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Every Kale Counts {Week 17 CSA}

Your support of our small farm promises more than nutrient-dense food in your kitchen—it spells a more resilient and connected local food system for our community..

While this may have seemed abstract a year ago, we all got a front-row seat to the weaknesses of an industrialized food system based on large warehouses and long distribution lines during the pandemic and, again, at various times last winter. The news clips of empty shelves, the rationing of pantry staples, and the uncertainty of how long it would all last caused more people than ever to contact our small local farm. But, of course, our farm can only feed so many.

While our one-and-a-half acres produces more than the average ten-acre farm, our community requires much more land in production to meet its needs. And therein lies our conundrum: the demand for local food must steadily rise to warrant the huge investments needed to start new local farms. It's a classic balancing act relying on both a rising awareness of the need to support local (and sustainable) agriculture and the creation of economic support to improve access to these locally produced goods. In other words, the risks need to be worth it for beginning local farmers.

Nevada ranks 39th out of 50 in its current 'farming outlook,' which includes data like the number of farms per 100 people, average farmer age, percentage of owner-occupied farms, etc. While that's not awful for literally the driest and most mountainous state in the nation, it's also far from what's possible. Our high desert farm sits at 5200' and uses a 150' well to water our crops. Our soil's organic matter has increased 150% since we've been farming in our regenerative, soil-focused fashion for the last three years (dramatically increasing its moisture-holding capacity). Is it easy and without a constant stream of threats and failures? No. But nobody expects farming amid a changing climate (and in the high desert) to be a breeze. Indeed, good farmers seem to enjoy a steady challenge.

At Prema, we've enjoyed incubating new local farmers over the past six seasons and, even after Zach and I are out of the picture, the farm will continue to do so as long as our community continues to demand more local, organic food. There's no point in showing someone with a fresh and bold passion for farming how to grow in our arid climate if we aren't certain people will line up for it. Beyond increasing interest in these local producers, we also need to address the growing inequity of food access for locally-grown, nutrient-dense goods. While a more complex topic, it's worth noting that if sustainable vegetable crops aren't qualified to be subsidized the way industrialized commodity crops are, then adequate funds should be available to bridge the accessibility gap. If we can spend nearly 12 billion dollars to ensure anti-nutritious ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup are criminally cheap, then why not allocate dollars to help balance that equation for the health of our bodies, environment, and local food systems?

Despite the challenges we face in the pursuit of better food systems, we're buoyed by the colorful harvests each season continues to offer. We're encouraged by our CSA members who are undaunted by the many shades of green in your boxes each week. Fueled by your notes, and comments, and hand drawn pictures from your kids. We put them on our fridge and sow, seed, and weed on.

In the end, that's all each of us can do. It's our collective small efforts steering this mega consumer ship and it's our humble acknowledgment of the deep and subtle beauty in our lives that keeps us going. Thank you for adding so much beauty to this season.

Keep your coffee close, but your kale closer.


Inside Your Box This Week

Cherry Tomatoes

Shishito Peppers

Hakurei Turnips

Bok Choy







Recipes Worth Trying...

{click images to go to recipe}


For supporting our small organic farm.

For helping pave a way forward for regenerative agriculture.

For investing in young farmers.

For buying local.

We're honored to nourish you!


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