Some Background & a Story about Limiting Beliefs:
When we moved to this community from Nova Scotia, I didn’t know a soul. I grew up in Brandon, moved away to go to University in Calgary in 2004 and then met Jon and we moved to Nova Scotia to go farming. We returned to join Mom’s veggie growing business in 2015 and moved onto the property of a family friend Sherman Myrah, just south of Walker’s Greenhouse, about 10 minutes East of Rivers.
I’ve always thought Rivers was the perfect little small town, and I have fond memories of camping here and being out in the lake in my Dad’s houseboat. As we’ve settled in this area and expanded our family with the addition of our daughter Myrah in May 2017, we’ve gotten to know a few more people, fellow RELC daycare folks, and our neighbors, which I really enjoy.
We operate our business here and we live here and our daughter will go to school here. Community is important to us, and we are proud to be part of Westman, and more specifically, Rivers community.
It was my eventual goal to offer a veggie pickup location in Rivers, but I expected that we were still 3-5 years out on knowing enough people to reach that goal. It was a limiting belief that prevented me from even trying. But in the meantime, my friend Chris asked about farm pickups this year, and I thought long & hard about it before saying No — our produce is grown near Rivers and I’ve often felt that it’s a shame that there is no way for people in Rivers to access it without having to go into Brandon: Especially in these current times. We already have a couple members who live in Rivers but pickup in Brandon. So I told Chris that I would reach out to judge interest, and in the meantime she rallied a lot of you, and you rallied others, and so here we are, less than 48 hours later with a full list.
Sometimes your thinking is keeping you from trying. This story is proof that it’s important to expose and challenge any limiting beliefs that you may be holding onto!
Thank you: It’s safe to say that Rivers’ pickup is a GO!
Thanks to everyone who filled out the form and submitted their email address as interested!! I’ll hold a space for everyone who has already filled it out, but we do need to cap it at 20 members so any new submissions (after Friday May 29) will be pending an availability of space.
I can tell from a couple of the questions that some of you were so excited about this potential opportunity that you (maybe, possibly!) skipped reading the Membership Guide – For the next steps please make sure you read that, it tells you how we operate, the expectations, the price, and all the other little details. This program is about building solid relationships with each other and we want the people who are the best fit. Things run so much more smoothly when we’re all on the same page, and I put a lot of effort into communication.
It sounds like Wednesdays will work for most of you, and we think 6:30 – 7:30 is a good window, as it allows commuters time to get home and we can fit it into our schedule. The 1-hour window is longer than necessary because we like to chat with members and get to know you, so that is built-in time for connection!
Unfortunately we can’t offer any alternative options at this time if that doesn’t work for you. Knowing your farmer in our world means that you’re picking up your bag from and talking to the actual people growing the food that you’re eating. We love people but unfortunately growing veggies monopolizes most of our time in the summer, which is why we set up these specific connection points for folks to get our produce, which are game changing for us in terms of efficiency and capacity.
For more about why we do CSA on our farm, please see my post “A CSA is a Promise”
Just a note that we usually do registrations in February. Right now is peak planting time for us, so I am not able to be on the computer much and if I’m ever a little slow to reply please be patient!
We planned to grow for 80 CSA members this year, but will be at 100 with the addition of Rivers pickup. So….. If there is a crop we run short on, we may need to substitute something else for you. You will always get your full value of veggies but it may have to differ slightly from the Brandon bags this year due to our last minute adaptation of opening up this option!
We offer a “Mini-Market at the Pickup” for our Brandon members and we expect to be able to offer that as well as optional pre-ordering of additional veggies to come with your bag for our Rivers members, though the deadlines will be the same (place order by Monday 9 am for Wednesday). Executing orders of fresh veggies is complicated and so we need the orders first thing in the week so we can build our harvest plans. Basically we hope to provide the same service as we do to Brandon members but we will judge as we go.
If you would like to sign up for the 24 week CSA you are welcome to, just note that the 10-week fall option will need to be picked up in Brandon on Tuesdays. Please select both options when you are registering and note that the total is $580 plus $20 deposit for the 24-week program (not whatever the separate 14 & 10 week programs add up to.) If there are enough people registered for this we may consider continuing with a Rivers fall pickup, but just know that as of this time we are not planning to.
More about CSA and Why we chose to expand to Rivers this year:
CSA stands for Community Shared/Supported Agriculture. It is basically a veggie subscription that means that you are signing up for a weekly share of the harvest from our farm, picked up from a central location in town.
It differs from a market, in that each week we have the same customers coming to get their farmer-selected bags and they have essentially “pre-paid” for their veggies and agreed to take them regularly. It is not affected by bad weather or national crises in the same way as a market is vulnerable to this.
Our markets in front of Lady of the Lake have been building, especially in recent years, and we are well supported there. However, COVID-19 has changed the world and many farmers markets across the country (including in this province) are reporting decreased attendance. We are staying positive that our market sales will be strong this year and that people will continue to visit us with the necessary public health protocols in place. However, we can manage and mitigate the risks that are inherent to marketing in this way by opening up more spaces in our CSA, and since we’ve always wanted to expand to Rivers anyway, why not now?
By doing this, we are shifting to more income from CSA and less reliance on the income from markets, which is much less risky for our farm as we move forward in the new normal. Our CSA members are our friends, neighbors, and cheerleaders, and most importantly they are our security net in an otherwise uncertain time.
Thank you for being a part of this new direction, and we look forward to navigating it safely with you!
- Please ensure that you have read the Membership Guide on our website.
- Once you have read the Membership Guide and confirmed that the pickup time will work for you (Wednesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 at a central location in Rivers TBA), please proceed to the Registration Link provided to you via email.
- After registering, you will need to submit your $20 deposit by June 15 to confirm your space. I call this a confirmation “handshake” and it helps me confirm that my list is correct and that people are following along. (Yes, this is a test!!)
I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have after reading the Membership Guide before registering and I will make sure to be more present on the computer in the next few days. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or we can set up a phone call date!
I’ll be in touch again soon once you all fill out the registration form and are officially registered. Thank you and I look forward to having you in our CSA this season!