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City Fresh: food and food justice. Order Online Today!
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It's Time to City Fresh!

 

Reserve your first City Fresh share by ordering online today!


Hello City Freshers and salutations from the farm! The summer season is finally here, and as your orders continue to pour in through our new online ordering system, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for supporting small family farms and helping us make fresh, nutritious food available to everyone, regardless of income.
 
As always, it’s never too late to reserve your share with City Fresh.  Using the online platform saves everyone time, so head on over to our website and get your order in if you haven’t already! 
 
The door of spring is swinging open into summer, and with the exception of a little mid-may snow that made the early planters shout some choice curses, it has been mild and steady here along the great lakes. We’ve got a really nice start to the growing season, and that’s a wonderful change of pace from the wild and wacky springs of the last 4 years. We had set dry, wet, hot, and cold records four years in a row, and each has their unique challenges that seem to compound.
 
Here at the George Jones Farm, we’ve been working with our students and apprentices to put in more than 6,000 onions, 1,000 tomato plants of five fun varieties, beets, turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, and peppers. We’ve got our berries and grapes pruned up, asparagus patch sending up the last shoots we dare pick, and the fruit trees are absolutely loaded.
 
Down in Homerville, Spencer, and West Salem where our network of other farmers calls home, we’ve got more than 100 acres planted and growing just for you. Eight farms and more than 100 farmers, young and old, work six days a days a week to fill your fridges, and your orders make all of our good work possible. Did I mention you can order today!!!?
 
The first two or three weeks of shares are always our most challenging to put together. Weather plays a larger role in what’s available in June than any other month. Something as minor as a few consecutive cloudy days could push things like peas, carrots, and beets back a whole week.  A cold spell with nights below 50 degrees can stunt young plants like peppers and tomatoes and reduce their harvest all summer long. There is one sobering reality that this time of year reminds me of, a line repeating in my head all spring:
 
Farmers take on all the risk of a bad growing season, and get no reward for the good ones.
 
It’s why we pay excellent prices to our farmers, why so much of our operational costs are dedicated to ensuring they’re getting top dollar for what they’re able to produce. Farmers should be honored for their labor. Recognized and applauded for keeping our bellies full and our organs healthy and our minds sharp. With City Fresh, more than 81 cents of our dollars goes directly to the farmers. We don’t go to auction and bid low, we don’t haggle prices down when there is a bumper crop region wide, and we proudly accept produce with minor cosmetic blemishes at the same high prices, because just as much labor went into growing them than in the picture perfect produce. Yeah, it’s nice to look at a pencil-straight carrot, but flavor, nutrition, and growing methods being equal, why should I demand a farmer risk losing her or his way of life when I’m going to cut that carrot into tiny pieces, steam or roast or sautee it, and then mash it into a paste in my mouth? No. Give me the wacky carrot that looks like it’s got crazy legs – it’s waaaay more fun!


Peace and veggies,
 
Nick Swetye
Executive Director, New Agrarian Center
Home of City Fresh & The George Jones Farm
330.221.4027
We launched an IndieGoGo Campaign last week and are still looking for backers for our low-income share program. We are asking help in covering 10% of the food costs of our charitable endeavors to solve the food desert crisis that plagues the Greater Cleveland area. Support our efforts here.
The George Jones Farm & Nature Preserve is hosting a three-week youth summer camp, the Discovery Day Camp, where youngins K-8 will learn about Ecology, Farming, and their marriage in Permaculture at our wild and diverse farm in Oberlin. We are still taking registrations. As more Cleveland-area families sign up, we will put you in touch with one another and help coordinate carpooling if we can. Last year’s campers had an absolute blast!
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