(Rows of Garlic Plants at the Field; photo curtesy of my Man)
It's hard to believe the new farming season has begun! The garlic planted last fall is coming up beautifully and yesterday Jonathan planted 3.5lbs of onion sets. Friday is scheduled for getting the potatoes in the ground, all 600 lbs of them! We've spent the last week cutting the potatoes, so far we've made it through half of them. Jonathan hired his siblings to do about 250 lbs and we will finish the last 50 ourselves.
The CSA checks have been coming in and we've nearly reached our goal of 45-50 shares for this year! It's always exciting to see which of our members are returning and who our new members will be. We have our steadys - faithful members who've stuck with us for the three years that we've been operating a CSA. It's usually pretty easy to tell when we've received one of our steadys' applications in the mail, because which ever of us comes in, bearing the mail is typically grinnng ear-to-ear, "Guess what? Kathy's back!" :-)
I really enjoy returning members because as the seasons come and go you get to know a little more of the person behind the share. One member whose been with us for 3 years now always brings us a morale boost, she's so enthusiastic about our produce and the hard work that Jon puts into growing it. We've also come to realize that she can't stand beets! Because of this, we try to find ways to give her options of getting other produce in place of her beets (carrots, for example). Another member, who originally organized the CSA and asked Jonathan to provide the produce for it, has been an amazing souce of wisdom and know-how when it comes to marketing and thankfully she and her husband have been very gracious to freely share their time and the knowledge they have as an effort to help support us.
Each year, as the applications roll in we find ourselves feeling very burdened and determined to be worthy of the trust and partnership of our members. This year is certainly no different in that regard, we spend our time discussing areas where we need to improve, tossing ideas back and forth as to how we can make and implement such improvements. We wonder what the season will be like, what challenges the weather will hold, in what size force the bugs will show up, if we'll be able to get the irrigation up and working (something we've had problems with for the last 3 years, hopefully it will work better this year as we've moved to a new location with a better water source!), how to keep on top of the weeds, etc.
May the Lord's blessing be on the labor of our hands!
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.