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Last Market of 2010

Posted 9/24/2010 8:02pm by Larry Brandenburg.
On May 15th the St. Matthew's Farmer's Market opened their fourth season and tomorrow this year's season will come to an end.  It has been a really good year for us.  The support for local, organic food is growing tremendously.  Our sales have been up almost 75% and we now have several restaurants that buy from us each week.  This year's CSA was the most incredible group of people we have ever had.  Thank you for helping to make a difference in our community.

If you are thinking about becoming a CSA partner for next year, please let us know as soon as possible.  Based on the enthusiastic interest that so many have shown, we may need to expand the CSA next year.  In order to do this we will have to start making plans now.  Next week we will begin the process of cleaning up the fields and planting cover crops.  It is the care and attention we give to the land in the fall and winter that enables us to grow successfully in the summer.  So, we need to know how much land we are going to need to prepare.

There are many reasons to become a CSA partner.  A concern for the environment is one of the primary reasons.  Knowing that our land is being nurtured and cared for in a responsible manner gives you a sense of peace that you can't find with food grown in conventional, industrial agriculture.  Health issues are also important.  When you eat one of our potatoes there are no chemical fertilizer residues in the soil to contaminate it.  No pesticides are used and our weeds are dealt with the old fashioned way.  A hoe.  Also, organic food is richer in the important vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.  

Money is also another consideration.  However, this should not be the main reason you want to join a CSA.  If you are interested in cheap food, then the values that we espouse as organic farmers are probably not congruent with this way of thinking.  If you were a CSA member this year, most of the weeks you received produce that had a retail value (based on what we sell for at the Market) that was double what you paid to join the CSA.  This was a good year and we share the bounty that we are blessed with.  There may be other years when this may not be true.  That is why you need to believe that supporting local, organic farmers is the real reason to join a CSA.

We are very proud that we are Certified Organic by the USDA. There are not many in this area that can make that claim.  We do this because it enables you to be sure of our growing practices.  We are inspected yearly and have a lot of paperwork to keep up with.  We think it is worth it because your trust is important to us.  I know that there are  lot of farmers who say they don't use any chemicals, and I hope they don't, but with us you can be guaranteed that we not only avoid chemicals, but also use production practices that improve the soil.

We are sad to see the growing season come to an end, but we are ready for a break.  The winter gives us time to read, plan and attend conferences that will help us become better farmers.  Each year we do get better.  That is one of the joys of farming.  

So, come see us tomorrow at the market for one last time.  We have many people that visit our website and sign up for the mailing list that we don't know.  Come meet us in person.  And, if you are interested in our CSA, let us know soon.  

Again, thank you for your interest in Harmony Fields Farm and keep working toward the goal of sustainable, local, organic food for all.

Larry D. Brandenburg 
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