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CSA Sign-up, Winter News, 10-year farm-iversary!

Posted 1/25/2019 10:16am by Joshua Reinitz.

Our typical late fall and early winter goes as follows: we wrap up the CSA season, finish our wholesale obligations for the year, clean up the fields, and then we shift gears dramatically. After finishing up the farm season, we jump right into winter work - Sally has a couple of food service jobs and Josh is a barn restoration carpenter.  Our farm communications usually lags during the winter (not intended, but it's not easy to think farm when we're starting at bare trees and snow).  Then, around the end of January we realize it's time to order seeds, refresh our website, meet with wholesale growers, and sign up CSA members!

Snowy farm wagon

This year is no exception and we have stayed very busy all fall and winter.  Josh took on two barn restoration jobs for the winter months, Sally works at an organic cafe and serves at a restaurant, and of course our 3 boys are all busy in school.  Home life is a string of animal chores, splitting wood and feeding the fire, and trying to keep ourselves from getting cabin fever in the dark evenings.  Maybe one of these years we'll learn how to slow down and relax a bit? 

We were able to get away a bit this winter, despite being crazy busy.  We have learned that we need to intentionally commit some money and time every year to leave the farm, go on vacation, recharge, and find our centers.  Life on the farm can be isolating, and the work is non-stop.  We have found that the only way to truly relax sometimes is to just leave.  And we know how much of a family bonding experience travel can be. 

This past fall we took a trip to Texas to see some great friends get married.  They live and work at a music festival in beautiful Texas hill country.  We took the whole family on a road trip to the wedding, pitched a tent for the weekend, and had a great time.  We were inspired by the festival grounds - beautiful spaces for music and art-making, a sense of community, and infrastructure to host many people for events.  These are elements we have wanted to include in our farm and after our trip to Texas, we committed to making it a reality.  our next 10 years will not only focus on great veggies but also on community building, farm events, and creative place-making. 

Another trip we took was our much-belated honeymoon.  Sally and I have celebrated 15 years of marriage in 2018 and we have never taken a proper trip as a couple since then (it's always with kids, or traveling for work).  So, we decided to leave the kids with Grandma for a week and go on a concert vacation to the beaches of Mexico!  It was a blast, the host band (Dead and Company) played 3 amazing shows on the beach, and we were able to explore Mayan culture and architectural sites.  It was another inspiring space that renewed our interest in each other and our lifestyle.  A few days on the beach will do a stubborn Minnesotan good, I have now realized.

We are now back from the tropical beach and 80 degree weather, enjoying (ha!) a 20 below windchill.  Since it's too cold for me to work outside this week I have decided to get on the 2019 farm planning and open up our CSA member sign-up! please visit http://www.easthendersonfarm.com/members/types to sign-up or renew.  Things are about the same this year as they have been the past few years.  We feel like we have finally settled into a nice CSA size and routine, so we figured why change?

We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary as an official farm business.  Our first ten years were about growing our family, building our farm, and figuring out exactly how to run a successful veggie farm.  Now that we have some confidence, infrastructure, and initial capital investment behind us, we are now looking forward to the next 10 years.  As I mentioned above we are going to focus on beautifying our farm as a public gathering space, build community by hosting farm workers to live on our land, and work towards hosting public events.  We also plan on hosting monthly workshops or events (think a farm-based community education program), so please stay tuned for our 2019 programming!

Thanks to everyone who has supported our farm by buying a CSA membership, purchased our produce at the St. Peter Food Coop, eaten our food on a plate in a restaurant, or came out for a tour.  We are continually working to create a local food presence here along our little stretch of the MN River Valley and we hope you can join us!

Have a great winter, and we'll see you soon!

Josh and Sally Reinitz,

East Henderson Farm LLC

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