Dear friends, neighbors and folks we have yet to meet,
Over the past several years we (Erin and Robert) have come to know our primary vocation as that of tending land, raising food and growing in love for the people of our respective neighborhoods. As our lives now come together in Norwood, we are learning more deeply the goodness and challenge of this work. This summer, we are tending several pieces of land around our neighborhood and hope to share the food with you.
As we participate in the raising and harvesting of this food, we are humbled by excess rain and heat, by our sore muscles and tired bodies. There are days when our slow work seems absurd in our fast-paced, labor-saving society, when entrusting a seed to soil in the hopes of its coming to life truly tests our faith. But as we press into these realities, we are coming to know the goodness of embracing our limitations and relinquishing control.
Hours of work give space for rhythms of prayer; shoots of green speak of God’s great provision. Indeed, the food you receive will carry the story of February afternoons spent bent over trays of cabbage and Swiss chard transplants, of potatoes buried with friends on Good Friday, of curious robins who scour our upturned soil for worms and grubs, of people who pass by to say hello or pull weeds, of the wonder that comes from pulling a fat radish from its hiding place amongst the carrot tops.
As we learn to receive God’s bountiful provision we are being reoriented to the freedom Christ offers – a freedom that liberates us from fears of scarcity and releases us to share the gifts we’ve been given. We want to invite you to participate in this story of abundance by offering you a weekly share of the harvest. It is our hope that this food will not only nourish you bodily, but also be a means of God’s grace to you and to those with whom you share your table.
(None of this would be possible were it not for the support, generous hospitality, and radical Christian commitment of several friends within the Vineyard Central Community.)
For eighteen weeks, beginning Tuesday, June 21 and continuing into mid-October, we are going to do our darndest to provide weekly shares for 15 interested households. The shares are available at a suggested donation of $25 per box, or $450 for the season, but please give as you are able and feel led. While we need to earn income from our work, we do not wish to out-price those who are interested in receiving but who cannot afford our recommended donation amount for the season. Having led a successful food share program like this in Vancouver, Canada our hope is that some people will feel free to receive even though they can not afford the suggested amount while others freely and anonymously give more. We have faith that this economic model can work and bring life here.
Regardless of how much you can give, we want to share our harvest with all who desire to partake, trusting that God will provide all of us with enough. The non-profit, Woven Oak Initiatives,* will be serving as our fiscal agent, and will keep in confidence the details of all monies given.
Ways you can participate:
Volunteer—We will hold weekly volunteer days every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. If you would like to participate in these, please contact us and we will provide further details.
Sign up for a share— Community Supported Agriculture programs, such as ours, often receive payments at the beginning of the growing season. Our preference is similar: a single donation at the beginning of this distribution season. If this does not work for you, we can certainly come up with another arrangement.
You may also want to consider splitting a share with someone else. Whatever the case, we are asking for a commitment to the entire season, rather than buying a box week by week.
What you can expect to receive in your weekly share:
You will receive fruits and vegetables as they come into season. Right now, we’re harvesting the cool season crops (radishes, leafy greens, peas, green garlic, bok choi); soon we’ll receive broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnips, cabbages, green onions, carrots, beets. In the middle of summer, you may expect cucumbers, squash, basil, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers; and in the fall, sweet potatoes, bulb onions, and winter squash.
Of course this list is by no means comprehensive or exact. We’re asking you to journey with us through any unexpected twists and turns this growing season may bring, trusting along with us, that there will be enough. Perhaps there will be an abundant harvest and you’ll get more than you can eat in a week; perhaps it will be a thin season and your weekly box will be lighter than we’d like it to be. We recognize that in inviting you into this program, we’re asking you to take a risk in faith. We are grateful for your support of the larger vision behind this project, hopeful that with your participation, it might take root and grow to maturity.
With hope and gratitude,
Erin and Robert
Erin: 630-401-6132 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert: 513-351-0751 (email@example.com)
Some logistics for participation:
Please contact us by Thursday, June 16th if you wish to sign-up for a weekly share. Donations can be made to Woven Oak Initiatives* and may be mailed to:
Woven Oak Initiatives
c/o Joshua Hanauer,
3904 Spencer Ave
Norwood, OH 45212
(Please write “food” in the memo line)
The first vegetable pick-up will take place on Tuesday, June 21 (location in Norwood TBD) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This pick-up time will continue throughout the summer. If you are not able to come at this time, please make arrangements for someone else to pick up your box of vegetables.
*WOI is a Christian non-profit located in our neighborhood that has generously offered to serve as our fiscal agent.