As of October 2012, we will no longer be offering CSA shares. All of our produce will be available at our Tuesday Market stand, at the Northampton Winter Farmers Market, or through wholesale. Here is the letter we wrote to shareholders, explaining our decision to end the CSA.
Town Farm has been in operation for five years now, and at least several of you have been around since that very first year when we only offered twenty shares. All of you – new and old shareholders alike – have played a huge role in getting this farm running. You’ve witnessed the farm grow, and many of you have also played an integral role in making Tuesday Market one of the most thriving farmers markets in the area. For all of this, we want to offer an enormous thanks.
2012 has been a productive season for the farm, and a taxing one for us personally. We could blame it all on our kids (and we do!), but we’ve also come to realize that we have at least one-too-many pots on the stove. We can’t help but try to do an excellent job at everything we do, but running both the farm (which includes our market stand as well as the CSA) and Tuesday Market on a weekly basis – without running ourselves ragged – is proving impossible.
For this reason, we’ve decided to close our CSA at the end of this season. This means we won’t be offering any shares in 2013, which will allow us to orient our vegetable production almost entirely toward our market stand. It will also allow us to focus more of our attention on building the community around Tuesday Market (as well as continuing our work with food accessibility and the market). Decreasing the scale of our vegetable production will allow us to leave more land fallow, and to cover crop more acres every year, which ties directly into one of our biggest passions: improving soil fertility & soil health for the long run.
This wasn’t an easy decision. We LOVE seeing all of you at the farm every week, and we will miss the conversations, the play, the exuberance you’ve shown as you fill your bags. We’ll miss having all of your kids here most of all.
Of course, most of what we have to offer (minus the hens & goats) will still be available at the market, including our awesome weekly spread of fresh produce. Some of you will choose to join other CSAs, but we hope we can convince many of you to keep being regular customers at our market stand. We will keep you posted on incentives – including new Town Farm debit cards that will allow you to pre-buy produce for a discount – starting with the winter market in late-November.
It’s possible that we’ll choose to re-start our CSA in two or three years (by then our children will be self-reliant and the vegetables will be self-harvesting). If we do, you – our former shareholders – will be the first to know. For now we need to focus our attention on fewer enterprises, in order to do the best job we can with those.
We wish we could write to each of you personally, but we're scrambling just to get this letter out in a timely fashion. Feel free to write back with any questions. We’ll see you at pick up, which continues until November 2nd!
Thank you so much,
Oona & Ben