CSA Week 8: Heatwaves and Heartaches

Hello sweet members!

There is so much to say this week and so little time to say it as we squeeze in some office work and a little nap on this hottest of days we’ve seen thus far before bouncing back to the farm for some sunset weeding and seeding!

While there’s so much to say about what’s coming out of the field this week to nourish you all, there’s first some news we must share with you that isn’t quite as exciting…

SOME SAD NEWS…

A few weeks back, I wrote to you about how necessary it is for farmers to have the ability to accept things they can’t control, let go, and adapt. It now seems both ironic and sad as today I write with the news that two weeks ago Four Winds Farm (whom we lease land from and share land with) notified us that they will not be offering us a lease renewal for the 2021 season. Since then we have been processing our feelings about this news in order to get clear and honest messaging to you all – as we always aim to do.

You might be wondering why and how this happened… Four Winds Farm owns the land we lease. The Second Wind legacy started years ago when farm owners, Jay and Polly Armour decided that the CSA was no longer a piece of the Four Winds business they wished to maintain. Farm employees at that time proposed an idea to pay to lease the land and run the CSA themselves as an independent business- as a way to keep CSA members fed and Four Winds’ land stewarded and so, Second Wind was born and has continued in the hands of several different young farmers – leading up to us. However, Jay and Polly have decided that next spring, their friends in need of land will become the new farmers/leasers of the formerly Second Wind land and be using this acreage to continue running their established market in NYC, while the business and name of Second Wind will leave with us – as we become the farmers without land (for now!) 

When we signed our lease we knew the risks that came with having a year-to-year lease with no protections. However, given the good will and history of Second Wind, we came into this agreement in 2019 with full trust that we’d have the option to move through our time here and one day pass on the business once more – as was the case for each set of Second Wind farmers who came before us. Unfortunately, that tradition will be ending with us this season and we are now processing the emotional spectrum that comes with this news.

There is much more to say about the pain we are feeling from all of this….from the way we were notified, to the grief of losing something we’ve devoted all of our mental and physical energy to for the past two seasons, and the seemingly wasted amount of emotional energy that we’ve put into the working and personal relationships while on this land. It’s pain that we’ve seen other leasing farmers endure but one we are shocked to be feeling from a leasing arrangement with fellow farmers who understand how hard and passion driven this work is. There’s a lot to unpack and we are wholly open to sharing these parts of our journey with you all: our most cherished CSA community – who through all of these challenges, seasons, and farmers has been the most supportive and shining inspiration to keep us moving forward.

In terms of what is next for us and for your veggies…although prior to this news, we had plans starting to develop for the future, our timeline has been pretty unclear and so our intentions were to continue Second Wind through the 2021 season. Now, we must accept the path ahead and start to adapt. As we navigate this new stress of thinking about and expediting any future plans, we promise to continue caring for your veggies with everything we have! Know that we care for you all and are working the best that we can to find a way to continue feeding you next season. 

This has been a lot for us to navigate mentally and emotionally – but it is also a true and real illustration of the vulnerability young farmers without land often find themselves living with. Even so, experiencing this and speaking about it, we must still recognize the privilege that we have to choose this insecure lifestyle and to acknowledge that while land access is hard for us – it is even harder for folks of color. We must do better to understand the privilege that we all have, the struggles that other’s face and to speak out in times of injustice.

Thanks for hearing our truth now and always and for your unyielding love and support that powers the work we do.

IN BETTER NEWS…

This week’s share is bringing you the season’s first juicy tomatoes – so buckle up because it’s only going to get juicer! Here’s what else you might see:

  • Cukes (slicing and pickling) CLICK HERE to give quick pickling a try – it’s THE BEST!
  • Summer Squash
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicing/Heirloom/Pates Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Bunching Onions
  • Scallions or Parsley
  • Kale or Mustards
  • Mini Lettuce Heads
  • Yukina
  • Salad Mix
  • Basil
  • **some FRESH CHICKENS will be available for purchase at pick-up for those who missed the opportunity to pre-order and are interested! **
  • Use this YOGURT ORDER FORM to pre-order sheep’s milk yogurt for this week from our friend at Willow Pond Sheep Farm in Gardiner, NY

FIELD NOTES

We’re starting to recognizing our succession planning this season was over the moon so there’s sure to be a steady stream of carrots and beets for the foreseeable future so I hope ya’ll are ready for roots!

As some of you may know, we had a hard time with our storage onion crop last year and so this year we really beefed it up and planted neatly 250 bed feet – we’re working on getting them out of the field now and getting them cured (dried and closed up) despite the humidity we are facing…fingers crossed we don’t lose many to rot!

This isn’t even half of the crop!!

This time of year our greens start to slow down a little and pests can become problematic (especially this season given the mild winter) So, if you are seeing more irregulariteis and holes in your greens – it’s because we are eking out what the field has for us!

Tomatoes will be coming in small quantities right now – but in a few weeks you’ll likely have more than you can eat. Start preparing to process and preserve if it’s something you’re hoping to try out this season to keep you fed this winter!

Thank you all for being here this week and always.

Be careful and stay cool out there!

❤ AL

217-840-0683 (Leslie)

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