Cultivating a Community

Farm Stories is our way of connecting you with the producers behind every Harvie box. This week, Neil Stauffer, Sourcing Manager, writes about a recent conversation he had with Dan Yarnick of Yarnick’s Farm in Indiana, PA, and how this connects back to the Harvie community.

A few weeks ago, I called Dan Yarnick to talk about what he had available. After quickly knocking together a list of fun early season greenhouse crops and foraged ramps, He ticked off part of his to do list for the day — the contents of which required him to be an hv/ac guru, savvy sales rep, financial markets interpreter, tractor savant, plant charmer, and precise weatherman, just to name a few. He seemed relieved to share some of that psychological stress with my sympathetic ear. Farm stresses are very real and expansive — especially when things like snow in April throw curveballs into the mix.

After talking to Dan, I realized I was sensing that stress from a lot of our farmers. Weather is always unpredictable, but knowing that doesn’t make it much easier to handle. All of the same springtime tasks still need to be accomplished; bad weather just makes it all an uphill climb.

It crossed my mind that cultivating a community of committed farmers able to supply fantastic food year-round is kind of a miracle. Being able to create a grocery store that features these farms is such an amazing privilege for me, and for us.

The relational part of what we are doing at Harvie cannot be overemphasized. Our farmers, like chefs or teachers or even parents, are driven by a passion for their hard work. Connection and positive feedback along the way is vital to sustain the motivation required to continue.

Harvie, in many ways, is a representative voice in both directions of our business — our farmers and our members. We are where the connection and communication happens. We help customers understand the miraculous places their food comes from.

But perhaps just as important, we can support the work of our farmers by communicating that their community is grateful for their impassioned work and customers are willing to pay them for the fruits of their craft.