First pickup of the summer! Welcome to all of our new farm members and a warm welcome back to returning members, some of whom have been with us for all of our 13 years at Cedar Down Farm.
It’s been a challenging spring for growing with weather all over the place – cold and hot, dry and windy, smoky and now finally some rain after several weeks without. Some years spring can be one of the more challenging times of year with often some of the least predictable, most unstable weather and harvests that rely on quick growing, high turnover crops which can be affected greatly by all the weather ups and downs. This has been one of those years.
For new members, welcome to CSA! CSA or Community Supported Agriculture, is the agricultural, community marketing model that we have always relied on to grow crops and get them into the kitchens of our community. We are pretty committed to the model, though it has its challenges, because we feel like it is one which serves the needs of food growers and food eaters the most. And because we think it represents a truer form of relationship between eater and grower.
We grow food exclusively for our members who have made an upfront financial commitment to the farm. We work to provide the highest quality, most nutritious and, ethically produced food which values and honours land, plants, animals and people and we ask in return your commitment to support the farm in the face of the intrinsic uncertainty of farming. You provide this with your financial commitment and often moral support. It is also a community building model, bringing people into deeper relationship with their food, their farmers and presenting an opportunity to be together around food.
This spring is a great example of weather uncertainty and the more that is to come with a changing climate. We had weather that in a span of days went from below zero to above thirty degrees. We had a month without rain and we worked outside with air quality badly affected by wildfire smoke. Friends of ours farming further east were threatened by flooding and then wildfires in the span of weeks. The farming model that we and our fellow small scale ecological farmers use is designed to buffer us (and in turn, you) from some of the increasing vulnerability presented by climate change as well as the regular day to day uncertainty of weather. We grow dozens of different crops so are insulated from the vulnerability presented by mono-cropping. And we grow on a human scale which allows us to care for our soil and tend our crops in a way that increases resiliency to extremes of weather and climate. With a biodiverse farm, we are more able to withstand drought or heavy precipitation, less vulnerable to erosion and soil loss and we work to bolster the life within our soil, improving the health of our crops and ourselves.
This spring’s weather has not made farming a ton of fun! But it is what it is and we are pleased to begin harvesting this week – shares that are starting out a bit smaller than planned for but nonetheless full of goodness.
Our crew this year is made up of 5 farmers. Myself (Leslie) and Jeff, Jess, Connor and Ahren. You’ll get to see some of us each week at your veggie pickups.0