Reminder!! Spring Plant Sale is Saturday, 4/30, 9am-Noon. At the warehouse, 3435 Stanford Dr NE. Come check out the baby goats, buy some plants, and I will be hosting a free gardening class at 10am. Come with questions. This is probably the best event we do all year. Come join us and feel free to bring folks with you.
Welcome May, and as we are calling it around here, Members’ May. Why are we calling it that? Funny you should ask. We are dedicating the month of May to our members because we would not be here without you. We started with a beat up old Ford truck and a handful of seeds and now farm 40 acres and employ 30 people. Our harvests have gone from dozens to over a thousand. And we have been able to do all of that without any real marketing.
Our marketing has been from the beginning, and continues today, to be from you sharing your food and experiences with friends and family. Some call it “Grassroots,” some call it “Gorilla Marketing,” but I just call it awesome. This farm is here because our community wants it here. That is a pretty good feeling. So to say thank you, we are going to be doubling our Friend Referral Credit to $20 for the month of May and invite you to invite your amigos on board.
Next, I have to tell you about a great phone call that I had this week. I have heard and read about this amazing family farm in the San Diego area, Stehly Farms. So being as I love talking with farmers, I cold-called them to see what the heck they are up to and what’s ripe on the trees.
Noel, one of the brothers who runs the farm told me that they had just taken some avocados off the trees that morning. Next thing you know, we were talking about the popularity of juice bars and the avocados had jumped on a truck headed to NM. So we will have some super fresh avocados in the boxes for you this week.
I asked him about his blood oranges and said that we have some vampires in our CSA who would love to get their paws on some blood oranges. He told me if the coastal nights stay cool enough, then he would harvest some for us next week. If the nights are too warm, then the sugars will make them mold too quickly and they won’t work for us. So keep your fingers crossed that the coastal nights next Tuesday stay cool and we will get some blood oranges!
This new partnership highlighted a couple of things for me. First is that there are some really cool family farms doing tasty work all over the west coast. And they need support just like any grower. I feel and sense that the local food movement likes to beat up on California’s agricultural producers at times. But then at the same time people eat and need their avocados and citrus.
California is so fortunate to have the climate that it does. We are so fortunate to live 800 miles from a state that can produce such a wide diversity of crops. New Mexico and the entire high desert just cannot compete with this diversity. So instead of beating up on growers because of their location, I think we should find these family farmers who are growing items that we will never be able to grow and support them. I think this adds a level of “food security” to our offering.
As I mentioned earlier this year when the price of fresh food was going through the roof—our strength is in our partnerships. The more we support these growers, the better it is for us when times get tough in the food world. They keep costs down in a volatile food market. Shoot, it is better for us even when times are great and we have freshly harvested avocados and blood oranges to enjoy.
And I have to tell you that there is no other grocery store or CSA in the state of New Mexico who cultivates these types of relationships with regional growers. They are buying from warehouses, we bring it to you from the farm. This is something unique and something that I don’t want our members to lose sight of. Our goal is to to bring you closer to your food and closer to the dirt (soil please!). And every year we have been able to do a better job of that than the prior year. Our partnerships are pretty awesome and only getting better with every new season.