If you are looking for an example of how a "rising tide lifts all boats," Green Wagon Farm
is a terrific example of a local supply chain that is benefiting from increased consumer demand and cooperation between producers and suppliers.
The Ada-based CSA (community supported agriculture) has grown steadily since its beginnings in 2010, when it was founded by Chad Anderson. Currently, the farm employs a combination of seven full- and part-time individuals. It sells it produce to area restaurants with the farm-to-table ethos, at farmer's markets and through other partners like Doorganics, the organic produce home delivery service.
Heather Anderson, Chad's wife, reflects on the local farming upsurge and how it has benefited their farming practices. "It started a few years ago. The whole food movement took off. Restaurants in general are more concerned about where and how the food is grown. It has also made it easier for us to offer different products. You don't always need a perfectly round tomato."
Besides restaurant demand, Anderson also cites the recently opened Downtown Market as a catalyst for demand. "I think it is another good location. It is expanding the food movement and bringing it to downtown. It is bringing in more people, and serves almost as a tourist attraction."
Anderson says 2013 has been an exceptional year, coming off drought conditions in 2012. "This year melons and cucumbers have really grown well. Doorganics has been great too. When we have extra stuff, he can put it to good use for his delivery service."
Finishing out the year, Anderson says there is still work to be done. "Farming work takes us through mid-November. In the winter we begin planning and schedule for rotations." In 2014 the Green Wagon farmers have plans to purchase some land and will be adding new products, including a few animals to their mix.
You can sign up online for Green Wagon's CSA here. You can also view the market times and restaurants that buy Green Wagon Farm's produce on their website
and follow them on Facebook here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor