The first snowfall is always such treat. The smell, the sight and even the sound of it can instantly pull us into winter memories of years past. At least for me it does. The photo here is NOT from this year. I hope we will get this much snow and yes, I do hope it gets really really cold! To a farmer, winter is a very important season. We need cold temps to kill off overwintering pests and we need lots of snow to add moisture to our soils. A good deep freeze helps to build soil structure and improve overall soil health. Sure it would be nice to not have to brace for the cold temps that make it hard to breathe but the facts are, we need a good cold snowy winter. So come on Old Man Winter...bring it on!
Winter time to a vegetable farmers is also a time for creative rejuvenation. A time to ponder and plan the season to come. This early winter I have been spending most of my time promoting our new new customized share options. They surely seem to be a hit with 100 members already signed up for the 2018 season! The early bird discount prices end December 15th so if you are thinking about signing up, now is the time to save some $. You get more of what you love by setting your vegetable preferences for the season and having the ability to use a virtual swap box each week to manage your share contents. There is a VERY friendly payment option (only 25% down and the rest paid weekly during the season- June through October). And payment is hassle free with credit or debit card payment.
Brad, Becky, Frances and myself just returned for the Midwest Community Supported Agriculture Conference in Wisconsin Dells where were heard from many farmers and members that customization of vegetable shares is definitely gaining in popularity and trending in our overall food system. The days of loading members up with items they really didn't like just because it was a good year for those crops are over. The number one reason people leave the CSA model is because they received too much food from their farmer. Or too much of the veggies they didn't like. Our new share options are going to solve both of those problem and ultimately work better for the member and the farm. By knowing what people really want, we can become more efficient in our field production by not wasting valuable space on crops folks really just don't want. By freeing up that space to grow more of the desired crops, we can be a more financially stable business by increasing members and overall produce sales. More sales means higher wages for our workers and more investment going back into the farm (like maybe a new tractor someday!).
So although our winter season seems to be making a later than normal appearance, it will show up right?
I sure hope so.
Happy nesting to you and yours,
Our new website...tada! I must say that it was time for us to fancy it up a bit. As I took a few hours (that's right only a few hours!) to make the change in our website it left me scrolling through years of photos of the farm, trying to find just the right ones for the new website. I had many laughs along the way! From eggplant-a-phones (see the contact page!) to smiling farm crews I really enjoyed the "scroll" down memory lane.
The new website coincides with the launch of our new shares options for 2018. In a few days we will open sign up for our share program and we are excited to be offering customized shares. Based on vegetable preferences that each member sets before the start of the season, their share will be customized for them. Why the cha cha cha change? Why not! There is nothing about this new system that we see as a disadvantage to the member. If you have been a member and loved things just the way they were, great! All you need to do then is sign up for your share like always and do nothing after that. Your share contents will be determined by the farm like it has been for the past 10 seasons. But if you are ready for a change, the new system will ensure that you don't get items you don't like.
Change is scary but we have decided to turn and face it! We hope you are as excited as we are about the seasons to come.
Over and out-
Robyn the Farmer