re CSA Market Gardening:Can't wait to Start.

I found out about CSA's through my parents. They started their own in Utah. They work hard and are so involved with the community, That they inspired me to re-think my life and the life I want for my children. I grew up in the city but we still had a small garden that we took care of.

Now I'm currently in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan. I'm getting out in OCT 2012. I have very little farming experience to speak of, but I can't wait to get out and start farming with my family. I will have 12 acres to start a CSA in Northern Va. I plan on ordering your books as soon as I can get a solid address to send them to over here. It will just be me and my wife starting the CSA. I have 3 children that are a little young to really help. (oldest being 8)

My questions are:

1. What strands of seeds will be the best for a Northern Va. growing season and weather?

2.What books / websites should I be reading while I'm deployed to really get prepared for this complete change in my family's life.

3.What is the MAX acreage I will be able to handle alone?

Any advise that you can give to a newbie would be greatly appreciated.



Good questions, Al

re seeds, you might want to check out Johnnys Selected Seeds they have a great seed catalog with lots of information about which seeds would be suited to your area, and they work with market gardeners.

re good books, check out the ones on my website at Book reviews Also, any books by your fellow Virginian Joel Salatin are recommended. He doesn't write much about CSA's but does have a lot of great information about being a successful farmer.

re acreage, I would say that a hard-working couple could handle up to about an acre and a half, maybe 2 acres by themselves, if you have all the equipment and are efficient. I know a couple farm families that are doing that much. It would be long days, though, especially with 3 little kids.

I wouldn't advise starting at that size though, it might be best to get some experience for a season or two. Start out by feeding yourself and maybe a few neighbors or friends, then grow as your learn.

all the best, and get home aafe

Scott Kelland
New Terra Farm

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