June 21, 2011 at 6:00 am
I am so excited to share with you today a guest post written by my good friend Rebecca Kiel. Rebecca is an amazing like-minded writer-mama, who today is sharing her experience of working on an organic micro CSA with her family and friends …
When my husband was offered a job out of town, it was a tough decision. After a couple of
soul-searching days, we took the risk to leave our rural surroundings, beautiful home and large garden, and moved back to the Chicago suburbs. It was a very fast move. Our daughter barely had time to finish her first half of the school year and we skidded into a rental house ten days before Christmas.
As the snow thawed, we began exploring the ground around. Our goals to live sustainably did not have in mind this cramped patch of dirt beside the house. Will it get enough sun? Is there any more broken glass under there? And as I surveyed the forest of sprouting weeds, I doubted if even John Jeavons could live off this patch.
As our kids foraged for rocks, my husband and I looked at each other and whispered, “Did we make the right decision?”
We were too afraid to answer.
Twenty minutes west of here lives our dear friend, Mark Wunderlich and his family. In a little
cul-de-sac tucked away from the bustle of our new suburban life, sit their three mostly wooded acres. It is on the cleared ¾ acre that our answer sprung.
For years, Mark dreamed of expanding their organic garden so they could grow enough
vegetables to live for a year. The last few years, they have given it their all. The food they have grown is amazing – healthy and flavorful. But with two children, both parents working, elderly family for which to care, they needed a little help. Between our need for community and dirt, and their need for extra hands is where the mini CSA was created.
With a commitment from us and even more from our friends, we are now bringing our children to “the farm” where rows of garlic reach for the sky, an inexpensive greenhouse provides shelter for seedlings, and my husband pounds away with his hammer on the newest project.
When his daughter’s class hatched eggs and the chicks needed homes, Mark’s micro CSA
grew. Now on every day we can, my husband is helping to build a coop, my children learn
that our food comes from work and the generosity of our earth, and we all have a deep sense of community.
While Mark dreams of fruit trees, my son dreams of more chicks. As my husband relishes
outdoor work, the girls plant potatoes. And as we join for dinner after a hot day of work, we all say a blessing for the earth, and above all … friendship.
Now when my husband and I ask each other if we made the right decision, we simply smile.
The answer is completely obvious.
You don’t need ¾ acre. In fact, any size garden can feel unmanageable with play dates, lessons, work schedules, etc. What ideas do you have for sharing work with others?
To read more about the farm, visit Mark Wunderlich’s humorous and practical blog http://