This senior citizen does not listen to Talk Radio. But on a recent trip down the New York State Thruway from home in Albany, just south of Newburgh, I lost the radio signal for Classical WMHT-FM, 89.1 in the Albany area and 88.7 in Poughkeepsie. Instead of a Chopin mazurka or similar music, when I searched for a stronger signal, a Talk Show host was creating fear about a looming food shortage in the United States.
Instead of sticking to my standard of avoiding the fear mongering of Talk Shows, the topic of food insecurity and shortage caught my attention, especially when the host started to hawk “My Patriot Supply” of food. When I returned home to Albany, I couldn’t resist googling those words.
My google search disclosed “My Patriot Supply, Trusted Self-Reliance.” And the two “Favorite Food Kits” of the Talk Show host, Dan Bongino, were prefaced by his advice: “It takes only one major disaster to remind us of how fragile life is and systems are.”
The two food kits promoted by Dan Bongino were (i) a “3-Month Emergency Food Supply” described as a “Best Seller & Value- Save $150” by a “Buy Now” offer of $747.00 reduced from $897.00, weighing 120 pounds and sealed into “6 rugged, water-resistant buckets” and (2) a “4-Week Emergency Food Supply” (one month or so) to “Buy Now” at $267.00, reduced from $297.00.
The few minutes I listened to this Talk Show resulted in some troubling thoughts in my aging brain, which works hard to think “positive” and remain hopeful. Unfortunately, while starting out on a walk along the 2.2 mile boardwalk in the small oceanside city of Long Beach on the south shore of Long Island, I was stopped in my tracks almost immediately when gazing out on the Atlantic. On the horizon, I could see 18 container ships, all nearly motionless, waiting to enter New York harbor some miles away. This sight out at sea made the issue of global supply chain hurdles vivid, which the White House recently announced would outlast the pandemic.
Users of this website know that an important part of our mission is to promote CSA (community supported agriculture) farm shares. For a dozen years, this CSA farm share advocate, has participated in a farm share from Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook (Columbia County), New York. A Roxbury Farm CSA share has meant a 24 week share of organic and fresh local vegetables over the growing season in the upper Hudson Valley, which I could pick up at a neighbor’s garage a few blocks away from my home in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany, NY.
The cost for the 2022 growing season’s farm share for 24 weeks or approximately six months, which will begin the week of June 6th, was $688.00, notably less than the “3-Month Emergency Food Supply” hawked by the Talk Show host noted above.
We’ve often noted the many reasons to connect up with a local farm as a farm share participant, which bear repeating: (1) freshly harvested food tastes better; (2) buying food from a local CSA keeps money in the pocket of a local farm family and protects local farmland; (3) shareholders in a CSA develop a relationship with a particular farm and farmers and a personal connection with a piece of our mother earth that can be visualized and experienced; and (4) participants in a CSA diversify their diets and try new foods.
Other than nervous worrying, why would a consumer go down the depressing path of succumbing to the fear-mongering that touts an emergency food supply that misuses the word “Patriot.” Rather, I assert that it’s patriotic to support and preserve diversified and family-scale farms that protect America’s rich farmland and our food supply for future generations of Americans.
For the past two “pandemic years” the farm shares offered by Roxbury Farm have sold out before the season started. Surprisingly, a recent e-mail, “May News from Roxbury Farm CSA,” noted that “a few more shares were still available in New York City, Albany, and at the farm” in Kinderhook (Columbia County). Roxbury Farm CSA shares delivered to locations in Westchester Locations were sold-out. It appears that with the pandemic morphing into a “mere” endemic, some folks must feel, perhaps, less “insecure” about their food supply? But what about the other meaningful reasons to have a farm share noted above?
The “May News from Roxbury Farm CSA” also reported on the current status of farm activities and was a reminder of the richness of sharing in the knowledge of where and how your food is grown and produced:
“The farm team is all doing well and back at work making sure we will have veggies for the first week of deliveries. . . . Despite this chilly weather [nighttime temperatures have been hovering around the freezing mark in the upper Hudson Valley- FWB], the farm is bustling and we have lots of veggies planted in the field, the mama cows have had their calves, and the new piglets are running around in the words. The trees are starting to leaf out and the pastures are greening up.”
This recent e-mail from the farm also noted that this season, Roxbury Farm is “offering the opportunity to bulk purchase beef and pork.” Orders for a quarter, half, or whole steer are available for pick up at the farm until mid- May while orders for a quarter, half, or whole hog can be picked up at the farm until the end of October.
In the course of the farm share season, Roxbury Farm also offers CSA farm share participants, for an additional cost, to add to the weekly delivery a fruit share, eggs, as well as grass fed and pastured meat products (chicken, beef and pork).
There’s still time to find a CSA farm share for your family or household this 2022 growing season. We have listings in all 50 states, Canada, England, Scotland, and Wales. Our advice: reject fear-mongering and maintain a positive attitude, and instead of a so-called “Patriot Food Supply,” this is an excellent year to know where your food comes, with the purchase of a CSA farm share and to know the farmers who grow and produce your food.
(Frank W. Barrie, 5/6/22)