june locavores

this past sunday the brazos locavores visited the csa farm of mike and amy richardson, established in december of 2008 and located near kurten, texas (about 20 minutes northeast of bryan via hwy 21).

welcome to richardson farms

welcome to richardson farms

the richardson’s lease eight acres of land and are currently producing tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash, peas, cantaloupe, okra, israel melon and watermelon on its sandy top loam.  mike, a fire fighter with the bryan fire department, grew up farming with his family in rockdale (also richardson farms, see its recent write up in edible austin).  amy is a flight nurse and recalls gardening with her grandparents nearby.  while mike has experience growing vegetable crops conventionally, the aim of this csa is to produce crops with as many sustainable practices as possible.  the soil is amended with composted manures and tilled in cover crops.  weeding is done mechanically, requiring no chemical control.  insects are controlled by naturally-occurring predators.  water is delivered by surface drip irrigation.

soil amendment, mechanical weeding and drip irrigation

view of newly planted melon row with drip irrigation

while these methods of crop production are “more prevention than reaction,” they are providing mike and amy with many learning opportunities along the way.  they intend to pass this learning onto their customers, educating them on the benefits and sometimes unpredictable processes of farming and sustainable food production.

amy richardson tends to the tomato field

amy richardson tends to the tomato field

the richardsons can currently provide produce for 15 csa share holders.  one share costs $100 and is good for one year.  it works much like a debit card, where each disbursement of vegetables is tallied and deducted from the remaining balance.  unlike most csa’s where the farmer determines the vegetables given each week, the richardson csa model seeks input from its customers, delivering only what the customer wants, how much they want, and when they want it.  any remaining vegetable surplus is sold at the brazos valley farmers’ markets.

mike richardson extols the virtues of sustainable farming

mike richardson extols the virtues of sustainable farming

the richardsons’ enthusiasm for growing healthy products for their brazos valley consumers is inspiring.  here’s to healthy soils and a bountiful harvest…

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2 thoughts on “june locavores

  1. Love the pics! And I love sunflowers! Pests are starting to come in full force with the heat of summer! We’ve been enjoying our rain and cooler weather–a rarity for this time of year–but I’m not complaining!

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