Last October, I posted about a few cool sites, and one of those cool places was Monroe Organic Farms.
Monroe is a Community Supported Agriculture project – a farm that sells “shares” of produce to the community. These shares provide the farm with capital for operating expenses before the produce is harvested. It saves them from having to market, assures them their produce will be sold, and guarantees an income rain or shine for the farm. In other words, CSA gives small, family owned farms a chance to make it.
The USDA defines CSA as: “… a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing. ”
Sounds amazing, right? What could be better? Buying locally; eating organic, super-fresh food; supporting a small farm; helping the local economy.
Well, I called them today – I really want to be a part of this – but guess what? They were already sold out for 2008! Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!
But Jacquie (the lady at the farm) was super nice and answered all my questions about getting on a wait list for 2009, buying beef this year, and finally about being a working member versus a non-working member. And as we talked about that last one, she mentioned that working members (members who come and help with the farm chores once a week up in Kersey in return for a big discount on the membership and produce fees) are given priority on the produce shares each year. And there was still room for 2008.
Wait. Let me get this straight. I can still do this this year if I am willing to come work on a farm? Me? Work on a farm? WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?!?
So yes, I’m doing it. I know people might think I’m crazy, but I can’t wait!! Every Tuesday morning from 7:00 – 11:00am in June, July, and August, I’ll be playing farmer! I get one week off per month, and I get all my veggies and fruits, first pick! I am stoked!! And there’s always room for more working members, they say, so if anyone wants to join me (hey we could go really green and carpool), give them a call to sign up!
Oh, and before we got off the phone, I mention my four little chickens. Well, we got to chatting about chickens and she was telling me that they should be molting soon. I’m excited… I can’t wait to post pictures of naked chickens running around my back yard! Stay tuned…