Embrace Freshness, Support Local: Thornapple CSA's New Journey Begins!

Nurturing the Land, Nourishing Your Body: A Sustainable Farming Journey

June 27, 2024

Table of Contents

Nurturing the Land, Nourishing Your Body: A Sustainable Farming Journey

A Serendipitous Discovery

It was a rainy day in December 2021 when my family and I were wandering the picturesque cobblestone streets of Montepulciano, Italy. As we passed a store window filled with photos of charming stone farmhouses, I felt a sudden and unexpected pull. Without hesitation, we stepped inside, eager to explore further.

Little did I know that this chance encounter would set in motion a life-changing journey. You see, I had always harbored a deep-rooted dream of owning a farm, but it had never quite materialized. Yet, as I stood there, gazing at the images of those rustic farmhouses, I could envision it all so clearly – a haven for health and wellness, a place where I could live out the values that meant so much to me and share them with the community we’re building here at Thornapple CSA.

My family and friends thought I might be a little crazy, and in all honesty, they might have had a point. I had recently sold my house in LA and moved everything I owned into storage, planning to look for a place in Nashville upon my return from Italy. But something about this opportunity in Umbria felt different, like the universe was conspiring in a good way. With a leap of faith and a lot of hard work, I knew I had to trust my gut and see where this journey could take me.

Embracing the Biodynamic Difference

I started Thornapple CSA because I couldn’t find what I was truly looking for – the highest-quality ingredients, harvested with sustainable practices that would not only nourish my body but also my heart. I wanted to work with artisans who cared as much about quality as I did. Until now, I’ve scoured the world to find the best small-batch specialties to stock your kitchen and home. But now, I can grow my own and oversee the entire process, from soil to seed to sprout, ensuring you always know where our ingredients come from and just how they were grown and harvested.

Umbria is renowned for its “green gold” – its exceptional olive oil. Olive trees were first planted here by the Phoenicians around the 6th century BC, and walking the fields, groves, and orchards today feels like stepping back in time. We’ve got 36 hectares (89 acres) with 1,000 ancient olive trees, and we can’t wait to press our first batch.

But our farm is more than just olive trees. Our farm manager, Matteo, is clearing space for a full organic garden and a medicine garden, where we’ll grow burdock, rosehip, dandelion root, and other plants with healing properties. The wild mint that blankets the land is intoxicating, and we’re still trying to figure out the best place to put hives so we can introduce bees to the farm. In the orchard, we’ve just discovered a few walnut and almond trees hidden among the fruit trees, and in the vineyard, we’re getting ready to plant grapes just like the Etruscans and Umbrians did 3,000 years ago, so we’ll soon be bottling our own organic, biodynamic wines.

To help create a truly biodiverse environment here, we’re also planning to bring back animals – chickens, cows, ducks, a pig or two, sheep, and sheepdogs too. And of course, we’ll care for everything biodynamically. Just like all of us, this farm is a work-in-progress, and I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going. I’m excited to bring you along as we plant, learn, and grow this space together.

The Allure of Biodynamic Farming

Biodynamic farming is, in essence, organic farming taken to the next level. They both cultivate nutrient-rich food without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic food is healthier for you and the soil it’s grown in, but even organic farming uses sprays. Biodynamic farming, on the other hand, is better because it relies on Mother Nature to do what comes naturally, using bugs and animals to help create an ecosystem that works within itself to thrive.

Our biodynamic soil naturally fights crop disease and insects without all the harmful chemicals that so much farming in the US relies on. We use everything nature gives us to enrich our soil, like manure and even weeds, to compost, fertilize, and grow something truly special. Our fields and orchards then become happier, healthier places for good insects, birds, bees, and beneficial wildlife to call home.

Using biodynamic principles also means we plant and harvest with the phases of the moon as our guide, as farmers have traditionally done for thousands of years. So, we’re working with nature, not against it. Farming biodynamically is more work, but it’s worth it to grow the best ingredients.

I’m drawn to biodynamic farming for a lot of the same reasons I choose to take care of my own health in a holistic way. We’re all interconnected. By farming biodynamically, we’re trusting the land to know what’s best. By cultivating our ingredients with care and intention, we’re helping maintain a balance, taking care of nature so nature will take care of us.

Nurturing the Land, Nourishing Your Body

Whether you’re craving something delicious, nutritious, or indulgent, we’ve got a recipe for that at Thornapple CSA. Our community-supported agriculture (CSA) service is not just about providing you with the freshest, most wholesome ingredients. It’s about a journey of sustainability, a partnership between the land, the farmers, and the community we serve.

As we continue to restore this centuries-old farmhouse and the land around it, transforming it into a thriving, biodynamic oasis, we invite you to join us. Together, we’ll cultivate not just the crops, but a deeper understanding of the natural world and our place within it. Because when we nourish the land, the land, in turn, nourishes our bodies and our souls.

So, come along with me on this sustainable farming journey. Let’s rediscover the joys of homegrown goodness, the rhythms of the seasons, and the extraordinary power of working in harmony with Mother Nature. The rewards, I can assure you, will be bountiful.

About Us

Thornapple CSA: A community-driven initiative championing sustainable agriculture. We connect members with fresh, organic produce, celebrating the bond between land and community.

Follow On

Subscrive Our Newsletter
To Get More Updates

© 2023 Thornapplecsa.com. All Rights Reserved