- What do you do in the winter?
Having a successful farming season requires significant planning. Winter is the time that EarthDance’s farm staff reflects on the season past, and makes plans for the coming year, from deciding which varieties to grow to determining the best crop rotation. In 2013, a hoop house was added to the farmscape, enabling us to extend the season, meaning that the farm will be productive well into the winter. The office staff keeps busy during the winter too: recruiting apprentices, fundraising, and fine-tuning the curriculum for EarthDance’s educational programs.
- Where does your produce go?
EarthDance produce can be found on plates all over town. EarthDance’s CSA members enjoy a weekly selection of the farm’s bounty; the CSA includes public members, EarthDance staff, and of course, the apprentice-farmers who grow the crops. EarthDance also sells produce at two farmers markets and to chefs and grocers with a local-foods focus. Ferguson-Florissant School District purchases vegetables from EarthDance for fresh produce “taste-tests” at nearby elementary schools, and in 2014 the district will join our CSA, bringing four shares per week to a school salad bar. EarthDance regularly donates produce to community organizations that provide food to needy individuals and families. Partners include Ferguson-Florissant School District’s Homeless Families program, St. Stephen’s food pantry, and Operation Food Search.
- You mean you charge for people to work on your farm?
Apprentices, while they pay a tuition fee, are more appropriately “students at the EarthDance Organic Farm School”. Tuition includes:
- A full season of hand-on supervised instruction in all aspects of operating a production farm. Instruction is provided by farm managers with years of experience and given in a small group setting. Apprentices are shown a myriad of “best practices” and given an opportunity to practice with the support of a group and teacher. Best practices include techniques such as: bed preparation, using a seeder, proper transplanting and weeding methods, trellising systems, use of organic pest and disease controls, efficient harvest procedures, and use of both a walk-behind and riding tractor for discing, tilling, mowing and use of bucket. Each farm shift also starts off with a field walk during which apprentices are shown and talked through the current state of the farm– which includes crops, weeds, pests, soil conditions, weather conditions etc.
- 20+ classes throughout the year on all things food, farming and gardening. (A $400+ value) Classes also include organized field trips to local farms.
- A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. Our CSA shares are valued at $600. See below for more about CSA.
- Access to a staff who can facilitate connections to the local food and farming world
- Apprentices become part of a network of 120+ farmies who share a similar passion for changing the face of farming and gardening.
- What is a CSA?
CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, is a way for people to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. This system provides the farmer with much-needed spring capital to get going as well as a secure market for the season. (Read more)
- Where is the farm located?
In the heart of Ferguson, just east of the airport/I-170 and north of I-70. Our actual address is 233 S. Dade in Ferguson, Missouri. (Directions)
- What kind of things do you raise on the farm?
Currently, we do not raise anything but grow over 75 varieties of produce.
- Where do you sell your produce?
For the 2015 season, we are selling at the Ferguson Market.
- Where does your funding come from?
Our funding comes from several different sources. 1. Revenue from crop sales 2. Revenue from educational programming like apprenticeship fees, private tours and classes 3. Grants 4. Personal donations 5. Corporate donations. A significant percentage of donations are given to support Farmers Formal, our annual farm-raiser.