Which Farm is for Me?
You're ready to CSA outside the box. . . Now which farm is best for you? Here's a break down of similarities and differences to make the decision easy!
First question: Location
Is location important? Most people want their farm to be near their home or office, as the once a week pickup times last about 2 hours and are during fairly high traffic times of day. So, here's a map of our farms:
What's the same:
We grow a diversity of veggies, most everything you can grow in Missoula's cold climate.
We grow about the same amount of food for each CSA.
All of our pickup dates and times are the same.
We grow our food sustainably, using the Homegrown guidelines of the Montana Sustainable Grower's Union. It isn't certified organic, but we follow similar rules without going through the certification process. That means our food is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This means we care about the culture and ecology our food production cultivates.
We grow food for all Missoulians, regardless of income by growing food for the Missoula Food Bank, Poverello Center, Youth Homes and six other agencies in town. Each farm has a different set of relationships with agencies--the PEAS Farm and Orchard Gardens with the Missoula Food Bank, River Road with the Poverello, Youth Farm with Youth Homes, etc. When you join a CSA, you are helping support our farms in growing food for neighbors in need.
210 S Grove St
Near Reserve & 3rd Street
$525 Full Share
$325 Half Share
No Winter Share
SLIDING SCALE? Yes, full share only, scale ranges $300-$400.
FRUIT? Yes, there is a small orchard. Fruit available seasonally for additional purchase.
Wedding & Special Event Flowers - See Pricing.
Pick your own
Included in Veggie CSA Share
Orchard Gardens Neighborhood Farm and Community Garden was created in 2005 in partnership with Homeword at an affordable housing development in the Orchard Homes neighborhood – a neighborhood rich in agricultural history. The farm offers community garden plots, an orchard with native bee boxes, seed saving garden, medicinal herb and flower gardens, educational tours for kids including produce samples, a farm stand for residents where EBT cards are accepted. The farm also supplies the Missoula Food Bank with 5,000 pounds of produce annually and is home to the greenhouse that grows starts for many of our farms.
FARMER: Clare grew up in Salt Lake City, where she spent a lot of time playing in the dirt. She moved to Missoula to pursue a degree in Ecological Restoration and fell into farming along the way. She has worked on community garden initiatives in Salt Lake and served as assistant manager of the UM Dining Garden while earning her degree. She started with Garden City Harvest as the apprentice at River Road Farm and moved to Orchard Gardens two years later, first as the assistant and now as the manager. When she's not on the farm, she enjoys eating good food, getting lost in the mountains, and reading good books. Check out her seasonal cookbook review to get to know her, and some amazing cookbooks, better!
Established in 1996, River Road Farm offers community garden plots, a summer CSA share program and a winter CSA share program offering produce good for canning, freezing, and storing over winter. A green oasis just off Russell Street, the River Road Farm bustles in the spring, summer and fall with farmers, volunteers, community gardeners, CSA members, and a flock of chickens. The farm produces 4,000-6,000 pounds of produce each year for the Poverello Center. Through the Volunteer for Veggies program, over 150 people volunteer at the farm, taking home vegetables for their labors.
Greg is farmer in chief at River Road. He has been with Garden City Harvest for over 20 years and knows a lot about the food he grows. He uses the French intensive planting method, packing many veggies in 3.75 acres. He also has experience as a professional in the kitchen, having worked at Second Thought, managing the kitchen. So he knows seasonal down-to-earth cooking, and loves to talk shop at CSA pickup.
DESCRIPTION: The Youth Farm, started in 2010, is a partnership between Youth Homes and Garden City Harvest. The Youth Farm employs teens, mainly from the adjacent Tom Roy Youth Guidance Home, providing not only a job, but also life skills, opportunities for community engagement, and empowerment through agriculture. Located behind the Tom Roy Youth Guidance Home, the Youth Farm is a youth-directed neighborhood farm. It has a historic barn, a newly built wash shed, and a walk-in cooler.
FARMER: Sam takes the lead on farming at the Youth Farm, while Mark heads the teens that fuel the farm production. Together they empower the youth to harvest, weed, and grow. Hired as part of our Youth Development program from Youth Homes residents, these young farmers gain skills for life by learning the trade, learning job skills like customer service and basic cooking, and developing social skills. This is a great farm for the food, which is excellent, but also for the people. You are investing in Missoula's future by helping these youth learn skills essential for their future.
DESCRIPTION: The Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society has combined traditional academics with hands-on work at an urban, sustainable farm. Each growing season, the PEAS Farm grows thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables for the Missoula Food Bank to distribute to low income families. Animals on the farm include pigs and chickens. The farm has worked with the Environmental Studies program at the U of M to create an outdoor classroom where many college students come to learn farm ecology, soil science, sustainability, and the fine art of community.
FARMERS: Dave Victor and Caroline Stephens head up the PEAS Farm. Dave takes the lead on farm operations, Caroline on educational programming for the University.
Caroline Stephens was raised in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. She got her introduction to farming back in Kentucky, and then moved west to pursue her master's degree in Environmental Studies, where her research addressed the history of drought management on grain farms in central Montana. After graduate school, she managed production at Foothill Farm in St. Ignatius, Montana, and then moved to the Moon-Randolph Homestead, where she and her partner served as caretakers at a working, public homestead. You might also see her calling a square dance around town. . .
Dave Victor is a scientist when it comes to farming in the best sense possible. He keeps up on the latest studies, he tries new things in the orchards and fields he keeps meticulous records of what he does, what worked, and what didn’t. And he builds from this each year. He is a lover of plants and the soil that sustains them. He has a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana where he focused on seed saving, starting Garden City Harvest's seed saving program.
So, there are the basics. If you have questions, give Ruth a call: 406-523-3663. We would love to chat with you about our offerings. Or, feel free to leave a question in the comments and we will answer it. If you have the question, there's bound to be others that do, too.