Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Season Wrap Up

For those of you who have been members for four years and read the newsletters every week, you can probably predict how this “Season Wrap Up” will go: it has been a long season, but  it flew by; it was a hard season, but satisfying. I probably say the same thing every year, but this is the essence of farming- the days are long, but the weeks go by in the blink of an eye.  The work is endless, but so are the rewards.
All in all, the weather was very good to us. The spring was strangely hot, early summer was dry, there were a few brutally hot days in July, and the fall has been absolutely beautiful. In my short history of growing for five years in Philadelphia, this was one of the best growing years yet. There were a few weeks of extreme weather, but it always seemed to balance out before it got unbearable or troublesome.
This year was the largest CSA membership yet. We filled our goal of 80 large share equivalents (counting a small share as half a large), but when the season was so promising, we continued to accept memberships mid season. We finished the year with 140 families (large and small shares total).
This year was also the largest staff yet. Chris, Matt and Nancy were pillars of support, hard work, and fabulous company. There was no task too large and I was always surprised with how hard this team worked! With the three of you, there was more laughter on the farm this year than ever before. The three of you were a huge part of what kept my stress levels down this year and I thank you for bringing a refreshing balance of hard work and silliness to Henry Ave.
It was fantastic to work alongside Clare for the second year in a row, as she took the education programs with Saul students to a new level of integration and interdisciplinary approaches. We had our largest youth summer internship program as well, thanks to Clare.  Clare also wants to thank everyone for a great year and looks forward to seeing you at the farm next year!
This farm wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the support and involvement of teachers and their students at Saul. Thank you to all the teachers and students who work so hard alongside us, and make this farm the unique, trailblazing, educational farm that it is.
A major highlight for me this year was the Harvest on Henry  Festival. The amount of work that the fundraising committee put into the organization of this event made me feel so lucky to have such dedicated CSA members. The inspiration behind having a fundraiser event at the farm was to bring cohesiveness to the different communities that are a part of this farm. On the day of the event I saw Saul families, CSA members, neighbors and teachers enjoying the farm together.  This day was a huge step in the right direction of bringing community together.
Thank you all for your support this year. Not only your financial support in buying a share, which keeps this farm running, but in your emotional support too. Coming down into the field for U-pick, saying hello in the driveway, asking how things are going at the farm when we run into each other in the neighborhood, taking the time to meet Saul students who are an integral part of this farm, telling me the successes you have had getting your kids to eat string beans- these are the ways I feel supported by you and I thank you!

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