This coming Saturday on September 23rd, the Farm Aid 2023 Festival will be held on the first day of autumn in Noblesville (Hamilton County), Indiana near Indianapolis at the Ruoff Music Center, the third time that Farm Aid has brought its festival to Farm Aid co-founder John Mellencamp’s home state. (The autumnal equinox will begin on Saturday at 2:50AM EDT in the Northern Hemisphere.)
The illustrious Farm Aid concert history of 37 years reassuringly continues onward. Although tickets for Farm Aid 2023 are sold out, the Farm Aid 2023 Festival can be live-streamed for FREE at FarmAid.org and at Farm Aid’s YouTube channel. In addition, other ways to “Tune In” are noted on the FarmAid.org. website.
The Farm Aid 2023 lineup of performers include Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateleff & The Night Sweats, Particle Kid (a/k/a J. Micah Nelson), Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros Featuring The Wolfpack, Allison Russell, The String Cheese Incident, and the Wisdom Indian Dancers. The performers, who all donate their time, deserve special praise and appreciation.
The first day of autumn is the perfect day in the year for a Farm Aid Festival to be held. Late summer and early fall is the traditional “harvest time” in much of the United States and Canada when small family-scale farms that grow a diversity of organic crops for their local communities are reaping the full benefit of their hard labor and commitment to nurturing their land.
For the past 13 years, this supporter of the good food movement, rooted in local agriculture growing a diversity of organic crops, has enjoyed a farm share from Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook (Columbia County) in upstate New York, 22 miles away from home in Albany. For 24 weeks, farm shares are delivered to one of the farm’s dozen pick-up spots in the Capital Region of upstate New York, Westchester County, and Manhattan. In my case, an Albany neighbor’s garage is the pick-up site for approximately 100 participants in Roxbury Farm’s CSA (community supported agriculture) program. This year the shares have been bountiful, especially of late.
This past week, the farm share included an extraordinary variety of delicious greens, head of lettuce, spinach, broccoli rabe, tatsoi, and Tokyo Bekana, as well as bok choi, fennel, scallions, beets, slicing tomatoes and cilantro.
This year’s CSA farm share is proof that a farm share is a very economical way for a family to obtain healthy food. Roxbury Farm’s 24 week CSA farm share began on June 6th and will run until November 21st. For a total cost of $721.00, each weekly delivery costs $30.04!
Over the years, I’ve learned that on a week that I won’t be at home, it’s a wonderful feeling to share that week’s farm share with a friend or neighbor to pick up and enjoy. And if it is not possible to make that sort of arrangement, it’s also a good feeling to know that any share not picked up is delivered to a local food pantry.
Enjoy the free tuning-in to the Farm Aid 2023 Festival this Saturday, and if you are not currently a participant in a CSA program, consider the option in the 2024 growing season. Support local family-scale agriculture and truly know where your food comes from. Check out our directories of family-scale farms offering CSA farm shares.
(Frank W. Barrie, 9/22/23)