Year #2 at Brady’s Urban Farm: Kinship, CSAs, and Growth
by: Jessi Lyons, Urban Farm Coordinator
It took a while to have “regulars” at the Brady Faith Urban Farm stand last year, our first year. By September we began to notice familiar faces, and every week a few more would take the first step to stop, shop and learn. This is the story of one such man.
This man was drawn to Brady’s farm stand to buy enough vegetables to feed his extended family during Sunday dinners. He became a regular because he felt our presence represents dedication to community, love, and stewardship of people and the land. Our conversation during his third visit gives us continual hope and perseverance.
He began talking about the upcoming presidential election. After we bantered a bit, he said “Clinton and Trump, they’ll never be here. They’ll never touch our lives. You and me here, that’s what matters. It doesn’t matter what your race is, and what color I am. You’re here selling vegetables on the corner, and I’m here buying them. You’re here doing this good work in the community, and I’m here supporting you. This election can’t change that.”
If it weren’t for the farm stand, I don’t know if I would have ever had the opportunity to talk to this man, or him to me. But the farm gave us a meeting place, and his kinship means the world to me. Stories like these will grow along with our crops and that is what makes this project so beautiful. Our update for you is exciting, and we encourage you to get involved as a buyer, volunteer or both.
This spring we’ll start the Brady Farm CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is a way for consumers and farmers to better support each other. Small-scale vegetable farming is risky. CSAs allow customers to buy a share of a farm, entitling them to a portion of what’s produced and a voice in what is grown. In turn, farmers get reliable income and help planning what to grow. The Brady Farm CSA will allow families to choose between a half or full share of produce, receive a discount for other products, and use food stamps to buy the share.
In addition to the CSA, we’ll offer online ordering, two market stands, and low-income discounts. We will grow more of the food that people love and will partner with other local farms to offer more variety.
Throughout the year you’ll witness construction of a new greenhouse, a packing shed, a fence, and twice the food planted as last year. We encourage you to come visit the farm, located at 150 Ford Ave., to witness, support and take part in the second year.
The labor of love that we share with neighbors and volunteers will be evident through it all. . Our mission is lofty, and farming is hard work, but we know its value is far greater than the exchange of goods.