“CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you're purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer.”
Quote provided by Just Foods at http://www.justfood.org/csa
Sara and Todd are building a dream from the ground up. The Farm on 41st Street integrates their vision of a CSA on Fidalgo Island with their dreams of being farmers.
With today’s youths looking for stress-filled, high-paying jobs in Corporate America, it is refreshing to meet a young couple putting roots down and investing in health, farming, and their community.
As a child Todd’s grandparents had a large garden. It was a way of life for them. “As a kid I always thought I would want to be a farmer,” Todd said. Farming was pushed to the back of his mind as he began a different career path when he got older. While living in Oregon the seed was replanted and he started to study farming. He looked for land but the cost of land became a deterrent, the dream was again put on hold. When he returned to Washington he met Sara and as their relationship grew, so again did the dream.
Sara grew up on Fidalgo Island in Anacortes. Sara and her parents own land, which accommodated the horses Sara had. The horses are no longer around and the land became overgrown with blackberry bushes and other vegetation. With all of this available land the idea of starting a CSA made sense.
“We decided to go for it,” Todd said.
They started working the land to get the fields in shape. They plowed the fields, did some soil testing, added manure and started with a small garden.
“It didn’t work out very well at first, I mean it was okay,” Todd said.
It took a while to get the ground fertile. Once it was debugged, weeded and finally used, the fields started to return a higher yield crop each year. The plan was to grow the most common vegetables; carrots, tomatoes, winter squash, onion, garlic, etc.
“Nothing too exotic,” Sara said.
Small orchards of apples, pears and plums complete their offering. For CSA customers who like to can or pickle, they have the option to buy large quantities of certain fruits and vegetables.
To celebrate the first season they invited their CSA customers and their families for a Harvest Dinner and tour of the farm. Everything was prepared from scratch using what was grown on the farm.
Part of their charm is educating their CSA members on ways to add veggies into all their meals. “Incorporate the vegetables into your regular routine,” Sara said.
“It is surprisingly satisfying to eat vegetables for breakfast,” Todd added.
Growing vegetables has changed the way they eat and they want others to understand the value of vegetables in the diet and that vegetables don’t always need a recipe.
The money from the CSA is being reinvested back into the farm. Last year they purchased a greenhouse so they can start seedlings early. They added more fencing in certain areas and they have added livestock to their farm. Sara grew up with chickens so they have a variety of hens. Pigs and sheep have become a part of the farm and soon they will be offering eggs, pork, and lamb.
Nothing compares to vegetables straight from the garden, the taste, the quality, and the nutrition. And joining a CSA is a great way to enjoy the benefits of fresh grown fruit and vegetables without all the work.
Enjoy the taste of the produce from The Farm at 41st Street, it helps support the hard work and diligence of farmers like Sara and Todd. You can also find some of their vegetables and fruit at the new Food Co-Op in Anacortes - Woven Dreams.
Sara and Todd Fifield
The Farm on 41st Street