Down to Earth Farm…the blog!

Good evening friendly eaters!

Just a few words of introduction. This is the blog of Down to Earth Farm, a wee, uncertified organic farm in Jacksonville, Florida, owned and operated by Brian and Kristin (and Olivia) Lapinski with the invaluable help of our interns (full disclosure: current intern Jennifer is writing this…hi blogosphere!). The farm cat, whose name is Wendell Berry, also helps quite a lot, by providing cat hugs and sleeping in funny locations.

We have been growing sustainably here in Jacksonville since the winter of 2007, when we planted our first cover crop. That spring we harvested our first squashes, tomatoes, cut flowers and salad mix. Just about the same time a few amazing people out on the coastline of our fair city started up a real live farmers market and voila! We had a farm AND a place to sell our food.

We had our best day that season around the time of the tomato (or was it pepper) e. coli scare (or was it salmonella?). People were hard pressed to find their weekly tomato fix, and we were there to help. It drove home some of the reasons we decided to be pioneers in this ‘field’, and why we can’t wait to see more small farms, feeding their nearby neighbors. When you know the folks growing your tomatoes, and you can visit the farm, or see proudly displayed snapshots of it at the market booth, you know you can trust the food to be fresh and healthful.

We are now smack in the middle of our second spring season, after an educational and challenging fall/winter in between. The squashes and tomatoes are just now forming on the vines, and we’re tasting the first basil and swiss chard we’ve had in a year. Our teeny tiny CSA is in its 21st week, in fact we delivered shares just this evening containing carrots, chard, lettuce, onions, herbs, strawberries, and squash.

While we’ve been tinkering around in the backyard, trying to see how much soil we could fit under our fingernails, Jacksonville has been busy too. Just two weeks ago a new market opened under interstate 95, and at the last minute we realized we had enough food to make it to both Saturday markets! Add to that our growing relationship with a tiny health food store, and we’re definitely finding ways to make this sustainable project work. Hungry audiences for our collaborative edible landscape art, what more could a farmer want?

Well…that’s never a good rhetorical question. There are always plenty of answers. We’d LOVE to have more farmers in the area. We’d love to have a little bit more land. We’d really like to have a fleet of willing weeders and a new intern lined up for the fall!

But in the meantime, farming is fun and the food is great.

With this blog, we’ll start out by copying our weekly email newsletters over here, and tinker around with wordpress when we have time.

So thanks for reading, and thanks for eating!

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5 Responses to “Down to Earth Farm…the blog!”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    How can we join your CSA?

  2. Jessica Says:

    Hello –

    I was wondering how to send you an email and talk about your intern position.

    Thank you
    Jessica

  3. Jackie Mathis Says:

    I received an e-mail from you about buying veggies, I was unable to open the application because I apparently don’t have the same program as you. Can you help, I am very interested in joining your co op.
    Thanks bunches,
    Jackie

  4. Joanna Thompson Says:

    Do you go to any markets other than the Neptune Beach and Riverside Arts market. Do you have a stand at your farm? Also, do you have a waiting list for shares and does it still cost $600? Thank you.

  5. Debbie Says:

    I love your lettuce – especially the buttercrunch when it is in season!

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