Name: Omar Leon
Hometown: Miami, FL
Job Title: Farm Crew
Describe your job in five words: Working outside is the best!
Favorite movie: Hard to pick one.. Labyrinth, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Scarface
Currently listening to: Billie Eilish, Sylvan Esso, Kurt Vile, Warpaint, SZA, and Wax Tailor
Favorite task on the farm: The meditative act of seeding trays
Favorite Joke: Anything from Mitch Hedberg
Ideal day off the farm: Finding a cool concert to go to.
Thing you can’t get through a day on the farm without: Music and sleep.
Top Five Goals for 2018:
1. Learn new stuff
2. Find new favorite musicians
3. Making new friends
4. Explore new places
5. Find the best Indian restaurant in New York
We feel lucky to be part of an amazing community here in Eastern Dutchess County. One of our amazing neighbors is Rock Steady Farm in Millerton, NY.
They grow mixed vegetables and flowers with similar farming practices to ours. It’s so nice to have folks to commiserate with about the weather and pests with! Like us, they are also working to make the food they grow more accessible.
It is their third year running this social justice initiative and through fundraising efforts have been able to provide food for a total of 25 families in our community who otherwise could not afford to eat fresh vegetables. These 25 families are in addition to the 80 reached through a strong partnership with the North East Community Center's Fresh Food Pantry Program as well as subsidized shares for the most at risk patients at Callen-Lorde's LGBTQ Health Center, in Manhattan. Their goal for 2018 is to raise $20,000. Thanks to their fiscal sponsor, The Watershed Center, all donations are 100% tax deductible.
Maggie would be happy to discuss the program more on the phone or in person if you are interested- (917) 864 6198 Veggies@RockSteadyFarm.com.
To donate visit Rock Steady's fiscal sponsor’s online payment page HERE or mail a check made out to The Watershed Center with “Low-Income CSA” in the memo. Mail to 41 Kaye Rd, Millerton NY, 12546.
WHY YOUR DONATION MATTERS
50% of children in the areas we serve are food insecure.
According to the 2015 Census, 1 in every 10 Dutchess County and Columbia County individuals are food insecure. The USDA considers people food insecure when, during a year, they are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their family members because they had insufficient money for food. 50% of the same population’s school age children qualify for free or reduced cost lunch. Given the choice to fill kids bellies with cheaper fattening food or chose vegetables, often parents and guardians chose the former, putting children at risk of malnutrition and diet-related illness such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. These diet related conditions make education, steady work, and life opportunities that enable people to leave poverty difficult.
Rock Steady Farm believes that all people have the right to healthy and nutritious food. For people in our local rural community, with few options for fresh produce, we are a proven asset. With our fundraising efforts in 2017 we made it possible for 73 low-income adults and children to eat our produce, delivered weekly directly to their homes, between June and November. We are redirecting 5,500 pounds of fantastic tasting, nutrient dense produce that normally goes to high-end restaurants and farmers market to feed those who truly need our support.
Donate today to help address food access and nutrition in your community! Rural townships, such as Ancramdale where the majority of our low-income CSA members live, has the highest poverty and food insecurity rates in Columbia County, where over 50% of children are eligible for free or reduced cost lunch, according to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Healthy Food Access Study. Often times, issues of nutrition in rural areas are ignored by weekenders who are disconnected from the local year-round community they live next to. Our farm loves our ability to feed the entire income range of people in our county. Our low-income CSA fund helps connect our farm’s more financially secure community members to other people in the same county who otherwise might feel invisible.
Name: Rachel Detweiler
Hometown: Norristown, PA
Job Title: Veg Crew Member + Cut Flower Grower
Describe your job in five words: seed plant harvest wash pack
Favorite movie: Fantasia
Currently listening to: cumbia...little dragon...bibio...bump city
Favorite task on the farm: harvesting
Favorite Joke: a funny one, told by someone else
Ideal day off the farm: yoga, swimming, a bike ride, and good coffee
Thing you can’t get through a day on the farm without: music
Top Five Goals for 2018:
1. do a split (...the splits?!)
