THE 2017 CSA!

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Beginning sometime in May (once the garden gets going!) we will be offering a 20 week CSA to consumers in the Lawrenceburg and Versailles. Space is limited! We will offer weekly, home or workplace delivery to members in Lawrenceburg and Versailles. Vegetables will include, but hardly be limited to: tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, kale, broccoli, melons, squash, ginger, spinach, etc., etc., etc… Our growing plan for the season includes 60 different crops!

The price of a single share––great for a single individual or small family––will be $470 (which breaks down to $23.50/wk for veggies).PURCHASE ONLINE HERE

A double share––great for a larger family or vegetarians––will be $865 (double the small share for $43.50/wk for veggies). PURCHASE ONLINE HERE

We always strive to make this a fully engaging and interactive exchange, offering recipes and farm updates with every basket. We know that for many people, a big basket full of vegetables every week is a new and overwhelming concept, and we hope to make it fun and educational and healthy for your family. We are currently in the process of certifying ORGANIC through the USDA, and hope to be officially certified before the season starts. But rest assured, we WILL NEVER and have never used any sort of chemicals or inorganic fertilizers in the garden and you can always ask us about our growing practices––we want you to be confident in where your food is coming from! You can read more about our farm values HERE.

By purchasing a share, you are not only securing the best, most local, freshest vegetables possible, but you are simultaneously supporting a small family, a small business, and a small farm. We are so excited to get this season rolling and hope you are, too! Remember, the amount of shares we can offer is limited so SIGN UP SOON! If you have any questions or confusion, about vegetables or sizes or delivery locations, please contact us as at roughdraftfarmstead@gmail.com or call (502) 598-8228.

We will be around town this week, hanging up flyers and spreading the word. Our goal is to keep it as local as possible, without having to move into the larger market of Lexington. If you have any suggestions for places we should take our flyers, of if you want some business cards and flyers to take to your own office/workplace/church/business, let us know! Help us get the word out and feed as many local folks as possible! Let us be your farmers!

– Hannah, Jesse (and Further).

 

KENTUCKIANS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH.

imageRecently Hannah and I became members of a progressive (and notably nonpartisan) group called Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. And we’re kind of smitten.

This group started in the 1980s after it was discovered coal companies in rural Appalachia were not paying state taxes, thus not contributing to the communities that enriched them. The KFTC fought these companies and helped pass legislation to force absentee owners to pay much needed property taxes, and protect the mineral rights of local land owners.

Though today the KFTC still works to ensure coal companies respect their employees, communities and laws, the group has also expanded its focus to a few other areas. For instance, in a state where the middle income households pay 74 percent higher taxes than what the wealthy pay, fighting economic injustice is a significant focus. Were the wealthy to pay fair taxes, it would help increase funding for lack of education and infrastructure which are sorely need.

The KFTC is also working to encourage cleaner, more sustainable energies while providing responsible economic transition plans for the already struggling coal communities. Many Kentucky counties have been hit hard by a nation turning increasingly towards natural gas and renewable energies (four KY coal counties are among the top ten poorest counties by median household income in the country). The KFTC wants to make sure the families and miners affected are not forgotten.

Add to all that advocacy for voter rights, renters rights and environmental protection, among many other issues, the KFTC remains a vital part of our state, and we are proud to be members.

So please check out their site and consider becoming a member. There are chapters across the state, but you can also donate to them if you believe in any of the above causes, no matter where you live.

Thanks for reading, guys, now back to farming!

– Jesse

PARTNERS.

Almost five years ago to the week, Hannah and I left Bugtussle for the first time. Our internship was over and we were headed back home to start a farm together.

On our way out, we stopped our cars at the garden to pick some carrots and greens at the behest of our mentors, and I can remember the wind whipping through, trying its best to shoo us out. Winter was pushing her way south and the garden was ready for its break––ready for its farmers to leave it be.

I can still picture our hands, red from the cold, dirty veggies dangling. We were about to pack them into our cars, but cold as we were, before we could leave, I hoped to take one more thing with me. I needed my partner.

So I asked Hannah to marry me right there amongst the veggies, and I remember how slowly the smile cracked across her face, how the joy tears welled, how she laughed as she said yes. And honestly, I don’t remember it being cold after that. It maybe never has been since.

In leaving Bugtussle for the final time this week, it was bittersweet, certainly, and not nearly as joyful. But, heading back to our new farm with our young son, the ride from Bugtussle still had the same warm feeling of possibility that it did five years earlier. That never goes away for me. We’ve survived several new beginnings, several hard times, and I would say we’ve made it through thick and thin, but we really have yet to test thick. Times have been mostly thin for us.

As young farmers, I didn’t know what the years ahead would bring when I asked Hannah to marry me, but I knew she was the only person with whom I wanted to see them. And I feel compelled to say something about how I chose well, but in all reality, it feels a lot more like well chose me.

I’m one lucky farmer, one fortunate father, one happy husband. And I owe it all to my beautiful partner, with whom I always, even in the hardest times, stay warm, hopeful and ready for what’s next.

-Jesse.

hannah.

FARM LIKE YOU’RE MOVING.

My back ached as I threw the last trash bag into the truck to take to the dump. Not the last trash bag of the move, the last bag that could fit the first load.

Hannah was joining me the next day but I was already exhausted, yet nowhere near done.

As I stomped around the property in Bugtussle, doing the last round of cleanup before we officially left this week, I was completely floored by how much junk we owned—how much stuff had just collected, dotting the property like little flags of half-finished projects.

There were endless piles of lumber scraps, broken five gallon buckets to the heavens, glass, plastic, bags, barrels, books. (I don’t know why books, but several soggy books outside). I couldn’t help but wonder, “What would this place have looked like in another four years?”

I vowed (to my aching body, mostly) never to let this happen again. And not because I think we will ever move any time soon, hopefully ever, but because that’s exactly what we said when we returned to Bugtussle. You never know where life is gonna take you, and you should never assume it won’t move you.

Plus, when you treat a place too permanently, you can easily weigh it down. But when you treat it as mobile, you keep it light and airy, flexible, agile even. Whether you’re moving or not, that’s the farm you want.

I wrote a story recently about a farmer named Ben Hartman and lean manufacturing in agriculture. I won’t get too much into it here, as I got way into it over at Civil Eats, but one of the things Ben did to lean up his farm was to just take stuff to the dump. Loads and loads of tools and junk he wasn’t using got hauled off or sold because, as he wrote in his book, even if excess stuff doesn’t have a literal cost, it has a psychological one.

And as I walked around our old property this week I felt that cost. I realized how burdened our farm was with our tinkering, with indecision, with general stuff, and how much that in turn burdened us.

So as we look towards the new farm, I’m going to remember this ache, this pain, and keep in mind that the farm feels it, too. If I can barely move after taking four loads to the dump, you can only imagine how the farm felt lugging all that for four years. Not good. Not healthy. Not agile, that’s for sure. Now, I hope, it feels as alive as we always wanted it to feel, and I hope we can maintain always remember to keep our operation lean. Not just for ourselves, but for that land as well.

– Jesse.

house.

THIS & THAT.

Some random photos from the past few weeks on the farm.

preps.Biodynamic preparations we spread on our compost pile.

foggy morning.Foggy morning mulching the garlic.

shiitakes.Surprise flush of shiitakes!

bridge.Finding hidden treasures as we walk around the new property.

exploring.More exploring.

 

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