Hudson couple starts CSA farming project in Troy
Adam and Megan Greeson have developed a love of the earth and for growing things.
It has led to a start-up agri-business on rented land in the town of Troy to establish a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project called Sweet Top Farm.
CSAs involve members who pay for a regular delivery of produce to their homes throughout the growing season.
The Greesons have constructed a greenhouse on the property about six miles from their home in Hudson and have about two and one-half acres of field to coax the crops to maturity.
"Our goal is to have 25 members this year," said Megan. "We already have four members."
The greenhouse is well represented with tomato plants, some planted in the ground others in seedling pots; a variety of peppers, sweet and hot; also eggplants and herbs.
A cold frame outside the greenhouse supplies an environment for another group of plants. Several rows in the field include peas, spinach, beats, lettuce and potatoes that were covered on a misty, cool spring morning.
This is no faint-of-heart endeavor for the Greesons, who met while working on environmental degrees at Northland College in Ashland. Megan, 31, is from Vermont. Adam, 31, grew up in Rochester, Minn. They graduated in 2003.
They have been married three years and have logged in a significant amount of time working on farms and taking agriculture courses to prepare for the establishment of Sweet Top Farm CSA.
"We took a course in farm beginnings offered by the Land Stewardship Project in 2010-11 at St. Cloud, Minn.," said Megan.
"A couple of years ago, when we were living in Colorado, I found out about the Land Stewardship Project's farm beginnings course," she said.
"We followed that by working an entire year for two farms in Osceola." The farms were also CSA based and had hundreds of members.
Prior to that, Megan and Adam worked on a vegetable farm in North Carolina and a raspberry farm in Norway.
The couple found land to rent and moved to Hudson in April to set out on their adventure.
"We'd like to buy our own land sometime," said Adam.
In the meantime, he said they would be selling their commodities on Saturdays at the Hudson Farmers Market on Carmichael Road and working to attract members for deliveries in Hudson and River Falls.
A full membership is $550 and includes deliveries once a week for 18 weeks. The amount of each delivery is about three-quarters of a bushel or, as Megan says, "about the equivalent of a grocery bag of vegetables."
A half share membership is $300 and includes a three-quarter bushel delivered every other week through the season.
"The variety changes over the season," said Adam and thus the weight of the bag increases toward the end with squash, carrots, onions and potatoes added to the load.
"Deliveries will be made on Wednesday afternoons," said Adam.
"Community Supported Agriculture is a newer concept to people in Hudson and River Falls, but I think that the idea of having a direct connection with the farmer growing your food will catch on soon enough," said Megan.