Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter's work and winter's rest

February is nearly here, which means the farm season begins. We start our seed sowing in just a few weeks, and hardly feel like we've been away from the fields.

This winter we've worked on our greenhouse, seed ordering and planning. And then there's the chores that never go away: collecting compost, harvesting vegetables, cleaning tools and caring for the chickens. And we must be caring well, because take a look at that egg in the picture... wish I knew which one of our ladies was laying that one.

But don't let me steer you wrong, we've also had time to rest a bit, taking a short trip to Maine, relaxing by evening fires, thinking, and writing our thoughts... rejuvenating for the next season, and we can't wait.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Boomers and stickers

In planning a course on food justice and farming, I listened to Wendell Berry's 2012 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, "It All Turns on Affection." I adore anything Berry writes, and this talk was no different.

One point in particular stood out to me. He reminds us of the "boomers" and "stickers," a notion his great teacher, Wallace Stegner, imparted on him:

"Boomers, he [Stegner] said, are 'those who pillage and run,' who want 'to make a killing and end up on Easy Street,' whereas stickers are 'those who settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in.' “Boomer” names a kind of person and a kind of ambition that is the major theme, so far, of the history of the European races in our country. “Sticker” names a kind of person and also a desire that is, so far, a minor theme of that history, but a theme persistent enough to remain significant and to offer, still, a significant hope."

And so, there's hope. And maybe there's even a little bit of "sticker" in all of us that has just gotten beaten down in this culture we've created. Indeed, there is little room to be a sticker if we owe thousands of dollars in interest to banks and other entities for the privilege of getting a college education, must purchase health insurance for ourselves and our family (or, more realistically, take a cut in salary so our employer can offer us coverage), have the "American Dream" of a home mortgage awaiting us, live in a place that has devalued community and extended kinship, grapple with rising costs of basic necessities, and are bombarded with messages that we need more, bigger, better...

Let's let our inner sticker shine. Let us be able to love the life we have and the place we have made it in. Let it start with us, because, as Berry also notes, we as individuals are implicated:

"That we live now in an economy that is not sustainable is not the fault only of a few mongers of power and heavy equipment. We all are implicated. We all, in the course of our daily economic life, consent to it, whether or not we approve of it. This is because of the increasing abstraction and unconsciousness of our connection to our economic sources in the land, the land-communities, and the land-use economies."

Food for thought.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 CSA season + other happenings

Join Longhaul Farm's 2013 CSA season!
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? In CSA, a farm offers "shares" or memberships to the public. In return for your investment you receive a weekly box of freshly harvested produce throughout the growing season, typically from June to September/October.

We offer two membership options:

(1) Household share membership: Whatever is seasonal and harvestable, we’ll share with you. The weekly box should feed 2-3 vegetarian adults or a family of 3-4 with mixed diets and include a variety of 5-15 items, season and weather-permitting. Household share price: $700.
-->  Split shares are also available. For a small farm with limited hands, a ‘split share’ will make harvesting more manageable.  You may split your share with a friend or neighbor. Or, if you’d like to split but don’t have anyone in mind yet to share with, we can do the pairing up for you. People often split shares in two ways: (1) every-other-week pick-ups; or (2) dividing weekly pick-ups with each other. Contact us for more information. Split share price: $350.

(2) Community share membership: Receive a weekly household share of vegetables (see [1] above), plus anonymously subsidize shares for families who don’t have the means to become members themselves. Community share price: $1,400.

What kinds of vegetables will CSA members receive? You will receive a variety of seasonal vegetables, from arugula to zucchini and everything in between. Please click here to see a tentative list.

When and where are pick-ups? Pick-ups are on the farm on either Tuesday or Friday afternoons, your choice.

Will Longhaul Farm’s CSA be different from other CSAs? We follow a similar model of CSA as most local, organic farms. The main difference between our CSA and others is that our CSA will be small-scale, offering up to 25 memberships per season. That means we can provide more individual attention to you as members and collaborate on ideas for improving the current CSA model. We hope our smallness leads to more flexibility and a more satisfying season for both us and our members.

How you can become a member: Space is limited. Please contact us at or (845) 424-6277 to become a member. We offer two payment options: (1) full-pay: pay your membership fee by January 31, 2013 – this option gives us the most freedom as growers because we can rely on early resources throughout the season; or (2) pay in 2 installments: pay half of your membership by January 31, 2013 and the other half by June 1, 2013. If you would like to request additional payment options, just contact us and we will work something out.

Other ways you can participate in Longhaul Farm’s season:

(1) If there is surplus produce, we hope to also offer it for sale on a week-by-week basis through our email list. To learn more about these weekly offers and other opportunities, please join our email mailing list at

(2) One Saturday a month we will host a work-day. All CSA and other community members and their families are invited to join us on the farm for a few farm tasks followed by a communal meal together. We want to offer you the opportunity to really see how your food is produced and the work that goes into it. These work-days are optional, but we hope you can join us and help lend a hand!

(3) We will hold classes on food preserving, food preparation, food waste, gardening skills and other educational issues. There will be a fee for participation in the classes. We are looking forward to these small group gatherings where we can share ideas and learn a skill or two together. We will send out more information regarding 2013 classes in the coming months.

Supporting our neighbors with local, nutritious food and a spirit of community is an important part of Longhaul Farm’s mission that we look forward to fulfilling throughout the year. If you have any questions or would like to join, please be in touch: call us at (845)424-6277, email us at, or just do it the old fashioned way and drop by at 69 South Mountain Pass.