Consistency, What Are We Really Wanting?

The newsletter posted last week with regards to the Local Sampler Basket was changed slightly.  We apologize for any inconvenience the substitutions caused.  Our goal here at This Old Farm is not only to provide healthful, local foods to you, our customer, but also to aid and assist the farmers who grow our food.  While we believe that many of the methods of care commonly practiced in traditional agriculture are unhealthy, we must remember that there is a reason they perform these practices.  Our demand for consistency (and low cost food) calls for the systems put in place by large agricultural companies.  In buying from small, local farms, you occasionally lose the consistency of product, we call that variation character.  Does a green pepper always have to be shaped like a bell?  Is it the end of the world if we have to substitute yellow squash for zucchini or sirloin in place of flank steak in a recipe?  Anything and everything can hurt a crop and cause a change in availability, from too much rain to not enough.  Or in the case of eggs right now, a neighborhood dog coming in to “play”with our pastured chickens.  This is certainly not something a farmer wants to have happen.  In our sustainable farm world there is often not an equal substitution.  If you want a local, chemical free product we can’t call our produce broker friends and order in a back up case from Venezuela, nor do we want to.  Though we definitely understand there could be reason for frustration at not getting what one expected, our farmers try hard to live up to their predictions. Yet we feel it most important to get you the quality you should expect by switching produce in times of temporary crop issues or simply letting you know we are out of something.  We feel it most important to stand behind the farmer and the name on the label that tells you without doubt you are getting a product you can trust.