January 13, 2012

Our New Farmers: Max and Kerry Taylor

We had a very impressive meeting this week with Max and Kerry Taylor, who have taken over the operation of Woodbridge Farm*, the source of all our organic vegetables for the past four years. The core group was particularly interested in hearing from Max and Kerry whether they could evaluate why the farm's yield over the past two seasons had been so poor, and what they thought could be done to improve the situation. What we heard made us feel very comfortable -- and excited -- about welcoming them to our CSA.

They plan to increase the amount of land being farmed from 3.5 acres to 11 acres while growing for the same number of shares. (Actually, they will be growing for more shares than they are planning on selling, giving them a buffer during their first year to make sure they have the right amount of food for their customers.) Additionally, they will be planting the fields in a tighter, more efficient pattern, adding to the yield they expect.

Finally, they will be making a big change in the makeup of the soil. Our old farmer, Julia, practiced biodynamic farming, which essentially meant that there were no outside nutrients brought to the farm. Max and Kerry believe that even organic farms need a fertilizer that includes nitrogen, and will be adding that to the land. The farm will still be organic, but not certified biodynamic.

Max and Kerry have looked at the records from last year and were genuinely critical of the amount of food we were provided with, and expect to bring us much more food this year.

But please don't take our word for it -- we've invited Max and Kerry back to New York so that everyone interested in the Grand Street CSA can meet them and ask questions before committing to the season:

Monday, January 30 at 7pm
Seward Park Co-op Community Room (268 Broadway)

We will begin general registration for everyone during this meeting.

Max and Kerry have years of experience growing organic produce for CSA farms in New England. You can read more about them on their new website, and follow them on Facebook.

*Woodbridge Farm is the name of the land. Max and Kerry have renamed their own business Provider Farm, which is how we'll be referring to them from now on.