and passed away.  I think the director did a great job of balancing big organic (700 acres) and small organic (just a few acres) and big conventional crop ag and livestock production.

I can relate to every single one of them in at least one way. No matter weather you're a poultry farmer, grain and soy bean, cattle rancher, or into organic vegetable production all of us 20 somethings are experiencing many of the same challenges: capital, weather, market highs and lows, and money.

At one point the Mom of the first generation farmer was saying how her daughter isn't from farming people and what non-farming people don't understand is that, "The farm comes first."

And Mom couldn't be more right.

I see people in my life struggle with the idea that the farm comes first. It all plays into the fact that it's a very unique job/business.  I had a friend who's brother would always ask me every time I saw him, "How was work today?" I always answered, "It's not work. It's life."  It's a life that revolves around a very capital intense, highly thought out and calculated business.  Since there's so much invested monetarily, physically and emotionally there's no question: the farm comes first.

Being able to see something from start to finish is so rare. A rare and beautiful thing. I squeal like a little pig every time I pick heirloom tomatoes (there're just so fun...see below and tell me you don't just want to squeal too) or when I think about what I'm putting in the Buying Club boxes each week.

field grown heirloom tomatoes

A while ago I was enjoying an article about two young ladies who started a farm on a piece of state protected land in New York. I was really into the article and in full support of these first generation farmers.  I was cheering them on until I got to the line that said (I'm paraphrasing here), "They created the farm with a board of directors rather than just going in on it themselves for when they want to pursue other interests."  Pursue other interests?  Now things happen in life, yes.  As the Dad of one of the characters in the film says, "I've been broke more times than you'd want to know."  So yes there are circumstances in which someone's farming life may/could end. However farming isn't a "do it until you decide you want to do something else" kind of job. It's a "for life" job because "the farm comes first."
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