Miranda Foster – Farmer
March 29, 2016
I was exposed to local, fresh food and meat from an early age; I grew up on farm in Montana with 150 cattle. That experience led me to consider my love for agriculture and I decided to pursue small farming by starting a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) called Plante Family Farm, with co-owner and farmer Michael Plante.
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture is a great way for people to purchase stake in a small sustainable farm where share holders are provided with a weekly share of fresh-picked organic heirloom vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. CSAs are designed so that farmers get money up front from members to create their farm. Share holders and farmers share rent for failure or success of the farm. We started their CSA two years ago and are excited to be accepting new members. At this point, we’re the only CSA in area.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
Harvesting the crops can get tricky because of the variety – at times, we have up to 20 different items to harvest at once, plus proper storage. Keeping crops happy is another challenge. Also, watering can be a learning curve – you don’t want too much or too little, including how much you water before harvesting – it’s all about timing.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
The members and the feedback, hearing what they have enjoyed, as well as getting to know them and meeting their families… members are so excited when they get their share. Also, supplying a way for them to eat local, fresh, organic food.
What changes have you seen over the years in the local food scene?
I’ve lived in the area for the past 20 years and I’ve seen the development of a local food scene. The farmer’s markets have grown, as has demand for more fresh foods. I’m seeing more small farmers and more fresh foods being offered locally.
What do you envision for the future of our local food system?
Being able to shop locally, with a greater demand for CSAs, as well as more small farmers who, like herself, have a passion for growing food. More people are realizing that if you’re opening packets to eat your dinner, there’s something wrong. If you’re opening cans… it’s just wrong – more waste for landfills and processed foods are not as nutritious.
When you aren’t busy farming/doing your work, what kinds of things do you like to do?
I work full-time in a dental office. In between managing my day job and the CSA, I love hiking Canfield and Mineral Ridge with my four kids. I feel it’s important to involve my kids in the farming business – they’ve learned so much – transplanting tomatoes, mulching, harvesting. It’s important for them to understand where their food is coming from as well. It starts on the farm.
Plante Family Farm is currently accepting members through May 1, 2016. Their CSA will be providing fresh produce for 18 weeks starting in mid-June for up to 50 shareholders. For more information, please contact Miranda Foster at (208) 819-7480