This week we are grateful for the amazing network of people who make running the farm possible. To illustrate my point I want to describe a conversation I had the first time one of our new workershares came to the farm this year. For those of you who don't know, a workershare is someone who trades 3 to 3.5 hours each week for a box of produce each week. One of the first things she said was "This is not what I imagined at all--I thought your were like a big corporation--you're just two people and a garage." I laughed and corrected her by adding, "and two mini-vans and a lot of volunteers." Some of our volunteers get food for their work, but some of them just offer their time for nothing in exchange. We have people who help in the fields, manage dropsites, deliver shares, build infrastructure, design marketing materials, and promote us to friends and family. As a small farm in a world that is used to the industrialized food system that relies heavily on mechanization, chemicals and the exploitation of laborers to keep food price artificially low, it feels like a really counter-cultural thing to rely so heavily on volunteers to accomplish our work at Three Sisters. The fact that someone would mistake us for a corporation is at once an insult and a compliment. On the one hand, a compliment--it seems like we have our act together! On the other hand -- we are not a group of high paid executives looking to maximize our profit margins. We are instead a community of people working together with a lot of goodwill trying to make the world a better place through stewardship, beauty, joy, connection with others and really good food.
Jeff Schreiber has been farming organically for 10 years. In 2011 he started Three Sisters Community Farm with his wife, Kelly.