Dear CSA members and farm friends,
Welcome to Week 18 of our Spring and Summer CSA season. In the share this week we hope to have:
- Campari or mini Roma tomatoes
- slicing tomatoes
- sunflower bouquets
- butternut squash
- Shishito peppers
- bell peppers
After an extended spell of dry weather, we are hopeful for some rain and are excited to start seeding our first carrots, rutabagas and beets in the field.
After a 10-day trip visiting Amanda's family in Vermont I am happy to be back on the farm but also sadly reminded of the many ways that we are failing to thrive as a state. Mississippi is rich in resources—fertile soil, abundant rainfall, a diverse population of many great people—yet we are overwhelmingly overweight, uneducated and intolerant. We are a land of contradictions and complexity, and our contradictions lead to great art and literature but the creek next to our farm is filled with tires, trash and polluted water. To an outsider I would defend Mississippi without question. It is my homeland and I am thankful to be from here, but is trying to change things a hopeless cause?
Our farm has experienced success beyond my wildest dreams. Seeing our CSA families fill up bags of fresh produce each week is extremely rewarding. I love farming and serving this community, but in the scheme of things are we really making a difference?
While pondering these thoughts and writing this email, I received a fortuitous phone call from a dietician in Smithville who has worked for the last thirty years to help fight against obesity, diabetes and hypertension through teaching folks about healthy eating choices. Despite the fact that the sickness of our populace continues to grow and trend upwards she continues her work to affect change. She said many patients say they would rather die than change their dietary habits and in many cases they do, yet she continues.
While I have always considered myself a believer in grass roots change, I believe that we need major policy changes to address the problems that we are facing. Currently the deck is stacked. Industrial agriculture and processed foods are subsidized—cheap foods that are leading to astronomical health care costs and a poor quality of life. The amount of obese children that we have in this state is criminal, yet the status quo continues.
This is an ongoing conversation and I want to know your thoughts. I have ideas on policy shifts that could take place, but maybe our current problems are inescapable. Maybe this is just the way it is? Let me know your perspective in the farmstand, by call or by email.
Thanks for listening,