Diversity, Planning, & Members First: Summer ’16 CSA #9
When we told Zea how we lost lots of Brussels Sprouts from the rain, she smiled widely. “I guess that’s okay with me,” she said. “Maybe I won’t have to eat so many.”
After a rueful chuckle, I replied, “Nice try, kiddo. There will still be some for you to eat.”
Her response made me think.
First, about silver linings. And then about what loss means to you as a CSA member.
We take the promise we make to you very seriously. You give us money before we give you veggies, so that we can farm debt free and without the fear of financial ruin due to natural losses. In return, we do three things to try and ensure that no matter what, we provide you with bountiful boxes. Diversity, planning for loss, and putting members first.
We grow about 55 different crops; and many different varieties of those crops. Each season always seems to be great for some crops, okay for most, and poor for a few. But the winners and losers of a season change depending on moisture, temperature, disease, and pest pressure. By growing lots of different things, we increase our chances that we keep your CSA box full. So yes, we saw major hits on some crop types last week, but only a few out of the many dozens we grow.
Farming is risky. Loss is part of the trade. So we plan for damage and loss. We don’t know which crops we will lose, so we have to plan to lose any of them. How do we that? We over plant everything. If we know we have to fill 380 boxes each week, we plant as if we need to fill 500. That way we can afford to lose a little and still fill your box.
Our final strategy to deal with the inherent riskiness of farming is that we put you, the CSA member, first. As some of you may know we do sell our food through other outlets. We sell in wholesale quantities to restaurants and grocery stores. We also sell food at the Westside Community Farmer’s Market. These other outlets, however, are above and beyond the CSA. Only after we’ve shared the bounty with you do we begin to offer things to these other outlets. So if we experience damage, like losing lots of Brussels Sprouts, it will be those other outlets that will feel the hit first.
This is a very long winded way of saying… despite how depressing it was to see so much work destroyed, we still plan on your having pretty awesome boxes of veggies.
Damage update: The tomatoes seem to have pulled through the wilting. Most of the peppers did, some didn’t. Our Brussels and some other brassicas that are planted in lower ground are toast… but there are still some in higher ground that made it.
Our plan is that if you hadn’t read my newsletter last week, you wouldn’t even know there was damage. It’s not a sexy motto, but it’s one that seems to work: Diversity, Planning, & Members First.
Happy cooking. Happy eating.
In the Box:
- Bell Pepper
- Eggplant, either Globe or Japanese
- Parsley, Italian
- Sweet Corn
- Tomatoes, Slicer
- Tomatoes, Heirloom
- Onion, Yellow
- Onion, White Sweet
- Red Cabbage
- Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Almonds
- Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad
- Watermelon Burgers and Cheese
- Fabulous Zucchini Grinders
- Summer Pasta with Sweet Corn and Zucchini
- Sweet Corn, Zucchini, and Tomato Pie
- Cucumber and Feta Dip
- Simple Red Cabbage Salad
- Sesame Parsley Dressing
- Fettucine with Eggplant, Tomato and Blue Cheese
Wednesday, August 3rd: Everyother Group A