By Malea Waldrup
The story of Dallas and Katie Swanson and the Sweet Union Farm. A farm name designed to represent the different ecological activities coming together to create one beautiful farm, and the unity of Katie and Dallas, whose teamwork, encouragements, and support made the farm life possible.
Sweet Union Farm, 6010 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603 – Several acres of vegetables, some pigs, chickens, and a gracious community where farmer and buyer co-exist and live off the land by producing and buying local.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for community members to have direct access to their farmer. Members buy a “share” of the season’s harvest and therefore become a partner in growing food in a sustainable way here in Klamath Falls. Good food & farming happens in the community !
What members get:
- Every week members receive the freshest, highest-quality, most diverse vegetables you can find in the Basin. The variety of vegetables vary week to week, depending on what we the farm is producing. The number of items will range from four to ten.
- Weekly recipes from local chef Liz Arraj (owner of Terra Veg) customized to the contents of the CSA share.
- First dibs and discounts on farm events, including cooking classes and farm to table dinners.
- The CSA season is 20 weeks long and started in late May and will run through October (the exact start date was dependant on the weather).
- Members also had access to optional CSA add-ons, including local meat, eggs, and bread.
- The chance to be part of a community of like-minded people who also enjoy fresh vegetable and the joy of knowing your farmer and where your food comes from! The farm is always open to members who want to visit or get their hands dirty in the field. We love connecting people to the land and their food!
By the end of this season, I will have grown a total of 47 different crops and 132 different varieties within those crops. It’s easy to get to a number that high when you grow nine different types of lettuce! However, those numbers are incredibly high when you consider well over half of America’s farms grow one of two crops: corn or soybeans.
Depending on where you shop, the grocery store may appear to offer diversity with aisles displaying bins of colorful, shiny fruits and vegetables; the truth is that American’s dietary diversity is very limited. Week after week we choose from maybe two or three different varieties of tomatoes, apples, potatoes, etc. Not only are the varieties within types of produce absent, but the list of different fruits and vegetables available is also surprisingly short. If you only got your food at the grocery store, it would be easy to think that is all there is.Katie Swanson, Owner Sweet Union Farms
As you are probably realizing, much of what you receive in your CSA could never be found at the grocery store. Your vegetables are not limited by what is most easily shipped hundreds or thousands of miles. Every variety I grow is carefully chosen and typically harvested the same day you receive it. I try not to overwhelm you with too many new veggies, but I hope you enjoy the weekly diversity even within the most basic of crops!
Not only does the community engage with a local source of food in a personal way, but there are also additional events such as a once-monthly Farm-to-Table cooking class.
My experience with the farm has been amazing. Fresh veggies, recipes to try, and fun new tastes have made this summer a memorable one. My family tried its hand at doing some farming ourselves. It did not work well. We have been blessed to partner with Katie Swanson and her Sweet Union Farm to try a new world of taste.
Considering farming? Consider a CSA. Solid customers, dependable support, and a new community of friends wait for the adventurer.
Want to support local and try new veggies with great chef supported recipes? Find a local CSA, you will not regret it!