Rachel Schwerin’s Story
I began my farming career as an intern on one of the oldest organic vegetable CSA farms in the Midwest. I owe a great deal for the education I received there. At the end of the season I relocated to the island of Molokai for an internship located on 14,000 acres of conservation land. On their 15 acre organic farm I worked with bananas, taro, awa, papaya and local fruits. I also spent time on the ranch working with horses and grass finished cattle who roamed 2500 acres. I became an employee and started an organic vegetable garden for the local farmers market and guests at the ranch. In the fall I moved to Texas, the state of my childhood, and while working at a local horse stable I studied natural horsemanship and established my own market garden on the property. I have begun looking for land to build my own farm.
Organic farming is important to me because I believe eating fresh and healthy produce is good for you. I am constantly surprised at the demand for good veggies and I appreciate the opportunity to provide others with the quality of food they deserve.
I am creating a successful home business from a small scale organic vegetable market garden. The most important factor in the quality of my vegetables is a cooling environment to maintain freshness and optimize shelf life. Previously I used 2 household refrigerators and the kitchen sink to cool, wash, and store the veggies. As I am expanding the garden size to a 1/4 acre I will need more economical equipment. I am requesting $1600 to purchase a used 2 door reach-in commercial refrigerator cooler and $400 for a stainless steel sink washing area. These items will support the increased quantity I grow and ensure a healthy and tasty product from my field to their final destination.
My town doesn\’t have a grocery store so people have to drive to the next city to buy organic produce. When folks hear that I grow organic vegetables their overwhelming response is enthusiasm. But the excitement is often about more than just having better access to fresh produce. Many people are eager to learn more about the farming process. I serve the community through educating about growing food and taking care of land. There is a wonderful curiosity in both kids and adults when they are around a garden and I look forward to continually teaching others what I know to help keep them involved.