It’s time! Even with the cold and snow outside, it’s time to sign up for your local farm share; for a bag of delicious, local and (in some cases) organic produce from a farmer near you. They need your commitment; cause it’s almost planting time.
Have you ever planted a garden? Maybe a couple tomatoes in a pot? Or even a full-on-dug-out garden? It’s hard. Real hard. Spring tricks you with her gorgeous weather; her warm, breezy days; you WANT to be outside; you want to crumble black dirt against your skin; you plot and plan; purchase, plant and water. Food, flowers, herbs -- Yeah!
But then life goes on; you go away for the weekend; no rain; no one waters the plants; things die. Or things grow like crazy; weeds take over. Some years, you have a thousand cucumbers that you don’t know what to do with; the next year you have three; three crappy little cucumbers. You remember the song where they sing “to everything there is a season; turn, turn, turn.”
But for your local farmer; the smaller operations; we’re not talking agribusiness here; they take the same gamble; but if they lose, they can’t make the mortgage; pay the insurance; take care of the kids. This is their livelihood.
Why is it that this society, this culture, ranks low the most important people? The people who grow our food? Those who educate the children? Our elders who have lived most life and seen so much? In this culture, our priorities are broken; and our world reflects this broken-ness.
I’ve talked many a friend into signing up for Seven Springs Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture); I have been sharing with them for at least 12 years. My friends, they all love the beautiful, fresh food. Knowing it’s organic; being able to work at the farm and contribute to the good in the world. But several times when it comes to the next year, they don’t sign up again. They don’t like being given certain things each week; they don’t understand the harvest and the risk; they feel it’s expensive paying for it all in chunks instead of just buying what they want once a week. They worry about waste and prefer to go to the farmer’s market.
I understand; I do! And I’m not down on the farmer’s markets; they are amazing places which create community and connections. Hopefully there will be more and more direct connections between farmers and consumers. But there is also waste, just like with a CSA; sometimes we buy things we don't use; we let some fabulousness compost in the back of our fridge.
Remember though -- at the farmer's market; those luscious vegetables laid out before you in the sun on the table; what do you think happens to what you do not buy? Compost -- which is a better fate than the grocery store produce. So be thankful that those vegetables just become fresh new dirt for your local farmer; because the organic vegetables at the grocery store that have been flown thousands of miles for your dining pleasure go into the landfill when you do not purchase them. Keep in mind when you purchase a farm share, there is not necessarily more waste; there is just waste that you feel responsible for; that you can see.
Food is everything; control the food, you control the people; so who controls your world? Take responsibility; make a commitment; decide that there are things more important that convenience and cost. Make a commitment to someone whose hand you can shake; someone who is saving the world in their small-but-large way. I can personally recommend both Seven Springs Farm and Good Food Good People locally; do some research; ask some friends. And become part of the solution.