How does one define their life? Is it our job, our passions, our family or our friends? Do those aspects of our lives graciously collide? When I was a young girl I dreamed my parents would sell our house in the city and buy a farm. We would have chickens, cows, horses, strawberries, peaches and a swimming hole. That little girl grew into the young woman who swore she would never leave her home, her beautiful San Francisco. Hah! so many years later here I am, living the little girl's dream. The dramatic shift in my life becomes brilliantly obvious on mornings like today; went out to feed our animals to find Maybelle's first calf was born sometime during the night. I can not share on paper the excitement and joy, or the tailspin it sends my day. Nevertheless, I sit here this morning realizing that I have to focus on recipes and really can't get past the shock of finding this precious new baby or the fact that all of this is my life. I can't help but wonder what is the purpose of this crazy life I live, and you know I think I have figured it out.
I love learning about the seasons and the cycles of food, learning about farming, learning about the soil, helping a cow give birth to a calf or discovering that one is here, learning about chickens, eggs and meat birds. I absolutely love bringing people to the farm; whether it is for one of our CSA events, or hosting a group of Food Innovators from Switzerland, or best of all whenthe kids come up for Bay LeafSummer Cooking Camp. Then I realize my world is so different from most people and I remember the average person has no idea where their food comes from, or the impact their spending choices make, how their choices affect their health, or the strength of their local economy. I know that almost no one is taught to cook. I know that far too many people in our communities do not have access to good, local food, and that quite often the cost is too much for them. So at the end of all of this thinking, loving and learning, I realize thatdefining my life is a little complicated, but one thing is for sure, I want to play an important part in making an impactful change.
The clear and obvious avenue towards change is by growing our Eatwell Community. CSA's are such a wonderful way to connect people to the food they eat, but how do I reach out to communities who are in need? We already have the Care Share program, a 4 share subscription for people suffering with a serious illness (if you know of someone in need, please contact me or Connie about the program), but the next step is to find ways to reach out to families who typically can not afford a CSA subscription. To do that I am hoping to sign the farm up for the SNAP program and offer a certain number of shares at a discounted rate, which can be paid for with SNAP. Our resources are limited, but once I get rolling I will reach out to see if anyone would like to sponsor a family by paying for 50% of the cost of a share. I will keep you all posted.
I would like to ask you for your feedback and suggestions. What can we do to improve the CSA? Are there things you would like us to offer? What do you think we can do to grow our CSA? Contrary to what many people think, the numbers for CSA's (not just Eatwell) is going down. How do you think we should reach out to the next generation? I always love hearing from you so please feel free to text or call me 530-554-3971 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions and ideas. Hope to see many of you over the next few weeks at one of the Strawberry Days! - Lorraine