|Packing CSA Vegetable shares|
As we look ahead to 2019, we have some updates to share with you about next year. It’s no secret that CSA memberships, across the country, have been declining over the past 8-9 years. This has been true for our farm as well, but we do not believe that CSA is a dying model. Rather, we believe CSA is a very valuable model, for farmers, individuals, and our community. CSA is unique, it’s not for every farmer and it’s not for every eater. We’re thankful for our longtime members who have shown us just how important CSA has been in their lives. We feel privileged to be able to watch so many beautiful CSA kids grow into bigger CSA kids as they become intelligent, beautiful individuals who are having and will have a positive impact in this world. Over the past twenty-five years we’ve seen the results that come from “eating out of the box.” Children that learn how to cook and feed themselves. Adventurous eaters who are willing to try new things and enjoy eating a diverse diet. Members who visit the farm and form a connection with where their food is grown. Families who take the time to eat meals together, even in the midst of their busy lives. Individuals who regain and maintain their health simply by eating more vegetables out of the box. These are just some of the ways we know CSA can change and impact lives in a positive way. We’re not giving up on CSA, rather we’re holding on to what we believe is a good thing and we’ll do our best to continue growing for our CSA families, making whatever positive impact we can in our little corner of the world.
|Andrea with grower Mas Masumoto, Rick & Kathie (Co-Op Partners)|
One of the difficult decisions we have made for the 2019 season is to discontinue offering Fruit & Coffee shares. Those of you who have enjoyed these shares may be saying “WHAT!!!” We are grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed with other producers that have allowed us to offer these shares for many years, however as we look at the “big picture” of our business we feel it’s time to retire these shares and focus on what we love the most and do the best, grow vegetables. Producing fruit is not an easy job and we have a great respect for the excellent growers we’ve had the opportunity to work with. Farmer Al at Frog Hollow Farms, Mas Masumoto, Gena Nonini at Marian Farms, Rich Johansen, Reusch Century Farm, and the list goes on. Rick Christianson, our friend and buyer at Co-Op Partners’ Warehouse in Minneapolis, has been our conduit to these many excellent fruit growers. He’s sourced fruit for us that is special, unique and sometimes in limited supply. He’s connected us with these growers so we can have personal conversations with them and then pass their stories onto our members. His job has not been easy and in many ways it continues to become more and more challenging as he deals with changes in the marketplace, challenges with transportation to get the fruit to us, etc. Fruit is a delicate commodity and maintaining quality can be challenging. We face quality issues with our own vegetables, that’s the life of farming. The difference is we have more control over quality with our own products than we do with products we source elsewhere. We hope our current and past members will continue to support our awesome, talented, skillful fruit producers when you see their fruit at your local co-op or maybe even do a special purchase on line…you know, for those extra special Warren pears.
|TJ & Caleb, Kickapoo Coffee owners.|
Now that we have that announcement behind us, lets get back to vegetables! At the end of the day, growing vegetables is what we love to do and we want to continue to invest our time, energy and resources in doing the best job that we can while continuing to learn and improve each year. We will be offering a similar line-up of vegetable share options for the 2019 growing season and have decided to hold our pricing steady with our 2018 prices for next year.
We are also excited to have room in our week to offer a weekday delivery option for the Madison area. This is something we’ve been considering doing for the past few years, but it just hasn’t felt right and honestly, we just weren’t sure where or how we’d squeeze it into the week! Our decision to discontinue packing fruit shares has opened up more labor hours and space in the packing shed on Wednesdays to allow us to pack boxes for a Thursday delivery into Madison. This Thursday delivery route will hopefully open up some opportunities we haven’t previously been able to explore with our Saturday route. In particular we’re hoping to add some business and workplace delivery locations. This route is still under construction, and we’d value your input! If you have a suggestion for a business location we might be a good fit for, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reach out to them. We’ll also be offering several residential delivery sites. If you’re interested in the possibility of hosting a CSA pick up site, please let us know so we can consider your location as we put together the route.
In closing, we want to wish everyone a joyful and peaceful winter season. We will be working with focused determination to prepare for another growing season and we look forward to being your farmers in 2019!
Richard & Andrea