Turtle Bend Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm in Polk County, Georgia. Adam and Mecca Lowe are growing vegetables on approximately 7 acres of family farmland using ecological methods without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Our goal is to produce clean, healthy, fresh vegetables for our local communities while protecting and enhancing our local natural and social resources.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fall Vegetable Subscription

As summer vegetables are in full swing, we are already looking to the fall production. We have decided to offer a 10-week subscription to a weekly box of seasonal fall and late summer vegetables. Some of you may not be very familiar with this new way of connecting with a farm to enjoy their seasonal harvest. The way it works is that a farm finds interested customers who want to enjoy their fresh produce regularly and support the local farm in the process. Farmers need to have an idea of how many people are going to buy their products before they spend all that time and money producing it, so the customers sign up to become members of a seasonal vegetable subscription. Many people now call this model "Community Supported Agriculture" or CSA for short because it is literally through the support of the local community that the farm is able to be successful. As you might have noticed, most of the produce you buy in the store, and even some that you buy at farmers' markets (see previous post), is shipped in from other states, namely Florida and California. Many times the produce is picked unripe and allowed to ripen in transit, compromising the taste, nutrition and overall quality of the food. With our farm, we pick the produce the day before we sell it, if not the same day! And, your money is able to stay in the community, benefiting other local businesses and helping to preserve surrounding farmland. So, that's some of the reasoning behind it, now here are some of the logistics: Our Fall CSA will begin during the week of September 21st and will run for 1o weeks. During that time, we will provide you and your family with a weekly box of fresh, naturally grown vegetables. Each box will contain 5-7 different vegetables. We are selling the boxes for $20 each, but the vegetables are often worth more than that. We ask that each member commit to the entire season through one of our payment methods. Please ask us about those options. Finally, once we know where our customers are located, we will arrange some drop-off sites where we can meet to deliver your vegetable boxes. Ideally, we would like to have several customers for each drop site, so tell your friends! Vegetables will include: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, winter squash, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mustard greens, turnips, swiss chard, garlic and spinach. Some of our late summer crops will also be included, such as green beans, summer squash and anything else that is still producing. Please contact us for more information and to sign up. We will only have 20-25 slots available so space is limited. To learn more about CSA programs, click here. To sign up for ours, email us or call. Our contact information is on our blog and on our listing here.

Harvest and going to Market

Our summertime vegetables have finally started rolling in and we have been able to start providing naturally grown produce to our surrounding community. We first visited the Dallas Farmers Market and we have really enjoyed meeting folks there and sending them home with a couple of pounds of green beans, some tasty cucumbers or some colorful heirloom tomatoes! So far, we have the following items for sale from our farm: heirloom tomatoes, green, red and orange bell peppers, hot peppers, french-style green beans, regular bush snap beans, fresh basil, black-eyed peas, corn, pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, squash and zucchini. We have also been visiting the Cedartown farmers' market on Tuesdays- it's quite a bit slower but we have enjoyed getting to talk to folks and meet the other vendors. Finally, we visited the Powder Springs Farmers' Market yesterday. We met some really wonderful people from My Dad and Me Family Farm who produce vegetables, raw cow's milk, broiler meat chickens and homemade breads. Much of our time was spent getting to know these wonderful people. The market would have been better had it not been for a few produce vendors who were simply hocking stuff they had bought from a wholesaler. They sell the same produce you would find in a grocery store for dirt cheap and many consumers can't tell the difference. It is the worst thing for farmers like us who have worked so hard to produce clean, fresh, local food only to have somebody who has not sweated and worked undercut us. I challenge all of you reading this to ask the vendor if they grew it or where it came from- You can tell the farmer who has been working hard to bring you good food because they will be able to look you honestly in the eyes and tell you it came from their own hard work. Then you will know why it cost an extra dollar or two- because it is reflecting the true cost of food, keeping your local farmers in business, and it is going back into your own community. Ok, enough soap-boxing but we just had to vent about that. Please come out and say hello to us at any of these local markets: Peek's Park in Cedartown on Tuesdays from 6:30am-8:30am, Downtown Powder Springs on Thursdays from 4pm-8pm, and Downtown Dallas on Saturdays from 8am-noon! If you cannot make it to one of these markets and especially if you are Rockmart, please contact us and we will make arrangements so that you can buy some fresh, naturally grown produce from us. We follow organic standards but we are not certified- no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides- and we are growing our crops from organic and heirloom seeds!