Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture

By Elizabeth Henderson
P.O. 88
Rose, New York 14542
Dear Friends,

It's exciting and scary for me to write this letter to you because it means making a definite commitment to produce food for the GVOCSA in 1999. I will be starting over again on new ground for the third time in 20 years. The first time, in Gill, MA, I was a lot younger and totally green. I had no idea how much work lay ahead. We started literally from scratch; we built two barns, a greenhouse, a house, cultivated a four acre market garden and raised flocks of Jacob sheep and chickens. The second time, at Rose Valley, David had already laid the groundwork, but we more than doubled his previous vegetable production and added a
greenhouse, a packing shed with walk-in cooler and two equipment sheds. After 9 years, Rose Valley is set up for pretty efficient operation.

I don't yet know where start up #3 will be. Six different farmers and landowners I know have offered me land to use in Wayne County. There are also several more institutional possibilities closer to Rochester. The GVOCSA Continuity Committee is helping me explore and sort through these many options. By spring, I hope we will have made a decision.

At the end of the season dinner of 1997, many of you expressed a willingness to help with the 1999 farm. Since we don't know yet which it will be, it has been hard to figure out a precise work schedule. The GVOCSA Core will have a person whose job will be to schedule the work of those who sign up at the March orientations. These are the kinds of work that will probably be necessary:

* figuring out the legal structure with the owner of the property
* arranging the financing - perhaps asking GVOCSA members to invest or make loans
* designing the field lay out - with flowers, perennials, decisions about asparagus, berries, fruit trees
* cleaning out and repairing a building to use as a packing shed and storage space
* designing a greenhouse, buying the materials and constructing it
* setting up a water system for washing and irrigation

As you see, there will be lots of work to do to get a new farm setup and started. Please consider signing up in March for the jobs that sound interesting to you. We will try to schedule them at convenient times and contact you with exact dates. With your help, starting over seems more possible - even exciting. Hopefully, I will learn from my past mistakes!

Peace, Elizabeth
February 1998

Copyright GVOCSA 1998. All rights reserved.