Somehow over the past four years, I’ve never had to harvest for the csa in the pouring rain. I’ve harvested while it’s drizzling or sprinkling, but not down-pouring. There’s a first time for everything. While I was a little grumpy in the moment, it’s unexpectedly refreshing to be instantly soaked and cold in the middle of a hot, humid summer. You know the soaked I’m talking about? The kind where you peel your clothes off afterwards like a wet suit and your fingers are all prune-y and the entire inside of your raincoat is cold and wet. It’s a lingering feeling of cold and chilled that requires an extremely satisfying, hotter-than-usual shower. What a perfectly satisfying start to the week.
This has been a unique year with my csa because I went into the season thinking it might be my last. I’ve found the csa model more and more challenging to sell because it requires the csa member to 1) make an investment by paying for multiple weeks of bouquets up front, all at once and 2) commit to picking up at a specific time and location every week for multiple weeks. Also, it’s not cheap, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because these are flowers that were grown in smaller amounts without the aid of pesticides, by local farmers who require a living wage- all things that cost money! Then on top of that, I jump into the mix in an effort to put to good use, some of the flowers that might otherwise go uncut or get pummeled and wasted by the rain. All of this adds up to challenges that get in the way of more people joining the csa. I’m in the process now of coming up with a better version- a version where more people get more flowers.
During this whole process my friend Michael has been encouraging me to not give up and consider alternative ways of distributing my flowers. Michael is also a small business owner and bakes the most delicious sourdough bread I’ve ever tasted and that I get to eat every week, still warm, fresh out of the oven. He’s a man of many talents and right now he’s in the process of building a brick oven in order to take his bread-baking to the next level. He is raising money for this project at www.gofundme.com/germantown-brick-oven-project and will continue to move forward with every little bit of help. You can donate any amount you wish, but if you donate $45, you get one invitation to his “oven-warming pizza party” where we’ll eat delicious pizza, christen Michael’s brick oven and celebrate this one small way that we are working for the resilience of our community. He’s building the oven in my friend’s garden. Germantown Kitchen Garden is another small business owned by my friend, Amanda and it is a magical place. I have the good fortune of buying all my veggies every week for most of the year from this garden around the corner from where I live. Amanda is another source of inspiration for me and I love the work she is doing and the community/space that she has built. Also, she generously allows me to use her cooler to store my csa flowers every year, and without that support, I wouldn’t be able to distribute the quality of product that I do. This flower csa continues to be the result of encouragement and inspiration from friends like Michael and Amanda.
That’s probably enough gushing about my friends for one journal entry though I think it’s important to mention. As my business evolves and changes in the coming years, I hope to become more adept at creating a clear and tangible expression of my vision for how I wish to see the world and be in the world. This flower csa is one of the ways I’ve been able to bring that vision to life. Thanks for participating in that with me.
“For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt – of examining what those ideas feel like being lived on a Sunday morning at 7am, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth, mourning our dead – while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while we taste new possibilities and strengths.” – Audre Lorde, in “Poetry is Not a Luxury.”
In your bouquet this week:
Queen Anne’s Lace pods
Black pearl pepper