First up, a reminder that fish is now happening and on the web site for orders. Salmon, tuna, scallops, tilapia, catfish, and shrimp. A great line up and a good foundation for building a wonderful addition to the party. Jump on the web site and try some out.
Pork. We just processed 5 of our pasture-raised pigs from our South Valley farm and all the pork is now available on the web site. Stock up your freezers because the pork never lasts long. We are trying to raise more pigs, but even doing 120 a year does not fill our demand. So fill those freezers while it is here.
Last bit of housekeeping news this week—delivery days. Last year we implemented multiple delivery days for all of our members in the greater ABQ area and Santa Fe. So keep this in mind if you miss your cut-off time (like I do). You can manage your account to have deliveries the same day every week or you can change days very easily to best fit your needs. We have a lot of new members right now so I wanted to definitely point this out to remind everyone.
This week I want to talk about a new direction that we are expanding into in the southern part of the state. Somehow and someway, we have built a really strong and loyal member base in the Las Cruces and El Paso area. This, in all honesty, has surprised me because we have not had any people in those areas. No boots on the ground.
During a lunch over the holidays we were talking and asked the question, how can we put more energy into those areas who support the farm? Then literally 3 hours later, Cameron Banks one of our seasoned drivers asked me about moving him into an expanded sales role. Next thing you know he is packing a delivery truck not with orders but with his house (and dog) and moving to the LC.
So I am happy to announce for our southern members that help and energy is on the way. We are hoping to continue to build on the support that you have already given us to add more pick-up locations and eventually home delivery.
Folks, I cannot stress enough just how important the collaborative CSA model is for the future of the local food scene. Farms and suppliers coming together to market under one roof or delivery van is the future of the local food scene. As Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live used to say, “Hear me now and believe me later.” But the collaborative CSA is it.
The USDA is already getting ready to dump the food hub model. They do not work. They are sexy on paper but in reality they are not effective. Why?
The reason they do not work is because they are nothing new. A Food Hub is a cute way of saying “middleman”. They are yet another organization that get in between you and the person who grows/bakes/milks your food. And with every middleman who touches your food, you as the customer lose freshness and value. And both of those we should not stand for in our food system. Our food system should be as direct as possible from grower to you. Anything else we have to call it what it is, a compromise.
The good thing is that we are seeing this movement happen all over the country right now. Farmers, ranchers, and ladies who love tamales are coming together as one. And as one these suppliers are finding solidarity, consistency in sales, and increasing sales year over year.
Our partnership grew by 13% last year. With that, more trees are being planted at Excelsior Orchards, more dairy cows are needed to fill your cereal bowl, more bread is in the oven, and we are filling more greenhouses for year-round vegetable production. All of our partners are growing. And these partnerships will be what we continue to cultivate in 2015 and beyond. With all of your support, a special thing is emerging here in New Mexico.
So cheers to Cameron and all of our members down south and cheers to you for making this farm such a fun and progressive place. We could not do it without you.
Happy munching, amigos.