Thank you so much to those of you who contributed to our Farm Worker Support Fund. You have no idea how much it meant to our farm crew.
If you’d like to make a contribution, click here for more details on our Farm Worker Support Fund.
The Red Wagon Farm Worker Support Fund is new in 2015. So far we have collected $5,332! Over 20% of CSA members made a contribution and Tuv Ha’Aretz contributed $1,000 as a group. I have not yet promoted this fund as much as I would have liked. But despite that, my heart is warmed by the huge response we have received.
We distributed the money to the farm crew in September paychecks. Full-time crew members who have worked the full season received $300 each and a smaller amount was given to part-time crew or people who have only worked part of the season. A lot of the crew members were not aware of this fund and many people were shocked with gratitude that our CSA members made so many contributions. Here are some comments that people sent me after they got their paychecks:
A BIG Thank You to our CSA members who gave money to the Farm Workers Support Fund. Organic farming is a way of life and practice that we truly believe in. Some of the field hands have families and are commuting up to an hour one way every day. Farm work is hardly profitable. Work days are long, begin before the sun is up, and are physically and mentally exhausting. The bonus on the paycheck keeps the motivation high and is greatly appreciated! ~Christian
I just wanted to express my deep, heartfelt gratitude for everyone at Red Wagon and the amazing community of people who support us. The work we do out here is the most challenging work I have ever done in my life. But to be able to provide wonderful, organic food for so many people makes every day out in the field worth it. Thank you so much for your support, my gratitude for this community is beyond measure. ~Maggie
This act of kindness could not have come at a better time. ~Allie
Thank you Amy and Wyatt for thinking of your farm crew and setting up such a generous fund and thank you CSA members for your contributions. I speak for many of my coworkers when I say that most of us are not doing this job because of the pay but because it is work that we can feel good about in a country where farming is a forgotten craft. The work is a challenge and the reward is serving the community. Your donations have been an unexpected gift and a welcome surprise! Thank you! ~Ana
We had to get the propane tank to heat our house filled this month and that is a big expense so the fact that this happened was pretty great! ~Sarah
And a longer comment from Leigh:
As the harvest manager, I get a lot of great quotes and jokes daily from the crew–but the donations from the Farm Worker Support Fund elicited some particularly great responses. Here are a couple of direct quotes from the crew:
“This could not have come at a better time. The extra money on this paycheck is literally going to keep the debt collectors [from student loans] off my back.”
“I just can’t believe it’s true…is this real? Is this real money?”
I think that these quotes emphasize something really key about this donation–it could not have been more perfectly timed. Life as a seasonal worker changes from one month to the next, even from one week to the next. And our well-being fluctuates with the well-being of the crops; when the farm is doing its best we feel the most secure in our jobs and continued employment. In the seasonal work community two times of year are called mud-season–late March to early June, and mid-October to early December. It’s named after the actual mud accumulating on the ground as snow melts (spring) or starts to fall (in early winter) but is also a fairly apt metaphor for the seasonal job market. Typical employment cycles begin and end yearly or even over many years, but for us work/life begins and ends every six months. This time of year feels particularly precarious as we search for our next homes and livelihoods. So a couple hundred extra dollars on the paycheck literally could not have been better timed. I wish I could capture the smiles of relief I saw as the paychecks were passed out. Thank you from the crew at Red Wagon Farm. ~Leigh