The demand for high quality, naturally grown food from small artisan farms devoted to producing pesticide free healthy, wholesome products is rapidly expanding all across America. The appetite for this “farm to table” movement is so voracious it now far outpaces available sources.
Add to this shortage the additional demands of the most aware consumers for the highest degree of food security obtained only by having a direct relationship with the farmer plus the guarantee of complete transparency in every step of your food production and you shrink the number of people from whom you can be assured of the highest quality food even further. But look no further.
Here at Steepleview Farm we have devoted ourselves to filling the demand in this small niche of the larger organic food market by attention to the smallest detail and supplying only the best, the freshest and the healthiest farm to table food just as you want and deserve.
But having been blessed with so much in our lives we have come to understand that reserving the best to sell only to those who can afford it ignored a greater responsibility. We as a community, as a nation, have a rich history of personal responsibility, and at Steepleview Farm we consider it a responsibility to take care of the earth, take care of our health and to take care of each other.
As such we invite YOU to join our small but growing family of “Farm Partners” for the 2017 season by joining us in this quest to feed the hungry, not just with our “seconds” our or “unsold” or “extra” produce, but with the best, and first harvested of our many crops all season long.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions About our “Farm Partner Program” that spell out the terms and conditions of purchasing a partnership in our mission:
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
It’s not really selfish to ask this question. Resources are tight and people at all levels of society must be conscious of how they spend their money. So let’s answer this big question first.
- As a “Farm Partner” you will help fund the “seed cost” and labor required to raise literally tons of food at Steepleview Farm which will be delivered into the Kentucky network of food banks for distribution to those in the community who are food insecure. Rather than develop our own infrastructure of vetting, delivery and storage, this network provides the best opportunity for us to reach more people with greater efficiency.
- Unlike our CSA in years past where your subscription entitled you to a fixed amount of food each week based upon the level at which you purchased, as a “Farm Partner” you are entitled to as much food as you want, when you want it. You are welcome to call and place an order and have it picked and waiting for you, bring the family and enjoy a day in the garden picking your own, or, watching our Food Bank delivery schedule, come pick it up from us when we are in your area.
- “As much as we want, wow, how is that fair to the hungry?” As a partner you understand the goal, the mission, the hope that we can help those in need. As in all partnerships there is a level of trust that no one partner will abuse the situation to the detriment of the mission, or other partners. Our “Farm Partner” program is grounded in this kind of trust.
Why are you giving the first and best to the hungry rather than selling it to the public?
In January we had the chance to talk with a produce manager at a local Whole Foods. The display of produce he was sprucing up one night was amazing. When asked if they sold all of what they displayed he said “No, only about 10%”. Stunning, right? He said they trashed the bulk of their produce and that it was there as a display, to fill customer expectations, that if they only put out what they expected to sell customers would not react well to the entire store.
Think about it. The produce section is one of the first sections of the store you see. It is always overflowing with gorgeous displays. The same is true at Farmer’s Markets. The displays are eye candy for customers who want to see abundance. In reality, much of what farmer’s raise is disposed of.
Many “feed the hungry” programs encourage these farmers to give their expired, or nearly expired products to the poor. Many such programs encourage farmers to give away or sell at a very low price, their blemished fruits and vegetables, their “seconds” or “thirds” or culls. We consider this unacceptable.
Feeding the hungry only what is “left over”, “damaged” or “unsellable” feels rude to us. Moreover, if we are truly concerned as citizens with the high cost of medical care, the high cost of government medical programs and the health of our communities, why wouldn’t we serve the freshest, the best and healthiest to those most in need?
Can’t I just go to the store and buy things marked “Organic” and be satisfied that it will meet my requirements?
You might be surprised what is permitted by the government and still bear the “organic” label. The list of approved chemicals and processes is constantly changing and those changes are often made upon the request of lobbyists for the large produce suppliers, many of whom are not even in the United States! We think that the term “organic” can be misleading to those who don’t keep up with the ever changing details of the law. And a label doesn’t tell you much if anything about who raised the item, what hygiene was employed among workers, how the product was handled in the field, in the packing house, in transit or in the warehouse before it finally goes into your mouth sometimes long after it was harvested.
