This is a very important day for us here at 1466.
We had a working bee over the long weekend, and with dear friends prepared more beds in our market garden paddock, pulling out grass, and turning the soil. Now all there is to do is add some calcium by way of gypsum and lime, and some aged cow manure.
The seedlings will be underway this weekend in the shadehouse, so all appears to be set.
The weather has even been onside, with good rains and as yet no frost.
And just as well, as this week we've launched our Community Supported Agriculture project, Near River Produce.
Set to start delivering healthy nutritious vegetables to 25 families in the Hastings Valley from early October, Near River Produce is a model of food production and distribution that has become very popular in other parts of the world over the last couple of decades. We firmly believe that it is a worthy scheme to develop here in Australia.
You can find out further information about CSAs at an earlier post here or download the Near River Produce leaflet here.
In short, CSAs are about developing ties between farmers who grow food and families who eat it; using sustainable and organic agricultural practices; sharing the risks and benefits that farming incurs; and building stronger ties in the local community. Add to this minimising greenhouse emissions and carbon footprints and it all sounds very impressive.
We understand that producing a wide range of up to 30 different vegetables and herbs at the right time, in sufficient quantity and regularity will be very challenging. Along the way there's sure to be some mishaps, but that's what we'll learn from.
What is pleasing is the growing amount of support that we continue to garner for this enterprise. It comes in many forms, some by way of comments and emails from readers of these posts; or friends and neighbours willing to lend a hand directly with labour or a supporting word to encourage us on our way; or media reporting on trends with food or buying patterns and the like.
Such was the case today when my friend from The Beginning Farmer wrote about results from a new US survey that declared Consumers Willing To Pay More For Locally Produced Food. You can see how this would grab my attention! Basically the researchers found that people are prepared to pay a small premium for locally produced food, and this would support anecdotal evidence that we have. The proliferation of Farmers Markets coupled with the explosion in regional foods would certainly support this here in Australia.
What do you think? Are you prepared to pay more for local food? Do we need to support our local farming families? Do you only buy food grown in your locality? And why do you do that? Or can't you be bothered?
Respond by adding a comment below, or if you receive this by email, log on to Biodynamic Treechange and scroll down to the bottom of the first post. Let's get a conversation started.
Photo of our market garden paddock taking shape