2. secret handshakes
3. get fully engrossed in a book
4. bake more bread
5. be up to my earballs in flowers
Name: Paul Simoneau
Hometown: Manistee, MI
Job Title: Assistant Vegetable Manager
Describe your job in five words: My favorite thing to do
Favorite movie: Soup to nuts
Currently listening to: In the trees
Favorite task on the farm: hoeing
Favorite Joke: Don't care for jokes
Ideal day off the farm: Listening to the heaviest of jams + eat + sleep
Thing you can’t get through a day on the farm without: PMA (positive mental attitude) and caffeine
Top Five Goals for 2018:
1. grow nice vegetables
2. eat nice vegetables
3. be nice
4. feel nice
5. sleep outside
As you may have noticed, the Maitri Farm crew skews younger than the average American farmer. Most of us are first generation farmers (we don't come from farming families). And we're part of a bigger trend of young people choosing farming careers. In rural places it can be hard to tell, but there are whole bunch of us.
The National Young Farmers Coalition put out a report on what the biggest needs of young farmers are and it is worth checking out. They surveyed 3,517 young farmers all over the country in Building A Future With Farmers II. A lot of the trends in this report, also describe the Maitri crew. If you're curious about what the future of agriculture looks like, this is a great place to start.
We're really lucky that the National Young Farmers is based out of Hudson, NY. The Hudson Valley is definitely a hot spot for young farmers. Our local chapter is the Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition. It's heartening to know we're not the only ones.
We're going full steam ahead with our on-farm veggie CSA for 2018. And we're making a few tweaks to make it an even better experience.
First big change is that you pick what you take home market-style. This is similar to our winter CSA now. We want to give you more choice and flexibility.
Because of this new set up, the CSA distribution will be on-farm with a staffer there to help you. We're exciting to see your faces every week.
Also new, drop-ins are encouraged. We let The Wassaic Project artists-in-residence buy shares one week at a time because they aren't around for the whole CSA season and it worked out really well. Now we're opening it up to everyone! Please tell your friends and get on the email list. We'll let you know what is available every week.
We also have Low Cost Shares - snap them up quick! This is 50% off of our regular half share - This is $187.50 for the whole season. This can be paid in full or in installments. (We want to grow this program! Who should we be partnering with?)
Early Bird pricing before March 15th gets you $15 off of either the full or half Veggie CSA Share.
We will be having a CSA fair at the Millerton Library - April 7th 1pm-3pm if you want to talk to us in person. Or you're welcome to call us at 845 789 1522 or email email@example.com.
First, we want to thank our CSA members. It is really special for us to have a direct connection with folks that eat the food we grow! Finishing up year three of the Maitri Farm CSA we feel like we’ve learned few things. Members want more choice and more flexibility.
We know the competition is fierce – it’s easier to choose Amazon - Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Blue Apron.
But we know we’re different. We grow your food with love. We have fair labor practices, we minimize your food miles, we’re putting money back into the local community, we’re building our soils, we’re combatting climate change. You can call us up and talk to a real person who grew your food with care.
We want to serve you better.
We’re teaming up with the Good Food Farmers Network. This is a group of 6+ farms in the Hudson Valley that work together to make deliveries into NYC and Westchester (and now Fairfield County Connecticut). Imagine Maitri Farm joining a farmer superhero squad or the cast of Oceans 8.
This is a group of farmers putting together an updated CSA-type program. They have a default bag of food for $45 per week – you have the option to customize, but you don’t have to. This includes veggies, fruits, nuts, eggs and cheese. It’s more food than our standard CSA boxes. It’ll save you a trip to the grocery store.
If you would like meat to be included, it’s $60 per week. This will rotate between beef, pork and chicken. Some of the products are from us and some are from other farmers in the network.
GFFN holds itself to high standards and we’re excited to work with them.
You pay for each delivery, instead of up front like a traditional CSA. And you get to choose what you receive in each delivery. It’s a way for us to give our customers more choices and more flexibility.
We’re doing deliveries this February 27th and March 27th to test the market – hopefully we’ll get to do weekly deliveries in the Spring if enough people sign on. So be sure to tell your friends.
At Maitri Farm, we're lucky to have excellent winter infrastructure. We have a mildly heated greenhouse (we keep it at a balmy 34 degrees), an unheated hoophouse and an unheated mini-hoophouse. Our critters have a fabric covered barn that is unheated, but protects them from the wind and keeps them cozy. But still, this weather has been crazy pants.
Here are our winter survival tips for humans: