In August we were hit with a triple blow. As you may know, a reckless driver hit Farmer Skip head-on as he was driving 55mph on 183. We are lucky he is alive. This accident totaled our delivery van and Farmer Skip is being treated for whiplash and persistent pain.

Because our vegetable CSA provides the majority of our income, Skip attempted to plant after the accident. However, this proved much too difficult. Many of you have been extremely supportive, asking how you can help, but frankly, we have been too overwhelmed to give much direction. Handling the aftermath of such an accident — hiring a lawyer, ongoing doctor appointments, depression — has been bewildering and exhausting.

Reluctantly, we have been forced to cancel our Fall vegetable and flower growing season. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Fall is our favorite time to farm, but several time-consuming challenges have also arisen, including: our landlord raised the rent on our city farm. And, once again, Bastrop county denied agricultural valuation for our River Farm, where we grow about 15 acres of certified organic vegetables. This means our farm is being taxed $9,000 (market rate), not $1,200 (agricultural rate). When it rains, it pours.

All our energies are now focused on paying the bills for two farms. We plan to generate income through our other farm enterprises, including: on-farm education, grant writing, farm rental, consulting and meat CSA memberships. Additionally, Farmer Erin is seeking a part-time marketing and writing job (leads appreciated), and the farm will launch a YouFundMe campaign soon to address mounting expenses. If you have other suggestions, we’d love to hear them.

Our goal is to get through this rough patch with grace, and to emerge stronger so we all enjoy a magnificent Spring 2015 season.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Next Steps for Fall Vegetable/Flower/Egg Members:

Here is where the CSA memberships stand: About 50 members have credits of $50 or less. Another 15 members have credits of more than $100. We’ve planted late Fall, early Winter crops such as greens, kale, collards, carrots, beets, broccoli, kohlrabi . You will be notified as these are harvested. Anticipated harvest dates are mid-November thru January.

Options for your balances include the following:

  • Transfer your balance to our Spring Season which will begin mid-March.
  • Farm Bucks credit: Can be used to purchase Fall crops.
  • Fall Egg Shares: Purchase eggs bi-weekly at the farm ($6 per dozen). Egg pick ups are coordinated with Dairy coop/Meat CSA schedule, which is listed on the Farm Calendar on our website.
  • Flower bouquet: Special order herbal/flower bouquet from now until December.
  • Meat share: Enjoy a mix of local meats. Shares vary each month, may include: pork, sheep, beef, bison, duck or chicken. ($50 or $100) More info>>
  • Donate balance to farm: Thank you!

*Please note: If you were a member of our Vegetable CSA last season, and are currently a member of our Meat CSA, we have automatically transferred your positive balance to your Meat CSA account.

We have created an online form to make it easy for everyone with a positive balance to voice their preference. Once we have received your response, we will contact you directly with further instructions or to follow up on questions, etc. If you do not have a positive balance, you do not need to fill out the form.

Link to the online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DFCDKKK

How You Can Help the Farm:

  • Sign up and pay for your 20-week 2015 Spring/Summer Shares today. Note: If you select a pickup location that decides not to participate in the Spring season, we will notify you before the season starts.
  • Support our upcoming YouFundMe campaign through donations, marketing.
  • Rent the farm. Need place for a birthday party, office gathering, end-of-the-year celebration, wedding?
  • Attend our Farm Camps and let your friends know about them.
  • Sponsor a Farm Camp Kid: We have a long waiting list of children who’d like to attend camp for a day or week.
  • Book a consulting session. Do you own land and want to make it productive? Thinking about starting a farm?
  • Support Spring Barn Raising Fundraiser. Slow Money has loaned us $15,000 for building a processing/storage shed for vegetables and flowers at the River Farm. Friends are donating architectural plans and some construction, but what isn’t covered is $15,000 in labor costs. Details coming soon.
  • Donations: Help develop the Education Center for visiting children.
  • Volunteer in the office or fields Wed (9-4), Fri (9-4) or Saturdays (9-1).

When we started our certified organic, community farm in 2006, we were blessed by helping hands, enthusiasm and encouragement. With your help and confidence in our vision, we can all look forward to more delicious abundance, while building a healthy local food community in Central Texas together.

For more information, please contact our Office Manager Kerstin Wiggins anytime via email at members@greengatefarms.net, or by phone at 512-484-2746 (Monday-Wednesday)

Thank you.
Farmers Skip and Erin
greengatefarms.net
newfarminstitute.org