There is an old Japanese proverb that is quoted in a favorite movie of mine by Bill Pullman's character which says that "a farmer's footsteps are the best fertilizer". Pullman's character, Jim, is referencing grape growing in his quest to produce the best wines at the infamous Chateau Montelena which arguably elevated Napa Valley wines to international fame, but this phrase is certainly applicable to the type of organic vegetable farming that we do here as well. A recent conversation that we had with a farmer's market customer in Ridgway has triggered my contemplation of this concept. She loosely mentioned that she usually visits farms before purchasing from them to assess their farming practices, but said that she trusted us and our integrity in how we farm after visiting with us each week.
I expressed apreciation to this customer, but also mentioned that Cale and I are fortunate enough to be able to walk our field each morning and evening, literally getting to know the plants and looking for any changes in them, spotting any disease or pest pressure. This allows us to be proactive in our treatment of whatever may be afflicting a crop because the reality is that it does and it will happen each season. We are close to these plants. We anticipate their needs. We lovingly respond to the signals they present. It is an interactive relationship with the plant world.
I was having a conversation with my Dad last night, who is visiting from the Midwest, and it piggybacked on this thought. He leases a parcel of his property to a corn and soy grower who as he says, "buys the seed, plants the seed, hires someone to spray the young crop, then comes back five months later to harvest". This is a different type of farming, neither right nor wrong, simply serving different purposes and achieving different goals. However, once again, it made me so immensely grateful for the investment of confidence, support, and respect that you put forth towards our farm each and every week. We honestly believe that this allows us to maintain a sustainable operation that through this "farmer's footstep fertilizer" concept grants us the honor of being stewards and caretakers for this land, hopefully for a long time to come.
This said, we've had several inquires regarding our fall CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This year we have decided to do it a bit differently. It will be offered as a "pay-as-you-go" CSA. What this means is that we will put together a "share" each week that will be listed through our online store. It will be a $20 share (as it has been in the past), but we will apply a 10% discount to our retail prices meaning that you will actually receive $22 worth of product. We made this change as this way there is no large upfront financial commitment, and it will have the same pick-up day as other orders, Saturday. Also, it is challenging for some folks to commit to picking up weekly given travel plans and other "life" happenings. This way, you don't have to worry about this! We appreciate the CSA model because it allows our patrons to try new things that they may not ordinarily order (because it will be included in the share), but also it allows you to really truly eat locally all winter long.
The harvest season is on! So much to offer! We finally got organized today and updated the store with photos so hopefully it's a bit easier to navigate and decide what you'd like :) With these warm temperatures that look like they're here to stay, we're hoping for abundance to grace our farm for the weeks to come. With these super big harvest days comes a super big week of transplanting and seeding more fall crops. This week, I'll transplant out our first succession of fall / over-wintering spinach as well as our fall kohlrabi. I'll seed our next bed of spicy, arugula, and radishes and our next succession of hakurei turnips. This week, the seeding of our fall / winter lettuces will also commence. It's a busy time of summer overlapping with fall. We plant according to records, but really there is a certain amount of guesswork and luck that must coincide from the weather in order to get the timing just right on the planting of these fall crops.