We are writing to introduce ourselves and to tell you a bit about our shared vision for Hope’s Edge Farm this 2022 growing season. We are Jason Rawn and Rachel Olsen and we will be overseeing the farm in Tom’s absence, while he embarks upon a cross-country bike trip. We are both excited to continue what Tom has begun here and are hoping to be able to provide you with the same level of quality and thoughtfulness that you’ve become accustomed to receiving.
Both of us have been involved with the farm in varied capacities for multiple seasons. Jason has spent many seasons in the fields and as handyman and farm equipment wielder. Rachel has spent two seasons in the fields and at the computer, as the writer of your weekly farm emails. We both value permaculture principles and have a deeply held respect for the land and the many gifts exchanged in partnering with it.
This season, we plan to reestablish the CSA on a smaller scale. We will be offering 35 CSA shares on a first come, first served basis with one pick-up day each week. Our hope is to also open the farm stand on a second weekday, so those who prefer to self-select vegetables and those for whom we are unable to provide a CSA share can also be fed!
We recognize that we are taking on a lot and will certainly be missing Tom’s presence, so we are trying to equip ourselves with a robust support network. We’ll be calling upon several long-time volunteers for harvest assistance and advising as well as on Rachel’s husband and daughter for help wherever needed. In addition, we are hoping some of you will choose to join our team of weekly volunteers!
We are seeking 4 additional volunteers willing to commit to 4 weekly hours of work in exchange for a CSA share. This work could be in the fields, at the sink, at the farm stand, or wherever your unique abilities and interests intersect with our goals. Like a monetary investment in the farm through CSA membership, this work commitment provides us with a dependable team to ensure that the weekly harvest is achievable. Many hands make light work! Please contact Rachel at email@example.com if you are interested.
We thank you all in advance for your support as we embark upon this new season. We look forward to being in community with you through Hope’s Edge Farm!
Another deep freeze upon us – temperatures in the single numbers and falling – a good day to sit by the wood stove, think spring and do some creative writing. To be perfectly honest, I’m thinking not just about the coming spring but about the coming summer as well. As many of you have been made aware, I celebrated my 70th birthday just a month ago and as a way to honor my admission into the septuagenarian club I am planning a cross-continent bicycle tour for summer ’22. No, this is not early onset dementia or a heart attack death wish, but a desire to travel to parts unknown using my own power while I am still able.
Of course this means that I won’t be here at Hope’s Edge Farm this summer growing the vegetables that many of you have come to appreciate and to even depend upon. BUT, even though I will not be here, there is a plan afoot to continue growing vegetables for your gastronomic pleasure. To this end, Rachel Olsen and Jason Rawn – two individuals who for the past two seasons have been involved in helping to produce the produce of which many of you have partaken – have decided to take on the tasks of tending, nurturing, harvesting, and distributing the roots, leaves, flowers and fruits that these soils so generously provide. Rachel’s husband will also be involved as tractor operator and equipment maintainer. (He will also be called upon more than he knows for galinsoga patrol.) Rachel’s 8 year-old daughter will insure that they all stay on task and will be available to consult on weed identification.
Although this crew is in many of the practical respects of farming a team of rookies, they are in heart and soul “old farm hands”. That is, they have come to recognize in themselves a deep attachment to the growing of food. While the practical knowledge can be learned, the heart and soul connection is inborn and it is primarily through this connection that food can be and is indeed coaxed from the Earth.
Rachel and Jason have also written a post outlining their vision for the coming season. As you will see they are planning a hybrid CSA-farm stand model. I will be here through the spring helping them get things started and should be back by fall (unless I get lost) to help with late harvest and clean-up. It is my hope that you, who have been my support throughout the years, will continue to support them through this, their rookie season.
As far as my bike trip is concerned, there are still many ducks to get in a row – not the least of which is getting in shape. One hope for this trip is to use this journey to bring awareness and support to the issues of food insecurity, food sovereignty, and food justice. This “duck” still needs some feathers to fly and so I will update you as she begins to grow her wing feathers. Until then stay warm, stay healthy, and stay in touch.