Our growing season actually starts in winter! We begin before January looking through seed catalogs and planning out our beds and rotations. We then settle on what we will grow and place our orders. Farmer Matt is careful to purchase seeds that are not treated with harmful fungicides or insecticides. From there, he pulls soil samples from his beds and sends them off to a lab to see what he needs to amend his soil with to ensure he is growing in nutrient rich beds. Healthy soil grows healthy and nutritious food!
Come February, Farmer Matt is in the greenhouse starting his plants. As soon as the threat of frost has passed, these are the plants that find a home in our field. We heat our greenhouse with propane, this year we also added a wood stove to reduce our need of fossil fuels. It was purchased used and we have worked hard to retrofit it work in our greenhouse. We work each night filling seedling flats with certified organic potting soil and water them several times throughout the day while ensuring the temperature in the greenhouse is perfect for germination and growing these tender plants.
Last year, we purchased more land across from our field. This land will double our growing space and will allow us to put in some additional greenhouses to extend our growing season into the colder months. We started clearing the land last October, and we are now trying to get some new beds prepared for this upcoming season. We are very excited about our new investment in the farm and are hoping to be able to grow more good food for the kind folks in the Richmond area.
This land opening up will allow us to start our very first CSA. This year we will be offering limited farm share memberships. A CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture and is a membership subscription service where by committing with us at the beginning of the growing season, you share the rewards and risks of our farm. By doing this, you are helping us to have a successful year. Since you will be helping us early, we will do our best to give you added value each week as a reward. As a member of our CSA you will have direct access to the very best food we grow, the same food we feed our family. Also, when you visit us at the South of the James Farmer’s Market, you will also receive 10% off of additional purchases at our farm stand. Each week you can expect to find 7-10 types of high quality produce in your bag.
Our family is very proud and excited to be offering memberships this year. Just today, our son helped us pass out CSA brochures in our neighborhood. He was so proud to share the news of our farm. To find out more about CSA Memberships, please click here.
Also, we are still looking for farm help. We are hoping to find 2 full time interns. If you know someone who wants to learn from a very innovative farmer, we are offering internships and housing if housing is needed. If you know someone interested, please share this site with them. We look forward to serving you as a CSA member or your visit to us at South of the James Farmer’s Market.