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