From farm to table: Forestdale Farm CSA makes local products available | Chow

Right from the start, whenever possible, they prioritized the use of organic and sustainable farming methods. This includes composting on site, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, mulching, pesticide-free and herbicide-free and integrated pest management as well as antibiotic and hormone-free poultry. Saving water is one of their greatest strategies when it comes to sustainability, said Morton-Starner. All of their greenhouses are set up to catch rainwater, and they have the ability to hold up to 50,000 gallons of rainwater. This rainwater is used for irrigation throughout the season.

Small farms like Forestdale often rely on farmers markets to sell their crops. However, they were forced to find other means after the pandemic forced the closure of the two weekly Flagstaff farmers’ markets. Then they shifted their focus to developing their CSA programs even further, Morton-Starner said. A CSA is similar to a monthly subscription where customers pay a price upfront and collect their share.

“Because of the pandemic, people had the opportunity to create their own gardens,” said Morton-Starner. “We were really able to take care of the church, and the church really supported it. The pandemic has led us to make more farm and direct to customer sales due to the uncertainty surrounding restaurant and market sales.

Even now that they are back at farmers’ markets, Forestdale has invested heavily in expanding the CSA programs. Forestdale Farm currently offers several CSA programs including the GardenShare, ProduceShare and EggShare programs.

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