Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looking Ahead to 2013

CVSF 2013 Living, Learning, and Leading
What’s going on…on and off the farm?

In 2013, we are refocusing on our core – Family, Community, and CVSF.

As many of you know we are trying to purchase this farm…that process is ongoing. We’re finding that this entails MANY moving parts. To borrow a relationship term, it’s complicated. We’re persevering while staying open to other paths to securing our farming future. Long-term land tenure is a HUGE issue across agriculture and an area of common ground between conventional and sustainable producers. Through his position on the Illinois Local, Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, Jody hopes to influence policy that addresses the whole while learning ways to solve our very small piece. We’ll keep you posted.

January 16 will mark the first (of hopefully many) Ottawa Soup & Bread event. CVSF, along with Growing Home Farm and Breslin Farms are hosting a soup supper at Jeremiah Joe in Ottawa. We've been guest chefs at Martha Bayne’s Soup & Bread event in Chicago, and felt it was time for us to bring it to Ottawa. We've gotten a great response so far, including a nice article in our local paper. On the 28th, we’ll return be guest chefs at Chicago Soup & Bread.

On the 19th, CVSF will partner with our hosts at Wine Styles in Naperville for a tasting. We hope to have additional tasting events at our other sites throughout the year. On the 28th we’ll headline the North Center neighborhood CSA Night at Begyle Brewing – a new brewer that offers a beer CSA.  March 2nd takes us back to the Hideout for a Farmer Talent Show and CSA Fair. On March 16th will be at UIC for the Good Food Festival. Along with Peasants Plot and Radical Root farms, we’ll staff the CSA Info – Ask a Farmer Booth.

We are working on our presentation materials for the education events we have next month, and we’re excited to be taking the whole family to the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference at the end of February; and presenting there for the first time. It’s so nice to fill our heads with new ideas while connecting with so many friends who are working so hard to change the world. Plus, the boys get to hang out with friends and play in the indoor pool!

All this activity is to grow the farm and the CVSF business. To that end, we will add a delivery site in the NW Suburbs. Look for details in our February newsletter. We hope to have a site up and going by the time we do our March CSA events. Last fall we made the decision to either add a farmers market or a delivery site to grow. It seemed saner to add a site than another farmers market, so that’s what we’re doing. We’ll continue our June through October schedule at the Logan Square Farmers Market.

In the past few months, Beth has lost two cousins -men whom we wish we’d known better. We've decided that funerals should not be the sole event that reconnects a family. A reunion is being planned.  In March, we’ll be sending Duncan to Texas to stay with Jody’s parents for a couple of weeks. Richard did this a couple of years ago, and it continues a tradition of a grandchild (Duncan will be the sixth of seven) getting to spend special time with them. 

Richard continues to play club soccer for the Chicago Magic. He and Duncan are teaming up for an entry in the Destination Imagination competition this spring. Beth is their coach mentor.  Jack starts basketball at the YMCA this week; and Jody is looking forward to coaching all three boys in a spring soccer league. Richard and Duncan will be on the same team for the first time!

The family is making good use of their winter Y membership and staying active. Jody is training for a half-marathon in April and will return to the Spartan Race in July. Several 5k races (in delivery neighborhoods) are planned as well.

In the office/at the computer Beth is working on redesign of our website and is creating our new blog site, Opinionated Peasants. Look for news of its debut next month. Jody is working hard at getting some great content written for that venture. Don’t be surprised if he sends out a request for a guest post now and again!
On the farm we’re increasing our pig herd, we may add a couple of cows, and we’ll be training a new set of livestock guardian dogs (to back fill our current pack) and adopt out a working pair to another farm.  One of our females, Sasha, had pups a few weeks ago. Also, we’ll continue our regular chicken and egg production. That has, happily, has become routine – as long as we keep getting good help, of course.

Whew! Here’s to a productive 2013 for all of us!