Crop List: Cosmic Mix, Spicy Mix, Arugula, Spinach, Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Basil, Summer Squash, Cucumbers (Slicer or Picklers), Maybe Sunflowers, Beans and/or Radishes
I have toyed over the years with writing this newsletter. I try to keep it positive here...teetering on romantic, but maybe you could hear the exhaustion in my voice last week. So I am going for it. Farming is hard. Really freaking hard. 4 o'clock in the morning trying to save a cow's life hard. Not enough time in the day to play with my kids hard. What are vacations? Type of hard. No one has time to cook dinner with all these amazing veggies hard.
Jed works 95 hours a week. Seriously. I just did the math. Not for a week or two, here and there. But sustained for about 6 months. Then he works about half of that in the winter. Outside. I manage to work enough for it to be a full time job, with 3 kids and no childcare...so the kids choose to stay home or join in now that they are older. When they were young they just came with us and it was great...most of the time.
We don't do it for the money. The return on farming is a joke. We are lucky enough to live in Teton Valley but can not afford to build a very modest family home at the farm, so we drive back and forth. Our money is not spent on traveling. The last time we were all away from the farm together on "vacation" was for 3 nights in 2019. We have managed to go camping in the summer once for 2 nights and there was that family wedding in August of 2009 when we left for 4 nights. I'm serious, that's it for summer vacations in 20 years. We went on a 2 week family visit in 2013 in February, just so the kids could go to their grandparent's houses. Leaving is darn near impossible with the animals and plants to take care of. If we leave and something gets missed, someone or something can die, which can instantly wipe out years or months of work. Jed and I take turns taking vacations in the winter so we can get some time off, that way one of us can stay to take care of the farm. I think our kids would like us all to be together.
For all the love, blood, sweat and literal tears that we put into growing food we still need to make a living. We go to the markets and people complain about the cost of our food. How much do you think we should make an hour? I figure we make about $12.82/hour. Would you work at a job for 25 years if that was your prospect? There are reasons young people are not getting into farming. The ability to make a living is one of them.
The weeds. OMG the damn weeds. We need to double our payroll just to take care of them, and that is unaffordable.
I am not telling you all this so you send me sweet emails letting me know how much you appreciate what we do. So many of you have already taken the time to do that. We feel the love and gratitude you share, and yes it keeps us going. We want our community to know how hard it is, just like we want to you know your hardships, because we are community. We want folks to stop rolling their eyes about the cost of food after they just stood in line at the market talking about the next vacation they are taking or where they just returned from. We know our food costs more. It is not subsidized. We aren't using chemicals to save labor on weeding. We want to pay our employees enough that they can live here. The farming system in this country needs to burn down and be rebuilt. We know this is not your fault. In fact we know you are part of the solution, because you are here. Supporting us. Reading this. Listening. Thank you.
So why am I writing this totally depressing newsletter? We just need you to know. We need you to know how hard it is. How messed up it is. How much it needs to change. We need you to set your friends straight when they say food is expensive. Yes, it is. That's what it costs, and it should cost a heck of a lot more, but we don't want our food to be completely inaccessible so we try to find a balanced point. But most folks spend more on their phones per year they they do supporting local farmers. We know lots of you are struggling to make ends meet and to keep your housing. Thanks for making us part of your tight budget. We also know so many folks are in much harder situations then us. But like I said, we just need people to know the reality of what we are doing. We just want you to know.
We work more then most, for way less money then most, with more passion and commitment then most. We are dedicated and will keep going and there is still nothing else we would rather do. Thank you for listening and supporting us.
Lunch this Week: Summer Saute' and Farm Curry (both on the summer Squash page)
Recipe Ideas: Idaho Salsa (cucumber page), Dale's Basil Vinaigrette,
The coolers at your site are stocked with Lifeline cheese and a selection of the beef and pork listed below. If you know you want something, please email me and I will make sure it is in the cooler, reserved for you. I don't send every cut every week, they simply won't all fit!
Lifeline Beef Available: Tenderloin, Ribeye, New York, Sirloin Steak, Eye of the Round, Brisket, Ground Beef, Patties, Sirloin Tip Roast, Tongue, Marrow Bones, Heart, Stew, and Kabobs
Pork Available: Fat
WASH YOUR VEGGIES!!
Bring Bags to pick-ups!
If you can't make it to pick up your veggies, send a friend!
Missed shares are forfeited for the week.
Members get 20% off at the Farmer's Markets!
The People's Market: Wednesdays 4-7
The Driggs Market: Fridays 9-1
Jackson Hole Farmer's Market: Saturdays 8-1
Questions? Comments? Recipes to share? firstname.lastname@example.org