Farm News, June 26, 2017

Dear CSA members and farm friends, 

Welcome to week 12 of our Spring and Summer CSA season. Tons of tomatoes are coming in, and we are excited to share them with you this week! 

If you have been in the farmstand lately, you have probably noticed that we are bursting at the seams with produce. Between the storage onions and potatoes and our daily tomato harvest, we are running out of space. I love the abundance that early summer at Native Son brings and sincerely hope that you are enjoying the fruits and vegetables of our labor. 

Aside from the vegetable space issue, you may have also noticed that we have frequently been running out of space in the parking lot. Our expanded farm stand hours have been fun and taxing, and I expect they will run through the end of July. For all of our CSA members who are unaccustomed to the commotion, we appreciate your patience and want to remind you that your satisfaction with the weekly shares is our highest priority. 

As I mentioned last week, it has been a pleasure to see so many new faces coming into the farmstand over the last couple of weeks. The farm stand is a vibrant place to be right now, and we are happy to be serving the community healthy food. 

With all of the new faces have come some new perspectives: most good, some not so. Over the course of the last couple of days I have been told that I'm "fooling the community and not growin’ what I'm selling because organic is impossible to do in Mississippi,” and that "the new supermarket Aldi that's coming to Tupelo will want to buy everything I'm growing for their stores because they only sell organic produce." Two completely different sentiments but both fall in line with the premise that many novel ideas are initially dismissed as heresy, before being embraced by the periphery and ultimately co-opted by corporate interests. While these were just a few fleeting comments in a sea of wonderful conversations and interactions, the recent rainy days and our wonderful field crew have given me the opportunity to think deeply about our farms mission and purpose over the last couple of weeks, and I would like to articulate some of my sentiments:
1) First and foremost we are committed to using organic farming practices. While we lose crops to pests and disease, and the broad market isn't demanding it, I find organic farming complex and interesting and believe an organic farm in Tupelo fits the vision of the world I want to live in and want  my children to experience. 

2) For the farm to remain family- and farm-worker friendly. We employ great people and  I want to provide a positive, healthy working environment. I want the farm to be a good place for kids to visit and establish healthy eating habits.

3) I want to be a CSA farm. We only exist because of our great CSA members, and I enjoy feeding the families that put their faith in the farm. 

4) I believe that we are just scratching the surface of what is possible with Native Son, and the more people that share in the vision the more we will accomplish. 

With unlimited resources I would love to acquire a much larger piece of property and offer year round vegetables, a large u-pick acreage, environmental education, worker housing, a cafe and an organic farmer training program. Far fetched? Yes but it doesn't hurt to dream and with roto tiller in hand 8 years ago a 200 member CSA seemed an impossible dream. 

I know that many of our newsletter readers share in our vision of the farm, and I hope that you think we are moving in the right direction. What do you think is possible? What could we be doing better? What is your far-fetched dream for the farm?

Stepping back to the plane of reality, one of the suggestions we have heard over the years is to make CSA sign up easier, and we are working on making streamlined online sign up a possibility this week. Look for our new Fall CSA online sign up platform to be rolled out in the next week or two. As always, thanks for listening and sharing in the dream with us.

See you in the farm stand, 
Will Reed 

What’s My Share?

  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • 1 purple Cherokee tomato
  • 6 heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 Italian roasting peppers
  • celery
  • potatoes