Courtesy of 63rd Street Farm
In a time when food systems are breaking down and causing stress, Coloradans are finding relief in food grown locally by people they’ve come to know and trust.
Located just outside of Boulder, Amanda and Brian Scott founded the 63rd Street Farm in 2007. They designed their six-acre farm to feed 350 families through sustainable agriculture. They raise pigs, chickens, and turkeys, and grow a huge variety of vegetables. For the past 13 years, they’ve been selling shares for pick-up, to people in the Boulder County community. Each share entails 25 weeks of vegetables — from late May through November — on Thursday evenings, varying according to what’s in season.
In the past, Thursday nights have turned into events at the farm — what they’ve called Mingle & Feast — with wood-oven pizza, live music, games, and socializing. Local vendors have often joined in, selling everything from homemade jam to locally roasted coffee and locally sourced wine. But this year, things will be a little different, and the farm is adapting.
Amanda says this year their 350 CSA shares sold out in record time. They usually sell out by the end of May, but this year people signed up as soon as they were open for orders in April. People seem comforted by the idea of small-operation farming, and avoiding grocery store lines. Because of COVID-19, Amanda says, “people have gotten used to online shopping for their food, and the ease of it showing up at their doorstep.” In light of this, the farm is offering three options for members this year: delivered shares using a local delivery service for a fee, pre-packed shares that can be picked up ready to go with no contact, and finally, the more routine choose your own produce option, where customers can pick their vegetables under highly sanitized conditions. With this option, only four people will be allowed in the produce area at a time, maintaining a 10-foot distance from one another. Everyone will be required to wear a mask and wash their hands at a wash station for at least 20 seconds before entering. Amanda says the farm workers will be “policing this to be sure no one touches their face or anything they do not intend to take home.” She says, “Our staff will always be wearing masks and gloves for the entire pickup as well.” It will take a lot more work, but it’s worth it for the farm to maintain an environment of safety and comfort.
While Feast & Mingle won’t quite be what it was in the past, Amanda says, “We will be offering to-go options from Moxie Bread Company, The Coffee Ride coffee, as well as Laudisio Woodfired Pizza. So, we won’t be mingling but we’ll still be feasting!”
Because there was such an overwhelming demand for shares, the farm will not be offering their weekend stand. Amanda says, “We usually grow some of the shares to sell at the stand but since we sold all of our shares to the community we won’t have any extra to sell.”
With all of the changes and necessary precautions, Amanda emphasizes that she and the farm are still very excited to see everyone and to serve the community with healthy, delicious food. She emphasizes that today people need that more than ever. “If we can keep ourselves healthy from the inside out we have a better chance of surviving anything!”