There are many things for us to be thankful for as we sit down to feast with friends and family this Thanksgiving.
First and foremost, we’re thankful for you, our valued customers and members of the Boston Organics Community. It is your support that ultimately sustains our livelihoods and we’re thankful that over the last 12 years we’ve been able to increase awareness and support for organic agriculture. Though there’s still a long way to go, in many ways, it’s now easier than ever for families and individuals to eat fresh, healthy food on a regular basis.
We’re also thankful for our outstanding delivery drivers who keep their cool in both sweltering heat and nose-numbing blizzards. They climb countless stair cases, sit in endless traffic, and navigate Boston’s notorious one-way streets to bring the Boston Organics Community farm-fresh produce and a smile every day.
But before we test our ravenous limits and shovel forkfuls of sweet and salty heaven into our salivating mouths; before we determine conclusively through extensive taste-tests who truly makes the best pumpkin pie; and before we lean back in our chairs, rub our bellies, and declare that it’s just not possible to eat another bite; we need to thank our farmers.
Long hours and early mornings are the norm for the less than 2% of the American population that claim farming as their principal occupation. Farms require year-round management, seven days a week, which makes vacations nearly impossible for small-scale farmers.
Driven by a passion to grow healthy food sustainably, these men and women are often forced to put everything on the line each season.*
But one bad storm or an unexpected outbreak can wipe out a field and put the whole farm at risk.
One of our local organic farmers, Michael Docter, spent most of last week frantically trying to save his carrots before the impending freeze ruined the crops he had been tending over the last 2 months.
Earlier this summer, Gideon Porth lost almost all of his tomatoes to late blight, requiring him to pull up dozens of rows of tomato plants to keep the disease from spreading to neighboring fields.
And still, somehow, each year our farmers grow some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables we’ve ever seen. This Thanksgiving, we’ll make mashed potatoes with Gideon’s Yukon golds and we’ll whip up some of Micahel’s hakurei turnips, which only get sweeter as the temperature drops.
At Boston Organics, we help our network of organic farmers through every season, and we make sure they get a good price on the produce they grow. Your role as a member of the Boston Organics Community is invaluable to our farmers who tell us frequently how comforting it is to know that there will always be a market for their harvest.
This system works because there is such a close connection between our farmers and our customers. We eat what they grow and they grow what we eat. So before we spend the next few hours peeling, chopping, brining, roasting, stirring, baking and mashing, please join us in thanking our farmers!
* Though a few very large farms produce most of the country’s food, 75% of farms in the United States make less than $50,000 in revenue each year. Considering the costs of seeds, water, organic inputs and labor, it’s difficult for most small-scale farms to break even. If you’re interested in learning more about the rising costs of organic farming, you might enjoy this earlier blog post.