Good morning! Since the farm is going down this year (even if my half of the garden IS still under water…) I will be running a wordpress page specifically with farm updates, C.S.A. and market information, and posts about whatever amazing vegetable or recipe strikes my fancy at 6 in the morning while Stella is still asleep. It will be https://heartofgoldfarm.wordpress.com/ . I’ll be linking the pertinent entries (read: the more wordy ones) to the “Farm” page on this site but if you are keen to keep in touch with Farmer Val rather than Homestead Val, subscribe to that one as well. You will see a lot of “What’s in your C.S.A. Share This Week?” kind of entries, but hey! Roll that beautiful vegetable footage!
So on that note, here was the first 2017 entry written on heartofgoldfarm.wordpress.com, in which Val talks about what a CSA actually is and how paying it forward can make a small farm happen (and why that’s important, too!) Also for the history buffs out there, go directly to the link and scroll down to the 2015 entries to see pictures of James building our chicken coop!
Hello party people! It’s April, the sun is (kinda) shining, and the first round of vegetables are in the ground. We still have four spots open for our 2017 CSA, which goes from June 20th to October 31st. Pick-up will either be in Poulsbo, Bainbridge, or at the farm. Yow! What’s a CSA, you ask? Well, it stands for “community supported agriculture” and is one of the best ways for farmers to get up and running after three months of winter sans bucks.
Close your eyes, breathe for a sec, and picture a farmer. What do you imagine? Most people picture a dude, most likely a white dude (in overalls and a tractor coughing behind him, perhaps). In our imaginations, that white dude is farming a bucolic, storybook plot of criss-crossed rows of vegetable but the reality is slightly different. Most farmers in America are male, but most of those are Hispanic and here from Mexico or Guatemala as migrant workers. Quite frankly, most Americans don’t want these jobs, even if our grandparents and most generations before them made their living this way. The average age of the American farmer-owner is over 60 and most of those guys are in the Midwest, growing monoculture corn (as in, dry corn that turns into corn syrup or other food product) or soybeans (that turn into other food additives). Those guys, by the way, are getting farm subsidies and that is basically the only way they can pay the bills.
When it comes to the food we actually eat, the people farming are still old, still male, and now mostly impoverished. It’s a sad state of affairs that if I then have you picture “organic farmer” or “vegetable farmer”, most people will picture a doe-eyed dreamer who has accepted their life of poverty as an okay trade for a sustainable life and the ability to commune with the earth day in and day out. Well. This is actually a little true. The reality is Americans would balk at the price of food if we actually paid what it was worth so I and my farming friends are usually broke as a joke. We need to know that all our hard work will actually let us pay the rent, so having a CSA share not only allows us to buy seed at the beginning of the year, but also gives us peace of mind that we can pay the rent!
So thank you for supporting a young farmer! A female farmer! A vegetable farmer! And an organic farmer (okay, “sustainable”, since I’m too broke to get certified). Paying in to a CSA upfront takes a little bit of that impoverished edge off and, especially since this is the inaugural season, is necessary to get all our bits in pieces in order. Email me at heartofgoldfarm at gmail.com if you want to buy in! $400 for 20 weeks of vegetables. Thanks, friend.