As we order supplies for the coming season, we are seeing firsthand the effects of inflation on our costs. The impact has been greater than we anticipated, with an average increase of 30% over last year. This is the greatest single year increase I’ve seen in my seven years at Tracie’s.
As a result, we will be raising our prices for summer and fall shares beginning on February 1st. Coming to this determination has been a difficult process, and I assure you that we are not passing on the full impact of our increased costs. We are doing everything we can to be more efficient so that we can keep our prices as low as possible. As such, we are instituting a ~7.5% price increase on our shares. Starting February 1st, our prices will be as follows:
Full Summer Share $610
Half Summer Share $350
Fall Share $325
Anyone interested in knowing more about our budget is welcome to reach out. Here are some examples of items impacting our cost structure:
|▪||In 2021 we were able to buy a pack of 50 carrying trays for our field starts for $21.70. That same item now costs $39.50. An increase of 45%.|
|▪||Vermiculite, a naturally occurring element that we use to condition potting soil in the greenhouse, saw a 31% price increase this year.|
|▪||The biodegradable plastic mulch that we use in our fields to help reduce weed pressure and keep our overall labor costs down saw a 19% price increase over the past year.|
We see our CSA as a collaboration between the farm and the community. In exchange for your support early in the season to help cover the high startup costs on the farm, we provide our members with months of local, fresh, and healthy produce. It gives me great pleasure knowing that something we produced winds up on the dinner tables of our members, and I love that it is all possible because there were enough people to chip in to make the farm work for another season.
We are not passing on the full cost of inflation because we believe in that collaboration. It is not just the responsibility of our members to cover the increase in expenses, that also falls on us. The February 1st deadline to institute the price increase was chosen to give members that had been planning on purchasing a share at the previous price the chance to still do so. I feel it is also appropriate to mention that we have flexible payment plans to fit most budgets, and that the full cost of a CSA share does not need to be paid up front. Additionally, if the price increase does not fit into your budget at all, the Monadnock Farm Share Program is a great resource for subsidized CSA shares, and we offer some shares through that program. I would like to finish by saying thank you to everyone that has supported us over the years, and I hope you know that we want to support you, too.
The Team at Tracie’s Farm
|Summer Shares! Summer Share Signups are Open! We have a 16 week full share or an 8 week half share available. The full share gets a basket every week, and the half share gets one every other week. They feature staples and as well as lesser known varieties. In total we grow about 30 unique veggies for the summer season! Plus home delivery is an option!|
|Spring Shares! ONLY THREE LEFT! Limited space available! Just about 18 shares left in the spring season. We get started on March 16th and are looking forward to a bountiful spring. If you know, you know, the spring share is a great deal when there is usually still some snow on the ground.|
|Fall Shares! Still quite a ways out, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead, and the fall share helps you plan through the winter. Plenty of potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, winter squash, and more to last you well into January and potentially beyond.|
What’s Up on the Farm
I am writing the newsletter from my parents house in Annapolis, MD tonight. My mom worked from home as a masseuse my whole life, and she has determined to make the shift from practicing massage to teaching massage. Much like farming, massage is manual labor and eventually wears you down. After years of training, she is offering her first course on Shiatsu Shin Tai massage, and I am down here learning a part of her trade. Who knows, maybe over the winters I will work as a part time masseuse!
This will be my last extended period of time off of the farm until probably December. When I get back I will do our first seed in the ground in the greenhouses–spinach, lettuce mix, brassica greens, tokyo bekana, snap peas, carrots, cilantro, dill, arugula, radishes, and turnips–and after that it is off to the races on the 2022 season. It’s always a little bit daunting of a proposition, but one I look forward to every year.
Before I left we had one of our part timers, Joe Muhonen, in for a meeting about switching to a full time position. Joe has been working with us since my first year managing five years ago, but he was only ever able to come in on Fridays. We’re both excited about having him around more often on the farm. While we talked, we prepped beds for the big seed coming up next week.
Aside from that, I work daily on the business and management end of the farm. Preparing schedules for the coming year, working out budgets, updating our website. Seeing some of the costs of goods for this year was pretty sobering. The website is still under construction while it has it’s main pages up and running. Working through the Farmers Business Planning Course has given me a lot of material for the site, as well clearing up some motivations of my own on the farm. I was never one for mission statements, but as part of my homework the last week I was tasked with coming up with a vision, mission, and purpose statement for the farm. I have to say, going through this process has totally changed my opinion. I now see the value in writing down a guiding philosophy for decision making on the farm, and I wish I had done this work years ago. I am hoping to share some of the work I am doing once the class is done.
That’s all for tonight. I hope every one has a great week, and in just a short 6 weeks I will start to see some of our spring share members on a weekly basis! Can’t wait!
We are Hiring for 2022!
2022 marks our 23rd year of growing vegetables, and we are looking for a few of inspired individuals to join us!
We look for hardworking, enthusiastic, and self-motivated team players who are serious about farming and have a positive attitude. Employees are expected to work long days on your feet(paid hourly), lift 30lbs, follow directions, and pay attention to details, while having a good time with the rest of the crew.
Full Time positions are Monday through Friday — ~45 Hrs/wk — >28 Weeks out of the year — $13/hr
Lunch Provided on All Work Days
Please E-Mail Jack with any Interest in our Employment Positions
Barn and Greenhouse Specialist
Positions Available: Full Time
Position Description: The barn and greenhouse specialist position does exactly that, they focus on keeping the barn and greenhouses running smoothly. The barn is the hub of activity on the farm as the farmers come in and out, customers visit the store, and members come to pick up. In the barn, this position primarily deals with the washing and packing of all produce, stocking the farm store, packing orders, and preparing for markets. In the greenhouses, this position is involved with potting up seedlings, watering, moving trays between houses, keeping the plant stand stocked, and pruning and trellising cucumbers and tomatoes.
The barn and greenhouse position requires close attention to detail, excellent organization, and ability to follow specific instructions. There will be crossover with the field tasks, but the focus is in the barn. Barn and Greenhouse Specialists are expected to be leaders in the barn when workshares and field crew are with them.
Full Time: ~45hrs/wk @ $13/hr. April – November
Don’t have the time to commit to an entire season? The workshare position is perfect for folks that want to spend a day out of the week working and learning on a farm! We love having workshares on the farm because it is an opportunity to meet members in the community. The farm feels more alive with lots of people around. Workshares fill a wide variety of roles on the farm.
|▪||& Delivery Drivers!|
In exchange for working seven hours per week on the farm, workshares are fed lunch on their workday and receive a weekly basket of produce with the bread and egg options included. Typically those hours are completed in one day, with the exception of the lunch prep workshare.
If you are interested in a workshare position, please call or email Jack:
443-994-4629 — Farmers@traciesfarm