Many people in the small town of Potosi live on or own a farm. Most of the farms around here are dairy farms, but there are some exceptions. One of these is my own family’s organic farm. Each member of my family has contributed in one way or another.
Having an organic farm is a lot of work and just becoming certified is a long process. “The land has to be unsprayed by conventional pesticides and herbicides for 3 years before it can be certified organic. The process of certifying organic requires a lot of paperwork and the cost is around $900 for produce or crop certification,” explained Carrie Post. You also have to keep paying $900 each year.
“We moved into our farm in 2011 and began our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in 2012,” said Carrie Post, one of the owners of Honey Hill Organic Farm. If you sign up for the CSA you have different options of what size box of produce you would like. Depending on the size you select for your share and add-ons, you pay between $425 and $860 for the season, which is 21 weeks. The add-ons include honey, sunflower oil, and/or flower bouquets. We also deliver the shares to destinations for the people to come pick up later. These places were usually other businesses that agreed to be a drop-off destination. At one point we had 10 drop off destinations within a 60 mile radius. In addition to our community supported agriculture shares, we sold produce locally at two different farmers markets in Dubuque and Madison. We were the only certified organic produce vender at Dubuque, which made us an attractive vendor to customers.
Living on an organic farm has really taught me a lot about the different types of vegetables that many people had no idea even existed, such as rainbow carrots, blue and red potatoes, and many others. It also has taught me the hard work it takes to run your own business and all of the extra time and little details you can’t forget about.