By James Shea
Times-News Staff Writer
Do you want fresh vegetables all summer, but don’t want to toil in the garden? A local organic farm has started a program in Henderson County where residents get a box of fresh vegetables every week.
Cane Creek Valley Farm, located in Fletcher, is a multi-generational farm. The land was purchased by the family in the early 20th century. Three years ago, Amanda and Jeremy Sizemore started a small organic farm on the family land. They have gone from two and a half acres of vegetables the first year to a planned 25 acres this summer.
“We came back to the farm to diversify it and transition to the next generation,” Amanda said.
To expand their market, the Sizemores have started a Community Supported Agriculture program. Residents in the community pay the farm money at the beginning of the growing season. From May 20 to Oct. 20, the farm delivers the buyer a box a fresh vegetables each week.
“You buy a subscription and get a weekly delivery,” Jeremy said.
The farm has done mostly wholesale business but is looking to diversify and expand their markets. The Sizemores say the CSA program gives the farm a chance to connect with the local community and people have the ability to learn about the farm.
“You get to know your farm,” she said. “You get to see where your food is grown.”
Appalachian Stainability Agriculture Project executive director Charlie Jackson said CSAs are becoming more popular in Western North Carolina. He said 34 other farms in the region offer a CSA program, but Cane Creek is one of only two in Henderson County.
“We are seeing a tremendous growth in Western North Carolina,” Jackson said.
He said a farm like Cane Creek can reach new markets through a CSA program. The farm has booths at the Asheville City Market and the Flat Rock Tailgate Market, but Jackson said many people enjoy getting a large box a fresh vegetables selected for them each week.
“For people, they get a lot of food,” Jackson said. “The people are buying in and taking a share of the risk.”
CSAs started in Europe and Japan in the 1960s. People were looking for new ways to get food, and farms were looking for different methods to sell produce. A model was developed where people bought a share of the harvest and got the benefits throughout the season.
“A lot of people are really excited that they can buy local,” Amanda said.
One share of a CSA at Cane Creek can feed between four to six people for a week. The boxes contain between 10 and 20 pounds of fresh vegetables
Amanda said the main distribution point in Henderson County for the CSA boxes is the Flat Rock Tailgate Market. She said people can come to the farm and pick up the boxes or a homeowners association can get together a group of buyers and the farm can come directly to a subdivision.
For years, the Sizemores’ farm has been operated as a dairy, called T & C Dairy. Amanda said her great grandfather grew fresh vegetables and delivered them to the public.
“It’s kinda come full circle,” Amanda said.
All of the vegetables are certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The farm is taking deposits for the program. The Sizemores recommend people check out their Web site to learn more about the program. The Web site is canecreekorganics.com. The phone number to the farm is 338-0188.
Shea can be reached at 694-7860 or [email protected].