Are You Cool Enough for CSA?
You remember my mentor, Susie Gibbs from Martha's Vineyard? Well, she's hit the Big Time For Real. As if she hadn't already. Today her farm and her Cormo sheep, Martha are featured in Vanity Fair. I'm telling you, this is an idea whose time has come. I love the idea that people who read Vanity Fair might even have inner Bo Peeps who need some kind of expression. But if they want to make it tres chic to be somehow connected to the fibers they use in their hobbies and in their garments, so be it. We need everybody rolling up their sleeves.
The fact is, unless we all shoulder the commitment together to keep farmers in business, we may lose them in the foreseeable future. Today I talked to my friend Ed who works at the feed store. His wife raises Boer goats - even shows them at the state fair. But in doing his taxes, he found that he spent $10K on feed and $4k on fencing, for starters. He sold $2500 worth of goats in all of 2008. I'm no accountant, but that looks bad to me. This is NOT the definition of "sustainable." Now, imagine that hundreds of food and fiber farmers are in the same position... ruh roh.
How do we turn it around? We farmers have to work smarter, maybe smaller, and give like-minded people the opportunity to partner with us. We build friendships and community where none existed before. We slow down and figure out what's important. The old ways no longer get the job done. We use our imaginations.
And we smile when we look up and find that a CSA share is a must have spring accessory for the well-heeled green proponent.