‘Tis the season of giving! Yes, the holiday season is all about family and traditions, but it’s also a time to expand one’s definition of “family” a little wider, and to share the year’s bounty with those in need. In the midst of a chaotic season of planning and coordinating and gift-buying, taking a moment to contribute to a larger cause gives us a chance to focus on what matters to us, and what we believe in.
Here at Robin Hills Farm, what we believe in can be summarized in our tagline: “Experience your food.” This takes many forms in what we do, from sharing sustainable agricultural techniques through our tours & events to offering classes that reconnect people to process, but in its essence, this statement captures our belief that good, whole, grown-with-love food is both an enriching experience and a human right.
New to the scene as we are, we’ve tried to demonstrate this belief as we establish our identity within the community. As some of you may know, our organic vegetable farm has been donating surplus produce to Food Gatherers, an Ann Arbor-based food security program, throughout the season–our farm manager, Bee Ayer, estimates that over a ton of our fresh organic veggies went to this local initiative over the summer and fall. We’ve also been making deliveries to food banks in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. In spite of the dry summer, we had an abundant harvest season, growing more than we could possibly sell, and nonprofits like these offer a great opportunity to reduce waste and feed the hungry at the same time.
Our site not only produces food, but also provides an awesome event & recreational space for the community, so we hosted a few fundraisers this year for local organizations as well. Our Summer Solstice Festival in June, a joint effort between us and Breathe Yoga, raised over $300 for Chelsea United Way and the Legacy Land Conservancy. In September, our Dinner Party cooking class instructor Emily van der Waard and her students served a fabulous Mediterranean feast to our guests at our Dinner & a Movie event, and raised over $700 for our co-hosts at Chelsea Community Kitchen.
But this holiday season, we wanted to do a little something extra, and offer community members a way to give back through Robin Hills Farm. So we teamed up with Faith in Action, a community-funded assistance and resource center based in Chelsea and Dexter, to fight hunger in our community. Our Winter CSA program gives families the opportunity to sign up for a box of fresh organic produce just in time for their holiday feasts; we’re now also offering the option of purchasing a share for donation to families in need. On December 18, after our CSA pickup and Open House, we’ll be delivering these donated shares to FIA, who will distribute them to folks who may not typically get to enjoy access to high-quality local food.
Participants who purchase a share for donation will receive a Robin Hills Farm gift bag and a free class voucher. Hurry — the Dec. 18 deadline is sneaking up fast! Look for the check box on the CSA sign-up form that reads, “Donate your share to Faith in Action of Chelsea.” And, above all, have a happy & blessed holiday 🙂