Published Sep 01, 2013
“We want people to know exactly how we are raising their food.”Lars Prillaman, Green Gate Farm CSA
Leslie Randall and Lars Prillaman own Green Gate Farm in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. You have an opportunity to purchase a share of their produce through their CSA, and in turn receive a weekly delivery of farm fresh goodness. In addition to your share, you can pick up eggs, chicken, and pork.
Weekly deliveries are made to Bethesda Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC - or you can go directly to their farm for a local pick up.
My name is Leslie Randall. My name is Lars Prillaman and we own Green Gate Farm in Shepherdstown West Virginia.
I farm because I love to farm. I didn’t complete college, the classroom was not the environment for me. Outside is the environment for me. I oversee a lot of the livestock. When it comes to the chickens we tend to move them every other day or so. The breed that we’re raising - Freedom Ranger - they forage extremely well. 60 or more percent of their diet consists of grass or bugs that their finding for themselves, and thats ideal for us. It keeps feed costs down, you know, it’s what chickens are supposed to be doing.
What animals are supposed to be doing is basically our entire animal mantra and this farm. What do your animals eat? What their supposed to eat. What do they do? What their supposed to do.
Pigs are supposed to root, so pigs are a major part of our gardening process. When we’re going to break new ground open the pigs are the first thing to hit it, because their going to tear it up root it down and put amazing well balanced manure on the ground. From there we can start making our beds and planting things.
During college I traveled to New Zealand for a study abroad program and really saw a progressive small farming movement there that just caught my eye and I immediately wanted to do it.
I try to harvest as early in the morning as I can. I’m harvesting whatever seems to be ready, and sometimes, you know, it’s just baby beets. I could let them grow for a little bit longer, but I also want our members to get beets. It’s great to go out and see ripe tomatoes, especially, especially in the beginning of the season - at the end of tomato season you don’t say that, but… But when your harvesting a perfect pumpkin colored Sun Gold tomato… It’s just, it’s one of those aha moments.
We own a CSA which members get a weekly share of vegetables.
I think Shepherdstown is the perfect location for people like us. Young individuals wanting to start a new business, especially in organic and sustainable agriculture. We want people to know exactly how we are raising their food. Look at what mother nature already does. How can we create that on a smaller scale, and then use it to successfully grow food that nourishes people and that tastes amazing?