Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sand Creek Farm CSA

Sand Creek Farm CSA
Contact Info:

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That's right. Local Sand Creek Farm and Dairy in Cameron TX, home to raw milks, cheeses, yogurt, eggs and a wonderful variety of meats, is opening up their farm to a CSA starting in April 2010! And I had the opportunity to talk with owners Ben and Alysha Godfrey to get all the details. Check it out!
SGF: Tell me a little about your family and how Sand Creek Farm got started.

Sand Creek: In 2001 Ben decided we needed to move out of the city onto a little land so that we could have a little flavor of the country in our lives. Alysha was a city girl and so did not want to go to far from town. First we moved to a 3 acre plot with a home just outside of College Station, then in 2003 we moved to 20 acres, which grew to 40 acres. While living there Ben decided to work the land the old fashioned way - with draft horses.

We went to Amish country in Holmes County, OH and met some of the neatest families imaginable who took us under wing and taught us the basics of horse farming, putting up food for ourselves and how to set up a small family farm. The city girl in Alysha was now expanding to the country.

It was then, and with a firm belief that there was a need for more nutritious food in our food system, Ben decided we needed an organic garden, then a milk cow, then a grass fed milk cow with the entire farm being managed organically.

Well one cow went dry which meant we needed another, then there was too much milk, then the neighbors wanted it, which led to a 3rd cow and from there the quest for a license from the State to be able to sell raw milk. From that point we learned that we were the only cow diary in the State of TX with a license to sell raw milk.

We quickly outgrew the 40 acres with our 9 milk cows and 20 head of work horses leading to a move to the slow rolling hills of Milam County, TX in mid 2006 with our little herd and a customer base of about 20 families. We set up a small dairy, commercial kitchen/milk room with a little help of one part time college student. Ben kept his day job, as they say. In 2009, Ben decided to sell his commercial construction company and come home full time to be with the girls and Alysha and farm/dairy for a living. Now we provide nutrient dense food to about 130 families a week. Our selections have grown from just milk to grass fed beef, farmstead cheeses, pastured pork, sausages, healthy hot dogs, pastured eggs, honey, maple syrup, jams, canned produce and more.

SGF: I can certainly vouch for the quality. Both my husband and I have both visited the farm and have purchased the dairy and meats. That raw whole milk is the BEST!

So how did the idea for the organic CSA come about?

Sand Creek: We wanted to be able to offer our Farm Members a well rounded variety of foods, and produce is part of that. Through our different associations with other farmers we have learned a great deal about having a produce “truck patch” and the importance of working together as families and friends. One of our good friends and organic produce farmers wanted to work with us on this project and so it just naturally worked out to have an organic produce CSA available to our current Farm Families and anyone else that would like to purchase good quality, nutrient dense, organic produce at a good price.

SGF: How will the CSA work (re: payments, pickups, etc)?

Sand Creek: There will but a small one-time Farm Membership fee and Annual Planting fee and then the weekly boxes will be paid for 4 weeks at a time in advance. If a person is a current Farm Member they will just add it to their regular order databases; if they are a new customer they can choose to join an already operating group where the families take turns coming to the farm or have their own paid driver, or they can choose to come to the farm on their own. There may be some other options in the future as need arises but for right now this is how we plan to provide the CSA Produce Boxes.

Members of the CSA should expect to receive a box each week for at least 30 weeks of the year for $28/box. Each box will contain 14# or more of commonly used produce. We plan to specialize in flavorful varieties of everyday favorites.

SGF: How many families can you serve?

Sand Creek: About 100 this first season but we can handle a whole lot more. We plan to have extra produce in the ground so that we can grow the size of the CSA at any time.

SGF: How can people find out more about becoming a member?

Sand Creek: They can e-mail us directly at ben@sandcreekfarm.net or visit our website, www.sandcreekfarm.net.
This is truly exciting news, but to get in on the first season, be sure to email Sand Creek Farm by January 1st and put your name on the list. I'll also have Sand Creek Farm CSA fliers at the info booth I host at the Saturday farmers' market as well as at the booths I host all over town.

A big welcome to the Sand Creek Farm CSA, a wonderful addition to our community! May the harvest be plentiful!

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Strange, I find myself longing to live in TX....

Chile said...

Sounds exciting! I love how they kept growing, and I'm sure it won't stop. Our local CSA started with less than 50 members with pick-up at the coordinator's home. Now there are 500 members, plus a waiting list, spread out over two pick-up days at a central location. And the farmer has CSA is three other cities in the state, sells at farmer's markets and supplies some restaurants.

Oh yeah, I just remembered. Our farmer started out with basil. Just basil. He now grows over 200 varieties of vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains. Yay for local food!

Heather @ SGF said...

Michelle - Tempting, isn't it :)

Chile - Just basil? That's amazing! There's hope for all of us beginner farmers!

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