Providing fresh, chemical-free produce for our community to promote nutritious, local food choices.
Our family farm is set in the rolling hills of Felton, PA. We use only organic practices on our farm and are currently applying for organic certification with PCO (Pennsylvania Certified Organic). We make an effort to provide a wide array of high quality vegetables.
To us, growing and eating organic makes sense for several reasons. The first is to avoid eating chemicals that are infused in genetically modified food or left on crops from pesticides and herbicides. Yes, many claim that the chemicals are perfectly safe to eat but most studies that investigate these claims are funded by the companies that sell the chemicals. Meanwhile, at least one study funded by an outside source found that some of these chemicals can cause tumors in rats which have similar physiologies to humans. Knowing that, why take the chance on you health if you don't have to?
Another reason we grow organically is to help maintain the health of the land. We want this small farm to provide a variety of food for people for decades to come so keeping it healthy is essential. One of the main organic methods we use is multi-year crop rotations. We try not to plant a crop in one spot more than once in five year (preferably seven) so that the soil has a chance to replenish the nutrients that a particular species used (for that matter, we try not to plant related species there either because they have similar needs). This system also helps disrupt pest and disease problems as it takes time for them to find their desired hosts each year and they may not even be a problem if they find the plants late enough.
Another organic method we use to maintain soil health is cover crops. Cover crops are ones which are not eaten but are instead planted when a field is not in use (i.e. winter season). These plants help manage weeds, prevent good soil from eroding away and in many cases actually help restore nutrients to the soil.
The main reason to grow and eat organic however, is the taste! Perhaps this is a matter of opinion, but we think produce tastes better when not tainted with chemicals and even more so when fresh off the farm. And we don't seem to be the only ones who think so. Our three young kids will pluck beans, blueberries, peas, cherry tomatoes and peppers straight off the plants and eat them in the field. It is very satisfying to see the blissful expressions on their faces as they munch their way through these tasty treats. Even if we can't offer our vegetables straight off the plant to everyone, we hope to make it as close as possible so that everybody has a chance to experience what really good, nutritious food tastes like, just like we and our children do.
Siwik Produce Farm offers a 22-week community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Starting the first week of June, members pick up their weekly herbs and vegetables either here at the farm or at our Hunt Valley delivery site. Farm pick-ups are on Thursdays, 12-7 while pick-ups in Hunt Valley are on Tuesdays, 4-6.
We currently sell produce at this farmers market. Hereford Farm Market: 17004 York Road Hereford, MD Saturdays 9-12, May through October.
We do not have a formal stand at this point in time. However, if you stop by the farm, we would be more than happy to offer whatever we have available. Also, we do sell our produce to some restaurants. If you are a restaurant and are interested in buying local produce, please feel free to email email@example.com or call (717) 495-4087.
Siwik Produce Farm.
13638 Lebanon Church Rd.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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There's one things you should know about your privacy and Siwik Produce Farm.
We don't sell, barter, give away or rent your personal information to anyone, ever. (So if you find yourself suddenly deluged with spam or other junk mail, it wasn't us; we promise.)
More Information on the CSA Program
We currently offer two share sizes; a full share and a partial share. The full share provides $22-23 worth of produce a week; enough for 3-4 people (or 1-2 vegetarians). The partial share provides $13-14 worth of produce each week and feeds 1-2 people. We charge $500 a season for a full share and $300 for the partial share. For the deliveries to Hunt Valley we add on a shipping and handling fee of $4.55 for each week which comes out to $100 extra for the season.
Besides the vegetables and herbs members receive week, there are some other benefits as well. Each week members receive an email telling them what should in the week's share so they can plan. Recipes are available if members need ideas for how to cook their vegetables. Seconds or surplus vegetables are offered for free from time to time. We also offer honey as part of the share when it is available.
Most CSA programs in our area pre-box the shares with an identical assortment of goods in each box. While we can pre-box a member's share for a specific week at his request, we normally do things a bit differently. At our pick-up sites, we lay out all the produce we have for the week and assign a certain number of points to each type of vegetable. Then members come in and select a variety of items whose points add up to a certain number (usually 22 for full shares and 13 for partial shares). This method is perhaps more work for us, but members appreciate being able to choose their items. This way they can pass on something that they still have at home, choose items that store well if they won't be home to use perishable veggies or double up on something that they're going to need more of that week.
For anyone new to the CSA model, members do pay in advance for their season's produce. We are grateful for that because many of our major operating cost are at the beginning of the year (i.e. seeds, trays for transplants, etc.) before we have anything to sell. The income from CSA members gives us the financial breathing room we need until the first harvest and allows us to focus more on growing high quality vegetables for our members.
As most are probably aware, Mother Nature is highly unpredictable. Weather changes each year and a bug that we may never have seen before may appear in droves all of sudden. Because of this we can occasionally lose a crop. However, we grow such a wide variety of vegetables and herbs that, even though we can't necessarily guarantee that members will get a particular vegetable, we can guarantee that they will get their money's worth of produce.
One of the many reasons that people join a CSA program is so they will know exactly where it comes from and how it was grown. We respect that and for that reason, members are welcome to visit the farm. We are always happy to show them around and answer any questions they have.
So what's the best reason to join our CSA program? You will get 22 weeks worth of super fresh, nutritious food that is untainted with chemicals and grown right in your neck of the woods. If you are interested in joining, please either email email@example.com or call (717) 495-4087 and we will answer your questions and provide you with membership forms.