A Note from Farmer Al: June 28, 2019
Dear CSA Members,
To those of you who have stayed true to us during what can only be described as a stressful, frustrating, and discouraging time, thank you. You are what the definition of CSA means; COMMUNITY supported agriculture.
We as farmers have a lot invested in our reputation. It is our daily goal to produce the best of what we grow and our reward is the positive feedback we get from our customers. The last two weeks have been awful.
Brown Rot is the worst. Truly. We walk in the orchard, excited about the crop we see. We pick it, pack it, thrilled with the quality we’re seeing, then SMACK! The sucker punch of brown rot reports from customers hits us squarely in the nose. I use the word “sucker” because we didn’t see it coming. What leaves our farm in our boxes, with our name and reputation displayed proudly, appears perfect. We are blindsided by brown rot. It’s a wicked plight of humid weather. One, no one can see.
We have worked for over 40 years to build a reputation of superior fruit. Brown rot can wipe out our efforts in a single week. It’s discouraging, heartbreaking and financially devastating.
To those of you who have stayed with us through this, thank you. Thank you for understanding why CSAs began and why you are so important to us. By definition, a CSA member has made a commitment to a farm and a community, no matter what happens. Good, bad or ugly, a CSA member understands they are “in it” with us. Thank you for sticking with us and understanding your critical role in our community.
Our CSA is not a “fruit club”. It’s a channel for us to sell the fruit we put on our OWN table. The fruit that isn’t cosmetically perfect and is typically riper than what we can sell wholesale. There’s a LOT of this fruit. Without a “home” for it, it would be dumped. It’s financial value lost. This fruit is what we think is our best tasting fruit. By you committing to us to buy this fruit, by being a CSA member, you have invested in our success as a business.
Again, to those of you who have stayed with us, thank you. Thank you for trusting us and believing us when we tell you we would never jeopardize our reputation, or your trust in us, by intentionally putting anything we aren’t proud of in your boxes.
Remember, if you see a brown spot, cut it out immediately and put the fruit in your refrigerator. By doing this, it retards the spread of the brown rot and the remaining fruit is safe to eat.
Thank you for being part of our CSA.
Sarah, Farmer Al & Becky