The CK Farms family. IMAGE PROVIDED
We grew up in Orange County, Southern California kids. I always thought we’d live on the beach and raise little surfers. We have five acres of land with anywhere from 50 to 100 chickens, 20-ish sheep plus lambs every spring, two dogs and three kids who have surfed once.
After graduating from the UO, we decided to stay. In 2004, pregnant with our first, we bought our first house, a new build in Creswell. Two years later I talked Craig into a garden, figuring we’d scrape some dirt by the side of the house and throw some seeds in the ground. He built four raised beds, one the entire length of the house. The next year he built three more. He loved gardening and I loved eating.
Then, we decided to buy five acres. The day we moved in, Craig borrowed a friend’s tractor and started tilling up the land. He was serious. And over the years the plot he would till grew and grew, until it became two plots, about an acre in all.
At first we gardened for ourselves, but when you plant an acre worth of vegetables you have much more than a young family of five can eat. We began to sell our excess and then started putting together boxes for people, which eventually led to officially offering a CSA.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Participants pay the farmer to provide them with produce every week through the growing season. Some of the benefits of participating in a CSA include seasonal variety, consistency, adventure and pesticide-free eating. Participating in a CSA gives you the opportunity to eat vegetables at peak readiness. Corn in your CSA bag in August tastes so much better than corn bought in the store in June.
Before growing our own, I hated tomatoes. But, I had never eaten one right off the plant. I was missing out. The flavors of locally grown vegetables are richer than their grown-far-away contemporaries because they are able to ripen fully, to reach their full potential.
Many of us don’t get enough vegetables in our diets, partly because it’s hard getting to the grocery store every week. Having a bag prepared for you helps change that. It sounds silly to say that CSAs offer adventure, but when you pull something out of your bag you’ve never heard of or possibly even seen before it gives you the chance to try something new. Pesticide-free vegetables are better for everyone: your family, the earth and especially for the bees.
We offer three seasons: a six-week spring preview, 14 weeks of summer bags and a six-week fall follow-up. We understand the need for flexibility, so we offer variation in size and frequency. And, if you need to skip a week because you’re out of town we don’t mind. Eggs and lamb can also be added to your order.
The farm is not our main source of income, and we’re not a large operation, so you can often find Craig in a suit checking on the peppers after he gets home from work, or weeding in the dark wearing a headlamp. I’m constantly moving sprinklers and our ”hired” help is our kids. They help us plant, harvest and pack. We all work together to make this happen and while it is hard work, and often makes for late nights, we love doing it. We love providing people with good food every week, and helping them to provide nourishing meals for the people they love.