Can’t I just go to a farmer’s market and find better food than I get at the grocery?
At a farmer’s market you might find things grown “somewhere nearby” but even then you would have to ask a lot of questions to learn what you really want to know. It’s impossible to tell exactly how the food was grown, what chemicals were used on it, whether it is from GMO seeds, how it was handled in the field and if the entire delivery operation into your hands is sanitary just by looking at a basket of “red-round” tomatoes. You’d almost have to put the seller through the “third degree” to get the information we openly share with you as part of our commitment to you, our customer, for complete transparency.
How is food from Steepleview Farm different from the stuff I see in grocery stores and at farmer’s markets?
What we offer is the opportunity for you to develop a direct relationship with us as your farmer. We invite you to visit our operation at any time and on our website and through our newsletter we openly share every step of our food production with you as part of our commitment to providing you with all of the important information that you want and deserve to know about the food you eat and serve to your family. From the seeds we select, to the way we raise them, our use of clean water, natural fertilization, hand weed control, hand picking and cleaning, we share every aspect of what we do so that you know what we delivery is the best, the freshest and the healthiest food anywhere.
What does CSA stand for?
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. We have been listed with the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a recognized CSA. But we always added requirements to ourselves that we know you want above and beyond what being listed on the department of agriculture directory involves. We intend to apply the same high standards to every thing we raise and deliver to you, and to the needy in our community (for more information on CSA’s in general click this link)
What does it mean to be a Steepleview Farm ‘Farm Partner’?
First, we have a limited number (21) partnerships available this year. You become the foundation of our operation. We give your food the kind of special attention those selling in the larger market cannot. Our customers are those who place a higher value on wholesome, naturally grown food than the general grocery shopper and share with us the mission to help the food insecure enjoy that same level of nutrition.
Second, we invite all of our partners to to share in the life of our farm. You will not only receive the best, most wholesome and freshest fruits and vegetables, but you are also invited to visit us, to see how we hand pick your seeds, carefully nurture the plants, hand pick and hand wash and hand pack everything especially for you at the very peak of ripeness, as opposed to those who pick and pack “market varieties” chosen to store and “travel well” between markets. You will see that you are truly getting something special.
Third, we keep you informed through a private newsletter sent out exclusively to our “Farm Partners” of all that is happening at the farm. This includes advance notice of what is about to ripen, when we are going to delivery, how to participate in our “U-Pick” activities that are fun for the whole family as well as giving you first notice of special events and special offers at Steepleview Farm.
Fourth, when we are blessed with a “bumper crop” you will be rewarded as one of our customized customers with extra bounty, jars of goodies and lots of other offerings not available to the general public including coupons for our very popular “Upper Texas Smokehouse” and tickets to concerts and other events. This is a VIP perk you won’t get anywhere.
How and where do I get my share of the food?
As we schedule delivery to local Food Banks, you will be notified by email and we can arrange delivery. However, your food will always be available at the farm. We just need notice and your order in time to have it ready for you, or notice of when you’d like to come and enjoy a day in the garden to pick your own.
What can I expect for my share of the harvest?
“TO EVERY THING THERE IS A SEASON, AND A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNDER HEAVEN”
One of the most rewarding advantages of becoming a “Farm Partner” is re-connecting with the land, developing a renewed harmony with nature, an appreciation for the seasons and the power and nurturing forces of the weather. Having lived at Steepleview Farm for over thirty years we sometimes take these things for granted. Part of what we hope to do is share the blessings of this life with you.
For example, many people have come to expect that they can always get tomatoes at Kroger’s even in January! Shoppers go to the store and grab hands full of green beans in March or bring home apples all year long. This conditioning is part of what the corporate farming industry has done to separate people from the natural world. (watch this video when you have time to see what we mean by industrial farming)
Reconnecting with the rhythms of the earth will help you regain a healthy balance in life. Understanding that locally grown produce follows particular seasonal patterns nurtures a more peaceful attitude than taking for granted that food will always be available through the commercial supply chain.
We are small artisan farmers catering to a specialized customer base. Yes, with great care we can sometimes get the jump on the seasons by several weeks in early spring and continue to harvest later in the fall. Sometimes we can even supply selected winter hardy crops well after the snow falls.
