To you, my dear friends,
For the past few years, my passion for volunteering has revolved around my CSA, KyV Farm. One of the main reasons I got involved was because of the food allergies my daughter has.
Under the age of one, we thankfully found out she has allergies to wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, cod fish, red 40 and other dyes to name a few. Secondly I noted that many of the other children around her have food allergies that cause severe eczema and psoriasis to swelling and anaphylaxis where the throat can swell shut and possibly cause death. This did not happen when my generation was growing up, so why is it so prevalent now? When I spoke with the food researchers at a local natural food store they said the studies and statistics show that these food allergies increased in direct correlation with the genetic modification and processing of foods and we can combat this by buying whole, organic (and local!) foods.
The BEST way to do this is through an organic CSA/Farm Share. This is where you support a local farm by buying a “share” of the crop before the start of the growing season. The farmer can then use the funds to run the farm through the year and you get to enjoy the bounty, but also to share in some of the risk.
I have written recipes, organized events and created a drop-off at my company -through this process Vivian, Francisco and their family at KyV Farm have become like my family. Vivian was a salon owner in Puerto Rico before coming to the US and now even cuts my hair and my daughter’s hair (a one stop shop for veggies and a haircut!). Many times I’ve been welcomed into their home for food and laughs and they have been kind enough to promote my blog and business. There are so many reasons to get to know a local farmer in your area – not only for the nourishment of your body and for the health and well-being of your family, but for the sense of community. Together we can all make a difference by sharing information with others – one step at a time.
KyV farm is asking for support in an old fashioned Barn Raising and I’m asking – no matter how far away you are – for your help! Any donation to help this worthy cause will help this worthy cause of helping farmers, promoting health and, by not using pesticides and fertilizers, save the environment. Please see the details below for more information!
“Barn Raising” - Donate Now
In the 18th and 19th centuries, barns were an absolute necessity for the average farmer,
providing a place to house animals and store food, supplies and tools. But barns were also very
expensive structures to build that required more labor by more hands than a single farm family could
provide. And so the tradition of the community barn raising began. An entire community would get
together to help one of its member families build their barn. Only those with the most specialized skills
might be paid in some way, but generally everyone volunteered for the job. The point was to help one’s
fellow man, but everyone benefited in the end. Families traded for and bought goods from one another,
so it wasn’t good for any part of that system to break down. A sense of community was fostered as
whole villages gathered for up to several days of work, socializing and communal meals. Plus, those
same barns, though owned after the raising by the individual farmer, were often used for community
events such as dances and meetings.
Though traditional barn raising occurs now only in certain segments of society, modern versions
of the concept are still employed, most typically when a community raises money together for a big
project. Well, we would like to bring the traditional and the modern together within our KYV family.
Your farm needs a good old-fashioned barn, which is still a large and costly structure, but which is
essential for our growing community.
What we are planning is a 30-by-40-foot structure located right behind the current pickup shed
on Borrow Pit Road. There will be a large, enclosed, certified commercial kitchen at one end. The rest of
the barn will be an open area that will include the walk-in cooler and a small bathroom. The large open
part of the barn will allow us to have more space for pickups. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve gone from
using just the inside of the little shed to using the inside and the porch, and now that isn’t even big
enough. We also envision using the open area for cooking demonstrations and classes by local chefs,
tastings, workshops and more.
The certified kitchen will be used for workshops, canning and activities. But here’s the best part
for you: Our members will be able to access the certified kitchen too! This means that on pickup days,
you can bring your own containers and prep your share right then and there. You can wash, peel and
chop till your heart’s content, and then leave the scraps for compost or chicken feed. We’ve had many,
many members say that they wish they could do all of that before they took their veggies home, and we
think this will meet that need. Having access to the kitchen at the farm also means that you’ll be able to
can whatever items you can’t use right away. Think of all those pounds and pounds of beans and
potatoes you’ve harvested at potlucks past. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a place to prepare and can
all of that without having to turn your own kitchen into a mini-factory? Some of our members have even
pointed out that they would love to prepare their own goodies for sale at markets and other venues, but
that some of those places require that food be prepared in a certified kitchen. With this barn, our foodcrafting
members can have that opportunity! We are planning for our certified kitchen to have a large
stove, a refrigerator and plenty of counter space.
Here’s where the KYV community comes in. Remember the part about barns still being costly
structures? We have gotten one quote so far of $10,000 just for the barn. Of course, we are going to get
other quotes and see where we might be able to reduce some of the cost. The cost of the certified kitchen
will depend on what kinds of deals we can find on restaurant equipment. Meanwhile, we will be doing a
kind of internal “Kickstarter” campaign to raise our barn. Through the “Donate Now” tab at
www.kyvfarm.com, members will be able to donate toward this project the same as you can donate right
now to the Feed-a-Family program.
Thank you, in advance, for your support in raising a barn that we think will benefit our entire
KYV community. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this project! And, please, if you
have any questions (or suggestions on fundraising for us), don’t hesitate to contact us.
Organic Vegetables & Specialty Citrus
Community Supported Agriculture Wholesale Distribution
Francisco Arroyo & Vivian Bayona
1670 Borrow Pit Rd. Switzerland, FL 32259
Cell: (787) 232-7359 or (787) 232-2234
www.kyvfarm.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org