It’s been a while. Obviously, blogging takes effort and, in our case, it tends to go to the back burner when more pressing things demand our time and attention. But there’s a lot to share about the past couple of years. Let’s get started.
To start with, we decided two years ago to discontinue our CSA operation to concentrate our efforts on wholesale distribution. This was by no means a statement about the CSA model. In our last year of CSA production, we services over 400 families in the Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison areas. And we think we did pretty well, producing over 70 different vegetable varieties with the highest quality and never missing a delivery (remember the 13 week drought in 2013!?).
But it got to be too difficult. Lots of moving parts. Family obligations to consider, including a couple of major illnesses. New grandchildren. Aging parents. Financial obligations (farming can be far from lucrative). You get the idea. We miss the gratification that comes from so many positive comments from subscribers. We miss the diversity of the many vegetables, the smell of fresh basil and the explosion of taste biting into a just picked tomato.
We’re still growing for our own consumption, and our wholesale business is gratifying in its own way. We’re also supplying certified organic retail vegetable starts by the many thousands. Families transplant these young, organic vegetable plants into their backyard gardens and enjoy their own freshly harvested veggies throughout the season.
We were fortunate to become involved with the Delta Institute, a non-profit organization with involvement in a myriad of initiatives in order to build both a resilient environment and economy through sustainable outcomes. Together, we were recipients of a sizable USDA grant to plan and execute a regional “ecosystem” of organic grain producers, processors and distributors as means of demonstrating capital investment in the regenerative, sustainable agriculture area. Our farm expects to play a significant role in this regional operation. Check back for periodic progress reports.
As for the barn renovation, it hasn’t yet happened for all of the above reasons. We’ve periodically performed remedial repairs, and we keep an eye on it. We fully expect to undertake the project at some point, so again stay tuned.
All our best!
Jamie & David