338 Saturdays and still counting

It’s a challenge each Sunday to think of anything other than the Saturday just before it. As a community supported farm, we have spent each Saturday for as long as we can remember at the farmers market delivering CSA shares and selling farm products. This Sunday is no different really, but I am writing about it now as our main delivery season draws to a close. 19 of 20 weeks under our belt, we ease into our fall season, fewer members, cooler harvests, and a seasonal deep sigh as summer passes.
Marketing your own product is not necessarily easy. With a commitment to earn our living entirely from this farm, our whole family works diligently to make that a reality. Market day is no exception. Our whole posse has spent each of those market days with us. Nursing babes in car seats, active toddlers desperate for alternatives to market stall confinement, bored pre teens wondering why they are still spending 14 or 16 or 18 hours doing this, again?
It’s all part of the package, the sustainable farming, life learning, family that we are, this is what we do.
There are many times we have questioned this component of our personal and professional life: why not have part of the family stay back, do we all need to travel so far and return so fatigued?
The answer, as you have probably guessed, is yes, we all do. For all it’s challenges: from the 3 am wake up, to the late night packing job. From the country road to the state highway to the interstate we all pile in, sometimes sitting with 5 gallon buckets of sunflowers on our laps for there is no other spot in the van. You see, we thrive at market, all of us. The children see their friends, they have play dates and pizza lunches. We adults look into the grateful eyes of our loyal customers and are reaffirmed in our commitment to the hard work of raising food. We have our weekly reconnect with the other market vendors talking weather and soil with others that depend on this.
Market isn’t always a friendly place, it can be competitive and contentious. Presenting our sleep deprived, over caffeinated, selves to this environment each week can be an ordeal, but we’re still at it. Our 14th year is drawing to a close and I am filled to the brim with exhausted thankfulness and reflections: for the camaraderie that always prevails, for the coffees on cool mornings, for the recipe ideas and the jars of preserves we have made with the shared bounty, for the faces that I have seen each one of these saturdays, for the sheer pleasure of knowing we have delivered these foods directly into the hands of the folks that will be sustained by them, this is all part of the joy of the CSA farm and market day.

1 thought on “338 Saturdays and still counting

  1. Thank you Robin for this wonderful encouragement. As one who is just in the seedling stage of making a living solely off the farm, I need reminders of what is possible.

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