Dear CSG Shareholders and Friends,

As we close out this season at the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm, I want to thank all of our shareholders for being part of this grand community of people committed to delicious and nutritious food from thriving, sustainable farmland tended by caring, talented growers. The CSG at Genesis Farm is an extraordinary place feeding some 300 families in a remarkable time.

This was never more evident than in the last weeks when we all had to deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. All throughout our region, downed trees, flooding and no electricity, cell or internet service chaotically brought our busy routines to a screeching halt for days, even weeks for some.

Yet, amidst all of this disruption, the Community Supported Garden never missed a beat . . . or a share-distribution day. While the farm lost power for more than a week, the wonderful, nutritious, real food we all love and expect was there when we went to pick it up. It was a shining example of how a community can achieve true resilience in the face of extended turmoil.

For this, we must thank, of course, our incredible team of growers—Mike, Smadar and Judy as well as our dedicated apprentices. Their know-how, stamina and determination prepared the farm for the worst and they shepherded the land safely through the storm. Thanks to them, the hurricane had barely cleared the landscape and the distribution house was open for pick-up as usual.

I compare that achievement to my experience at our local supermarket. Like Genesis Farm, it had no power and tried to operate business as usual. But before long, the market’s shelves were more or less empty and they had very little to offer those in our community. What a sad, stark contrast to the CSG which had food aplenty and was able to get it to those who wanted it.

As many of you know, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model was created in part to protect the farmer from financial ups and downs that can be driven by unpredictable forces such as weather, insects, disease, etc. By a large number of people buying “shares” of the farm’s bounty, the risk is spread over the entire shareholder community, unlike in a traditional market system where the farmer alone is impacted when there is a drought, flood or blight that greatly reduces yield.

How ironic is it that it was the community that was protected by the CSA model in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath! Because we all contributed as shareholders to its operations, the CSG was able to literally “weather the storm” and keep us fed with wholesome, fresh, healthy food. I feel very blessed to be part of this incredible endeavor.

One thing I learned during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath is how important this one little farm is to me and my family.

When virtually everything else shut down, the CSG at Genesis Farm kept going. For me, it defines resilience and sustainability, and I’m very grateful that I am part of it.

I hope you will join me and my family as shareholders in 2013. Please secure your family’s share by joining today.

Sincerely,
Bill Gold
CSG Founding Member, Board Chair

P.S. Despite the cost of virtually everything going up, the CSG at Genesis Farm has not raised its share prices since 2009. Yet, we are incurring major costs, such as the renovation of the Chan Moore house on Silver Lake Road where our apprentices are housed. Please consider a making a donation to help us close the gap between rising costs and share income. Whatever you can contribute would be greatly appreciated and will make a real difference!

(Photos by Rob Yaskovic)