West Haven Farmers Take a Well-deserved Break
January 24, 2017 -
Dear West Haven CSA members,
We’ve been operating a CSA since 1992, wow! It feels like a long time. It IS a long time! There’s a whole generation of West Haven CSA babies out there, some of them have grown up to work on the farm and move on to other things. The CSA model makes so much sense to us, it’s why we started farming in the first place.
2016 was a ridiculously challenging year, but the drought taught us something important: the farm is not as resilient as we want it to be. The soil is tired. We’ve always planted cover crops, but not enough to get the land through prolonged periods of no rain. The weed load is intense, and after 25 years of growing small-seeded vegetables there are some persistent problems that need to be addressed in order to make the farm more sustainable.
So, we are going to take a sabbatical from CSA this year. Our plan is to focus on growing a small number of crops, and growing tons and tons of cover crops. You’ll still find our produce at the Farmers’ Market and at local stores, but it won’t be a super broad selection—not broad enough to provide for a CSA. Our hope is that after a year of being pampered, the soil can go back to handling a wider variety of crops in a healthy way.
In the meantime, we’re planning something special for you, our loyal and amazing CSA members—a tide-you-over you-pick garden! We’ll plant flowers and probably some cherry tomatoes right near the front end of the farm, and will let you know when they’re ready. We’re planning that there will be no charge, it’ll be a “thank you” for being such great CSA members and sticking with us all these years. We’ll put out an occasional newsletter, too, just to keep you up to date with how things are doing.
Thanks again, you rock!
Love, Jen and John