September is wistful, watching as summer slips away. Kids are in school. The schedule locks in and gets busy for everyone. Thoughts of winter and everything that needs to be fixed and buttoned up before snow flies, begin to creep in. For us on the farm, September is also the end of our year. Even though we have more than a month of harvest yet to share with you, our production and budget year is coming to a close. Most of our 2017 expenses are paid out by the 30th (short of payroll) and starting in October we begin to look forward to and take on the expenses for the year to come.
Beside growing things well, us farmers are entrepreneurs. Not like the Silicon Valley types that are backed by seemingly endless venture capital, but the type that makes budgets and writes checks to keep things running in the black. Each fall we buy heavily for the coming season. Just like anything in our “free-market” economy, we save money by paying early and buying in bulk. Greenhouse soil for our 342,000 transplants comes from Vermont and ran $6,484 last year, which is %10 off when paid before December 1. Our seed orders from Johnnys, Fedco and High Mowing came in at $8,370. For the last four years Fedco and Johnnys have run out of stock in January on many seeds sold in larger (i.e. farm) sizes. We work hard to put in our order in before the end of December so we can be sure to get the varieties of carrots, broccoli, onions, etc. that grow well here. The purchasing list continues with diesel and heating fuel, field row covers, irrigation supplies, etc. This eager push to buy early allows us to save money. That’s good for us as a business but it’s also good for you, as it allows us to harvest great food for your family at a very affordable price. In 2016 the price per pound of the produce we harvested for the CSA was $1.44. The next time you are in the produce aisle keep an eye out for anything there that you can find for $1.44 per pound, much less anything freshly harvested and certified organic. We know that most of you are not members of the CSA solely because it makes sense on paper. Perhaps like Maura and I, you love the farm, cherish the community here each week, and thrive on being creative in the kitchen with what you bring home. The value of our produce helps catalyze all that other important stuff. I’m going deep with this today to remind you why we need you to sign up for your shares — so we can make everything else that is so important here work.
This past fall we fell short of our membership goals for the first time in many seasons. In addition we had many late sign-ups and late payments. Our theories as to why this came to be run from a cold spring to a general malaise (due the political climate?). Whatever the reason we want you to know that we are here growing for you, even when the ground is frozen and you can’t even begin to dream of greenery outside. Thank you to all of you who are a part of the farm and please know that we are honored to be your farmers and can’t wait to get to work starting our new season.
Sign up for 2018!
We have a new sign-up site. As technology advances we move with it. In addition to automated credit card and echeck payments you can also access your balance at anytime and store your payment info for later. Thanks again for letting grow food for you…here’s the link for 2018 Sign-up.
Farm to Table Dinner Party -October 1
We have teamed up with our friends at Dirigo Public House in Yarmouth to host a farm to table dinner here at the farm Sunday October 1 from 3-7pm. Farm produce and pork along with craft beer pairings will make a meal in the fields the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon. Look for more info and tickets via email in the next few days.
Fall Shares Still Available
Keep eating with us through the end of the year with our fall share. Come to the farm every other Tuesday in November and December for storage vegetables like onions, squash, potatoes and carrots as well as fresh greens like spinach and lettuce cut from our greenhouses. Not ready to quit in October? This share is for you. Here’s the link to sign up.
What’s In The Share
- Baby Bok Choi
- Red Potatoes
What’s In Upic
- Cherry Toms