Tory Meyer’s Story
I started vegetable farming when I was 13 at a pick-your-own farm four miles from my home. It was there that I got the farming bug. After helping out Frank at \”R\” Apples for nine years, I took an opportunity to intern on a CSA farm 1.5 hours southwest of my hometown. I wanted to learn about the CSA model and get more experience. One week into my internship I was certain farming was for me. Throughout the summer I made lasting friendships and attended many farming workshops organized by the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) network. That winter I took the Stateline Farm Beginnings course through Angelic Organic Learning Center. This gave me some solid education to get my farm business up and running. In the spring of 2011, Crooked Carrot Farm was born, a non-certified organic vegetable CSA. I run the farm on land directly neighboring the farm I first started working on when I was 13. I joke that I started a CSA because I only have enough room at my kitchen table for four. It\’s true though. Sharing the joy of healthy, delicious, local food with my community fulfills me and makes me happy.
This year I would like to install a drip irrigation system for my 1/2 acre garden. Drip irrigation would help to increase my yields as well as keep me more on target with my succession planting schedule. Last year I watered with sprinklers, moving them every few hours or so when I needed water, but this was a lot of work for not a lot of return in the rather drought-y season we had.
I have worked with drip irrigation before and am confident about installing my own system, plus I am fortunate to be only about 50 yards from my water source- a private spring-fed pond. I have a lot of equipment already including a filter, a pump and drip tape all of which I am borrowing/trading for with neighbors. A couple hundred dollars will cover my fittings and valves and headerline.
I am also seeking funding for insect row cover. This will cost a little over one hundred dollars. Last year I had trouble with flea beetles and cucumber beetles and rather than resort to OMRI approved chemicals, I prefer to first try physical barriers because they are friendlier to beneficial insects. I want arugula this year!
Food is medicine. It is what gives us life and energy. Every morsel of food that goes into your mouth effects you. From my own personal experience, I know that eating fresh, local, organic food makes me feel great, and I hear this from my CSA members time and again. I have a member who makes her own baby food from the vegetables that I grow. I don\’t know if it\’s the organic veggies, but that is one cute, happy baby!
Just as important as eating healthy food, is sharing it with others. Sharing meals builds community. Many of my fondest memories revolve around food: preparing meals with friends while we experiment with buttermilk substitutes, sharing dinner with my family while trying not to tip our antique dinner table with our elbows, doing dishes with my uncles as we manage to get more water on ourselves than the dishes. I try to share these stories with my members through the weekly farm newsletter and encourage them to create and cherish their own memories, reminding them that food isn\’t just a necessity, it\’s an opportunity to communicate love and friendship.