We have a couple new initiatives this year and the first one is OUR OWN ORGANIC VEGETABLES. Yes! Finally. And no, I cannot believe it either.
We will now be able to offer fresher vegetables, especially greens, which we’ll harvest multiple times a week. Fresher vegetables mean tastier vegetables. We’re growing all the common varieties, including greens, carrots, onions, cabbage, cukes, peppers, tomatoes, radish, etc. And these are all certified organic so they are safe to eat, rich in nutrients, and healthier for the soil.
Did I mention the fresh herbs? Like sage, dill, basil, cilantro, fennel, rosemary, and thyme.
And have I mentioned the fresh-cut flowers? The colors and smells of marigolds, snapdragons, zinnias, sunflowers, strawflowers, etc.?
We will still supplement with certified organic veggies from other area farms, such as Root 5 and Bear Roots, as needed. For example, while we’re growing fresh carrots for this summer we will not try to stockpile for next winter. All these veggies are for you, our farm store customers and CSA members. We're not trying to sell wholesale to retail stores.
We’ve probably all had a similar experience getting groceries when we anxiously look around for what must be a missing bag. There is no way the couple bags in my hands could have added up that much. Surely there’s another bag somewhere?
No, there’s not. Food prices have risen 7.4% in the last year according to one news story I recently heard. And I see some of that on the local food front too. Twenty cents here, fifty cents there. The increased cost of containers, ingredients and labor are big causes.
We ordered sugar and chocolate (for ice cream) the other week and the prices were noticeably more than when we'd previously ordered. I asked the rep why. She said “Many prices have increased due in part to rising freight and port fees, supply chain issues due to labor (and covid) – many items are out of stock or markets are tight pushing prices up. In short, the supply chain is a mess.” I asked her if there was any good news or an end in sight. She replied “None.”
Swell. But on the bright side, the weather is moderating, we are halfway through February and veggie growers are busy finishing their seeding charts and eagerly awaiting sowing seeds in another week or two. So take heart! The upcoming vegetable and farm season is about to begin!
As I wrote several weeks ago, Danone, who owns the Horizon Organic brand, dropped 89 organic farms across New England and NY state last summer. (24 of these are Vermont farms). They did it because it’s cheaper for them to get milk from mega-dairies in the Midwest. The bottom line: this decision was about increasing profits.
The announcement caused shockwaves throughout the dairy industry. Numerous political bodies and organizations have been working to not only find a solution to keep these farms in business, but also stabilize organic dairy in New England. Lots of ideas have been generated, letters of inquiry as well as complaint sent, petitions signed, and meetings attended.
To date, Danone has granted another 6 months to their original 12 month contracts. This gives the farmers and policy makers more time to craft possible solutions. This is a win but doesn’t change the underlying issues.
Stonyfield, though, is trying to change the playing field. They recently announced a new partnership whereby consumers pledge to purchase one-fourth of their dairy products from 35 brands that have committed to increase their purchases of organic family farmer’s milk. This increase in demand will help keep organic family farms going.
Go to https://www.saveorganicfamilyfarms.org if you’d like to pledge your support for this project or learn more. (By the way, Kiss the Cow is one of the 35 partners). The bottom line on what you can do: buy local from farmers you trust.
Randy Robar, co-owner of Kiss the Cow Farm