Good night farm, farmers

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I was in the midst of writing a long, poetic ode to the winter, the long-awaited rest and beauty of sub-zero days.  Then, in a series of clicks to post a photo, the several paragraph post disappeared.  So, with less rambling:

Our farm is finally taking a rest.  Despite the early onset of snow and frigid temperatures, we have stayed busy behind-the-scenes.  We have been selling vegetables indoors at the Mill City Farmer’s Market and to our first winter CSA customers.  A few infrastructure projects have demanded our time, such as dismantling and erecting hoop houses, building harvest carts, and winterizing tools that are powered by gasoline.  An exciting development is that we will be forming a marketing cooperative, Stone’s Throw Agricultural Cooperative (STAC).  STAC will market the products of our farm, Emily and Klaus’ rural operation, Whetstone Farm, and what we hope will be several other farms.  Klaus has diligently written the articles of incorporation and by-laws.  The official mission statement is:

The mission of Stone’s Throw Agricultural Cooperative is

to 1) coordinate marketing, outreach, and educational programming for agricultural

producers that are working towards social justice and ecological health on their

farms; 2) provide marketing opportunities for a diverse group of producers,

especially immigrant and minority farmers; 3) provide educational opportunities

and access to affordable healthy food to the wider community, while financially

supporting local farmers.

We hope to expand our urban farm project to concretely develop a more secure, abundant regional food system, thereby providing more options for our CSA customers, restaurants, and other farm patrons.  As customers, we do not anticipate much change for you all, weeks will still be filled with wonderful produce.  All participating farms will be required to produce using strictly organic principles.  We will write more about this development as it progresses.

We are still working on the ever tricky path towards acquiring more permanent land for the farm.  We have many coals in the fire but, as of now, much of our land is still in precarious year-to-year leases.  While we are diligently trying to find solutions, this remains a major obstacle for the long-term success of Stone’s Throw Urban Farm.  If you have connections to city landowners, investors, politicians, or other people who may have an interest in long-term land access for local foods production, please send us an e-mail.

For the next season, we are filling out seed orders and planning our crop rotation.  We have a suite of new crops and ideas that we hope will improve our farms’ offerings.  But now we will be resting for a few weeks.  We will be visiting our families, playing music or pond hockey and resting our bodies and minds after a long farm season.  CSA registration will open January 15th and we encourage you all to check the website or e-mail the farm at that time.

Until then, we wish you happy holidays and a peaceful new year.  Many thanks for all your support of Stone’s Throw Urban Farm.  We look forward to spending 2014 with you all.

– Alex, on behalf of the Stone’s Throw Urban Farm crew

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