Community Supported Agriculture is a growing trend across the country, and we are well represented in our area with local farms that can be contacted at the various Farmer’s Markets in our area. The Family Garden is one example of a new generation of small farms and farm families giving people healthy, locally grown food alternatives. (Citizen Co-op at 435 S. Main St. is also a buyer of locally grown veggies and other products and needs community support as well. They are open every day except Tuesday from 10 am to 8 pm.)
NOTE: The Downtown Farmer’s Market is now (thankfully) back at the Bo Diddley Plaza on Wednesdays from 4-7pm
In operation since, 2007, the Family Garden has recently moved its operation to 1655 SE 23nd Place in Gainesville. Farmer Jordan Brown previously ran the operation in Bell, Florida for eight years. The farm grows certified organic fruits and vegetables and sells both wholesale and direct to consumer at the Alachua County Farmers Market and through their Community Supported Agriculture program.
The new location is flourishing and Brown anticipates an excellent harvest. Spring crops of carrots, beets, garlic, onions, rutabagas, napa cabbage, and a variety of leafy greens are growing steadily, which will be followed by watermelon, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and squash.
“Our goal here is to show people where their food comes from,” said Brown “We strive to show people that organic farming can benefit not only the farmer and the consumer, but also the Earth. We aim to make organic food more approachable and accessible.”
The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program’s spring shares are available now. By signing up for a subscription, members will become a partner of the farm for 17 weeks, enjoying the first and freshest pick of what the farm has to offer. For an investment of $400, averaging $23 per week, members will pick up a full selection of produce each week. CSA shares are available for pick up at the University of Florida on Thursdays and at the Alachua County Farmer’s Market on Saturday. The investment helps The Family Garden raise the capital needed for the continuous cycle of planting and harvesting.
The Family Garden has established itself as a leader in the sustainable agriculture community in Florida. It is certified organic and is the only Food Justice Certified farm in the South. This certification ensures the fair treatment of workers, so the employees at The Family Garden make a living wage and have rights that other agricultural workers are often denied.
Learn more about The Family Garden and the Agricultural Justice Project at www.thefamilygardencsa.com and www.agriculturaljusticeproject.org. D