This year has been one for the books, to put it lightly… As farmers, we work hard planning, planting, weeding, watering, fighting off pests, all to ensure a good harvest. However, there are so many realities that are beyond our control; there are larger forces at work that cause a seed to sprout (and a global pandemic), that drive the weather patterns (and racial justice protests), that cause a harvest (and a life) to be bountiful or sparse. As we share the “first fruits” of our CSA harvest with our members today, we are reminded that a bountiful harvest is the result of much more than just a farmer’s hard work.
Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a big part of 5 Loaves Farm, and we rely heavily on our CSA members for support. In the bleak days of winter we entered into a contract of sorts with our members to work together until this fall. Their support; financially, socially, and emotionally, help us to weather the storms like we saw Tuesday night. There is an element of shared risk and reward. We remain committed to providing the best produce to our members that we can. But, like we said, we are not in control.
Fortunately, the first few weeks of CSA farm shares are filled with things we’ve been storing up throughout the offseason; honey and dried herbs from last fall, maple syrup and over-wintered leeks from earlier this spring. However, as we said in previous weeks posts, CSA’s are highly seasonal, and as the ups & downs of weather patterns and other forces at work in our culture and world affect the farm’s staff and crops, our CSA members ride out the ups & downs of these storms with us. Being a part of a CSA program allows members to stand in solidarity with our farmers as together we endure the hardships that affect our food systems.
In our eight years of providing CSA farm shares we have always been able to provide our shareholders more value than they have paid in, and for the long-haul we are hopeful that this will remain the case this year. We are excited as today we to begin sharing the good, healthy, fresh produce we’ve been growing on the farm, with these shareholders that help sustain us. We have so many tasty treats in store for our members, and just want to thank these CSA members for their support of our work as we weather these storms together!