Opening day of a CSA

May 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm Leave a comment

By Carol Peppe Hewitt

Carol, Keenan and Mark

Wednesday was an exciting day at the end of the Johnny Burke Road in Pittsboro, NC.  Mark and I had the pleasure of being the very first ever CSA pick-up from Duck Run Farm, owned and run by the multi-talented Keenan McDonald.

In August 2009 Keenan took on the transformation of the old Burke family farm, which we share. She brought in baby pigs to turn over the ground and a wonderful selection of the most beautiful ducks to class up the pond, while she began turning the large room off the breezeway into a certified kitchen. A chicken “tractor” was built and soon filled up with chicks, and a greenhouse sprang up on the crest of the hill.  A shelter and brick oven came next, and when the acres up on the hill were ready, tiny plants soon became long rows of spring vegetables.

We offered use of a tractor, and Keenan came down to help hoist Mark’s very biggest pots off the wheel. Big projects rely on extra hands and we have enjoyed being those for one another.

But mostly we have been her cheering section, arm-chair quarterbacks to her impressive undertaking.  Farming is work, and more work, but one also needs drive, passion, intellect and ingenuity to turn earth and seed into a successful business. Duck Run Farm has all those and more. The spring yield is excellent – the hilltop of kale, chard, spinach, lettuces, bok choy and more are inspiring and selling well on Tuesdays at Fearrington Farmer’s Market, Wednesday evenings at Johnny’s in Carrboro, and Saturdays in Saxapahaw.

Those baby chicks grew to healthy fat birds, and have been processed and now wait in the freezer to be included in the CSA bags.

Baker+Farmer, an apt title, takes the CSA concept to a whole new level as Keenan collaborates with other farmers, a goat dairy, a baker, and even a coffee roaster! Our bag included a tasty piece of garlic-and-chive goat cheese from Small Potatoes Farm, a fat frozen chicken and the most wonderful round loaf of crusty bread by the talented baker Lynette Driver.  That loaf didn’t last long:  We were tearing off large chunks to enjoy while it was still warm as we walked back down the lane to our house.

While we collected our bag about noon many more bags were being delivered to Family Health International and EPA in Research Triangle Park, the School of Government in Chapel Hill and beyond.  In the end sixty bags went out to very lucky customers on this inaugural run.

On May 5th, 2010 the world of sustainable agriculture took a tiny leap forward. I felt it. I was there. It was wonderful. Keenan has plans for dinner events and music on a stage, so bookmark her site and come and hear the ducks happily quacking down at the pond for yourself.

I’ll be there.  Just eating and dancing and celebrating the way we are making our foodshed and our community the way we really want them to be.

Entry filed under: Carol Peppe Hewitt, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , , .

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