Greetings from a farm experiencing a January thaw. I just looked at some pictures from last summer and can hardly recognize our present farm hidden behind those copious shades of green. Winter on a farm is the time to reflect, crunch numbers, compile seeding schedules and order seeds, hire employees, (run winter CSAs..), buy new parts and service the tractors, pay worker's comp and taxes, feed chickens out in the middle of a frozen wasteland, write budgets, buy manure/compost and organic fertilizer, equipment, and never ending supplies, set up the new seeding greenhouse, anyway, you get the picture.
January through April is when we spend a lot of the money that it takes to run the CSA. Materials and Supplies (yearly consumable stuff) - all of the little thingies that it takes to grow food each year - cost us about $16,000 a year, and were purchased, well, last week. We buy about $4000 worth of compost and manure each year to keep the fields bright green and healthy. We do that in January because that's when we have the time, and that's when the farm roads are usually frozen hard enough to support the weight of a big dump truck. We had three loads delivered a couple weeks ago - three real live humongous tractor-trailers of manure. Turns out the roads weren't so frozen and Paul and a (fabulous) neighbor spent the better part of an evening pulling one of the trucks out of the snow with two tractors that, on a normal day, usually seem pretty beefy. Seeds, also bought in January, cost around $8000 a year. So, not a seed in the ground and lots of money anted up. That's how farming works (and many other businesses involved in producing primary goods).
The nice thing about a CSA is that we farmers have a membership that helps us out with these costs before they get any food. That's you! And that's why early sign ups help out SO MUCH at this time of year. I suppose you know where this is going.... Yes, you got it! sign up now for the 2010 Summer CSA TODAY and help us keep the farm start up expenses off of our credit card!
This year we will host the first annual Strawberry Festival on June 27th, 2010! A delicious event to anticipate with bated breath. We aren't sure of all of the details but are pretty sure that it will be mind-blowingly lush and red, especially when viewed through the goggles of January.
We are keeping the cost for the 2010 season the same as 2009 - $500 for the summer CSA, $275 for the winter CSA, and $104 for the egg share. You can join using the form on the website (link below), just print it out or hand copy it and send it to the farm. A $125 down payment secures your spot in the 2010 summer CSA.