Friday, July 30, 2010

Organic Farm in Ferguson

On the 1960's TV show Green Acres, the notion of swapping life in the city for life on a farm was its comic conceit. But for some St. Lousians, it's a serious idea, only they don't have to leave St. Louis to get back to the land, because just a mile or so east of Lambert Field sits a green field called EarthDance Farm; a sort of experimental meadow in the middle of Ferguson.

On this land, the farm hands work for free, in exchange for knowledge. And what they are leering is how to grow food organically, and sustainably. Or in more crass terms, how to make being green profitable.

The demand for locally grown, and organically grown food is growing, as evidenced by the explosion of farmers markets and restaurants touting their use of home grown ingredients. And among those selling fresh picked produce at the Maplewood and Ferguson farmer's markets is EarthDance Farm.

They grow 75 different crops. EarthDance Farm is actually two rented acres in the middle of the 14 acre Mueller family farm which has been in the middle of Ferguson since 1883.

Molly Rockamann started EarthDance Farm two years ago, and she is finding plenty of fellow travelers. What began with 12 apprentices the first year has blossomed this season to a bumper crop of 30.

In addition to working for free, these freshmen farmers pay $250 a year tuition. However, they do get to harvest anything they want for themselves every Monday.

Eventually Molly's plan is to turn EarthDance Farm into what's called a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture, meaning a farm where shareholders pay to get a share of the harvest each week.

There are already several CSA's close to St. Louis, and about 80 all across Missouri.

To watch the video clip that was shown on Fox 2 News from St. Louis, click here.
(reprinted from Fox Files)

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