Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Court and the Farm

Our first mater! The heirlooms that were planted several weeks
ago are just starting to put out some green fruit.

Now, for some not so great news....

I went to the court hearing with my fellow farmer this past Tuesday. Court, I must say, is NOT the best environment to get to say what you need to and make your points clear. My friend was unable to clearly state her side, and unfortunately, by the time she found her voice, the judge had already decided that because she wasn't electronically available at all times, basically, she would be advised to work out a monetary settlement with her customer.
For those of you who've never farmed, believe it or not, some of us don't generally take our cell phones out in the field with us. At least I don't, unless I know I am expecting a call. It is so sandy/muddy/wet/dirty out there - and guess what.....cell phones don't much like that. And in this case, cell phone signals weren't even available until recently at her farm. And you know what, by the time we get inside at the end of the day, we're pretty tired. And probably, it is pretty late. So when our email is down, and we leave a message on your phone, and you can't reach us back - it isn't because we're avoiding you. We're busy and pooped!

I must add though, I told the court that I really, honestly felt that if one of my CSA supporters was trying to reach me, and didn't hear back from me in 2 weeks, that you'd probably come out to the farm to make sure I wasn't dead out in the gardens! THAT my friends, is what CSA is all about. Creating a caring, bonding relationship between the person that grows the food and the people who eat it.

If you've missed the last posting, please scroll down and watch the sweet, loving video that our CSA member Charity Gordon (and the help of her kiddos) made for me. This is just one of the wonderful things that keeps us going on bad days. When the pump fails, the field is flooded, the fire ants are stinging, the sun is scorching, the tractor is stuck in the mud, or the bones are aching. It is all soooo worth it to me! I love you guys - and I love what we're all doing together!

Only a few of our community took advantage of the Gleaning Opportunity
this past weekend. They all left with a nice variety of yummies though!

Unfortunately, some people in some CSA groups are more worried about themselves than the concept of community. I hope we've not totally lost our farmer friend from the farming world. One unpleasant CSA member can really dampen your spirits though. Your farmers care enough to grow the very best for you all - it is hard to think that not everyone has the same kind of care back for those who do the growing. CSA is supposed to be a partnership of sorts, not a consumer/vendor situation. I guess sometimes at the bigger farms, it becomes less of a partnership with the farmer and more of a pay your money/pick up your food type situation. But you can be sure that this is NOT what Robyn Van En had in mind when she introduced CSA's concept to America. And this is not what Eden's CSA ever has plans to become.

The judge's decision really had nothing to do with the original reason this lady filed the suit against her fact, he swore he backed the farmer up on the fact that she had a bad year because farming had inherint risks and she, as a member, accepted those risks. What he did say, basically, is if the farmer had called her customer back more (what is enough?) times to tell her there wasn't anything to come pick up - he wouldn't have a problem with the situation. I guess he'd have dropped the case if the computer didn't crash and there was cell signals up there. Sometimes, I think the courts just want to show they forced a comprimise - no one wins then. But, it was a setttlment, not a judgement and that part at least is good. But the farmer still had to pay money out of her pocket as her spring season begins....not good.
Anyway, if I am ever not providing you guys with the customer service you feel we need to give all of our members - please, let me know directly. Come see me at the farm if you've not heard back from me. Email is usually the best way, but you know what, computers crash, AT&T's DSL is not invincible and sometimes, I just plain can't keep my peepers open another minute to answer another email! But, we'll talk about it, as we've done in the past. And, if needed, we'll put it in front of our Advisory Committee. We'll resolve it as a COMMUNITY!
Thanks again to Eden's Garden CSA family; for making this farm possible. I coudn't do it without your support and your help!
Come out to the meet and greet Saturday if you'd like to meet some potential new members. There were about 12 shares worth of members that decided our CSA wasn't working for them and the final installment of their annual commitments need to be picked up. Normally, we don't do seasonal shares, but this is a good way to let someone "try" our farm. We'll ask for annual commitments when our new farming year begins in the fall. Bring a friend or neighbor who may be interested in our tomatoes, potatoes, onions, squash, peppers, melons, cukes, zukes and whatever else we harvest. YUM!

After only 2 inches of rain Saturday afternoon - the already saturated soil
just couldn't take it anymore. Ladies, this is the road you walked on earlier
in the day on Saturday when you came picking!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

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