Final Letter of 2013 Season

Greetings Hope’s Edge CSA members                                                                                                                 10/14/13

The final installment of the 2013 version of Hope’s Edge CSA is rapidly approaching. In relative terms this has been a very good season, above average in many respects. Many of you have noted this by expressing your pleasure your satisfaction and your gratitude for your weekly bag(s) of vegetables. From my point of view, this year has been filled with many successes (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant etc…), a few disappointments (lettuce, carrots, Chinese cabbage), a couple of major improvements (a new cooler and a new hoop house), and even a few challenges (herbicide contamination).Through all of the above I have tried to maintain a state of gratitude with the belief that everything that comes my way even or perhaps, especially, the difficulties have something to teach me.

Today is Monday the 14th of October. In this country we are celebrating the founding of this continent by Columbus. Our neighbor to the North, however, uses this third Monday in October as a day of thanks giving. As I write this note to you, Kat (our Canadian import) is cooking up a Thanksgiving feast for all of us farm workers and guests. As a farmer in these far northern climes I am more apt to agree with the Canadian choice of a Thanksgiving date than our traditional 3rd Thursday in November. Regardless of ones preference for which date should be called “Thanksgiving Day”, it is my practice to try to give thanks every day. Thanks to the soil, sun and rain for working in unison to produce the miracles that sustain us. Thanks to the animals who convert grass into milk and meat which also find their way to our tables and whose waste products ultimately becomes food for our food. Thanks to Holly Miller, the owner of this land for allowing this venture to happen here on Hope’s edge. Thanks to all the people whose hands plant, hoe, harvest, wash, weed, milk and do all the other various tasks (too many to mention) required to bring food to our plates. Thanks also to the unseen and often underappreciated life forms which convert dead and decaying material into a form which is once again made available to new life thus completing the birth to death to birth cycle. And finally, thanks to you our Community of Support. It is so much more satisfying for us to grow food for people we know than to grow for the unknown marketplace.

We hope that you feel similarly. And we hope that having a connection to the source and to the people who grow your food is something that you value and that you would, therefore, want to participate again. If this is the case then a $75 deposit now will guarantee you a spot in next year’s garden. We like to refer to this deposit as “seed capital” as it is used to purchase seeds and other supplies necessary to get started. These start-up costs come long before you ever get to take a bag from the cooler.

It has been such a pleasure to provide you with food and beauty over these last six months. I know that I speak for all my crew when I wish you a healthy, safe, warm and nourishing next six months. We hope to see you all once again come June when the earth and we farmers are once again renewed.

Your Farmer, Tom

PS Our last potluck and bonfire will take place this Saturday the 19th at 4:30  Please come celebrate with us.

Welcome to the 2013 Season

Dear Hope’s Edge CSA members                                                                                                                              February 15, 2013

Last weekend the heaviest snowfall of the winter dropped nearly three feet on what had been bare frozen ground. Two days later it was raining. Climate change or weather vagaries; I’ll let you decide. Almost two weeks ago was Candalmas the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The light is returning. Rudolph Steiner, the seer and spiritual scientist and the brain-child behind Biodynamic agriculture, tells us that this is the time of year when the Earth (at least in the northern hemisphere) is most awake- a thought that runs counter to our perception of nature and to our concept of “awake”. According to Steiner the period between mid-January and mid-February is the time when the Earth is “most internally alive” because it is the time when the solid mineral earth is the most receptive to those “forces” emanating from the distant cosmos.

I am able to relate to this incite of Steiner’s’ through the seasonality of my own working life. Unlike mid-summer when my focus is on the outward physical activities of farming like soil preparation, transplanting, weeding etc…, this time of year, despite the fact that I sleep more, is the time when my focus is more inwardly oriented. In winter I have more time to meditate, to read, to participate in study groups and to internalize the seasonal quiet of the natural world. I am indeed more” internally alive”.

This is also the season when I begin to imagine the coming growing year in its potential splendor – the plump juicy strawberry, the deep green of spring spinach, the crisp texture of lettuce, and the zing of early scallions and radish. Can you see it? Can you taste it? This image of the coming season is of course one of bounty. Why imagine anything but?  Does this image of a bountiful year bring about a bountiful year? Hard to say but it can’t hurt. And so I invite you to imagine with me the possibility of abundant, nutritious, vital and tasteful produce growing in the fields of Hope’s Edge Farm and finding its way to your dining table.

This is obviously an invitation to join us once again for another year. Enclosed is the 2013 version of the Hope’s Edge CSA flier (one for you and one for a friend). You will perhaps notice an increase in the cost of a share for 2013 – $15 for a half share, $30 for a full share. Over the entire season the increase amounts to $.85 and $1.66 per week, respectively. We feel the need for this increased share cost due to our increasing production costs for fuel, supplies, seeds, repairs etc. We hope that this does not discourage you from purchasing a share. If not then all you need do is fill out the form and return it to us with full or partial payment and then continue to think “abundance” from now until mid- June. Until then enjoy the rest of the winter weather whatever it may be and enjoy the remainder of this restful but internally lively season.


Your farmer, Tom