I don’t know if you’ve thought about this, but your farmers are just so amazing. How amazing are they, Uncle Vern? Well, it has been raining a LOT most days for the last several weeks, yet somehow, these guys are getting out there in the mud and getting your food harvested, bunched, cleaned, and all the things they do to the point we’ve been so spoiled when we get our box we don’t even think about what it took to get it there.
That’s how you know you’re working with the best, they just get done what needs doin’ like it’s no big deal. But if you get the chance, let ‘em know how much you appreciate what they do and how they do it. A pat on the back makes all of our days go better, doesn’t it? And that’s why their email addresses are right there on the back of this letter.
One of our primary goals with Abundant Harvest was community creation on lots of levels. One community is right there at your pick-up location where you bump into health conscious, like-minded neighbors. But the greater AHO community is this alliance of organic farmers with organic co-producers and that is a very unique and precious relationship that exists very rarely these days. Where else can you talk to the actual lady who grew and bunched your collard greens?
The original idea was to connect lots of small organic producers with lots of consumers and see if in some small way, we couldn’t reverse the trend of larger and larger producers delivering to larger and larger retailers leaving absolutely no connection between producing and consuming families. Farmers and consumers really need each other; not just on an economic level but on a human interactive relational level, and I know you know what I’m talking about.
Carrots nourish your body, while a relationship with the carrot farmer fills a farm shaped hole everyone has in their heart. There’s a similar consumer shaped hole in the farmer’s heart that gets similarly filled.
This mutual exchange is a big part of the success of the farmer’s market. Farmers I know who work these markets all talk about how much they appreciate the interaction while admitting they aren’t really farming when they’re gone 5 days a week, they’re selling.
Of the three relational states: dependence, independence, and interdependence; interdependence is of course the highest, most effective, and satisfying. Interdependence is what we have going on here with AHO producing and co-producing families rain or shine!
Well, January is orchard planting and grafting time so let’s fill the rest of this week’s letter with that and continue next week.
Do your farming before you plant was my father’s admonition. To that end, you’ll recall from previous notes how an old orchard is pushed-out, ground-up, and hauled-off. The land laser leveled, our chicken manure applied in generous quantity, and seeded to Sudan Grass.
This will grow 6 feet tall, get mowed down and grow back again. We find that turning that 12 feet of organic matter back into our soil, plus an equivalent volume of root mass, just does wonders for a baby orchard the next year.
In the fall, we send a soil sample to the lab, and based on that… Well, next week. Hows about your amazing farmers out in the rain and all!