2018 Moncton and Dieppe Basket Customers,
It is with a heavy heart and a lot of tears that I have to write this note to you. I have both wonderful and difficult news.
The difficult news is that 2018 will be the first time since I started farming in 2007 that I will not be able to fulfill my commitment to provide weekly veggie baskets to customers who have trusted Nature’s Route Farm with their pre-payments. Many of you have been customers for years and I look at your names in black and white and feel torn apart inside; I have gotten to know so many of you. In compensation for your dedication and trust I would like to offer you three options:
- I will happily give you $1.05 for every dollar that you have paid if you are able to pick your vegetables up at the Saturday Dieppe Market à la carte; starting the 14th of July, 2018, without expiry. For example, a Small Basket costs $288 and would get $305 of Nature’s Route Farm Market Dollars;
- You are welcome to pick-up your baskets in Sackville on Thursdays; and
- If you are unable to pick-up at market or in Sackville please let me know and I will refund all of your payments.
The default for your payment will be Nature’s Route Farm Market Dollars. If you would like to change your pick-up location or be refunded please let me know by email at: email@example.com.
The wonderful news is that despite the struggles of 12 seasons, divorce, and losing wonderful staff from time to time I am still excited about farming! My first priority is to get through the season with all of the financial commitments I have made. I feel blessed that I have so many options to do this. We will drop all Moncton and Dieppe weekly baskets and the Moncton Market. We will focus on the Sackville and Dieppe Markets and continue Sackville Weekly Baskets for 2018. I have a wonderful farm team including Heidi, Sarah (for the summer) along with (for the first time at our farm) Jesus, Leopoldo, and Antonio who are Seasonal Agriculture Workers from Mexico. They are all doing phenomenal work.
For the last three years as a single dad, I have tried to operate this business to maximize its potential and to offset additional responsibilities by adding management staff. To add the management staff this year I had to increase both market and basket sales. Moncton and Dieppe CSA weekly vegetable baskets are at 25% of target and I cannot find the management staff I need. I do not have enough time in 2018 to train new managers; but we have a great production team. This has been a tremendously stressful and difficult decision; having turned this corner I feel I can make my life and this business into what I would want if I started from scratch. I will maintain the same commitment to my ideal: To grow the best organic vegetables possible and try to make them accessible to as many people as I can. I feel that this decision will enable me to grow those vegetables without the emotional toil of my farm team being overwhelmed all the time. This decision has enabled me to feel excited about our future here.
I wish you all the very best, convey my heartfelt thanks for your support and look forward to seeing you at market!
Kent Coates, Owner, Nature’s Route Farm