Someone asked me the other day how it was we were able to grow all of the veggies we put into our CSA Boxes. I replied, “Robert has a green thumb and a knack for planning and preparation. He is an extremely hard worker and plants twice the amount he thinks we will need so we have enough to share with the wildlife and deal with the inevitable losses from the rains and the drought and the insect pests which plague any garden anyone tries to grow. This is how we manage to have enough vegetables to fill our CSA Boxes.” The person replied, “But you have labor to help with the field work. Right?” I answered, “NO. The only labor is what Robert and I provide. We are a small, family farm business!” I got the distinct feeling I was not believed. Thus, I feel the need to tell our story again–my and Robert’s story and that of Cane Creek Asparagus & Co.–our CSA and farm business.
First off, I must address the vegetable Asparagus in the name. As I say on our website, we no longer are growing asparagus for our CSA Boxes. This was the vegetable we got our start with by growing white asparagus for country clubs and the few restaurants willing to pay the price we needed for this labor intensive crop. It was a unique product and we got some publicity over it and the purple asparagus we grew for over twenty years. But there is a reason asparagus typically comes from New Jersey or Michigan or Washington State–asparagus needs cold winters to grow well. We found ourselves replanting crowns far more often than we liked in order to have those delicious spears available. We did this for years until one day we said No MORE! Now we concentrate on the vegetables we can grow with less stress. Remember Cane Creek Asparagus & Co. CSA is just one man and one woman and a garden. Robert and I have been at this project for nearly twenty-five years now with no planned end in sight! We love growing and eating our veggies! We have families who appreciate what we are attempting to do with our CSA and so we “grow on.”
Yes, having gardens the size of our field is hard work, but there is something rejuvenating about planting a tiny seed and seeing it turn into a delicious fruit or veggie which one can eat. There is something satisfying about knowing how that crop was grown. And something one can only get from the feel of the soil under a deep blue, sunny sky with a breeze blowing on one’s face!
You will not see our farm or farm name when driving along Cane Creek Road in the WNC Fletcher/Fairview area of Buncombe County. But if you Google our name, you will find us. And you will find businesses willing to act as “hosts” for our CSA Box pickups. Family businesses like Troyer’s Country Amish Blatz in Fairview and Frugal Decor and More in South Asheville. And you will find families who appreciate the taste of local, seasonal produce grown by one man and one woman. Some of those families have been eating from our CSA Boxes for over fifteen years! And those people are the real heroes of our small, family farm business!