Crooked Acre Market Garden Start Up
My name is Pete Hamilton and I am working hard to open Crooked Acre Market Garden this spring. Crooked Acre is a small scale intensive farm focusing on fresh organically grown produce with an emphasis on our CSA program. I like to think a CSA builds community by growing closer bonds between the folks who are producing food and the folks trying to eat it. It takes a lot of the mystery out and simplifies who you can ask about what it is, or how it was grown, or even how you eat it! You can come check it out and I can tell you all about it! I want to know the folks who eat the food I grow, and perhaps more importantly, I want them to know me and to understand my beliefs on food, my practices in agriculture, and how I accomplish those goals.
I’ve been working in Richmond after finishing up my last season farming in order to save up to get this whole thing running, and I am afraid that I just couldn’t get it all accomplished on my own, even having had held down four jobs at once! As the spring draws near, I have been spending more and more time working with my plant starts and planning out the various aspects of this undertaking, and well, I need some dang money. Because I intend to use organic practices and devote more time into responsible land stewardship (for example, no harmful pesticides, no synthetic fertilizers- which are often made from petroleum products- no herbicides-roundup being the most common- limited tillage, and water conservation, just to name a few) well, it requires a bit more capital. A lot of farms these days are pretty dependant upon large operational loans from banks or Monsanto, but I would greatly prefer not to. At the end of the day, I want to be accountable to the people who I am growing for, not big business or big banks.
With all that said, trying to do things the responsible way (honestly I see it as the right way) costs a bunch of dang dollars and a lot more time. Fortunately, I am willing to spend the time to make this the best that I possibly can, but it looks like I need a little bit more help! Even five dollars can add up to help me out in real big ways, from tomato stakes (they are a big deal) to row cover, from harvest crates and knives to good compost and well built tools, I’m trying to get my hands back in the soil so I can grow it all.
I’ve been talking with a lot of folks this winter, maybe even you! about how much I want to do this and how excited I am to be back in the fields and the support I have received so far has been overwhelming in a lot of ways. I truly could not have come as far as I have in accomplishing this feat if it wasn’t for the support folks have given me to date, from something as big as believing in me enough to join the CSA program (still have a few spots open!) or offering a hand during the season, to as small as listening to me ramble on about peanuts or carrots or how I like digging taters while I stare off dreamily. It has meant a great deal to me, and I truly appreciate every moment of it. I am hoping to get some patches and shirts made for y’all so you can rep the Crooked Acre everywhere you go with a donation of $25 or more, you’ll be looking good as I get down and dirty with my plants!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my rambles, I really do appreciate it.