Friday, November 20, 2009

Nurturing the agricultural dream

It may seem a bit odd to begin a blog about farming after our season has finished. But after having a great experience during our first year as CSA producers, we are already looking forward to next year, and are in the planning stages for the 2010 season. As for this blog, we thought it might be interesting reading for a few types of folks. First, it might take the place of a newsletter for our members, and keep them updated on how things are going, what we are doing, and what we are planning to do. The second type of folks we are hoping will enjoy this blog are those people who just want to keep up with how our family is doing, as we will probably include a lot of info about who we are as a family, who we are as Quakers, and who we are in relationship to farming and servanthood in the midst of community. Finally, we hope that this blog can serve as a catalyst for new CSA projects, and provide a forum where other budding farmers can find the inspiration to move forward toward realizing their dreams.

Jenn and I had been dreaming about engaging with agriculture for a good many years – more than a decade, before finally going ahead with a livestock experiment when we moved to Ohio, where I could attend seminary at Earlham right across the state line. We had raised a few chickens before, but this time we invested in a flock of 25, and went into the egg business. Also, we purchased our first feeder pigs to raise pork. When we returned from our sojourn in Ohio, we immediately purchased new layer chicks and a few pigs. We also purchased a dairy bull calf in an attempt to raise our own beef.

As we went along producing livestock for our own consumption, I continued to lament the lack of community that I felt could be centered around farm and food. But as I complained and spoke mostly negatively about this dream of a CSA farm that I had, someone at a Quaker book discussion finally got sick of my negativity and challenged me to do something positive. In response to that challenge, Jenn and I decided to move forward, despite our lack of experience with CSA farming, and developed a plan to farm and sell shares. The most fearful part was asking people to invest when we had no idea whether we could produce for more than just our own family. However, the best advice I have for dreamers like us is – stop talking so much and just get it done.

Yet, as time went by and the spring, summer and fall have passed, we did it. And, as I said above, we plan to move forward with even bigger plans for next year. As we move forth toward our second season as a CSA, we will use the wintertime to provide readers with anecdotes and experiences of farming that might keep you all informed about the beginning of the farming process, where it is that food comes from, and how it reaches your table. We hope you continue to read. Blessings, r. scot miller.


  1. Well, welcome to the CSA world and to the blogging world! i can't speak to operating a CSA farm, but I can tell you that the Quaker blogosphere is bustling with opportunities to share stories, learn from one another, and share where God is leading us.

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up