|Written by Lauren Schwab|
|Sunday, 17 March 2013 20:00|
Go Global, Think Local at Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Find health and renewal in a farm couple's philosophy to sell the best and compost the rest. Learn how their traditional approach to farming is protecting our planet one bite at a time.
Eugene and Lucy Goodman own and operate a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. The couple produces a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and pastured poultry for Farm Share Members. Boulder Belt is located in Preble County, just one mile north of Eaton on US 127.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm began in 1993. The first garden consisted of a few pepper plants, a small row of blue lake green beans and pears trees. "Suddenly we were faced with growing piles of food. Being from town, I had no idea about putting up food other than some vague romantic notions of homesteading. Romance became pragmatism and soon we owned a chest freezer. I froze a lot of beans and peppers that year and we joked about finding a farmer's market and selling veggies the next year," Goodman says.
The couple learned about sustainable market farming for 12 years then bought their farm in 2005. They soon grew from a small garden plot to several acres of beds scattered over a 10-acre space. They began raising chickens for pastured meat and eggs. "We have lots of other plans that will be revealed as time goes on. We plan to have several commercially made greenhouses, as opposed to movable, unheated and homemade hoop houses. We are growing our Farm Share Initiative as we go away from farmers markets and more towards all on farm sales," Goodman says.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm sells 90 percent of their product to direct customers and 10 percent to the Moon Co-Op farm market store in Oxford. They supply a farm share for CSA subscribers. This is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. A farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. The share consists of produce, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share or subscription and in return receive seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
Lucy Goodman knows first-hand the challenges women can face in business. "Women tend to give a lot away; I think it is a care giver thing. We tend to undersell. I learned you have to be a price leader and maker at your market," explains Goodman, "Some women think they are not good enough to earn more money. When you raise your price, people will know it is worth more."
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm believes in doing what is right for the planet. "We are committed to growing our food sustainably and locally because food grown sustainably and locally is healthier for both us and the planet. Animals raised on wholesome food, fresh air and sunshine are happier and healthier," explains Goodman, "We invite the public out to our farm to see how we do what we do and ask questions. This is how you can learn more about the food you eat and how to eat wholesome, local nutritious food."
To learn more about CSA and Boulder Belt-Eco Farm, visit localharvest.org. Learn more about the farm, view pictures and videos at boulderbeltfarm.com, "Like" their Facebook page, call (937) 456-9724 or email email@example.com.