All the food that we grow is distributed within about 50 miles through our community supported agriculture (CSA) program. We also sell at an on-site farm stand, we participate in the Boulder Farmers’ Market twice a week and we have about a dozen restaurants that we sell to throughout the year.
Douglas Gayeton: How would you define a CSA?
Anne Cure: A CSA is where people in the local community come out and develop a relationship with the land and the people that are growing their food. They participate by eating seasonally, eating locally. Whatever is coming out of the field is what they take home for their families. It’s about keeping the local economy strong; it’s about keeping agriculture as a focus in our communities; it’s about developing a relationship with the land and the people who grow our food.
Douglas Gayeton: With most CSAs you pay a set amount of money and then you get a box every week, but can you explain how your CSA is a little different?
Anne Cure: Our CSA is a little different in that our CSA members share the risks in the bounty of the farm. When we have a great season they’ve got extra green beans to put in their freezer. When we have a light season or our crop gets frosted out, members shared that risk with us as well, and we don’t have as many tomatoes to share that year.
We try to foster a relationship between CSA members and the land of teh farm where CSA members come. They read off of a chalkboard how much of each item is in their share. THey pack their own produce out from the farm.
There’s also an exchange table. if there is something they don’t care for that week, they can trade it out for something else. Having people here on the land is really important for people to actually see where the food is coming from.
Douglas Gayeton: What do you envision the maturing local food system looking like in five years?
Anne Cure: I think we are on the way to more people having some understanding of how food gets to their place, whether they’re buying it in a grocery store, at a farmers’ market, or at a restaurant.
All across the nation small farms are popping up. Younger people are getting excited about farming again. Many farms offer work opportunities to learn the skills and the business part of small farming.
My vision is that there’s going to be small farms that pop up which provide a connection for our consumers to know where their food comes from and how it gets to their plate, and continue to teach the next generation of farmers how to grow wonderful food and take care of the ecosystem at the same time.