I can't believe how long it has been since I last wrote to you. We gathered ourselves through the winter, collecting close around the fire- dogs and humans. We laid out our hopes and hearts and now we will try to realize them. Spring is here. The soil is awakening, the trees are breaking bud, the peepers are peeping so loud they can be heard while passing by a ditch at 55 mph. We are no exception. Spring as awakened us and we are on the move.
We have lots of tales and pictures to share but first lets get the business out of the way.
In this email:
- Back at markets (Ann Arbor, Eastern, and Royal Oak) in May!
- We are planning on attending markets from May through November or December
- We are redesigning our Farm Members
- See details below
- Farm members, expect an email early next week with your balance, membership status, and stats.
- I removed the staying active section of our email because I have not managed to update it in so long. Here is link to a newsletter with that section intact.
- Tales from the Farm!
- A boat load of pictures!
We will be back at markets (Ann Arbor, Eastern, and Royal Oak) in the beginning weeks of May. Just yesterday we seeded the greens and roots we hope will be on our table by then. I can hardly wait.
We are planning on attending market from May through November or December. We will use January through April to recover and prepare for the next season. We are considering doing an off season CSA box or something of the sort but as of now, those are just ideas, not plans.
We are redesigning our Farm Membership. Our members are the heart of our farm. I think of you while planting or harvesting your favorite crops. You enrich our lives through the ideas and joys we share together. I look forward to seeing you every week and love the mutual sharing of our lives. This is part of the connection that Community Supported Agriculture fosters. Community Supported Agriculture is also meant to increase transparency in growing practices so consumers know where their food is coming from and what its been through. It is also intended to share some of the risk that farmers experience season to season. The roll-over aspect of our CSA model defeats the second part of this intention because, in a sense, we start the season in debt. This isn't true for folks that add to their balance with the intention of using it the following season but for balances that were intended for one season but not used, through no ill will. These balances left on the books leave us with a lot of services owed, which is added liability in an already variable ridden enterprise. With that in mind, we have revamped our CSA to reduce this problem.
Our plans our Farm Membership 2022!
- We are planning to come to markets from May through November or December of 2022. In future years we may go back to year round production, but for now we are going to try this.
- We can help you pick your starting balance based on predicted spending per week and the number of weeks available per season.
- People can sign up for 2023 starting in October of 2022
- All balances added through September of 2022 expire at the last market of the Calendar year.
- Members can add small amounts to their balance with the understanding that it will expire if not used by the last market of the calendar year.
- We will be sending an email to our current members next week that includes your balances as well as your stats (how many times you attended market, your average expenditure)
- If you used your account five or more times last season, your balance did not expire and you can use it according to our new rules for this coming season.
- If you have questions, concerns or ideas for a better way to address this, please share them with us. You are our heart. You have supported and cared for us through all these years. This is the relationship that is meant to be forged through Community Supported Agriculture, and it has been.
We love being a family of 3 (5 with dogs)! Wiley is a joy and hilarious and doing all the typical baby things that I won't bore you with. But I just want you to know, we love it and we love him and we have felt so encouraged by the love and support that individuals have offered to us.
This winter earned me enough mental space to read again! Thank goodness. I just finished Bloodchild, a book of short stories by Octavia Butler. It was AWESOME. Such interesting ideas.
What about the farm? See the pictures below. Here is a short synopsis. Lots of clean-up, the greenhouse is filling up, a quarter acre planted, hoop house prepped, caterpillar tunnels deconstructed, built, and rebuilt (after the wind), the transmission on our main truck is being replaced, the farmall 140's hydraulics are repaired, and our equipment is ready. We are unified and have good spirits and ready to go. I'm so happy to feel the soft ground underfoot, the fresh air on my face, and the open sky above.
In the field we have cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, and spinach planted. We have seeded arugula, tatsoi, tokyo bekana, bok choy, radishes and sweet salad turnips. And we still have some purple top turnips and purple daikon in storage (and they're still delicious.) Next week we will seed carrots, cilantro and dill, and hope to plant lettuce, chard, beets, squash, and cucumbers. We are well on our way to delicious.
I haven't been able to get a picture but we have a beautiful harrier hawk that soars over our fields in search small prey. I'm glad I am not so small.
All of our turkey vultures are back! Tivoli and Ulf, the young two that we named in our human arrogance, are there too. I wonder what they call themselves. And what they may call me, if I am so lucky.
That's all for now! I can't wait to see you all. Thank you so much for sticking with us through our long radio silence.
Your Lake Divide Team: Helen, Jim, Tyler, Nicole and Lisa: The Lake Dividers!
Lake Divide Farm: Good for the Earth, Good for the Farmers, Good for the People. The Trifecta of sustainability. Good for the earth: Taking care of the natural world is a important, after all, it takes care of us; Good for the farmer: We believe farmers should have livable hours and livable wages; Good for the people: We believe in food equality and bringing our produce to market at an affordable price and keeping it accessible is important to us.
Farm Members look for your balance in next weeks email