Our trusty pickup tent is on its last legs, with a cracked and leaky ceiling, fraying edges, and material that becomes more stiff and unwieldy to take down and put up with each passing season. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to replace our tattered tent with a beautiful, semi-permanent, cedar pickup pavilion.

The pavilion makes a lot of sense as it is more practical and efficient, offering a pleasant three-season meeting space at Stearns, protection for equipment through the winter, and most importantly, it will provide enough space below the tent for sharers like you to collect produce and seek shelter from the rain and sun.

To purchase and install the pavilion, we need $20,000—a big number for a small farm. We’ll need the entire community to pitch in. As a non-profit CSA, we plow every penny of our share price into operations, using those funds to purchase seeds and growing materials and to pay our farmers a fair wage. Large infrastructure projects require community participation. In the past few years we’ve pulled together to heat the greenhouse, purchase our beautiful cedar storage sheds, and make other investments needed to sustain the farm so we can continue to grow fresh, healthy food for your family. (The photo, right, from the New England Outdoor website, shows the style of pavilion we plan to purchase.)

We know that there’s a lot of love for our little farm in your hearts. As we enter the season of gratitude and giving, we look to you, our community, to help make the new pickup pavilion a reality.

Stearns Farm depends on the philanthropy of everyone in our community, and in past years our generous sharers and friends have helped us reach our participation goal of 100%. Could you help us reach our 100% participation goal again this year? Every gift, at every giving level, makes a difference!

Also, remember if your employer offers a match, your contribution can be doubled or sometimes tripled, increasing the impact of your gift. (Please check our list of employers who match donations. If you don’t see yours, ask your HR department if your company has a matching gift program).

Finally, we are aware that the new tax laws have implications for charitable giving, and we are happy to share what we know about timing your gift and tax advantages to giving from accounts that have not yet been taxed. Please email board president Nomi Sofer at president@stearnsfarmcsa.org with any questions. As always, we’re grateful for your continued support.