Full Share: Salad Mix, Spinach, Spring Onions, Baby Bok Choy, Radishes, and Cilantro

Partial Share: Salad Mix, Arugula, Spring Onion, Baby Bok Choy, Cilantro, and Kale.

Hello CSA members!

The elusive search for balance is the theme of the week! After a spring of warm, dry and windy days, we have not received an entire months worth of rain in two days. Big picture, it’s a wonderful thing, given how dry the landscape was already. And the garlic, which really need to get water, is grateful. But, I will admit that it throws a bit of a kink in our planting activity for the week. This is the week that all of the corn and squash (34 beds worth) were supposed to go in the ground, so I don’t imagine that will be happening given how wet the fields are currently. These next two weeks, historically, are periods where the CSA share looks a bit lean as we are finishing up harvesting from our tunnels, but still waiting for the outside production to kick in. So, the shares might look similar to the first two weeks, although the Spring Onions are making a return, and Cilantro is making its first appearance.

Speaking of balance, I had a chat with good friend and CSA member who, after reading my analogy last week, decided that she played two roles in that scenario. That she felt she was holding a bucket in one hand to bail water, but was also holding a beer in the other hand so she could enjoy the moment. And really, that sort of balance is probably the best approach. Everyone should be able to enjoy life. No one wants to get bogged down in the discouraging news all the time, because it’s downright stressful. And at the same time, I think ignoring the bad news is not the best approach either because then you are not seeking to be part of the solution.

I am looking forward to The Farmers Stand opening for many reasons. The most selfish being that as a core member of the “remodel crew”, my days have been filled with farming all day, and then remodeling all evening and on weekends. Burning the candle on both ends is fine for a little while to try to launch this market, but I’m ready for it to open so that there’s even a chance at regaining some space to allow for more enjoyment of the outcome. And if there is anything I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s difficult to be joyful, compassionate, and provide good customer service is ones is exhausted or stressed out.

The other reason that I’m excited about the market opening though, is that it is the best platform I can think of to get a positive narrative out about the importance of health and nutrition. It allows us to meet “consumers” right where they are….at the point of consumption, to help them understand why our products (everything from fresh vegetables to house cleaning supplies) are different from the status quo, and why it’s so important. And to be able to offer people good choices in a a sea of bad choices. It may be a small market, but I hope its impact exceeds its size.

Not to dwell on the pandemic, but I want to hit on one take home message. The CDC recently published findings that of all the people who died from Covid, 94% of them had an underlying health issue (which is why it took such a large toll on the elderly and those with chronic illness). The findings also stated that the average person had not just one or two underlying health issues, but 3.8! While the national narrative seemed to suggest that we are all equally vulnerable to Covid, the reality is that the better your personal health, the safer you are from serious complications from Covid (and the next virus headed our way). So if being healthy is the real solution to fighting Covid, then why is so little being said in the mainstream media about improving our health and lifestyles. It’s all about the vaccine.

When it comes to improving our health, we need to put more nutrition back into our food, and we need to get harmful chemicals out or our food, homes and environment. I could write a book just on that last sentence, but those are the two places we need significant change in our world. We, as a society, cannot be healthy if we are swimming in chemicals and have poor quality foods available to us (to such an extent that people are shocked when they see the statistics that 90% of new mothers have Roundup in their breast milk). Even the manatees off the coast of Florida are steeped in Roundup. And the statistics bear this out. In 1960, 5% of adults had a chronic illness (heart disease, cancer, Type II diabetes, and obesity are the top 4). Today, 60% of adults have a chronic illness, and 40% have at least two. Given what I just said about Covid and who it impacts, that is a troubling trend that needs to get more recognition among our political leaders and health professionals.

One could argue the covid vaccine was necessary in the moment to protect those who were vulnerable. But moving forward, we have time to improve our health, and we should work to that end rather than just thinking there will be another vaccine for the next variant or virus to arrive. I know why Big Pharma likes our current approach, because I just read on CNN that 8 new Billionaires were created in the pharmaceutical industry from the pandemic. And no, the vaccine was not “free”, every dose was paid for with taxpayer money. At $17 to $20 a pop, times 370 million people just in this country…that’s a pretty big windfall. So again, how do we learn from the pandemic and our response to it, and start working on a better path forward?

Purchase and eat a CSA from a local organic farm is a great start! (nice job everyone!)

Read labels to understand what is in the food you are eating. Learn about and avoid questionable ingredients,

Cook at home more often so you can control what is going in your food.

Get enough sleep. Reduce your stress. Take your Vitamin D. Reduce your alcohol intake. Turn off the TV and get outside.

These simple steps allow you to take back control of your health. Our bodies are designed to be healthy and to heal, we just need to provide it the setting to do so. As our good friend Bob Quinn (Co-author of the book Grain by Grain) said while visiting last week, people need to re-learn and acknowledge that “we can eat ourselves healthy”. And who doesn’t love eating!!

And so in the theme of balance, the positive message I am carrying with me as we deliver CSA shares this week and prepare to open The Farmers’ Stand is that we can all choose to eat ourselves healthy. And that brings me hope…that there are tools right at our fingertips (no corporation or government needed) to get us on the path to health and resiliency…all we need to do is make the choice.

We look forward to seeing you at market and CSA this week!