E-newsletter – September 6, 2021

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NOTE: This weblog is posted by a volunteer. Nobody from the farm checks or responds to messages right here. You will need to contact the farm instantly with any questions, feedback, and so on

Pricey Members of the farm,

That is week 13 of an 18-week season.  You may be getting pink potatoes, candy corn, carrots, muskmelon (could also be brief so everybody might not get one), orange flesh honeydew, cucumbers (certainly one of any sort), eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, anaheim peppers, and poblano peppers.  What a scrumptious week…

Honey & Oil:  Members who ordered month-to-month (each oil and honey) deliveries and people who ordered a second 32oz bottle of oil will get them this week.  Please Notice:  In case you are discovering you want extra of both of those merchandise, name or electronic mail us.  Please don’t neglect to inform us your DC location!  The order is required no later than September 25th for an October 4th supply.

Winter Share:  We’re attaching the Winter Share type to this article in hopes you’ll fill it out and return it so we will plan for the winter.  To this point, solely about 100 members have chosen to go along with this share and most of them signed up for this final spring.  We consider we’ve got sufficient produce for 50 to 100 extra shares.  So unfold the phrase or share this kind with your folks.  Thanks

Colorado Senate Invoice 21-087, Endlessly altering the face of Colorado agriculture:  Early this 12 months a invoice was launched into the senate often called “Agricultural Staff’ Rights”.  This was not too long ago signed into regulation by Governor Polis.  What does this imply for farmers?  The individuals and teams who pushed this invoice did so on behalf of agricultural employees and employees’ rights, nevertheless the result will probably be severely detrimental to Colorado farms and their workers.  The difficulty that has probably the most potential to break Colorado farms is how the extra time guidelines will likely be written.   We will likely be required to pay extra time to our workers; nevertheless, we don’t but know what will likely be categorised as extra time.  The unique proposition was that extra time will begin after 40 hours per week or 12 hours in a day. 

We’re at the moment in a authorities program known as H2A the place individuals come from Mexico for 9 months of the 12 months.  They’re paid, present with housing and pushed to city weekly for any wanted provisions.  We’re liable for all their wants.  We take this duty very severely.   The H2A rules are stringent on all fronts.  Our housing should meet prime quality requirements (our own residence wouldn’t meet them).  They’re paid a good wage above the minimal required.  We’re inspected to verify we’re following pointers.  H2A employees surveyed in Colorado reported that they received’t be capable to come again to work right here in the event that they can’t be provided greater than 40 hours per week.  The difficulty right here is that farmers can’t afford to pay time and a half when employees go into extra time.  They’ll merely need to cease work when the restrict has been reached.

 Farmers very hardly ever, if in any respect, have a collective voice.  We solely represent 1% of the inhabitants within the US.  There are various points right here which might be sophisticated to deal with.  However in a nutshell, we solely have a restricted period of time to get sure work accomplished.  For instance, our honeydew subject is able to choose.  If we don’t choose them once they’re prepared, they may rot within the subject.   The crops received’t produce once more.  That was our solely probability to get them out to you.  The identical goes for when we have to weed.  If we miss a window which may be as small as a number of days, the weeds outgrow the crops, and we will’t catch up.  We abandon the crop in these conditions.  Now we have a brief lived and really intense rising season right here in Colorado.  If we don’t act rapidly, we lose huge. 

Most employees don’t work year-round, subsequently they need the utmost variety of hours obtainable.  They then dwell off what they’ve made throughout the rising season for the rest of the 12 months.  Most can construct their household’s properties and go above & past offering for his or her instant and prolonged households in Mexico with their farm wages.  If H2A employees refuse to come back right here, we is not going to have any workers.  We are able to’t run the farm with out individuals to assist us plant, harvest, weed, and irrigate.  (We joined the H2A program in 2020 as a result of we may now not discover American employees.)

The place would you see the outcomes of this invoice and the way will it have an effect on you? The center-sized farms will stop to exist.  What is going to stay are some 1-5 acre farms and the large mega farms.  Farmers markets may start to look slim or should shut.  It’s very doubtless that almost all Colorado farms will exit of enterprise, and we may very simply be certainly one of them.

Do you know that 72% of your meals in grocery shops come from exterior the USA the place there are much less stringent rules for ag employees, chemical substances and processing?  Are you aware the place your meals comes from? Have you ever seen the Nation of Origin labels?  They need to be on all the pieces from meat to your greens.

We desperately want your voice and public enter whereas rulemaking for this invoice takes place!!!  Please add your feedback instantly if you need mid-sized farms, CSA farms, and farmers markets to stay in Colorado.  You possibly can head to the CDLE (Colorado Division of Labor and Employment) web site to submit feedback.  You possibly can google: “CDLE Agricultural Labor Rights and Obligations Public Remark”.  The direct hyperlink is: https://docs.google.com/types/d/e/1FAIpQLSci49EmAsxXtGTCZGT9pRMWHZxFarVopNcY5wGATdSGAvosSA/viewform

Thanks for supporting us and all Colorado farmers,

Kyle, Sam, Jacquie, and Jerry

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