What’s been going on!
Running behind again this week after my two day Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) board meeting. There are a lot of good sustainable agriculture organizations across the country doing great work in all areas of farming to make the lives of farmers and agriculture in general better and we have worked with a number of them over the years. RAFI is one of the keystone organizations in the movement and has been working on the issues of fairness and farm sustainability since the 1930’s, tracing their roots back to the National Sharecroppers Fund.
Few organizations have the history or the experience to do the work that RAFI does both in North Carolina and around the world. It is one of those groups that you probably have never heard about because they work either far out in front of emerging issues or quietly in the halls of the USDA, UN-FAO or the North Carolina General Assembly. Their headquarters are right here in Pittsboro!
This small group has had far reaching impacts on fairness in contracts for farmers, literally writing the legislation for the National Organic Program and other farm bill provisions, saving hundreds of family farms from foreclosure, issues of rural poverty and hunger, preserving the rights of farmers to save seed and develop new varieties, farm worker’s rights and more.
But there is a big problem in the non-profit world that is bringing many well established NGO’s to the brink of closing their doors. For last few years the foundations that fund most of the work that non-profits do have narrowed their focus and will only pay for exact project work and no longer give money for general operations. This means RAFI can do the field work but cannot pay the light bill or the book keeper unless they can raise money from individual donors like you.
The work is so important that anyone who eats should donate to RAFI. Those of you who read this newsletter who have received a grant from RAFI, get your check books out, those of you who read this newsletter who have used RAFI’s farm advocate services and had their farm saved from foreclosure, you need to donate. Those of you who want good, clean and fair food have to send money. RAFI has helped you and made for a better world, now you need to help them continue that work.
Betsy and I have worked with them for nearly 20 years and continue to be amazed at what they do; I am honored to be on their Board, donating time and expertise and even with a small farmers income we are sustaining donors. Be prepared, when you see us next, to talk about RAFI and why you need to become a sustaining donor or at least give $50 to start.
Picture of the Week
Perfect Sugar Snap Peas, sweet and glistening with dew.
What’s going to be at the market?
The excess rain has pushed the Lettuces. Fewer options this week with Little Gem (red and green), Red Leaf and Hearts of Romaine. Salad mix. Really nice Escarole. Beautiful Lacinato/Dinosaur/Cavalo Nero Kale. Really fabulous Broccoli Raab but nearing the end of its season. Spinach is back, just a bit though! Yukina Savoy greens and colorful Asian Braising/Stir Fry mix to round out the greens.
The finest Sugar Snap Peas on the planet, they only last two weeks! First of the Beets with the bullseye striped Italian Chioggias. The first of the beautiful Fennel. Plenty of Radishes. Cilantro, Dill and Italian Parsley. Green Onions. The mysterious Celtuce. More Cucumbers.
Slowly the flower department fills. Beautiful tall Larkspur (annual delphinium). Fragrant Stocks. Bachelors Buttons and delicate Sapponaria. Crepe paper like Poppies. Amazing Bouquets.
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you. Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie