Q: Is this like, a job or a nonprofit or a volunteer thing or what?
A: The Mini Farm is technically a small business venture. I'll be selling the produce and flowers I grow at the Forest Park Farmer's Market (Fridays 3-7pm) starting June 22nd) as well as possibly doing direct sales to restaurants or grocery stores. The Mini Farm something I'm doing because a) I enjoy doing it and b) I think the community and the farmer's market specifically can benefit from locally grown produce. I'm not going to get rich of the Mini Farm, but I hope to at least supplement my other part time income a bit.
Q: I've heard the name "Purple Leaf Farms" in the newspaper, but you're calling it the Mini Farm, so what's the deal?
A: Two years ago I grew fresh produce and sold it at the Logan Square farmer's market. In order to participate in that market, I founded a company called Purple Leaf Farms which is the business name I use when doing any of my garden related business endeavors. Instead of starting a whole new business name for the Mini Farm project, I decided to just keep Purple Leaf Farms as my official business name. I may start referring to the Mini Farm as "Forest Park Mini Farm by Purple Leaf Farms".. technically correct but kinda long winded.... not sure.
Q: What are you growing?
A: Basically, I am growing a little bit of everything. I'm focusing on heirloom veggies and cut flowers, so I'll have all your favorites: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melon (if my luck holds), summer squash, salad greens, onions, broccoli, etc). I'm also growing cut flowers which I will sell in bunches for you to take home and enjoy. If I had to guess I'd say I'm probably growing about 40 different plant varieties, so its hard to tell you everything. I'll tell you what I'm NOT growing, that will be easier. I am not growing any perennial veggie or fruit crops. This means no asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, garlic, or bush or tree fruits. The main reason is because the Mini Farm agreement is only for this year's growing season. I don't want to invest in perennial plants that I may have to destroy at the end of the year.
Q: Will you be offering a CSA?
A: I'd like to do a CSA but I haven't figured out my pricing yet. Also, since the Mini Farm is still not planted, its likely that my harvests will be a little later than other market growers this year, so I'm not fully convinced a CSA would work, since it will be several weeks before I have my first harvest. If you want to do a CSA, let me know, yo.
Q: Will anyone be helping you with this?
A: Other than my #1 Gardener's Helper, Nick (my husband), the answer is most likely, no. This is my new part time job so I'll be at the mini farm 2-3 days a week. I hope to not have to hire any help, since hiring help would require me to, you know, pay them.
That's all my Q's and A's for right now. If you have some Q's you'd like me to answer, leave 'em in the comments.
Thanks for reading!