Well, are these not interesting times?
We can begin to feel very small and powerless while listening daily to the numbers of illness and deaths due to something so small you need a microscope to see it,.
Here on the farm we are choosing to look for the blessings that surround us every day. Life’s pace has slowed, we’re discovering the true need for our country to be self-sufficient in critical areas such as food and safety, everyone is cooking and eating more meals at home and spending time zooming with neighbors and friends to stay close while physically apart. We’ve been heartened with stories of the innovation, generosity and the caring for others that is happening everywhere. We really are stronger together.
We feel blessed in many ways here on the farm. The rhythm of nature continues has it has for centuries bringing us spring, thankfully a nicer one than we had last year when it rained abundantly. Space is plentiful; we’re outside everyday caring for the animals and getting on the land as the soil conditions permit. We’ve always worked from home so routine is not totally disrupted. Spring is a time of expenses with generally no income so no change there. Food supply is critical at these times for us and having stored up last season’s harvest we are benefiting from those earlier efforts while the crops were abundant. With this limited self-sufficiency we have been able to stay relatively isolated here on the farm. Spring is a busy time of preparation so the days are flying by.
The history of the CSA goes back to the 60’s, developed as an innovative way for farmers to raise badly needed funds to plant their crops. I would like to start by thanking you for your support in the past. We truly appreciate it. Your support of our farm by investing in our CSA these past years has helped us get through spring to the start of harvest, enabling us to pay our staff and seasonal expenses. We have tried to add as many connections to the farm as possible to give you a behind the scenes picture of your foods journey from farm to plate. We really want you to know your farmer so you’ll have trust in your food supply. Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for postings of what’s happening.
Shannon and Kemayla are back this year to administer our CSA program bringing you a share of our harvest over an 18 week period. Kerri will be joining them and you may meet her at your drop off point.
You will notice some changes this year. Shannon has encouraged Jim to grow a greater variety of produce, adding in a few unusual items to challenge you in your everyday eating habits; time to put on your Master Chef hats and be creative. We’re even planting plum, pear and kiwi trees this spring.
We cannot grow everything for a variety of reasons hence we have modeled our CSA program as one that opens you up to a community of farmers. To enable us to offer you a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables we have teamed up with other farmers. Some of these farmers employ offshore workers to help grow their crops. With the difficulty this spring of getting them into the country we are worried that crop production will drop and problems of limited availability could arise and prices will increase. Crops most vulnerable to this situation are Niagara Fruit, apples, blueberry farms and there may not be an August crop of day neutral strawberries. We have not yet received our strawberry plants and are hopeful there will not be a supply problem. This doesn’t affect our current crop for this year but will for next year. We always plant one year ahead of harvest.
With all these unknowns at the start of the season it is hard to be definitive of how the abundance that we are used to will play out. There are always risks in farming and we will keep you informed of the ongoing issues.
We endeavour to provide you with the best selection of produce we can each week. We have decided not to change the cost of our shares as everyone has a budget. You may notice fewer items in the bag but the value of the bag will stay the same. You will have the opportunity to purchase add on items. One of the pluses of the current situation is that it is forcing us to be more digital. Our website will have an online store open very soon. This will help give you a greater number of options to add to your share bag such as meat, baked goods and preserves.
Please consider opportunities of helping and harvesting in our Giving Garden to give to those who would otherwise be unable to enjoy fresh produce. We have had some Corporations participate as a volunteer day for their employees and many individuals pick to give to elderly neighbours.
When circumstances permit and we can once again gather as a community our farm will be open for you to come and enjoy. Watch for our online store, we will be offering farm porch pick up and will be organizing delivery and drop off points as the harvest season approaches. Asparagus is our first crop.
In the meantime, keep in touch and watch our social media for news of what Farmer Jim and his crew are up to. Stay well. We can all get through this.