After much deliberation, I've decided to go ahead with my plans for Runamuk Acres. No--no chickens yet, but I am starting up a CSA program to provide fresh produce to the people of the Anson/Madison area.
I have such a hard time buying produce at the grocery store now that I know so much about how that produce is grown and how it gets to us, even food that is certified organic is not all it's cracked up to be (but that is a different post!). And it's difficult for me to get to farmer's markets.
And I know there must be others in the same situation--and many folks don't even have the privilege of keeping a garden of their own part of the year!
Starting a CSA allows me to tailor my business to suit the unique needs of the people who live in the areas around our farm. I believe that many people want to be eating food that is fresh, and safe. I believe that most people would rather support a local business before spending their money at a big out-of-state chain store. But because of economics many folks just can't afford to buy organic. And some folks who would go local and organic, are intimidated by the farmer's markets--not all markets are created equal!
It is my hope to make it easier for people to get fresh, sustainably grown produce close to home, from a source they can get to know and trust.
So I've put together a business plan, which is more of an organizational tool than something that will be put in front of banker--I don't intend to go into debt with this venture; it'll start small, and grow as the demand warrants growth. And hopefully there is demand!
I've decided that all of our produce from here on out, will be exclusively from heirloom stock. That doesn't mean we won't have the traditional varieties of green beans and broccoli, or tomatoes you know and can use--it just means that all of the seed we use will be non-hybridized, non-GMO, and non-treated.
In a trial garden--I will grow crops on an experimental basis; things like new varieties of old favorites, and also crops that don't typically perform well in Maine's climate--like melons.
And the apiary is getting expanded this year too. The goal is six hives this year.
I'm just itching to get growing! And I can't wait to call myself a farmer--maybe even your farmer?