Food Farm was started by Janaki’s parents in the late 1980s. Janaki shares the story of the farm’s development in the late 1980s and early 1990s, how they developed a market for local food and CSA in their area, and Janaki’s gradual assumption of responsibility and eventual ownership of the farm.
In addition to 200 summer CSA shares and a significant amount of wholesale sales, Food Farm packs about 150 CSA shares all winter long. We dig into Food Farm’s amazing root cellar, which combines traditional techniques with modern technology to create a facility that is practical and efficient. Janaki walks us through the development of their root cellar, the creation of a second-generation version, and the nuts and bolts of how they keep storage crops fresh into March and beyond.
Janaki also explains their wood-heated transplant production system, and the steps they’ve taken to make that energy-efficient in a climate where heating bills in March can be much more outrageous than on the average Minnesota vegetable farm.
We also delve into Janaki’s involvement with his local non-farming community through the school board and a film festival, and how having something outside the farm – including, recently, a couple of children! – has enriched and balanced Janaki’s life, and the life of his family.
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Quotes from the Show
It didn't cost money, it just cost a lot of time. [Talking about his greenhouse.]
I think a farm really benefits from having a diversity of perspective even when that comes to decision-making and how to approach problems.
Any spouse who lives on a farm is involved whether they want to or not.
[Having kids] has made me less motivated. It's really hard now to make myself work as late as I used to and work as hard as I used to just because it's not the thing that I care the most about anymore.
It doesn't matter if it's not as perfect as it could be, but if there's a system there, and you know it works and you just do the same damn thing every year, there's a benefit to that.
It's good as farmers, I think, to break ourselves out of just farm stuff all the time and have something that is related to what we're doing, but using our farms in a different way as outlets for other people's creativity.
Also, check out Janaki’s (and friends’) Free Range Film Festival.