But for most of the year we remain in harmony with the weather and the daylight. As part of our transparency we urge you to look at this chart which shows the expected harvest seasons in Kentucky for various crops. You can see it by clicking this link. It shows the approximate dates when Kentucky produce is usually ready.
So, with this harvest schedule in mind, here is what you might expect this year.
The earliest items to arrive will be fresh herbs, potted and ready to be grown to maturity in your kitchen or just outside your door to bring that special touch of gourmet taste to the meals you prepare.
Also included in the earliest crops will be a few “spring greens” which might include scallions, lettuces, salad mixes, radishes, spinach, arugula, snow peas and other early spring crops that put the first bursts of flavor on your table.
Spring honey, farm fresh eggs, carrots, lavender sachet and fresh herbs along with early heirloom tomatoes from our “high tunnel” come on a little later in Spring or early summer. Unlike the varieties you can find nearly anywhere else our tomatoes aren’t those hard and flavorless “hot house” tomatoes you find in most restaurants but a specially selected variety of early maturing bright red fruits bursting with flavor.
Delicious green beans, including haricot vert, round pod and blue lake stringless, all picked for their freshness for cooking now or available for larger special orders if you are interested in canning for a winter treat come on according to the schedule above in mid to late summer. Larger varieties and quantities of heirloom fruits will soon be coming on along with yellow squash, zucchini, hot peppers for use now or drying, sweet peppers, slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers, eggplant and of course cut herbs at full maturity. In addition look for non-GMO sweet corn in larger abundance than previous years.
As summer winds down look for gourds, pumpkins, fall squash, more beans, end of season giant tomatoes of superior flavor and of course, if you choose, “ugly apples”, varieties from old growth trees without the Hollywood good looks of those dry excuses for apples you find at the grocery or most roadside orchards. Trees without pesticide treatment, grown on special rootstock from cuttings and grafts of trees dating back to pre-colonial days come on in late summer and early fall. They are in limited supply but make the best pies, fried apples and freezer apples you will taste anywhere. Oh, and don’t forget our cider and other goodies that an abundant crop allows us to can, such as Salsa, Crushed Heirloom Tomatoes and Pasta Sauce.
How much does it cost?
All produce everywhere is sold at market price, which we post on this website as part of our commitment to being totally transparent.
With this in mind, we have surveyed the other farms offering CSA’s and intentionally beat their seasonal prices. But our lower prices are not the best part of what we offer, we know we will beat them in quality and service too.
Your participation as a “Farm Partner” means that you are helping to feed the hungry, and entitled to as much as you would like from our harvest. You can of course also buy a partnership share and deliver food to anyone you know who is in need, or buy a share to give away through your business, your church or other charitable group, including donating it to one of the many silent auctions in which you may be invited to participate.
HERE IS OUR 2017 “Farm Partner” SHARE PRICE
Only $145 per share for the entire season!
Yes I want to partner with Steepleview Farm In It’s mission to Feed The Hungry and enjoy delicious farm produce for me and my family this season.
IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY I CAN ORDER?
1. If you would like to ask questions first or feel more secure ordering directly from us, just call Marc at the farm 859-643-3339 to make your selections and place your order directly over the phone.
2. If you can’t reach us or you would rather correspond by email, just send an email with questions or if you already know what you would like, you can send your order to: Orders@SteepleviewFarm.net
3. You can send a check or money order to: Steepleview Farm 10285 US 127 North Sparta Kentucky 41086 requesting a membership and you will be immediately placed on our subscription list, notified with an order confirmation and be added to our special newsletter notification list. Be sure to include your preferred method of contact so we can let you know your baskets are ready!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH STEEPLEVIEW FARM?
ABSOLUTELY! LET US GROW A GARDEN FOR YOU!
For those of you who want more of a farm experience, we also offer another opportunity at Steepleview Farm.
Don’t have room for a garden of your own? Don’t have time to tend to a garden the way it needs to be cared for? Are you new at gardening and want a little help? Well, how about letting us become your own personal gardener? It’s easier and more affordable than you might think.
Give me a call to discuss what you would like to have and let us become your personal gardener.
For more details call me at: 859-643-3339 or send an email to email@example.com.
You can also click the tab above that says “personal gardener”