“Do you know what you want in your FSA this week?” I asked Emily. Eggs, goat cheese, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, sage, and pumpkin piled into the cooler.
I have always been on that in-between-sized farm. I can grow a lot of produce, but I have run into a few problems with a small farm. When I take produce to the farmer’s market, most folks will pass up my small display to go to the big farm tables. You have to have a big, vibrant display to get folks to stop. I tried to do a CSA (community supported agriculture) one year and some weeks my customers got a lot, and sometimes barely a shoe box. We used to pick the best to go to the market and for the CSA’s and then ended up with the garden dredges ourselves, or worse, out to eat because we didn’t have enough!
This year I took produce to the market early on and ran into the very same problems so I stopped. Our kale is still four feet high out there and vibrant ruby beets line the row. We have eaten more of our own produce then we ever have before. We put up quite a bit as well. I still have Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and cabbage to harvest but the garden is sleepily falling into slumber.
I have found more joy in delivering large bundles of produce to my grown children then I ever did going to market. Knowing that they are eating delicious, organically grown produce, cheese, and eggs makes this mama’s heart happy. I always throw in some meat from my friends’ ranches. It is my way of giving gifts to my kids. I can’t always help them repair their cars or pay their bills, but I can feed them. It’s what I do best.
FSA stands for Family Supported Agriculture. Payment comes in the form of a hug, and that is just right for me.