Bumper Crop!

Bumper Crop!

Hello friends!

I never know exactly what is going to be ready when or how much we can put in each share, but we have a bumper crop this week. It might be the most diverse share of the summer crop. I hope you enjoy it. We have certainly been enjoying eating from the garden. We had basil with the butterhead lettuce on Sunday. We had the parsley in some ground pork (we still have bundles of pork available if you’d like to order), and we had peas and carrots with the new potatoes last night.

I was interviewed by Heritage Radio Network on the Food Report last Thursday, and the host said all my talk about our food made her hungry. That is my intent. I like to make people hungry for real food!

We are running a person or two short every day recently. Adrienne, who was diagnosed with mono last month, is getting better but still doesn’t have enough energy to “work,” Anna took her first vacation in 3 summers of working here to visit a friend in California (how could I say no!), Brandon needed a long weekend to to Grandma (I can relate, my mom is always asking for our daughters to see her), and Rachel is gone this week to see her brother’s farm. Her brother’s farm was badly damaged by wind last week in SD. We know what that is like, and it’s good for her go there and help out as they rebuild.

Have you given any thought to subscribing to our fall share? We’re taking orders Please sign up for a fall share (http://thecornucopiacsa.com/shares/#order) either by check ($300) or online ($315–helps defray the cut PayPal takes)! And if you’re interested in the pork bundles I mentioned earlier, just give me a call or text at 712-490-8218.

Have a good week,

John Wesselius

Thankful for good neighbors

Thankful for good neighbors

Our tractor has a “sticky” tachometer cable which apparently causes the sensor that mixes air and fuel to not work properly. I called the dealership, and they said I could pick up a new cable Monday, which meant that I was about to shovel a very long driveway yesterday morning.

It was dark and cold, but it was such a relief that the wind was only blowing about 15 mph. I shoveled for about half an hour, and Janna came and brought the car around so the headlights pointed to the road. She waited 10 minutes, opened the window, and said I was wasting my time. Her car is equipped with an air ride suspension that has an off-road setting that raises the car about 8 inches, giving her about 16 inches of clearance.

She backed up, I stepped to the side and vroom she was at the road. So we left the yard with only about a quarter of the driveway shoveled.

When we returned about 8 hours later I was welcomed by a clean driveway! Our neighbor must have noticed that I didn’t get my tractor out over the last week so he did it for us. Thank you, Mike Franken!

Recently someone I know was criticized for …

Recently participants of area farmers markets were invited to set up a “farmers market” at a showing of Farmageddon. Farmageddon is a film, which takes a look at current methods of agriculture. Some thought that vendors should not participate because films like this one demonize one method of production. Their position that there is a market for products produced under many different methods and that producers can market and promote products without criticizing someone else’s production or practices.

I took the time to view the trailer and read the comments from those who have seen the documentary. It seems to me that the point of the film is to highlight the lack of choice, the reduction in the freedom to choose products that may be best for us or our families. It is the increasing concentration of ownership of land, production, processing and distribution in smaller and smaller numbers of large companies with ties to governing bodies that deny opportunities to young farmers, new farmers, or new ideas or the restoration of ancient traditional foods of value.

I would like to market my products without defaming the conventional or current accepted practice farmers in my county, they are only doing what the co-op, extension, seed, chemical and processing companies say is best for them at the present time. They are very good at what they do. In order to move my product at a price that allows our business to be sustainable my consumer is interested why we do what we do. It would be my turn to highlight the differences and to accentuate the role of what I call bigger, faster, cheaper. The economy of scale in production has a major impact. I pay more to butcher 1 # of chicken than the restaurants and stores in Sioux Falls pay for a 1# of chicken. So it begs the question why I bother. I bother because it tastes better; it is better for me and the bird. It creates jobs for me and my family, and the local processor. It keeps the profits in our communities and we don’t need federal or state program dollars to do it.

I think the folks that will attend this event for the most part have already been exposed to films like Fresh and Food Inc. Their minds are already open to looking outside the box for their food so I would think it would a good place for producers that differentiate themselves from the mainstream to present their practices and possibly the product of their farm.

If we keep doing what we have always done we will get the same results. In agriculture that means fewer and fewer producers producing more and more of the same resulting in no choice for consumers. In 1980 there were more than 50,000 farms producing pigs in Iowa, today there are fewer than 10,000 yet producing more pigs. There is less variety, essentially only one method of production. If anyone tries anything different they are labeled a threat. Across the country bigger faster cheaper means smaller rural towns, closed schools, banks, post offices and generally a lower standard of living for those not holding ownership stake in the method of production.

I could go on. My point is it is better to participate in the discussion and highlight our strengths and let consumers make their choice. The reason these films and books like them are written is because the consumers’ right to choose is being limited.

Running Through the Sprinkler

Just reading this poem made me feel a little cooler during these past few hot days.

Running Through the Sprinkler

You can let the water chase you,
There are lots of games to play
when you’re running through the sprinkler
on a hot and muggy day.

You can sit right on the squirt holes,
You can run every-which-way,
and it’s fun to wear your school clothes-
never mind what Mom will say.

You can stand still as the water comes
or jump across the spray.
Just picking up the sprinkler
can chase everyone away.

If your friends come by to see you,
you can ask them all to stay
when you’re running through the sprinkler
on a hot and muggy day.

© Betsy Franco, from Whatever the Weather, Scholastic, Inc. 2001.

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