You're Part of a Miracle

After a tough climb up a hill, it's always fun to turn back and let out a low whistle as we see how exceedingly far we have come. That's my position today as I see our one-year anniversary as a CSA approaching. Wow. It was only this past January that I sat down with Susie Gibbs and picked her overflowing brain at a Barnes and Noble in Fort Worth about how she made this innovative business model work with her sheep and goats.

Susie showed me how to take my love for fiber, my animals, and my spinning friends, and roll them all together with some guerrilla marketing to create an incredible dynamic fiber community. Adding all these components together produced something that completely surpassed the sum of its parts. Our fiber CSA has engaged folks from one end of the country to the other, in addition to a bunch of wonderful folks right here in our backyard. I've made some deep, deep friendships. It's only partly about the fiber.

In this past year we've fired up a (nearly) daily blog, a (sort of) monthly newsletter, an occasional podcast with an exponentially growing audience, and a lively Ravelry group. We've enjoyed monthly spin-ins, sheep shearing, spinning and knitting classes, picnics, an Easter Egg Hunt, a story-telling and music day, and some impromptu herd health endeavors.

Oh, and the fiber. We just recently distributed healthy shares of alpaca, wool, and blends to our charter group of shareholders. We're still tweaking our way of harvesting and distributing our fiber so that this part of our CSA experience is as good as it can be, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

And now, from this lofty perch, we look ahead to 2010. Shares have already sold like hotcakes, and we have just a handful left so that we'll end up with nicely sized harvests at the end of next year. In the coming year we'll again shear the sheep, spin together regularly, enjoy picnics and find other excuses to put our hands on the critters. I'm working on some new ideas for the coming year as well. Hint: watch for our Chicken Sponsors program, coming soon.

It's too early for a chorus of Auld Lang Syne, but I think it's important to take soundings from time to time. I'm grateful to my friend Susie for sharing her ideas with me, and I'm thankful for the fantastic community of farm friends who have banded together to make this CSA work. The fiber is important, but the people are the heart and soul.

And speaking of heart, let's pull some more Yarn Storming stash together when we meet on December 19 to spin. If you don't have stash to contribute, I have an email address where we can send cash donations for the Yarn Storming postage fund. We are wealthy, and we can afford to share. And if you don't have any cash to contribute, see me, and we'll pour some of these blessings into your lap.

Comments

  1. I feel so, so lucky to be a part of this!! And I can't wait to help spearhead the Chicken Sponsors Project . . .

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