Happy weekend! What an amazing selection of flavors coming your way next week. Strawberries, asparagus, living lettuce, and green beans just to name a handful.
In many of my newsletters, emails, texts, phone calls, and handshakes I sign off by saying “Thanks for your support.” I use it so much that I feel that people probably think that I use it instead of a blasé “Have a nice day.” But I do not. It is very intentional. Every morning I wake up I am acutely aware that the only reason that I have a job to go to today is because of the support of our community. So what is different about this week? Why write a newsletter about it now?
Arizona. For the last 16 months, we have been trying to bring more local and regional food to the folks in Arizona. Tucson and Phoenix specifically. We work with so many great Arizona producers that we wanted to bring their food and their stories to more doorsteps in a convenient way.
Over the last 15 months, we have seen 6 CSA/home delivery companies close their doors due to a lack of support from the communities. Six different visions. Six different models. All driven by passionate owners/employees who believed in building a better and more sustainable food landscape. All of the support for those companies dwindled to the point where it was no longer financially sustainable to continue.
But we were going to be different. We had 13 years of experience in NM with numerous trials and errors. We had the support of local growers. We were going to be different.
Well, we haven’t been able to garner the support that we need in Arizona to continue to make this a viable business. And right about now I have been having flashbacks to my high school Economics class with Mr. Jenkins. Econ 101: Opportunity Cost. In its most basic sense, an opportunity cost is what you give up by trying to achieve something else. Example, how much salary do you give up by going to school instead of working? So you would hope your post school salary makes up for the years (decades) of lost earnings.
For us Opportunity Cost looks more like mental bandwidth. We have only so many hours in the day. So what is the best use of our resources? Do you try and help more communities or do you deepen (strengthen) your roots in the places that you already call home? It is the fork in the road that many businesses find themselves. And it is the fork in the road that I am going to backtrack to and choose the other road.
By my nature, I want to feed as many people healthy food as I can. I love our food and our mission so there is this yearning to want to share it with as many people as possible. But in this case, I need to be realistic with myself and you.
I am a New Mexico kid. I was born and raised on the banks of the Rio Grande. My family is here and our roots have been in the soil of New Mexico since the ’60s. This state is quirky and a bit weird, but I love it. And I am committed to help build a beter food system for this state.
In the first newsletter of this year, I promised you that 2017 would be the year of Authenticity for the farm (and me). And so this move to close down our Arizona operations and focus our energies completely here at home feels right. It feels natural. And yes, it definitely feels authentic.
With all of that said, I need your help and continued support of this farm. We have launched a new web site with an easy ordering system. I think we have all of the kinks worked out of it finally. Now the foundation is in place and it is time to build. I do not want to see our local food businesses and farms close down due to lack of support. All of us (you and I) are responsible for the businesses that call our towns home. If we want economic diversity in our communities, we have to mindfully support them. No business is around by accident.
So to help kick-start this spring, we want to give you and your friends/family a little incentive to enjoy eating better. For the month of April we will be celebrating the number 15. For any new member that you bring to the table, we will credit your account $15. And to help you do that, we will give your amigos $15 off their first order when the sign up. Just tell them to use the coupon code “APRIL” and to put your full name in the “Referred by” section of the registration page.
Thanks for your support and awesomeness, Farmer Monte