As many of you know, this is our first year as a CSA. I have been selling produce down in Rochester for the last couple of years out of a 3 acre garden we had always kept here on the 10 acres where we live. CSA is just a little larger scale then what I was doing before. I have had family members and friends ask why Community Supported Agriculture makes sense for their family. So I thought I would take a little time and address that here this morning. The United States isn’t the same kind of country it was when our grandparents were growing up. In the 1930’s when my grandparents were young, each family supplied much of what they consumed. My Great-grandma Myer had 9 children of her own, and she raised 2 young indian girls as well. They grew a large garden. When berries were in season, everyone picked berries. My grandmother used to take me out berry picking when I was a girl. I was astounded how fast that woman could fill up a berry bucket. When I asked her how she could pick that fast, she responded “When I was just a girl, my father used to take us 9 kids out to pick berries. He would tell us when we got there how many we would be picking, and we would stay until we met his quota. Everyone picked. When the older children had what they needed - they helped the younger children. When we were done, my father would pick my mother a bouquet of daisies, and we would all head home.” They had a milk cow too. And my grandmother tells me now, that her father raised the meanest pigs in all of God’s creation, which they butchered to help feed their bustling family. Living off what you grow, taking what you work for, and nothing more - that is who we used to be as a nation. We have lost some of our collective identity. We stopped working as hard for what we needed, because we no longer had to.
We need to again - its that simple. Michigan has one of the worst state economies in the country right now. We have many more people moving out then moving in, and the welfare rolls are growing. People feel lost. We are hurting, and now more than ever, we should be supporting each other. The people who worked for Ford and GM, who no longer have a job due to downsizing and relocations, would tell you that if you live in Michigan and you are driving a foreign made car, you are choosing to take money out of the pocket of your neighbor. That is money your neighbor won’t spend at your local business. Taxes he won’t contribute to the local school system that both of your children attend. Taxes that could make a broken system better. We are all a web of choices and consequences in our lives, our families, our state, and our country. Our choices positively or negatively affect one another. Taking from the teaching of Randy Carlson - we all need to live intentionally. Evaluating each decision carefully and making the very best one.
Everyone reading this can choose to go down to your local grocery and pick up your vegetables there, and yes you will be supporting your local store, but please don’t be mistaken into thinking that you are supporting your local farmers by making that choice. Even the Whole Foods in Rochester, who claims to be a provider of local meats and produce, purchase and import their ‘free range’ chickens from Chicago, where they are grown in a dome. I promise you, there are plenty of Michigan farmers raising genuinely free range birds here to meet their needs. Choosing to support CSA is the best way to get the freshest produce at a price better then you will get at your local groceries. And anything in your share is guaranteed grown in Michigan. Next time you are in Krogers, pick up one of their black hand baskets - the wire ones, fill it with as much organic produce as it will hold and take it to the checkout. One of those wire baskets holds less than half a bushel of produce, which is the amount we provide as a half share from our farm every week. I promise you it will cost you more than $20, and the varieties available there are nowhere near as diverse as what we offer from the farm. That basket of produce from Krogers will benefit farmers in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil. There might be some Michigan produce in there, but probably not much, and definately less than half. That isn’t good enough. In supporting your CSAs, you are supporting your neighbors, and your state and local economies. As Michiganders, we need to be very conscious of how much of what we make is staying here. Please consider supporting your local farms through their CSA programs. Your family and theirs will benefit greatly. Steph
This posting was originally from our website blog, and a few of our friends suggested we also post it on our blog here.
Prayer for the day: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for our friends, our family, and our farm. Help us serve and represent You well in all that we do today. Help our work be fruitful, and our faith be strong. Keep us focused and diligent. Help us to set goals and accomplish them, and to meet our obligations. Please provide for our needs as only you can. Help baby Livy feel better and help Lucas’ stuffy nose to clear up. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Amen