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Monday, March 4, 2013

Summer CSA no longer

This past weekend we received a letter from our summer CSA farm, and they are cancelling the season.  You see, our farmer is getting older, and he had hired someone to manage the farm for the season back in January.  Unfortunately, this individual did not work out.  It is too late to look for someone now, and to have the proper planning time for such a large summer CSA program done all by hand.  Yes, they only used human power to work their few acres of garden space.  They averaged about 80 families each season.

I was so excited for this year, too!  Especially after knowing I spent more money then I needed to last summer on fresh vegetables.  Add to that my desire to safe guard against my gardening woes, and my ideal situation is this summer CSA.

What should I do?  Well, I immediately looked into some other CSA programs in the area.  Unfortunately, they aren't exactly what we are looking for.  We are a family of 4 and we all love our veggies, most of the other CSA share programs are much smaller, and therefore wouldn't be as big of a cost benefit to us.  Meaning, it makes more sense to just visit these farms at the farmers' market, rather than seeking them out for a basket each week.

It is really unfortunate that this amazing farm, and amazing farmer, we have known for the past six years has now decided that the farm is too much work to continue managing.  He is putting it up for sale.  I honestly hope that some young family comes along and snatches up such a wonderful location.  Secretly I wish that we could do it, but it is an awful lot of time and an awful lot of work I know we are not ready for.

I am very happy that I will have the ability to go to the farmers' market each week, and that I will still have the co-op to visit as well.  I now know that I need to make my garden even more of a priority, because the vegetables I was hoping to receive from the farm will no longer be available to us.

I think this is becoming more and more common across the country though, small farms just aren't able to continue on because farmers are getting older, and they don't have people to take over for them.  Way back when, if your parents were farmers, it was what you did.  So many people have been pushed away from farming now for the "better life" that is available away from the farms, that the farms are disappearing.  Instead, they are replaced by huge farms that use machines and cheap labor to grow one crop.  And that makes me very sad.

I see movies like Grow! and I just hope there are a lot more young farmers out there to keep feeding us.  In the meantime, I guess I need to do my part and figure out how to have a better garden on my little quarter of an acre!

Have you noticed any small farmers in your area giving up their farms, or trying to sell them?

Linking up at Clever Chick, Homestead Barn Hop, Your Green Resource

9 comments:

  1. Oh no :( Have you looked into the Locally Grown website? I don't know what part of the country you are in, but they offer an online shopping experience, you pick out what you want, then check out, then go to a spot once per week and pick it up. That might be an option.

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  2. Very sad that community farming has turned to this, sounds like you had a wonderful CSA. We ran into the same thing a couple years ago and the young farmers just couldn't afford to keep it up, we shop at local farms and markets all Summer. Like you, we couldn't find the right fit. Hopefully your garden will be plentiful this Summer and you'll have enough to provide for your family! Oh and thanks for sharing Grow, I need to check that out!

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  3. This is very unfortunate! I hope you can eventually find a not too far away CSA to get your share from. Maybe this will mean a bigger house vegetable garden? I recommend checking out Karen @ The Art of Doing Stuff and her gardening prowess. She turned her front yard in a city into a vegetable garden, and is still going with veggies in the middle of winter!

    Good luck in finding something that works for your family.

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  4. Heather,
    I'm sorry, that's a shame. I'm not sure with our first CSA back in VA, but I know the children of the farmer from our second CSA in VA are working in the family business and even expanding it (with eggs and poultry).
    Here in Ohio we have the reverse--our farmer is an engineer by training who wanted to work the land so the farm is a young operation.
    I hope you can find something on localharvest.org or work out a deal with a farm you like at the farmer's market.

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  5. Oh no! That's too bad. Sounds like it was really working out well for your family, so I'm sure it's hard to see the CSA go. Really sad situation :(

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  6. We have the movie GROW and love it!

    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your CSA :-(

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  7. What a shame! I have really come to rely on the lovely produce available at our Farmer's Market and don't know what I'd do if it suddenly went away.

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  8. Sorry to hear that...........Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  9. So sorry you are losing your CSA. Hope you do find a new one, soon. This is something I have been thinking I need to do. We do shop at the farmers market, but I did want so check out the possibility of being more involved at the farm level.

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