This is the story of Sara Patterson, an energetic nineteen-year-old who has been farming in rural Utah for five years. She sells fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, and eggs, all of which she raises. Hers is the story of a small family farm, a community supported agriculture farm, and how it can fit into today's world.
Starting at age 12, and not having grown up on a farm, she had to learn fast! She read everything she could get her hands on about organic gardening. She attended some of the best farming conferences in North America and has been fortunate enough to meet and talk to many of the leaders and pioneers of permaculture and the biodynamic farm movement.
Inspired and mentored by a family friend at age 14, Sara informed her mom that "we" had 5 shareholders in her newly formed CSA farm business, customers ready to buy the overflow of veggies she had grown. In 2009, her mom had the graphic designer at work produce a logo for Red Acre Farm CSA.
The next summer, 2010, mom said she could help even more by creating a website. Before they knew it, Sara had 20 members. Then mom announced "no more". But it was too late. The word was out. The farm continued to produce throughout the fall and winter, making them the first CSA in Utah to operate year round. By 2011 they had 65 shareholders and continued going to farmers markets as well as cosponsoring the first year round farmers market in Utah.
With help, Sara was able to purchase the adjoining acre, meet the demand for organically grown food, and open "The Back Porch" farm stand. Mom and dad were now helping as much as possible because Sara couldn't do it alone. Following permaculture practices, biodynamic farming principles, and using drip irrigation to increase production and keep up with demand, life in Cedar City, Utah was good.
Sara found dripworks.com in a google search for drip irrigation when wondering how she could water all the crops needed for her CSA business with the limited water supply from their well. The DripWorks team met Sara at the National Heirloom Festival that was held last September in Santa Rosa, California. She impressed us all with her infectious personality, beautiful smile, and her story. The CSA movement and the farmers that have made it possible have helped communities come together to promote good, local food and show their appreciation for each other.