"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday, November 1
Today is the last farm share pick-up for this year’s Community Supported Agriculture program. For 22 weeks we’ve provided over 75 different crops and over $630 in value to our shareholders that paid in $550!
For our farm shareholders this was one of the most profitable of our six years running the CSA program. We hope to be constantly improving and providing a solid investment for those that partner with us. To that end we’re always looking for feedback. If you participated in our CSA program this year, please take a moment to fill out our year-end survey!
And we listen to this feedback, we’ve been honing in on growing a balance of foods that grow well here, given our climate and space constraints, and foods people desire. This year we hit our targets of growing more popular staple vegetables, like potatoes, peppers, carrots, garlic, and tomatoes. In our cool Buffalo climate we were able to provide a full 15 weeks worth of tomatoes to our shareholders this year, a new record for us!
Our goal for the CSA program is to try and provide at least 10% in value more than what our shareholders pay in, to reward them for investing in us, but also to accommodate for any sacrifice in convenience they have made to participate in the program. This year it works out that our shareholders received their share at an almost 15% discount.
The value of investing in an urban farm like 5 Loaves Farm goes beyond money saved, however. Blighted urban land has been cared for and transformed into productive space. It has become a space for peoples souls to be nourished and bodies to be fed. It has become a space to give the youth of our neighborhood a chance to work their first job, and become equipped with skills that will help them succeed in the future. It has become a space that is a crossroads between the many cultures of our neighborhood. People of different economic and ethnic backgrounds gather to share their knowledge, work together, and enjoy both the beauty and bounty of the gardens together.
For those of you that got to Celebrate the Harvest with us in our new farmhouse earlier this month, or enjoy soup with us on Friday evenings this October, you got to see some of this in action. A number of neighbors were involved in cooking soups that were from their specific ethnic background. Others pitched in to help us cook some of our favorite foods. Our hope for the farm as a whole, and especially for the farmhouse, is that it is a hub where the neighborhood, with all its diverse ethnicities and classes can come together to discover the value that each of us has, and what we have to share with each other. These events were “pay-as-you-can” events, and many gave generously to not only cover their cost, but to make events like this accessible to others in the neighborhood. Thanks to those that came, gave, and see the value in what 5 Loaves Farm is doing.
So, though our main growing season may be coming to an end, keep watch for more events and soup nights throughout the winter at the farmhouse. These will be events that will continue to connect our community, provide us a chance to share the things we value with each other, and in the end create a more healthy community!