“Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of the dirt.” – Barbara Kingsolver

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

When Jess asked me to write this weeks newsletter I have to admit I was a little bummed. I don’t like writing newsletters because when I write I always seem to offend somebody and sometimes it can even be a CSA member or two. So I have sort of sworn off pros and stuck to short form and poetry. It’s hard for people to get too mad at a poet because rhyming is pretty adorable and it is almost impossible to mount a powerful argument in the small square that Instagram provides us with. I think folks tend to get upset because I laud honesty and transparency far above all else, which and this is my point, often falls in direct contradiction to their belief system as it pertains to food. I just get so hungry for folks to understand the real, true, honest, transparent, sincere, unfeigned VALUE of food and its COST that I often forget that emoticons and abundance of sheepish exclamation points that win hearts and minds. SO what do I do? I sit and write what comes naturally to me and I keep my fingers crossed..


Jess has taken to calling me ‘coach’ lately because when I am making casual food and farm related conversation with members at their CSA pick up and notice when someone skips a bunch of dandelion greens or their collards I am compelled to ask them why? And if it’s for any reason other than a food allergy I switch over to coach mode. I can’t help it. I don’t do this because of the effort it has taken to grow those greens or because they will go to ‘waste,’ after all nothing goes to waste on our farm it is always reincorporated back into the ecosystem. I do this because it is my purpose. Because my goal is to see to it that the community that supports our farm eats healthier and as a result is more able, at least in a small way, to contribute to our society in a positive way. It’s a pretty high expectation you say? Well, I sure as hell am not doing this for the big bucks. It’s because I believe that the only work worth doing is work that makes the community and the environment better, so that those communities can make their communities better and so on and so forth. It’s pretty simple really. So why take those bitter dandelion greens? First off, because they are delicious and secondly because you’re a grown adult and if you don’t find bitter greens to your liking eat them because they are good for you.

Time & Too Much.  These are the two excuses I hear most often from folks that don’t eat their vegetables. And those excuses just are not good enough and they aren’t true anyways. The only real excuse is because they don’t have enough experience. After all, it takes the same amount of time for earth to rotate in and out of the light of sun for all of us. We all have the same amount of light and dark hours depending on our longitude not our perception of time. And don’t give me that it’s not time but free time jargon you know I’ll shoot holes in that bucket too. And the “it’s too many vegetables argument.” I know this may seem true for you now but thankfully you are a smart and adaptable member of a phenomenal CSA farm and your habits will change.


Trust me I didn’t grow up on fresh vegetables either. It was frozen burritos and TV dinners for my adolescence for a myriad of reasons and the only fresh vegetables I ever really saw came out of the small garden my mom kept once a leap year when we had a landlord that would allow it. Trust me I get it. Even in my first couple years of vegetable farming I struggled to eat very much of what I had produced. I just didn’t think I had the time and to be completely honest I didn’t have all that much interest. I started farming because I thought it would allow me to have some peace and quiet and after all it was the vegetables that needed to be cleaned, cooked and prepared by the members not me.

And that’s when Jess showed up and gave me a lickin’ you can’t believe. She taught me that you must lead by example. She taught me to fall in love not with just growing vegetables but cooking and eating them too. She taught me that cooking and eating isn’t something you do after all the other needs of the day are met it is something that you do so you can meet the needs of the day. She taught me that eating well is a matter of priorities.


These days Jess and I prepare 3 meals during one revolution of the earth together and we always start with veggies. If we are making a dandelion salad we grab a bunch each, yes that’s two bunches and we wash them, cut them into large bit sized pieces, toss them with finally grated parmesan cheese and a homemade dressing of balsamic or apple cider vinegar, a strong Dijon mustard, a mayonnaise made from scratch, honey, salt and pepper to taste and we throw them in too large bowls and set them aside. Then we take a few tomatoes, eggplant, squash, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, beets, basil, leafy green, broccoli(and if we want too we will add our own sausage from our sausage shares) and we cut everything up sauté or roast it and throw it with pasta and dinner is served. We typically make enough for one dinner and two lunches and that is with a ½ of a CSA share for just the two of us. And that provides us with 3 meals of the 21 meals in a given week. Let me repeat that a ½ of a CSA share for the two of us provides us with 3 of the 21 meals a week! So when folks say there CSA share is too much I frankly don’t understand what the hell they are talking about. We eat on average about 3-4 CSA shares a week just the two of us. Can you imagine how confused Jess and I get when we hear this excuse from a household of more than 2 people? Or when households are splitting shares. I mean come on – if this is the case it can mean only one thing you are simply not cooking! You are going out to eat or buying premade meals and that is not going to cut it in the CSA program. If you want to eat more vegetables it is a matter of prioritizing the time and being patient while you learn and gain experience. Understand that Rome was not built in a day and it usually takes more than one CSA season to get your skill level up to where you are comfortable. And it is my commitment to you (and as soon as you get comfortable) that your CSA coach will be standing there and waiting to challenge you and to help you out with extra greens on top. You are not a CSA member because it is easy you are a CSA member because you are a grown up who knows that importance of feeding their household healthy whole foods so they are more able to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It is not supposed to be easy, but it is supposed to be delicious.

I am proud of all of our members because you have all made the decision to make a change in your life and you put your money where your mouth is and signed up for our CSA. For that alone you have my heart. That whatever brought you to our little CSA farm, whether it be health related, for reasons that help protect the environment, to support small farms, to know your farmers or simply because you were hungry for delicious food etc.. whatever the reason (s), you decided to make a change in your life happen and now you are here. I am proud of all of you. This is where change happens. When a community comes together with a united voice we are empowered to make positive change. And because of all of you this land, these two farmers and this farm’s members are becoming healthier, happier and more productive. Thank you for your trust and your support. We are making change happen one green smoothie, stir-fry, veggie kebab, beet brownie or whatever suits your fancy at a time! So here’s farmer Brian signing off fingers crossed.


Through writing this newsletter I think I have learned something and that is that we are not a CSA farm that will size our shares according to what sells but will always size them according to what we believe promotes good health in our members and according to the bounty the growing conditions allows.

So, keep up the great work, eat well, enjoy the seasonal bounty and remember to grab your greens.

Enjoy the week!

Your Farmers

Brian & Jess

dirty hands, clean hearts