What do you think of when you think of a farm? A wide open landscape, rolling fields, maybe a tractor and some livestock? It is very romantic, yes? It does have it’s moments of bliss, but we are usually too busy to notice. Another concept that many associate with farms is work. I often hear “it must be a lot of work”. It is a lot of work, but work doesn’t bother most farmers. The hard part is making the farm profitable and income predictable. That is where Community Supported Agriculture saves the farm!
There are many unknowns in farming. When will it rain? When will it stop raining? Will the squash bug wipe out the squash this year? Will the coyotes eat all the watermelons? The CSA takes some of the guess work out of this high risk occupation. The farmers markets and restaurants we work with are great, but if it rains on a Saturday and no one shows up to buy the produce, then we suffer. Restaurants can close for a week, hit a slow season, or have a new chef come in and not be familiar with us and our product. The CSA is the back bone of our farm and Snow’s Bend Farm likely would not exist without the support of our members.
“CSA members are supporting a regional food system, securing the agricultural integrity of their region, and participating in a community-building experience by getting to know their neighbors and who grows their food. (Irvine, Karabinakis, and Portmess, Eating Local – healthy farms, healthy communities, healthy you, 2003)”.
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act
he science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food and other products
Our CSA is a group of people that share an interest in good food and want to ensure that small farms like ours exist. They enable us to lease the land, buy the seeds, hire and pay skilled workers, and provide for our family through farming.
Members make a financial commitment to the farm and in return receive a weekly share of our harvest.
Beyond ensuring that small farms like ours exist, there are benefits to the members. It is a good deal financially. We don’t add extra costs for the delivery, packaging materials, or the newsletter. The box contents are planned according to market value and we often go over, but try not to too much as the number one reason most people will drop out of any given CSA is due to receiving more produce than they are able to consume.
If you have difficulty deciding between local or organic, you get both with us.
We grow 50 different fruits and vegetables and within those we grow several varieties of each. For example, we grow 3 kales, 3 beets, 2 okra, 4 summer squash (not mention the 7 kinds of winter squash), 5 eggplant, 20 plus varieties of tomatoes, and so on. We choose our varieties based on flavor, not on shelf-life as much of the produce you will find at the grocery store has been. This often means that new members are introduced to vegetables and varieties that they have never tried before. Weekly newsletters help to walk you through preparation of the more exotic ones.
There are benefits to the community as well.
Economically, the dollars are kept within the community. Environmentally, less fuel is used to transport food and because we (as are most CSAs) are growing organically, there are no harmful chemicals used in our system.
Family farms have a history. Ours is no different. Although neither of us come from an agricultural background, the land has been in David’s family for over 150 years and it has been farmed in some capacity all of those years. Going back even further, a small population of the Mississippian culture lived on the farm and were certainly growing food. We care deeply about the land we are farming and strive to be good stewards of it.
One of my favorite things in life is sitting at a table with my family and having a colorful plate of food in front of me. Food is at the forefront of my mind almost all of the time. We grow it, we sell it, and we eat it! This is not true for most people these days. I recently heard that 80% of food is consumed 2 hours after it is purchased. That has to mean someone else prepared it or it was processed to be eaten right out of the package. For me, food is such an enjoyable part of life that I cannot imagine not spending time on it. Before children, I would pour a glass of wine, chop some onions and garlic, begin sautéing them and find my inspiration after the smell began to fill my kitchen and I rummaged through the refrigerator and pantry. Now we need much more forethought and find that having templates (ie., taco night, pizza night) and filling in with seasonal ingredients from the farm works much better. One of our many goals as farmers is to introduce more people to the joys of preparing meals from scratch with fresh ingredients. It is reported that increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet is more beneficial to your health than decreasing fat and sugar. The fact that fresh fruits and vegetables are delicious should make that easy.
Our very first melon harvest!
A bounty of thanks to our CSA members for allowing us to farm for you! Many of you have been members since the beginning, when it was just David and I, some soil, seeds and a shovel. We were very young, idealistic, and capable of changing the world all on our own, one carrot at a time. We now know that we cannot do it alone, but need our community and their support. You are all enablers in Snow’s Bend Farms existence. Thank you!
If you are not a member, but are interested, please visit
Our first CSA beet harvest our first year
NEWS FROM THE BEND
From planting time to the growing and harvesting seasons,