Fresh off the farm vegetables

January 5, 2009 5:36:36 PM PST
In Monday's Hometown Live, we went out to Wood Duck farms in Cleveland, which is taking part in a growing trend -- community-supported farms that give people a chance to get weekly supplies of fresh vegetables. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Just outside the southern edge of the Sam Houston National Forest sits Wood Duck Farm.

"We grow an assortment of herbs and greens and lettuces," said Van Weldon, owner of Wood Duck Farm.

They're lettuces and micro greens used by some of Houston's top chefs. Weldon also sells his seasonal produce at the Bayou City Famer's Market. For the first time ever, he's offering customers a chance to own part of the spring crops.

"CSA stands for community-supported agriculture," said Weldon.

Through the CSA program, people can buy a share of the spring harvest and receive fresh produce for 10 weeks.

"We have five locations in Houston, Kingwood, the Woodlands, where you can come by Wednesday afternoon and pick up your box of produce," he said. "We start off with broccoli, cauliflower, then we'll transition to more springtime vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes."

The Montgomery County man who went from stock broker to farmer over a decade ago pays close attention to every detail.

The quality of Wood Ducks Farms produce exceeds what can regularly be found at most grocery stores. Plus, Weldon grows only from seeds that are not genetically modified and uses only natural fertilizers and pesticides.

Still, possibly the biggest advantage is the crops are picked just days before you eat them, and that gives you fresh from the farm taste. It's a taste Weldon hopes more people will soon get a chance to enjoy through the CSA.

"It's basically where the grower and consumer connect, and that's what we're finding through the farmer's markets. People want to identify where they're getting their product," said Weldon.

It's a locally grown product that can bring a fresh edge to any table. If you want to find out more about getting involved with Wood Duck Farm, click here.

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