The chalkboard in the barn is where our farm crew meets daily for our morning meetings, seeing the overview of what needs to get done each day of the week. Last year we wrote at the top of the board "We're building something here!" as a reminder to ourselves - each small little task connects to the bigger picture of this farm. Lately I've been thinking a lot about the CSA model, the challenges and also the tremendous JOY is brings me. The CSA is something that we've truly built together!
The CSA Model has great benefits. Many farmers will note how it helps carry some of the burden we often have to lift on our own, while others might mention how it helps food lovers get their hands on some of the tastiest, freshest, seasonal food they can find. But rarely do we discuss how it can feel daunting and sometimes nearly impossible to get that CSA ball rolling just right...
Initially, farmers still feel quite a bit of pressure. Ok, let's be real, we feel a lot of pressure! It's true that prepaid food baskets do help farmers tremendously - the initial financial burden is eased when customers pay in the spring, before we have any product to offer but lots of expenses! What comes up for me through the spring is that nagging self doubt. I know I spent lots of days and nights worrying about my growing abilities and whether I could in fact deliver on my promise to create a great, diverse basket on a weekly basis for all of you!
Growing a wide range of crops is difficult, and requires a lot of knowledge, skill, and experience. Time to learn the different crops, the seasons, the customers... And that doesn't even take into consideration the weather! What works one season, might be a complete failure the next. Farming instincts don't just spontaneously happen once you start a garden, but rather are slowly cultivated through experience and time.
Which ties into my next point. CSA Members have to place a ton of faith in their farmer. As a farmer, I find it remarkable to see and experience the willingness of people's continual support. This level of commitment and faith in a farmer, an idea, a community is truly beautiful. Especially in the fast-paced world we live in today.
When our CSA Food Baskets sold out in only 2 days waaay back in March, our Members gifted us something truly remarkable! They told us that they believe in us. That they really support the hard work we do. That yes in fact we are a solid community - one that our farm can rely on! This peace of mind has not only filled my heart, but it has also given me some damn good, restful night sleeps. THANK YOU for building something with us!