We have decided that Friday August 21 was our last public market of the season.
What a wild ride this year has been, but it’s been an amazing season and we have so much to be grateful for!
Our veggie trailer in front of Lady of the Lake was so well supported this season. We saw many returning faces, but also a large proportion of new faces at our physically-distant outdoor market. Sales increased so much that we have run out of vegetables, and so with increased Covid-19 restrictions starting next week in our local area we have made the decision to end our market season.
Our weekly Community Supported Agriculture Program (weekly veggie bag) continues with 101 families into December, and at this point we believe that we only have enough produce to supply those in our program. Our program is full but if you are interested please make sure your name is on our mailing list, as who knows what will happen for next year and there’s a possibility we may shift to take on more CSA members: Click here to join our mailing list!
We DO, however, have lots of cucumbers right now and so if you are looking for some, you can fill out our online order form here.
There is a possibility that we will have a pop up market later in the season if we have additional produce available, depending on the squash yield. We will be sure to keep you posted of our plans as they develop. Again, be sure your name is on our mailing list in case we need to email you!
We apologize that we didn’t give notice about this, but we didn’t want to make our final market of the year any busier than it was given the situation in town right now. Those who attended market yesterday were informed and I’d like to respond to a few Frequently Asked Questions from yesterday:
Can I put in an order for pickup Fridays?
No. Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity or the produce to supply our entire customer base at this time. We are only able to supply orders to our existing CSA members who committed to our farm this season. We have sold through all of the produce that we grew for the markets.
What is “CSA” and how do I join?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is a form of direct marketing, where the consumer and the farmer make a connection before the start of the growing season. We commit to growing for a set number of people in this program each year and then provide weekly farmer-selected bags of seasonally ripe produce to our members throughout the growing season, for 14-, 10- or 24-weeks.
All of the information about our program can be found here on our website: Veggie Lovers Club.
Our program is full but if you are interested please make sure your name is on our mailing list as who knows what will happen for next year and there’s a possibility we may shift our plans to take on more CSA members: Click here to join our mailing list!
CSA has changed our farm into an enterprise that can support our whole family. It has deepened our relationships with our best customers, increased our capacity, and it’s the perfect fit for marketing our labour of love. It is a promise that we take very seriously and work hard to fulfill each season. Stopping markets to slow the outflow of produce is an important decision that we had to make so we could keep our promise to our members this season.
I guess you need to get bigger!
Absolutely not! We believe the magic in what we do lies in our small scale: You are buying vegetables from the people who grow them. It is important to us to build strong supportive relationships with the people we grow food for, which is why we try to learn your name at the markets and why we love our CSA members! It has never been in our plans to grow any bigger than we are, in fact we are actively trying to decrease our production as Mom retires more each year.
The solution we want to see is more small scale farms like ours in our area. We encourage you to seek out other small producers and support them as you can. We need more colleagues in this community, not bigger farms!
For additional reading on this topic: Please see this post or “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss!
Do you get to rest now?
Haha, no, we are now entering the most intense part of our season, Harvest time! Markets are a HUGE energy output for us each week and harvest time will go a bit easier without them, but the pace of the produce supply ripening right now means we will still be supplying large amounts of produce every week to our existing CSA members as well as bringing in the fall storage crops. Markets have been so busy this year that they pushed past being fun and so we are all glad to be done with “brain melt day” as we fondly refer to it.
I suppose so, but I think this observation tends to miss the forest for the trees. Yes, it is wonderful that we were well supported all season and that more and more customers visited us every week. We reached our annual market sales goal in 2/3 of the markets that we planned to do and now we can stop. However, we plan our season to have a steady flow and we have been teetering around burnout for the past month due to the extra heavy load of intensely busy markets. It’s harder to connect with folks when there is a heavy flow of customers: I haven’t enjoyed the markets as much this year because of it. We do this out of love for what we do and love for our community, not because we want to increase our business size. I heard from many of our existing customers that the long lineups prevented them from attending, and the large volumes were pushing us to a pace that is not sustainable. We are tired and now facing the heaviest part of our season, and so energy is precious and in short supply.
So though we are of course SUPER grateful for the support, we prefer to operate slow and steady and following our plans rather than a race to the finish. Veggie farming is a marathon, not a sprint, and the amount of veggies our team can produce is finite! We’ve never sold out so early in the season before.
Also, just wanted to add a big shoutout to YOU, reading this right now. The ability for me to share our story and the day-to-day life we have to a supportive audience is my favourite part of my job as a veggie grower! To those of you who follow along on our social media as well, those connections are so important to us and we treasure the relationships we have in real life, and extended online especially in this time of separation. Thank you for giving me a platform to share what we do, by reading my posts and content.
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When we sat down as a farm team in May and discussed our strategy for this season and decided that we would just try to be adaptable and go with whatever was flowing. So, as we knew that we were running low on produce (we were 1 – 2 weeks away from stopping anyway), with the increased restrictions taking effect next week it is good timing to stop public markets. Our commitment to our weekly CSA members, and the harvest work load we are facing in coming weeks means we’re all being very careful to stay safe and well. Taking public markets out of the equation right now just makes sense, and we are super grateful that we were so well supported that this is an easy decision for us.
Thank you to everyone who attended our markets this year, we truly treasure your support of this labour of love, and couldn’t do it without you! We wish you all the best and will keep you posted about our plans as they evolve and adapt.
Keep on dancing through the storms, folks!
Sending all my love to you and your family,