The ‘whole farm experience'
Want to fill your grocery cart with more Bermuda-grown produce?
Wadson's Farm may have the perfect solution for you.
Owner Tom Wadson is starting a community-supported agriculture (CSA) concept next month that promises to give an abundance of farm-fresh veggies, chicken and eggs.
Participants pay a membership fee of $560 $40 a week over a 14-week period from November 12 until February 11.
The fee helps pay for the cost of running the farm and provides people with a share of Wadson's fresh produce each Friday or Saturday. The fresh vegetables will be enough to feed a family of four for a week, Mr Wadson said.
Additional costs apply for chicken, at $315 for 14 weeks, and eggs, $85 for the season.
”The CSA concept is good for several reasons: one, for good food, two, a good price and three, you get to check out where it is all coming from,” Mr Wadson said. “So you sign up for what's in these boxes and you get significant savings off of retail and it allows you some flexibility. It's not like you are going to get a box of Swiss chard every week.”
Mr Wadson plans to make the boxes as nutritionally balanced as possible, including starches like sweet potatoes, new potatoes or pumpkin, plenty of greens and root vegetables like carrots and turnips. The season will determine the availability of vegetables, he said.
Mr Wadson said a majority of the boxes will be pre-made for pickup “because convenience is a big thing”, but he believes there will also be some wiggle room.
“If they are having a mojito party and need lots of mint they can have that. Or if they want just a few sprigs of all the herbs they can have that instead.”
According to farm helper Catherine Greet, the produce baskets will also force locals to be more creative with their meal choices.
If they get eggplant or red peppers one week, they can look up new recipes to try out with their families, she said. Recipe ideas will also be available to members on Wadson's website.
“I have already started looking up some of the recipes people can use. Like with turnips, a lot of people do not know what to do with them, but there are fun things we can do with it. This is a way to introduce them to different foods and different cooking methods. They can take the turnips and douse them with olive oil and salt and put them in the oven,” she said. Wadson's Farm has been in operation since 1976. They used conventional farming methods up until Hurricane Fabian in 2003, when all their crops were completely destroyed. Since then Mr Wadson said they have “changed gear” and have adopted clean farming techniques. Though the farm is not organically certified, they use “organic principles”, such as raising their animals in dedicated pastures and growing plants in nutrient rich soils.
“We have a very diverse operation we run here, with everything from hydroponic lettuce to your Christmas turkey. This year's turkeys, we bred them all here, we didn't import one. We also breed duck and eight or nine different types of geese.”
According to Mr Wadson, a significant part of their operation has been about educating people. In the New Year they plan to open their gates to families to pick strawberries; on Saturday, October 22 they will host a pumpkin picking event.
The CSA programme is another way to get people more familiar with the farm setting. It also gives patrons a chance to ask questions about where their food is coming from.
Ms Greet said: “The whole farm experience is so rare now. It's such a fantastic experience that so many people do not have the opportunity to enjoy. The kids come here and they can't get enough, they climb on the tractors and play with the sheep.” She encouraged parents to bring their children with them to the farm at the weekend to pick up the CSA boxes. It will get them away from the TV and is “a great way to get them involved”, she added.
Wadson's Farm can accommodate between 50 and 100 people with the CSA programme, which starts on November 12. Pick-up days are on Fridays between 1pm and 6pm and Saturdays between 9am and 1pm.
For more information or to register visit www.wadsonsfarm.com or call 238-1862.
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