CSA Series: Portage River Farm

From the Portage River Farm website

Owners: John and Janet Adelman
Phone: 734-648-0244 

Email: prfarmstand@yahoo.com
Season: March-January
Pick-up: At the farm in Pinckney - Tuesday and Saturday. In the future planning to go to  farmers markets or have drop-off with CSA members.
Cost: Starting out with $350 for a share that feeds 4. $270 for half share. 
Growing practice:  Organic practice. In process of organic certification.

Starting in March of 2010, John and Janet Adelman are starting what they hope will be the area’s first 11-month CSA farm.  They’re new to business of farming, but Janet Adelman says “I’m the kind of person who learned to knit by starting on a pair of socks. Then I went back and learned how to knit scarves.  When my husband and I first met we bought a 34’ sailboat and then learned to sail around the Great Lakes.”  So they’re ok with jumping into the deep end. 

Adelman says that “what makes us unique is that we’re hoping to do an extended offering of the growing season, along with eggs, syrup, and honey from our own land.  And we want to focus on community as well.”   From their surveys they learned that there’s a pent-up demand out there for a longer CSA season and more connection.  Adelman notes “we had very little advertising and we quickly filled up.  There’s a lot of people interested in developing a relationship with where they get their food.”

They’ve already started the three year process for organic certification of their 18 acres and installed their first flock of heirloom breed chickens, their first beehives, and their maple syrup equipment. Adelman says her husband is currently working out the planting schedules for 84 varieties of produce.  She says they’ll have the “regular” vegetables like corn and tomatoes, but will also try to offer some more interesting things like artichokes (an annual variety that will grow in Michigan). 

They’re planning their first distribution of eggs at the beginning of 2010, and hope by May to be offering some fresh produce from the garden.   They want to put in an asparagus patch, and a greenhouse to extend the season on lettuces and spring greens.  They also have it in the works to set up root cellaring capacity to be able to store winter vegetables for their members. 

Their website outlines what they hope members will get: “Being a member of a CSA also means that you will be invited to take a more active role in the farming experience.  You can take part in the decision-making process on things such as what we will grow and what long-term features you would like to see added to the farm such as greenhouses, berry patches and orchards.  You will also be invited to join social events such as pot-luck picnics, bonfire parties, volunteer workdays, farm tours, maple sugaring parties and harvest festivals.  As we grow, we hope to offer classes in such skills such as wheat-weaving, food preparation and preservation, fabric arts, gardening, etc.”

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