Many of you have commented, usually with consternation, at the unseemly hour of the sending of the availability sheet. In response, I tried to schedule the sheet to email out at 7AM, hoping I would present a ‘new me’ that is more in snyc with the classic food buying schedule. Unfortunately it was so late at night when I ‘scheduled’ the email it got scheduled for the following day!
I’ve never been much of an artful dodger.
The truth is, the publication of the sheet (while it can be done amidst chaos) is a task best suited to quietude. It is work that requires the past (last year’s harvest), the present (food with a timeframe), and the future (food you will want in a few months or years) to be held in a shallow pan and sifted for gold. When I publish the availability sheet I weigh what I think you want to buy with what I think is high quality enough to sell, or in supply sufficient to keep everyone (hopefully) as happy as we can. At the same time we have to list products to see how they’ll sell in the first place.
As any of you who have young children know, quiet is a precious commodity. Up North, on the farm, the are months and months of quiet. Not silence (it’s windy), but a thick, meaty quiet you can chew on, and be nourished by. I love the hubbub of a young family, the vibrant community of farmers and food folks we interact with daily, and the excitement of dozens of phone calls that make up the nerve system of Crown O’Maine. But when you stand on the hillsides north of everything American in complete solitude, there is an opportunity to see what lies ahead, to fully form your thoughts without interruption, and decide on action with resolve and completion.
Many of you have noted that our crew ‘gets things done’. Product to markets. Deliveries week in and week out. Sales calls. New ventures. I would say that the unseemly hour of the availability sheets arrival is not unrelated to these accomplishments. Nor is our significant love of Aroostook.
And, lest it go unspoken, your weekly orders are not unrelated to supporting our late night rambles, pursuit of clarity and action, and full engagement with the hubbub of our local food economy.