Contributor Theresa Gould’s latest update on her family’s organic farming learning experience. A husband, wife and their seven children pursue their organic farming dreams…
First Year of Growing 2010
I left off my farm series when we were farming a 200’ x 80’ field in 2010, which you can read more about here . We did not get much planted that year for fall and only did one small farmers market for Pepsi Co. as they held a private farmers market for their employees. It was a really good experience and we hope to work with them again in the future.
In the fall/winter of 2010, I took a CSA Planning Course (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture), which was very enlightening as far as production practices go. I loved learning from more experienced farmers. However, midway through the course I told my husband that I thought we needed more growing/post production experience before starting our own CSA. I think he was relieved.
2011 Growing Season
I offered a fellow classmate, Mrs. T., my services on her organic farm in 2011 to gain more experience. She was just a few steps ahead of us in regards to where she was in her farming experience and had her land at the farm incubator we were interested in experiencing. It was a great fit for our family. Mrs. T.’s farm was an acre in size and she had a 10 member CSA.
My position on her farm was that of a farm/field hand, working 2-3 days a week, going with her to the farmers market every other weekend and covering for her when she went on vacations. This worked out well for me as she allowed me to bring my children and receive two CSA boxes/week. Plus I earned some cash on the side for working the farmers market.
I gained experience in working a greenhouse, direct planting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvesting production, preparing CSA boxes and going to market. I am very appreciative for the time we spent (March through September) on Mrs. T’s farm. My children still ask about her and we continue to keep in touch, even after she “put up” with all my younger children’s antics!
Stay tuned for the next part of our story, which will be about how we got our own farm.