DeMOTTE — The Perkins, Dan and Julie, are busy gathering vegetables, planting vegetables and packing them up for the many people who belong to their CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, program. Consumers can choose to purchase a quarter, half or whole share to and can choose a season or two or all three to receive the variety of vegetables and fruits grown on the Perkins’ farm.
Dan, formerly with the Jasper County Water and Soil Conservancy District, educated farmers to use cover crops and no till methods to preserve the quality of the rich soil that makes Jasper County the top agriculture producer in the state. He and his wife Julie practice the no till method on their farm, and the plants are grown organic. In the spring, the CSA offers a variety of greens, head lettuce, kale, arugula, swiss chard and cool season vegetables. The crops are all grown on their farm, some of which the members can choose to pick themselves.
The Perkins Farm also offers mushrooms and micro-greens, which are six to seven times more nutrient dense than their adult counterparts, according to Dan. The micro-greens are eaten raw with salad or can be used as a topping for pizza and much more.
Not sure how to prepare and store the veggies? The Perkins have a blog that features tips and recipes for the foods they provide. Members also have access to the group Facebook page where they can all share their ideas and recipes as well. The farm’s website is perkinsgoodearthfarm.com, and has a link to the blog. The website is also the place to go to join the CSA.
A quarter share of the CSA is will have enough veggies to feed one to two “omnivores” as their website states. A large family may want to choose the full share, or the half, depending on how much the kids love vegetables.
Growing now for the summer season are onions, garlic, radishes and many other summer goodies, including tomatoes. There is also a self-pick herb garden.
Those who join can choose a pick-up time and place each week where they get their share of whatever is ripe and available each week. The spring CSA is closed out for this year, but the summer and fall seasons are still open.
The Perkins Farm offers a children’s play area, so the parents can fill their bags with their share and chat with Dan and Julie, and others who come to pick up their home-grown veggies. This is a great way to buy fresh vegetables and fruits if you don’t have time to have a garden of your own. The Perkins do the gardening for you.
Don’t want to join the CSA, visit the family farm on pick up days, and look through their small Farmer’s Market items. There is a limited availability and the prices are higher than they are for members.
Pick ups are Mondays at the farm, which is located south of DeMotte at 8301 W 1000 N, from 3 to 6 p.m., and Wednesdays, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. In Rensselaer, pick up is at White’s Auto Sales at noon. They also have a pick up in Burns Harbor.
They also offer different income levels for the members so even low-income families can afford to participate in the program. Also included in the cost is access to their wooded nature walk and foraging crops. The mushrooms and micro-greens are extra and can be added to a CSA or purchased separately.
To learn more about the farm and all they have to offer, visit their website or call Julie at 219-742-0028 or Dan at 219-869-5831.