NWPA Growers Facing Challenges and Pursuing New Ideas
Yes, it's already May. Flowers are blooming, weather is warming...and farmers are planting their summer crops.
We need your help. Sign-ups for our Farm Shares are falling short of our past seasons. In fact, way behind. Our farmers depend on the preorders of Farm Shares to plan what and how much to plant. However, they are shooting in the dark right now. And they are getting worried that they won't be able to sell their products. Which means more family farms closing down.
In fact, two of our member farms decided to do just that this year. They couldn't make ends meet by depending on farming, so they were forced to take a different job in order to care for their families.
Farming is a gamble, and we seem to lose more often than we win. And people wonder why the price of local food is so high. It's because we don't receive farm subsidies from the government. We prefer to rely on our hard work and the support of our community.
Since you are a part of our mailing list, we know that you see the importance of healthy food. You value supporting our local economy by purchasing that food from small family farms.
We all know that there are some drawbacks to purchasing a Farm Share. Sometimes it is inconvenient to make another stop to pick up your share. And you have to actually cook! But if good health is important to us, then we all must make the time to seek out the best food and prepare it for our families.
At our cooperative's recent Board of Directors meeting, we discussed ways to meet the needs of our changing society, including a mobile farm truck, farmer's markets, home delivery, a storefront or market stand, and more. All of these ideas are in the discussion stage right now, but we welcome your input as we adapt to the needs of our communities.
How can you help?
- Some of you have already signed up for your Farm Share. A big THANK YOU to you! You can help by telling your friends, family, and acquaintances about our Farm Share. Some of our pickup locations are in danger of being cancelled if membership there doesn't increase.
- Some of you are brand new to NWPA Growers and don't know much about us. I encourage you to try a Farm Share. We have several sizes available to match your eating habits.
- Some of you have been considering a Farm Share but just haven't gotten around to signing up. Do it now!
- Some of you grow your own garden. Consider joining our Webstore to supplement what you grow. The Webstore also has healthy meats, eggs, cheese, maple products, honey, and more.
- All of you can forward this email to others. Or go to our Facebook page and share.
Again, thank you all for your support of local farms. We take our mission to provide healthy food to our surrounding communities very seriously. But we can't do it alone.
Live well and eat healthy.
Amy Philson, manager
Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Cooperative