A story for you today from our “Farmers about the town” series. Last week during our weekly trip to the grocery store, a lovely young man wheeled our purchases out to the parking lot for us.
Sometimes people think that because we farm vegetables we never need to go to the grocery store. Rest assured, we don’t provide for all of our needs here. We don’t purchase vegetables, meat, milk, coffee, eggs, or yogurt at the grocery. But we sure do need flour, beans, butter, coffee filters, dishwasher detergent, chocolate chips…
The usual grocery trip these days is Janet with the four children, and so compassion usually runs high during these trips: people make way for us in the aisles. We receive extra help in the check out line. We have caring people help load our bags in the car. This brings us to the story of note: While approaching our vehicle, our grocery bagger noted the references to farms and organic farming on the back of our minivan. (We are a bit shameless in our love for organic farming bumper stickers and magnets.) He asked “What’s with the farm stuff?” I, Janet, replied proudly: “We operate a vegetable farm! We make our living growing vegetables!” I admit that I get excited to share with young people that it is indeed a professional possibility to farm vegetables. Usually these youth respond with amazement or curiosity, even if only to be polite to me. But this young fellow surprised me. He, being the compassionate one, providing assistance to this mother who was strapped with children and grocery bags, immediately began a conciliatory response. He said “Hey, that’s okay. Everybody’s gotta have a job doing something. So your a farmer for now. Look at me – I’m bagging groceries.”
With that, he gave me a reassuring smile, certain that my future held brighter things than vegetable farming. I thanked him deeply for his help with the cart and the grocery bags and the back gate of the minivan that is hard to reach and close while holding two children. I returned his reassuring smile. He ambled away, whistling while pushing the carts back into the storefront.
Indeed, he’s not a lifelong grocery bagger at heart. I’m sure he will pursue his dreams beyond the grocery store. I refrained from telling him that our farm is the result of many years of planning, sacrifice, and determination. I did not explain to him how it is the dream we have pursued. He assumed farming is something we were settling for – perhaps forced into out of a lack of other options. I did not reveal that growing organic vegetables is our passion and most rewarding professional pursuit. It really wasn’t the right moment for me to pontificate on all that. But I just might seek him out over the next couple of months and invite him to our spring farm tour. I’m hopelessly optimistic that we can convince everyone of the worth and beauty of what we do during a farm tour.
This week’s Harvest includes:
Carrots, Garlic, Microgreens, Salad Mix, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.
**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before delivery. Thank you for ordering!
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.
**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions. Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.
2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).
Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!