Greetings from Against the Grain and welcome to the Sixteenth week of the 2022 CSA! It's time to see what's in your box this week, make swaps and add extras.
Just like past seasons, the customization period begins once this notification lands in your inbox (which should be around noon on Friday) and will end at 11:59pm on Sunday, September 11th. During this customization window, you can make swaps to your box and add extras. Pick up your box at your chosen location on Wednesday, September 14th.
We'll be including profiles of our crew members for the next several weeks as a way for you, our CSA members, to get to know the people and hands who grow the food that's in your weekly share. Taylor Broussard, our pack shed manager, has volunteered to interview and document the personalities and interests of the crew who have chosen to call Against the Grain home for the 2022 season. This week's profile features Josh Nelsen.
Always ending his walkie talkie conversations with an ‘okie dokie’, Josh brings a silly yet stoic disposition to the ATG team.
Josh comes from a family of conventional farmers who grew corn and soy and raised pork and cattle. Having observed the stressors of this style of farming, he was interested in learning a new way of food production. After studying in the Sustainable Development program at Appalachian State, he decided to dive deeper into the hands-on experience of regenerative agriculture.
Josh joined the farm in November of 2021. Through his time on the farm, he has gained insight into what farming practices he is most aligned with. As the Biodynamic/compost assistant, he has developed a love for making compost. Josh sees making compost as a way that we can give back to the soil, a way to restore balance. He acknowledges the reality that farming can be an extractive process and feels that creating compost is the integral link, the bridging piece, in the full circle of sustainable food production. “The left over remains of our last succession of produce becomes fertility for the next round, completing the cycle.”
Josh’s spirituality and faith has shaped the way he sees food production. He believes that nature is a divinely manifested and intelligent system, one that we should be working in accordance with, rather than trying to force our will against. He is also inspired by food sovereignty, believing it to be one of the most important issues of our time. Two of Josh’s fondest learning experiences here on the farm were when he shot his first buck and learning how to drive a tractor.
When Josh isn’t farming, you can find him reading dissident literature or going camping with his girlfriend Kate, who he met while working at ATG. Josh plans to continue growing food once he leaves the farm and is inspired to learn more about permaculture, but he hopes his journey keeps him in the mountains for as long as possible.