Content complied from BLDRfly by Lauren Dunteman
This season, with grocery store shelves showing uncertainty in supply, the community turned to their farmers. CSA popularity, as well as other direct-to-consumer models, exploded. BLDRfly - a local magazine - took the opportunity to get to know a few of our farmers this season. Check out their interview with Catherine Blackwell from Browns' Farm as she planted a bed of shallots earlier this fall.
BLDRfly wrote more about Browns' evolving CSA model, including how they've partnered with Bluebird Sky Farmstead and other producers in the area. What follows is an excerpt from "Jumpstarting a farm-to-consumer model in Boulder," a piece published by BLDRfly on Oct 1:
Inspired by the idea and her own quasi-apocalyptic thoughts about what she would want to have available in future crises, Browns’ Farm manager Catherine Blackwell helped the farm launch its own CSA and partnered with some of the other local producers featured in Singin Seeds.
Catherine visualized what she would want to bring, if, let’s say, the world had ended and she had to build an arc. “I know personally I would want coffee, mushrooms, bread,” Catherine told BLDRfly.
“It gave us a taste of where things might head inevitably,” says Catherine, “and how to get through the pandemic or the next outbreak; looking at what resources we have here.”
She pieced together a roster that made the most sense to offer alongside the Browns’ Farm CSA, including Bluebird Sky Farmstead’s eggs, Freshly Milled Flours, Peak State Coffee and Kingdom Come Mushrooms — all of which she tells BLDRfly had great, integral products but no market to sell in at the time.
At FYFC, we know our members really value the community and network that they build with other farmers here. It is exciting to see the opportunities of collaborating in the ways that Browns' Farm has. Tatyana of BLDRfly continues, touching on Browns' Farm's relationship with Bluebird Sky:
Raising pigs and chickens on a nearly-30-acre plot of land in west Longmont, Bluebird Sky Farmstead sells eggs right from its front door and its farmers grow a private half-acre vegetable garden for themselves and friends.
Daniel Dunlap and Annaliese Danckers, who own the farmstead, believe in livestock as the best way to regenerate the land, rotating it and building up the microbiology of the soil. Bluebird Sky Farmstead also got involved early on with Singin’ Seeds [a pop-up market in response to COVID] when Ben reached out during the Covid freeze, having heard that Bluebird Sky had a ton of eggs with no market.
“Bluebird Sky is near and dear to our hearts,” Catherine tells BLDRfly. “We have been in many Young Farmer meetings together and have all worked on various farms in Boulder County. We all set out on our own around the same time which instilled a sense of comradery.”
FYFC members always talk about the value of community and camaraderie. In these times, it is clear the value that creative partnerships have. A big thanks to BLDRfly for sharing the stories of our members with the community.