Farmer John Writes about Your Very Own Farm
Welcome to our Second Harvest Week
A farm is a being, an individuality; it has a personality. A farm, like a child, needs the conscious, committed, focused dedication and love of humans to bring it more into fruition. Community Supported Agriculture offers a powerful opportunity for humans to help a farm to blossom.
The Easy Life
I wrote about food aggregators in a blog post titled Farm Monogamy this past April. Food aggregators have taken a big bite out of the Community Supported Agriculture movement. Their main argument for choosing them over a CSA farm is based in how they distill the offerings of a CSA farm into components, then offer upgrades of the components. They (at least some of them) will tell you right out why they are superior to CSA farms. For instance, if you get your vegetables from a certain food aggregator whose blog I just read, you will encounter a list explaining why you will have a better experience with their service than you will have with a CSA farm: you can choose which weeks you get your delivery, receive your delivery at your door, select the vegetables that are in your delivery, and add things in to your delivery that will probably not be available from a typical CSA farm, such as organic Corn Flakes and bananas. You are lauded for not showing partiality to a single farm; you will be supporting a harem of farms. You will be a friend to many farms—with benefits.
What Will it Be?
I used to play the field–this woman was funny; that one was artistic; this one was super cute, etc. Receiving your vegetables from a food aggregator is a bit like playing the field.
I have now been married for nearly five years. I am thoroughly committed to this relationship, resulting in an ever-deepening richness, understanding, and love—an endless blossoming. Belonging to a CSA farm is more like being in a marriage, a committed relationship.
The Farm Comes First
A very important part of my mission with the film about my life and Angelic Organics, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, was to offer to others an inspiring picture of a farm. For me, the film was not primarily a story about food; it was a story about a farm. As I traveled for five years, screening the film in hundreds of venues in 18 countries, I realized that for most people, food is the main thing about farms. I would rather this be inverted–that farms be the main thing about food. This was my message from country to country: the farm is the main thing—nurture the farm and the food will follow.
I would often notice in the discussions after the screenings that many people wanted access to cheap, healthy food. I would reply, “Do you really want your farmers run ragged so they can produce cheap food for you? Do you want them to lie awake at night wondering how to pay their bills so that you can receive low-priced food? Do you really think that our earth can be healed when its principle caretakers, our farmers, are worked to the bone so that you can have more discretionary income, so that maybe you can get another snowmobile or a second television?” (No wonder Americans aren’t popular abroad, if they talk like this.)
I eventually realized that I was not going to upend this deeply embedded hierarchy of priorities about food and farms. I became anxious to return to my farm, to re-enter into my daily, ever-deepening relationship to my own farm. I eagerly anticipated sharing my farm’s fertility, history, location, weather, crops, and stories with more shareholders. I came home to a challenge I had never anticipated, even in my own somewhat paranoid imagination—I came home to face the increasing effort needed to get people to join our CSA. It had never occurred to me, that upon returning to my farm, that I would have to compete with food aggregators to argue for one of the greatest privileges that I believe we can experience on earth—being part of a farm.
It Can’t Get Much Better than This
Angelic Organics is Your Very Own Farm (without all the work!) By belonging to Angelic Organics, you are supporting the tender being of a farm, a farm individuality. Out of this support, food streams back towards you. In a way, the food is the surplus, the plethora that is generated from building the right relationship to your farm. You are a member of our farm: you are a part of its sorrows and its sadnesses, its joys and triumphs, its perils and bounties. You receive affirmation of this relationship every time you receive a box of vegetables and herbs from Angelic Organics.
On behalf of our farm, thank you for being a part of Angelic Organics.
The Crops this Week
The variety I strive for in the first box of the season will be fully available in the 2nd box, though, as is always the case, it will depend on the weather. You should receive gorgeous broccoli, succulent Chinese cabbage or pac choi, lovely heads of lettuce, scallions, kale, garlic scapes, probably zucchini, and maybe beets. We also plan to harvest spinach and cilantro, but if it keeps raining steadily, we won’t be able to harvest them, because they don’t store well when soggy.
The Broccoli Trajectory Last Week
The late broccoli that I wrote about in last week’s newsletter was big enough to harvest by Wednesday for our Thursday pack. Since then the broccoli has come on gloriously, so all of our shareholders will receive one or two heads of broccoli this week. (It’s challenging to grow nice spring broccoli, due to heat waves that often occur in late spring. We haven’t had such heat waves this year.)
Sign up for the Free Recipe Service!
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme recipe service we offer with this year’s share. It received many great reviews from our shareholders last season. Go to www.localthyme.net/register . Enter the farm code AOLTFREE under “I am a member of a CSA farm.” Click the sign-up button.
Let us Know
Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them to Your Site
The farm re-uses the vegetable boxes. Flaps are easily torn when the boxes are dismantled improperly, and then the box bottom might later burst open with fresh, organic local produce heading towards the floor. Please return your empty, flattened vegetable boxes to your delivery site.
More from Shareholders
Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics , where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.
Saturday Box Contents
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
red, green head lettuce
green heads of pac choi
Adventures at the Angelic Organics Learning Center
Angelic Organics Learning Center is an engaging place to learn about food, farming, and caring for the earth. Start a new family tradition: join us on the farm for our 4th of July Family Campout! It’s Friday, July 3rd to Sunday, July 5th and the cost is $75 per person for people ages 3 and up. Bring tents and gear; we’ll supply fresh food to prepare meals. Please register in advance on our website: www.learngrowconnect.org/events.