Monthly Archives: April 2014
Joy in the Barn
There has been a lot on my mind lately. I don’t know if it is the uncertain economy catching up with local foods, a flux of new CSAs or crazy weather making consumers doubt the CSA model but our CSAs numbers are way down. I am honestly scrambling. Trying to figure out how we might make ends meet this year and if we will be able to afford to farm next year. As much as I try to keep this space positive there is so much uncertainty right now and it is weighing on me. It seems agriculture across the board is feeling the hit. My friends that raise goats are struggling. My friends that run CSAs are struggling. Anyone I know who is trying to make a way for themselves is struggling.
Luckily I have a bit of a retreat–the barn. I have said before I am a bit of a responsibility junky. I love caring for people, animals, things, a place. And that is just the life I get to live. Too bad you don’t get paid to live this life. Oh well, struggles make us stronger right?
So come with me on a little far tour.
Contentment among the animals.
Mavis bottle feeding Miracle for one of the last times. Miracle will be going to a new home next week. thanks Michelle!
Just like children baby goats (kids) find the funniest things entertaining. This tube is a favorite.
Don’t stick your tongue out young man.
Flower likes to keep track of everyone.
So yes there are plenty of good things going on in the barn. If you would like a quick tour of chore time check out our video below.
CSAs, Local Food and Co-ops Oh My!
What a great weekend. This weekend Proeun and I attended not one but 2 CSAs/Local Food Days at local co-ops. Proeun attended the Seward Co-op’s CSA Fair while I (Amy) attended the City Center Market’s “Meet Your Farmer” Day. While we love farming we don’t get a chance to hang out with other farmer’s and like minded folk that much and so these 2 events were especially rejuvenating. A couple things we learned were that Local Food and CSAs are a thriving, growing field. But still many farms are seeing there numbers down from last year. So if you have not signed up for a CSA yet make sure you do. Click here for our CSA information.
I had an opportunity to talk with some great farmers including Sapsucker Farm (maple syrup goodness!), Lovelight Herbs and Outstanding in Our Field. All the farmers I talked with were passionate, engaging and knowledgeable and completely quoteable. Here are some of my favorites.
John Ice of Outstanding had quite a few, ” We are all part of the Revolution.” “Organic Food is the cheapest you can buy once you factor in the other costs,” and “If you stop shopping at your grocery store they probably won’t miss you but if you shop with a farmer you and ensuring their success and you might even be saving their farm.”
Nikki of Lovelight is an amazing ball of energy and joy. Her motto is “Live, Love, Farm” and she really embodies it. I mentioned that we had been struggling with illness this winter and she just so happens to be offering a class on “Kitchen Herbs for Health” on May 3rd I will be attending.
Sorry I don’t have more quotes from Seward, but Proeun was bubbling over the joy when he came home and excitedly sharing stories of other farmers that he met. It feels amazing to be in such cool company. It is also a bit humbling. See everyone supports large farms whether they want to or not, whether they know it or not, through government subsidies and just the whole structure of food in this nation. But to support local, small farms you have to go out of your way. Maybe you try some new foods. Maybe things don’t go as you planned, maybe you are learning more about seasonal eating and how weather really does affect plants. But through it all you are supporting the Revolution. Those of us who are striving to grow food (really real food) in as healthy a way as possible but would also like to maintain a liveable wage–a liveable wage that is required to make sure the farm continues to the next year. So I am reminded how strong the movement (Revolution if you will) is but also how much it depends on customers to are willing to go out of their way to support something bigger. If you haven’t joined a CSA I hope you will consider ours.