Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Share - Week 16

Onions curing in the barn.

TOMATOES (F/P) The cool summer has really kept the plants producing steadily.
WATERMELONS (F) Mostly Sangria with a few round Sugar Babies.
SUMMER SQUASH, CUCUMBER OR PEPPER (F) An assortment of extras - take one.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Basil, garlic chives with flowers or jalapenos. Chive flowers are edible and make a great garnish. Read Tom's blog for more on the jalapenos.
ONIONS (F/P) Mixture of red and yellow types, including some Tropea onions (red torpedo)
BEANS (F/P) More Rattlesnake (purple-striped) pole beans and Roma (flat-pod) bush beans.
ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms delivery

NEXT WEEK: More tomatoes, watermelons, salsa packs, beans, peppers, eggplant and okra. Carrots and garlic. Broccoli raab (rapini).
NOTE: The arugula that was destined for your shares this week died a quick death with the 4 inches of rain we received. A second planting should be ready in a few weeks.

Rattlesnake pole bean harvest on Saturday
Last Saturday, the FSF CSA Core Group spent a lovely couple of hours on the Barth's back porch reviewing the results from the mid-season survey. We were all thrilled to see such a great response - 96 members out of 140 distinct email addresses. A big thank you goes to Gary Glauberman, FSF CSA Inreach Coordinator, who created a beautiful and easy-to-use survey. Thanks also to everyone who took the time to give us your two cents. Because of the number of responses, we are taking the next month to digest the results with a final review at our September meeting. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few of the highlights that we have found so far.

1. The Distribution Teams Rock! According to your fellow members, everyone unanimously loves the distribution process. We are very lucky to have 10 Distribution Captains who keep the veggies flowing at pick-up and do it with a smile. Thank you Mary, Gary, Stacey, Jes, Emily and Traci. Thank you Heather, Kathy and Glenn, Fred and Carole, Kim-Marie and Judith. We literally could not do it without you.
2. The Partial Shares have veggie envy. Every survey we hear from some of the partial members who feel their shares are a bit underwhelming. There's alot we could say here about the balance between share costs and veggies, farm work and fairness. I will say that Tom and I ruminate about this every week as we are preparing the share list. We strive for balance between fulls and partials. If full shares get 9 items, then the partials get 6; if 7, then 4. If the full shares got the cherry tomatoes last week, then the partials get them this week, etc. With over 100 households, it is difficult to provide a share that everyone enjoys. If you are unhappy with a partial share, might we suggest for next year to try sharing a full share with a friend or family member. We have seen many a partial do just that with good results. Tom and I will continue to mull over this quandry and any suggestions are, as always, welcome.
3. And finally, you all care about your food. Here's a sprinkling of some of the many comments that filled the pages:

"It is about the vegetables ... and it is about valuing and working for the integrity of our food, which is the foundation of our health and well-being, as well as that of our community."

"I think the help given on the farm is an excellent way to contribute to a great cause. Not only is the activity fun, but it also has some emotional benefits because of being outside, being active and most importantly the thought that you are helping harvest so many people's dinners."

"Love the farmers, farm, veggies, other members. Love eating seasonally. Being a member of Fair Share Farm is nothing but rewarding and fulfilling for our family."

"Thank you all for what you do to give me and my family good, clean, fresh food!

"Being a part of the Fair Share Farm has been and continues to be a beautiful reminder for me of the connection that we all share and our interdependence on one another. I am enriched by my connection with the farm and am so grateful for that. I think that the farm continues to have a ripple effect out to the rest of the world every time a member talks to someone about the CSA and why they joined one, or an article in the paper is read by someone who may start then making a conscience choice to buy local, or one of the apprentices goes on to start another farm, etc. "

1 comment:

Dan said...

Rebecca, regarding your comment that "the Partial Shares have veggie envy," as a partial share recipient, please bear in mind that perhaps we just recognize the quality of the vegetables. In my case, it's not that "you don't give me enough!", it's that "I don't want these great vegetables to go to waste", so I purposefully don't sign up for a full share. But then, of course, there are a few times I wish I had more. But I made a conscience decision to sign up for a partial.

I see the value you have in being able to balance full vs. partials, depending on the weekly crop size. I say keep it like it is! I think you do a great job juggling!