Mike & Terra Brownback: Diversified Organic Production and the Modern, Large CSA
Mike and Terra Brownback & family — their two grown sons are currently on-farm — operate a 255-acre diversified organic vegetable farm with 4 acres under high tunnel production. These first-generation Pennsylvania farmers are 35 years on the farm with 20 years experience operating their large CSA (2,300 members), wholesale vegetable sales, and farmers markets. Learn how such a complicated operation is managed amidst the exploding CSA phenomena from soil to crop timing to marketing and customer service ... gain a firsthand glimpse into the intricate dance behind this amazing farming operation.
Mike & Terra Brownback own and operate Spiral Path Farm, a 255-acre diversified vegetable farm in Perry County, Pennsylvania. Mike began farming in 1974, moved to his current location in 1978, and operated a farrow-to-finish hog operation and grew hay and grain crops for 15 years. The farm was transitioned to organic production and into growing vegetables in 1992. Today, Spiral Path is a 2,300-member CSA with distribution throughout south central Pennsylvania and into Maryland. To extend seasons for their vegetable production they have 4 acres under high tunnels. Mike and Terra host numerous on-farm events with 500-600 people visiting their farm each month. Rather than endlessly expanding their own CSA offerings, they have invited nearby farmers to offer their products to the Brownbacks' customer base. The Brownbacks are passionate about soil fertility and increasing the nutrient density of food.
Recorded Thursday, December 12, 2013
My Farmer, My Customer
New! Learn from Marty Travis's experiences converting the Spence Farm into one of the most successful farming co-ops in the United States today.