Dear CSA friends,
I knew when we got married over eleven years ago that life with Oliver would probably lean more towards chaos than order. I was right. The combination of Levis life and our choice of farming as our livelihood has made me a lot more comfortable not knowing what's coming around the bend (hmm… we're building a bakery… okay, sure…) and can handle the idea that I'm not totally in control of things (hmm… the walk in cooler thermostat went haywire and all our produce is frozen). I am used to highs and lows, but I have to admit that this past week has felt significantly more out of control and a little more low than usual.
We've been hearing about more and more farmers that have lost all of their crops, all of their fall and winter income. Seeing the photos of flooded, decimated fields feels raw and empty. It's not just about the vegetables or the money but their way of life that has dissolved. The same for folks who aren't farmers who have lost so much in Vermont, in Texas with the fires, in Japan with the typhoon. Checking up on the news has become a bit like checking up on the apocalypse. And it has felt heavy, unsettling and just not right.
In that mood, I walked out to the CSA pick up today. And I was reminded that I really like what I do and didn't feel like the world was completely falling apart. To be able to see your babies growing bigger (even if I forget their names), meet your parents, learn about your new business ventures and chat about school politics, fermentation and husk cherries was the highlight of my day. I value these relationships and feel very lucky to live in a community where people support what we do. I also feel deep gratitude to our crew who we could clearly not function without. They are a group of folks who are incredibly generous with their energy and patience and are just plain fun to be around. They care about what they are doing here and they hold an important place in our business and our family.
After the CSA was Eden's naptime and then on to pick up Guv and Talula from school. Which is when the second highlight of my day happened. It was Talula's first day of full day pre-k and I was, of course, a tad late. As I was rushing towards the cafeteria entrance, they walked out of the building holding hands and she had a huge, beaming, ear to ear smile on her face. And I pretty much melted. All three of them are such amazing kids. Not easy, but awesome. I occasionally need to remind myself of that. And of everything else that is good in life.
Here are 2 suggestions for how you can help Vermont farmers affected by hurricane Irene:
The Vermont Farm Fund offers small, zero-interest loans very quickly to storm-affected farmers. http://hardwickagriculture.org/donate.html or 802-472-5840. This fund was set up by Pete Johnson, a hugely successful organic grower in northern VT whose barn burned down over the winter. After the fire he raised $160,000 in donations to help him rebuild. Since then he has been repaying that money into a fund to help other farmers with interest free revolving loans for their emergency needs.
Alternatively visit Evening Song Farm's website, they are a young couple whose farm just south of Rutland was devastated by the storm. 7 of their 10 acres were washed away when the Mill River stormed through their farm. Most farms only suffered a loss of produce, but these folks lost their soil, permanently eroding their farm (which they just bought last year). They have posted a link for donations at http://www.eveningsongcsa.com/ .