Welcome to KYV Farm!
Last Updated (Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:40) Written by Administrator Saturday, 07 July 2007 04:54
We are a CSA market garden located in a heavily developed area in Northwest of St. Johns County. Our mission is to provide a fresh and healthy alternative for the community. We use only sustainable farming methods with no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Our farming practices include crop rotation, cover crop as green manure, compost and mulches, using proven organic seeds, good irrigation systems and cold frames to start/extent our season.
"Barn Raising" - Donate Now
In the 18th and 19th centuries, barns were an absolute necessity for the average farmer, providing a place to house animals and store food, supplies and tools. But barns were also very expensive structures to build that required more labor by more hands than a single farm family could provide. And so the tradition of the community barn raising began. An entire community would get together to help one of its member families build their barn. Only those with the most specialized skills might be paid in some way, but generally everyone volunteered for the job. The point was to help one's fellow man, but everyone benefited in the end. Families traded for and bought goods from one another, so it wasn't good for any part of that system to break down. A sense of community was fostered as whole villages gathered for up to several days of work, socializing and communal meals. Plus, those same barns, though owned after the raising by the individual farmer, were often used for community events such as dances and meetings.
Though traditional barn raising occurs now only in certain segments of society, modern versions of the concept are still employed, most typically when a community raises money together for a big project. Well, we would like to bring the traditional and the modern together within our KYV family. Your farm needs a good old-fashioned barn, which is still a large and costly structure, but which is essential for our growing community.
What we are planning is a 30-by-40-foot structure located right behind the current pickup shed on Borrow Pit Road. There will be a large, enclosed, certified commercial kitchen at one end. The rest of the barn will be an open area that will include the walk-in cooler and a small bathroom. The large open part of the barn will allow us to have more space for pickups. If you haven't noticed, we've gone from using just the inside of the little shed to using the inside and the porch, and now that isn't even big enough. We also envision using the open area for cooking demonstrations and classes by local chefs, tastings, workshops and more.
The certified kitchen will be used for workshops, canning and activities. But here's the best part for you: Our members will be able to access the certified kitchen too! This means that on pickup days, you can bring your own containers and prep your share right then and there. You can wash, peel and chop till your heart's content, and then leave the scraps for compost or chicken feed. We've had many, many members say that they wish they could do all of that before they took their veggies home, and we think this will meet that need. Having access to the kitchen at the farm also means that you'll be able to can whatever items you can't use right away. Think of all those pounds and pounds of beans and potatoes you've harvested at potlucks past. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a place to prepare and can all of that without having to turn your own kitchen into a mini-factory? Some of our members have even pointed out that they would love to prepare their own goodies for sale at markets and other venues, but that some of those places require that food be prepared in a certified kitchen. With this barn, our foodcrafting members can have that opportunity! We are planning for our certified kitchen to have a large stove, a refrigerator and plenty of counter space.
Here's where the KYV community comes in. Remember the part about barns still being costly structures? We have gotten one quote so far of $10,000 just for the barn. Of course, we are going to get other quotes and see where we might be able to reduce some of the cost. The cost of the certified kitchen will depend on what kinds of deals we can find on restaurant equipment. Meanwhile, we will be doing a kind of internal "Kickstarter" campaign to raise our barn. Through the "Donate Now" tab at www.kyvfarm.com, members will be able to donate toward this project the same as you can donate right now to the Feed-a-Family program.
Thank you, in advance, for your support in raising a barn that we think will benefit our entire KYV community. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this project! And, please, if you have any questions (or suggestions on fundraising for us), don't hesitate to contact us.