Hello CSA members! Tiffany here. I am writing with bittersweet, but very exciting news: I have left my position as CSA Manager and Kristi Durbin has taken over! Kristi is a Sustainable Agriculture graduate, completing her student apprenticeship at the farm in 2012 and has been on staff at the farm ever since. She has already planned new and exciting things for the upcoming season and I am confident that the UKCSA will continue to provide quality organic vegetables to our members. I am thrilled to watch her grow, just as I did, in her farm managerial skills. Joining her are returning staff members Aaron German, Katie Fiske, and Alex Goodman led by our fearless leader Dr. Mark Williams.
Although I will no longer be managing the CSA, I am still working closely with Mark to complete my Master’s degree focused on an economic analysis of the UKCSA operation. My goal is to provide benchmarking financial numbers that may be helpful to beginning farmers. At the end of January, the UKCSA hosted a farm tour in conjunction with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group 2016 Conference (http://www.ssawg.org/january-2016-conference/) to share our farming system with farmers from across the south. Opportunities to share ideas with other farmers who are making locally-based agriculture viable in their communities is always inspiring. I am ever more passionate about sustainable agriculture transforming the way we feed our communities and am grateful that I have been a part of that movement at UK. The hands-on experience I received through my position has given me the confidence to run my own farm one day and the CSA-model has shown me that growing good, healthy food is transformative for people’s lives (both the farmer and the member). I have loved every minute!
This year I will be joining my fiancé Alex Hessler in Blacksburg, Virginia who is a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and also manages the Virginia Tech Dining Services Farm. Needless to say we never (ok I admit-always!) have the topic of vegetable production as a conversation between us. After finishing my Master’s degree, I will be looking to lease farmland in the Blacksburg/Roanoke area-so if any of you have any contacts, pass them along.
A few memories through the years my years at the UKCSA:
Tough-looking crew, 2011:
Planting potatoes, 2012:
Organic team meeting, 2013:
Tiffany and Kristi harvesting fall broccoli, 2013:
First CSA harvest, 2014:
Fall broccoli harvest, 2014:
Planting potatoes, 2015: Aaron, Katie, Alex, Tiffany, Kristi:
Final CSA harvest, 2015: