Dear Friends and Community Supported Agriculture Members of Eatwell Farm,

Eatwell Farm produce boxes will be temporarily lighter than normal this week and for the next couple of weeks.. This is due to the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Med fly) outbreak in the City of Dixon. (Not the farm!)

According to a USDA spokeswoman at a Special Farmers meeting near Dixon last Saturday evening the problem probably resulted from a member of the public returning from Hawaii with mangoes infested with Med fly. Bringing fruit or vegetables in to California is forbidden just for the reason that someone could inadvertently bring in an exotic pest such as the Med fly.  The effect on Eatwell Farm which is 3 miles from the Med fly detection is dramatic and drastic. As a preventive act, the USDA has quarantined the area.  The quarantine area extend out 4.5 miles form the Dixon garden where the pest was found. The movement in or out of the detection area of and of the possible host plants for this pest is prohibited or severely restricted. The possible hosts include all tree fruit crops and the following vegetables; Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant.  Consequently, your box will not contain any of these items from this farm. We will be working closely with the USDA and the State and Local Officials to develop some protocol so that we can put fruit in your box from other farms not in the quarantine area. We are happy to hear from the USDA that there are organic treatments that can be applied to crops to allow them to be picked before the quarantine is ended. They need to be in place for 30 days before picking so we will not be picking any of the affected crops again this year but we will be fine for next year.

We  are all determined at the farm that this pest will not beat us. We will come out of this a better farm and with better produce boxes. We do need your help as we depend on you getting your box and eggs.
You can help us in the following ways....
1. Please keep subscribing, you money keeps the wheels oiled and rolling here on the farm.
2. Understand that we may not be able to offer you a complete box each week for the next few weeks while we work with the regulators on prevention and protection to make our systems Med fly proof.
3. We hope to convene a meeting of minds to help the farm survive this and other possible outbreaks in the future.
4. We also encourage your input on how to make to boxes more convenient and better in every way for you our customer as this is a great opportunity to take a hard look at everything we do well and not so well and make it all work better.
4. Those of you who lent money to Kyle to start the eggs on the farm were to be paid of this fall. This may need to be delayed as we will be paying other farmers to provide produce that we cannot include from our own fields. I will be writing to you all once we know more and have a better idea of the financial impact of all of this on the farm
5. We have been asked if you all can help in a letter writing campaign to ensure that the fruit and vegetable inspection at California borders is fully funded to reduce the possibility of this happening in the future. More details later.
6. We are looking to identify resources and creative solutions to the problem. Once we have further developed our plans, we may need help or volunteers with unexpected jobs.  We are grateful to feel connected to this great community of agriculture supporters in mutual benefit.  If you feel you have any resources that you could offer to help us please do contact us.

There are many families that depend on this farm for their livelihoods please stick with us and we will all get through this together. Being a member of a farm like ours tells us that you care and take responsibility for where your food comes from.

I will keep you updated by making postings to the blog as and when we know more information. We intend to keep you all fully informed.
Our thanks.. Nigel and the farm crew.

Below...California's Secretary of Agriculture A. G. Kawamura addressing the farmers meeting in Dixon last Saturday evening.