Summer CSA Shares – sign up today!

Fine Community Supported Agriculture members,

It’s time to renew your CSA membership
and review the season!

(skip the long letter and go to the CSA details)

I’m still marveling at the success of the 2010 growing season.  There really aren’t enough superlatives to express the fortune of growing crops in beautiful weather (a gifted early April start, warm days, cool nights, fairly regular rainfall, and late frost).  I heard many seasoned Mainers tell me it was the nicest summer they’ve ever experienced.  I’m still young and idealistic, and hope for many more growing seasons to mirror the last.

The season did have a windy start – with the 90 mph gust in late Feb. that turned our 30’x100’ greenhouse into a giant twisted spider. That was a hard night, and a difficult start to 2010.  The other side of the coin is that your immediate response, in the form of renewing CSA shares, warmed my heart.   Your reaching out when the farm needed it, made me realize that we’ve truly built a local food community.  Thank you.

In farming there is a rhythm that spins like clockwork.  Animal chores morning and night, the arrival of seed catalogs in December,  snowy days of bookkeeping,  during March I can be found in the greenhouse.  We plant in May with a watchful eye and push our crops to grow fast enough to match farmers’ market start dates.  June arrives with the first abundant harvests, and weeds.  July – November, I try to keep up with the game: planting, tending, marketing, and keeping all the seeds, apprentices, animals, equipment, inner joys and panics, in a row.

And then there is the dynamic part.  In 2009, as you may recall, it rained.  A lot.  No matter how creative and efficient I was with the crew, crops didn’t grow.  It was a very stressful economic and emotional year, and I didn’t feel like I saw the sun again until last April.  The Nature of 2010 healed nearly all wounds.  Our labors produced crops, and like a domino effect, our community seemed to thrive on the abundance and came out to farmers’ markets in force.  Our retail and wholesale numbers both showed a generous increase.

There is no even sailing in farming.   I feel like I live on an economic sine wave. But this year I’m going into Spring with the confidence and ability of being a full-time farmer.  I’m humbled that this farm gets stronger every day, and I’m very grateful that I have to reach no further than you, our local community, to keep the exchange going.

And now I call out to you, to continue your investment in the food you eat.  Our finances in a nutshell:  I spend multiple ten’s of thousands of dollars to prepare for the season and keep this farm running before we start to make a profit, usually in July.  In the past I’ve financed this mainly through zero-interest credit cards.  This is a better “deal” for the farm in terms of dollars than CSA shares, but it doesn’t feel right to me.  Supporting credit card companies does not match with the farm beliefs of keeping our money in our community economy.   Instead of applying for more credit cards,  I would like to double the farm Summer CSA membership this year.

I ask you to please renew your CSA share, and challenge you to reach out to a friend or neighbor to become a farm member as well.

Details below, or go to the CSA tab

For each $200 you spend, you’ll receive $220 credit at the farmers’ markets we attend.

  • Find us in:
  • Portland, Wednesdays, Monument Square (7am-2pm, July-November),
  • Saturdays, Deering Oaks Park (7am-12pm, May-November),
  • Rockland, Thursdays, Harbor Park (9am-12:30pm, late May-October)
  • There is no limit on how or when you spend your credit.

Please renew your membership (and visit or call a friend) today, or print this out and place a CSA reminder on  your refrigerator and calender.   Seeds and supplies have been ordered, and I’m eager to bring your product for the first markets in May.  I look forward to doing so with your support.

With gratitude, and respect for the meal
and our community.

-Beth

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