What a change in the weather it looks like we're going to have this week compared to last week. The predicted rains coming up will be most welcome as there are big cracks in the farm ground from being so dry out here! I guess one positive is that we aren't farming in Colorado though! Looks like they are going to be having a 70+ degree temperature drop from today to tomorrow!!!
We heard from a CSA member wondering how come the Farm is doing extra sales of produce when there wasn't much offered for last week. This is a great question and I'm sure some other of you are wondering the same thing. The CSA is always our top priority and we want to make sure you receive the best quality! For example we harvest Cherry and Full Size tomatoes twice per week on Mondays and Thursdays/Fridays. Tomatoes are harvest when ripe and ones that we harvest later in the week will have started to deteriorate by the following Wednesdays deliveries. On the flip side, storage crops (like garlic and onions) we haven't offered to sell them and they are all being distributed only to CSA members.
Another reason we are offering items for sale outside of the CSA (like we have done the past 4-5 years) is the CSA is not the Farm's sole source of revenue. In past seasons we have attended the Des Moines Farmers' Market weekly and also sold to restaurants. Because of the pandemic these other two sources of revenue are non-existent this season and we are trying to make up for this loss in income. The farm's gross income has been planned each season to be approximatly 1/3 CSA, 1/3 Farmers' Market and 1/3 restaurant sales. This is also how we planned our harvests. 1/3 would go to the CSA, 1/3 to Farmers' Market and 1/3 to restaurants. This has been a very rough growing season so we are trying to get as much as possible to the CSA but we still need to try and make up for some of the lost 2/3rds of sales. Of course, the CSA is our top priority which is why if we can store a crop it will go to you.
Hopefully this all makes sense and helps to explain why we are doing what we are doing! Like many small businesses and individuals as well, this has been a very challenging year mentally and financially! A few weeks ago I talked with a chef friend who was planning to start putting some orders in with us. Then last week he just let me know they are permanently closing! But just like the seeds continuously pop up out of the ground, we are keeping going as best we can!
Have a great week,
Farmer Ben and the Crew