The 2007 Season is upon us

April 20th, 2007, 3:15 pm

Spring? Where? Not here in Hope Maine. It seems like not so long ago that I e-mailed you raving about the arrival of cold weather. But now, a look out my window tells me that winter is staying way past his welcome. But, it’s the weather It does me absolutely no good to complain about it. All I can do is be patient and wait for the inevitable change. In the meantime I’m visualizing an awsome May through October.

Spring is not the only late arrival causing me concern. At this point in time the number of CSA shares sold is far behind where it has been at this time other years.At this writing I have sold only 40 shares, less than half of what I hope to sell. Last year at this time I had sold nearly 60 shares. Perhaps the lousy weather has played a role in this lackluster response. It’s hard to get into a “summer garden state of mind” when it’s April and there’s still snow on the ground.

Several of you have spoken with me and have told me that you intend to come back this season and so the 40 share figure might be misleading. However, several members, some of them long-term members have let me know that they won’t be returning this year for one reason or another. I can appreciate this, things change, cicumstances happen. But, this adds further pressure to solicit new shareholders.

And this brings me to the reason for this e-mail. I’d like to enlist your support in selling more shares. If each of you were to succesfully encourage a friend to participate then I would sell all the available shares. So, if Hope’s Edge Farm CSA is something you feel good about recommending to your friends then talk it up. After all, you are my “community support” and as such my best advertisement.If a flier would be helpful send me anaddress and I will send them one or fliers can be found at the following locations: Hope General Store, Owl and Turtle Books, Fresh Off the Farm, Good Tern Co-Op, Avena Botanicals, and The Market Basket.

he lack of support for this season thus far also begs the question; What of this experience do you value? I have heard accolades from many of you even from those of you who are choosing not to come back this year and for these positive comments I am most grateful. Most of us, including me do not necesarily like to hear negative comments , however, in this case your criticisms may be useful in helping me to make improvements that would better meet both our needs. I recognize that the CSA model is not for everyone. It asks participants to fit into natures cycle rather than the other way around, a way of living that is not always easy. From my perspective, the reward is fresh flavorful food, that is grown close to home in a manner that works with nature rather than against her. Is this your perspective as well and is it something that you value?

Many other local CSAs deliver to a central drop-off point rather than asking that each person come out to the farm. This has its benefits as it may result in less fossil fuel consumption and more convenience particularly for those coming from a distance.In my mind however, a farm visit is one of the values that I offer. Is this just my value or is it somthing that you value as well? Finally, from my perspective the last two seasons have not been ideal with regards to both quantity and quality (ie winter squash and corn have done poorly both years).This has been primarily due to uncontrolable weather factors. But, recognizing that conditions were less than ideal were you satified with the quality and quantity of the produce you received?

Please, whether you are returning or not, give these questions some consideration and take a few minutes to respond It would be helpful to me in my efforts to make Hope’s Edge Farm CSA a truly community supported venture.

Thanks.
Your Farmer
Tom

Ps The weather has improved significantly since I first wrote and tried to send this message.

1 Comment

  1. Aimee Moffitt- Mercer said,

    May 4th, 2007, 11:01 am

    Hi Tom,
    My experience at your farm has been nothing but wonderful. I absolutely Love coming out to your farm with my son. It is a brief but valuable experience to us in our excrusiatingly busy lives. I always mark through the seasons your family farm potlucks and for whatever reason I don’t seem to make it. I’m pulled in so many directions that when I have an opening I tend to want to be still and quiet. Seems like you need an event to get people into the farm, to get it crawling with curious families, an event that you obviously should have very little to do with getting organized as you already have your hands full. The Hope Store seems like an excellent venue to get attention brought to Hope’s Edge…..what about Ashwood? Can you have a table at the May Faire? It’s next week….May 12th 11-2. those are my ideas for what they are worth. Aimee

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