Twenty two years ago David and I joined a CSA. That was the first year of CSA in the Madison area. We lived in Madison at the time and were totally taken by the concept. We were told that CSA originated in Japan and the Japanese word Teikei has to do with knowing the farm and farmers who grow your food. As a side note, David and I had the honor of meeting one of the first Japanese CSA farmers when we spoke an international CSA conference in California two winters ago. We were so taken by this CSA concept that we decided to start our own CSA farm. In 1994 we moved our family from Madison’s Isthmus to the Town of Vermont and started Vermont Valley Community Farm. Our goal was to distribute all of the food we grew to our CSA members. We wanted to put all of our energy into developing a meaningful relationship with those eating our food. This is why we have so many opportunities for you to come to the farm, why we have worker shares as part of our labor force and why we involve members as pick up site hosts. The CSA concept goes much deeper than the contents of a weekly box of produce. There becomes a connection to the farm and farmers who grow the food. David and I continue to believe deeply in the concept of CSA; keeping the distribution of food local, keeping your food dollars local, getting to know the people who eat the food we grow. Of course we spend lots of time being the best farmers we can, maintaining healthy soils and growing delicious, nutritious food. And our children who we dragged out of the comfy confines of Madison are now helping us run the farm. We are incredibly honored to be voted Madison’s #1 Farmers in the 2014 Isthmus Readers Pole. The concept works!

Season One: 1995; David and Barb transplanting onions in April. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. I was frozen cold to the bone. It was misting and 40 degrees. Likely my face reflects the feeling. I had to pick up every wet, cold cluster of onions. David must not be so cold, he’s smiling.

Season One: 1995; David and Barb transplanting onions in April. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. I was frozen cold to the bone. It was misting and 40 degrees. Likely my face reflects the feeling. I had to pick up every wet, cold cluster of onions. David must not be so cold, he’s smiling.

Our first tractor. The Perkins children, Becky(9), Jesse(13) and Eric(11) pretty happy with the new blue Ford. All three kids are an important part of the farm 20 years later.

Our first tractor. The Perkins children, Becky(9), Jesse(13) and Eric(11) pretty happy with the new blue Ford. All three kids are an important part of the farm 20 years later.

Barb