Knee High by the Fourth of July

Wow, what a wonderful and exhausting time of the year. Proud and exhausted most of the time at Front Step, but lots of time to think since I work alone most of the time. We are the first and only urban farm CSA in Providence, and that is pretty awesome and unique. A couple of conversations this week got me thinking about the value of what we do, and I wanted to put out a couple ideas.

We are charging a market value for our CSA produce, meaning that you get the same price on our veggies if you join the CSA as you do if you come to the farmers market. We charge on the higher end for our produce because we believe that we deserve to make a living wage- always aiming for 10 dollars an hour. We don’t hit that goal. Ever. But the CSA allows us to get closer, and to not totally  burn ourselves out going up against land insecurity (the farm is up for sale once again!), freak hail storms (90 mile an hour winds and half an hour of marble sized hail ruined one market for us and ruined our crops for the next two), disease and pests. And then it rained again at the farmers market and no one came the week our produce had finally bounced back from a death by a trillion ice balls. Three out of five markets were busts.

Through it all our lovely CSA members allowed us to pay our rents and utilities for the crazy month of June. We are incredibly grateful and devoted to our members and spend more time planting and thinking of how we are going to pick and bag and grow a healthy CSA share that delivers on our promise of high quality fresh salad, greens and culinary herbs while throwing in some odds and ends that give you a sense of how a farm season works. We are working FOR and WITH our members to support ourselves. We are the only farms doing this on a micro scale and in the City.  July will be crazy and so will August and September but we are tired and happy to be working on this project and getting to know our members.



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2 Responses to Knee High by the Fourth of July

  1. The high quality vegetables you grow make people strong and healthy and you pedal your produce around town by bicycle, which makes you an inspiration to all of those car potatoes! Speaking of potatoes, I pulled up some potatoes from our backyard veggie garden this weekend and made a potato salad for the 4th. With food in hand, Than, Adam, and I rode our Seahaulk blow-up raft down to India Point Park on the Than’s bike cart and launched into the tame waters of the Bay where we bumped into some friends and farmers on their own floatation devises with yummy snacks. Roped together, we ate potato salad, toasted our independence, and watched an amazing fireworks show.

  2. Martha says:

    I look forward to picking up my farm share each week! I’m so impressed by the work that you do, and it’s terrific enjoying salads and veggies grown locally. With this last batch, I roasted the beets in the oven and chopped them into a salad. I also made the basil into a pesto sauce–delicious! I snacked on the sweet peas, too. I like the pea tendrils in the salad when I find them…just like the peas. Sorry that I have to run off so soon after I pick up my stuff. Most times I have a cranky toddler in tow who is demanding my attention. I am looking forward to helping with the work when I return (I’ll be in Prague from July 12-25). Thanks, farmers!

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