Forty years, same farm, same farmer...celebrate with us!
We're a part of organic farming history...40 years ago, in 1974, I had the privilege of being able to buy a farm and to certify organic. That makes 2014 an anniversary year and a good reason to celebrate! Organics has come a long way and this farm and farmer were part of that movement at its beginnings.
In those early days we were reaching for the "soul of agriculture." Agriculture might not seem like a very sexy word, but in fact, it has determined the better part of our human history, from the earliest attempts at survival to a McDonalds' Happy Meal.
The need for us to nourish ourselves daily is real. How we do that determines our health and the health of the planet, our culture and community values, and our future--we are the determiners. Our values are embedded in agriculture and, for better or for worse, it belongs to all of us.
So who's minding the store? Well, the answer to that is Monsanto--if we, the people, the determiners, fall asleep at the wheel. Here's a brief timeline.
- 1862--President Lincoln signs legislation establishing the Department of Agriculture. He calls it "The People's Department" because 90% of Americans at the time were farmers.
- 1870--the population of farmers dropped to 48%--almost half in only 8 years.
- 1967--a report given to President Johnson by the National Advisory Committee on Rural Poverty was called "The People Left Behind"
- Today--farmers are less than 1% of the American population, with more than half of all farms being rented, owned by business partnerships, or corporations, rather than owned and operated by individuals.
So this is essentially, an ad--in the good sense of the word--for a different kind of Happy Meal and support for the "right kind of farming" through CSA--Community Supported Agriculture. I'll still do the planting, weeding, and harvesting. Your CSA membership will provide a dependable market for those efforts. You and I will be joining forces to determine a renewed vision of agriculture. CSA is the modern equivalent of a farming community where the farmer does not stand alone.
For your support you'll get a beautiful and bountiful share of the upcoming season's harvest once a week throughout the growing season. In this version of a Happy Meal your recipes will come from vegetables and fruits grown in a living and healthy soil, tended and harvested with care and experience. Your sharebox will be filled with delicious food that is life giving, nutrient dense, garden fresh, vine ripened when it should be, properly handled, and really good for you and your family.
Here's a little about the farm and the exquisite land you will be supporting with your CSA membership.
The farm sits on top of a ridge, a thousand feet above sea level where the air is clean and the view is awe inspiring. It's just a stone's throw away from the Kickapoo and Wisconsin Rivers at Wauzeka in Southwestern Wisconsin, in the heart of Wisconsin's Driftless Region. It's part of a unique and beautiful landscape that has both beauty and wildness, rivers and bluffs, ridges and valleys.
Looking out at the beauty and richness of this place and the natural world, breathing in that clean air and working the land, as a caretaker and farmer, I'm connected--aware of my partnership with nature and the interdependency of all life.
As a shareholder and supporter, you are a vital part of that vision. We will be joining together to strengthen our connection to nature and to each other--protecting that beautiful landscape from factory farming, frac sand mining, and development. We--the determiners--will be at the wheel and steering agriculture back towards a culture we can be proud of.
-- Farmer Renee