Teikei is the term associated with community supported agriculture (CSA) in the country of Japan, where this model of growing food predates the CSA growing model here in the US. The word means to “link up” or “put together”. In Japanese, when used in the context of community agriculture, it has come to mean “putting a farmers face on food”.
Knowing the farmer who grew your food is the best way to know if you are getting the freshest and healthiest food available. Food today comes with all kinds of certifications and labels, like “non-GMO”, “organic”, or “all-natural”. These can be misleading and/or confusing. It has been suggested that the most important certification you can look for in your food is “face certification”; can you look into the face of the people who grew this produce when you buy it?! So this week we wanted to feature here the faces of the people that grow your food and make 5 Loaves Farm work…
* From Left to Right, Top to Bottom
SETH BROWN is our Assistant Farm Manager, back for a second year working at 5 Loaves Farm. He has personally cared for just about every plant growing on the farm, so if you really want to know whats going on with your food, he’s the guy to ask!
ZOE NOEL-TRAPANI is our farm intern this year. She just started in September and is going to be helping work with all the youth that we interact with at 5 Loaves Farm.
MATT KAUFFMAN (that’s me); the crazy guy that got this project started, and is so incredibly blessed by all these wonderful folks that have joined in to make 5 Loaves Farm a reality.
JESS KAUFFMAN is my wife, and without her 5 Loaves Farm wouldn’t have been started or been able to keep growing. She helps out behind the scenes in so many crucial ways! She has also cooked with just about every plant on the farm, so if you need advice on what to do with some new veggie, just ask her!!
JOELLE & MARK HERSKIND are the visionaries and muscle behind the newly developed farmhouse at 5 Loaves Farm. It has been their buy-in to the vision, and putting in their money, knowledge, and an incredible amount of effort that have made that project a reality. We are excited about the amazing possibilities this space affords the farm!
PATRICK KRUSE is the farm intern that we just can’t get rid of… He worked with the farm two years ago, and has remained an integral part of 5 Loaves Farm. His role marketing and selling produce for the farm, along with the spiritual guidance he provides have been indispensable.
CAIT FENELLO played such a key role in planting and nurturing the produce that we’ve grown at the farm this year, she couldn’t be left out of a list of the people who’ve grown the food we’re harvesting at 5 Loaves Farm.
MARK HARLEY and his wife AMANDA (not pictured) are another couple that has bought into the vision of the farm and are using their gifts and skills to grow 5 Loaves Farm. Mark’s experience working on farms and in various positions throughout the food system have proven incredibly valuable for us. Amanda has stepped up to help out on many a CSA pick-up night, as well as at Saturday farmers markets in Elmwood Village. Mark and Amanda were literally the face of the farm last Saturday at the market!
GRACE BALENO (in the same picture, across the table from Mark) is a volunteer, and tenant at our house next to the farm. She will often come home from work and jump right in to working with us at the farm! Also a regular member of our Contemplation & Cultivation group, she took over and led the group a few weeks ago.
MEKHI MIDDLEBROOKS is one of the many teenagers from the neighborhood that have helped out on the farm. This year Mekhi has been helping out mostly with mowing, but over the past few years has had his hands in many projects at 5 Loaves Farm.
LEHAN IBRAHIM, CHANTAL NIBITANGA, EH DAH WAY, AH WEI, & EVODIE AMINA along with (not pictured) EMILY WARNER, NAW GAY, JOSEPH BOOK, and TYLER SMITH have been the crew of paid youth interns that worked at 5 Loaves Farm this year. Our fall internship begins today, with three young ladies joining us to keep growing food for us all this fall!
CHRISTINE FLEMING (at the far left of the picture) is Grace’s roommate at the farm and has also helped out on Saturday mornings, both leading our contemplative time, and doing the work of the farm.
GLENN KROETSCH (kneeling on the left, behind Seth’s dad) over the past few months has been a regular volunteer at 5 Loaves Farm, helping with both the CSA harvest and our greens harvest. When Glenn shows up, things get done! He helps us keep things moving and get food harvested!!
DARLENE MARCUCCI-MILLER has the nickname “ROUND-UP” on the farm because of the countless hours she’s put into weeding beds at 5 Loaves Farm. She never shows up without some gift in hand, and cares so deeply about the physical, relational, and spiritual health of everyone at the farm. Darlene is also one of our chief ambassadors in the WNY community; always sharing the vision with others and making connections for us!
A few others must be mentioned who aren’t pictured here. BRIAN LAFRANIER is staff adminstrator for the Buffalo Vineyard Church, and wades through all the financial paper work and numbers with me. SARAH WANGAI has helped evaluate and streamline administrative tasks at the farm. Folks like ANNA MATEJOVA & AICHA KUWONG helped out on numerous Saturday mornings, GREG WAGNER and IANI DUNBAR have shown up when we needed help on CSA harvest days, and DAVE & DONA ELEY made the Work Readiness Program work for our summer interns along with STEPHANIE BRUNO and the other good folks at 716 Ministries. There are so many others that have put in time and effort growing, harvesting, and sharing food, or supporting those that do, here at 5 Loaves Farm.
By now you should be getting the idea that what happens at 5 Loaves Farm is truly Community Supported Agriculture. There is an incredible community of people involved in growing 5 Loaves Farm. It is this community paired with the community of over 40 individuals and families that have contributed their financial buy-in to what 5 Loaves Farm is all about, that makes it all work.
So next time you come to buy something from 5 Loaves Farm, at a farm share pick-up, the farmers market, or a stop by the farm… Look around, at both the faces of the farmers that are growing your food, and the customers next to you that make this all possible!