A Mom's Personal Story...
I met Jennifer this past Christmas.
Farmer Pete and I had a booth set up at the Old Town Leander Christmas Festival.
When she introduced herself, I knew exactly who she was.
She had recently started liking all of our social media feed and I caught on to her name.
So being the excited "Chatty Kathy" that I am, I word vomited ALL the information one could possibly EVER need to know about the farm!!
You know...like a little too much!
Needless to say, she walked away!!
But then came back...
And told me her story...
I asked her to share it with you today, her reasons for joining our CSA because I think a lot of us can relate to where she's coming from...
Here is Jennifer...
"I met Pete and Becky at the Leander Farmer’s Market in August 2019 (the first time I visited a farmer’s market since moving here). They are both so kind and giving with information and their enthusiasm for farming is contagious.
I started following Isle Acre Farm on Facebook shortly thereafter and always “liked” their content. Posts about farm shares being available started popping up. I was interested, but hesitant. Why the hesitation?
I come from a beautiful, horrible place where one can grow anything. I’m accustomed to having gorgeous, organic produce year-round.
I used to participate in…not a CSA. It was more like a group of farms that make produce/products available to “add to your (weekly or bi-weekly) box” on a pick and choose basis. But it got VERY expensive. I’m sure the delivery was part of why the expense was so great. I just have a hard time paying $10 for a head of cauliflower. I stopped the service when the quality was going down but the prices were going up. But – I didn’t have to pay for a season up front. It was a bi-weekly box/charge so from a budgetary perspective, it worked for me. Which leads into my second reason for being hesitant to purchase a farm share.
I’m a single mom and have been for a really long time. The 2008 recession really hurt me. I lost my job. I couldn’t find another one. I had to go to the church for food until I qualified for food stamps (I couldn’t qualify for them whilst on unemployment – such a crazy system). All this in one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. It sucked.
I started my own business since I couldn’t find a job and it was SLOW getting it built up to support us. I finally found a part time job and worked that at the same time I was building my business. It was exhausting. I still have dark circles under my eyes from it. It took years to build up to the point where I could ditch the part time job and only work in/on my business.
As a result of this massively stressful time, I watch every penny I spend very, very carefully. I never want to end up in that situation ever again (but sadly, economic stress is upon us again – just a pandemic this time).
So, when I went to the Isle Acre Farm booth at the Old Town Leander Christmas thing in December 2019, I really wanted to talk to them about how the farm shares work. I was confused by the website. Becky explained patiently (she’s so NICE!). I listened (I’m a good listener). I contemplated the numbers before me. A thousand bucks. More with eggs. Deep breath. I try to only give a thousand dollars at a time for rent and taxes. But I really wanted the produce. Not only that, I really want my own homestead. Since it’s unlikely I’ll have that in the near future, I REALLY wanted to support my local farmer friends that ARE doing what I want to do (they’re doing it on a larger scale obviously) so that their family can have the quality of life that I know is so rewarding.
I went in the middle. I purchased a bi-weekly share. No eggs. It was almost Christmas, almost tax time. 'But it’s ok', I reasoned. 'It will be ok', I continued reasoning. And I’m supporting local which I feel is super important. AND – in March I’ll get really good, fresh, organic produce which I’ll LOVE creating dishes with. I love to cook nutrient dense foods.
Fast forward to March 2020. A pandemic. I mean who could have known that was going to happen?! Grocery stores were being cleared out. Massive panic buying was happening all over the nation and world. The fact that I decided to go with a farm share when I was hesitant shows that I have special powers and I’m seriously considering starting my own cult.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I headed over to the farm to pick up my first share. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that Pete & Becky are my farmers and that they were/are growing food for me and the other farm shareholders regardless of the fear and chaos happening all around us. I love knowing who is handling my produce before I get it. And that the food travels less than a mile from them to my house. No money left my pocket because I paid for it at Christmastime. Such a relief. So happy.
For lunch I cooked up shrimp and snow peas from my last share pickup. I’ve made incredible salads, roasted veg, used collard greens for wraps, made wilted chard salad with bacon and blue cheese, and more. I plan my meals around the share and they’ve all turned out really tasty and very good for my body (cuz blue cheese and bacon are both healthy, right?!).
Whilst the grocery stores are better stocked now than they were a month and a half ago, the future is uncertain. Being able to support Isle Acre Farm and get produce has been a really lovely oasis to go to every other week.
If you’re on the fence about a share, just crunch the numbers and do it if you can. If you can’t, then save up for the next season. It’s definitely worth it. Total win-win!
Oh, and I wish I had added on the eggs. 😉"
I would love to hear your story about your personal journey to connecting to a local farm.
Comment below and let me know.
The Summer CSA opens for registration on May 22nd!