Connecting People with Farms
An Interview with Anne Cure
Anne Cure is the farmer and co-owner of Cure Organic Farm, a farm she and her husband, Paul, started in 2005. Anne & Paul live on the farm with their daughters, Georgia and Lauren. Anne is active in working to keep agricultural land in the hands of farmers, and is passionate about bringing more young farmers into the fields. She believes that community involvement is crucial in the revival of small family farms. Anne is dedicated to using sustainable methods that help to maintain a healthy farm ecosystem, and is always introducing new crops as well as animals into the mix.
Communities are becoming more and more involved in their local food system through community supported agriculture (CSA). Anne Cure explains the mechanisms of her CSA and shares her visions of the future.
Douglas Gayeton: Can you please tell us a little bit about your farm?
Anne Cure: [At Cure Organic Farm], we grow 12 acres of certified organic vegetables and flowers. We have additional grazing pasture where we raise Berkshire pork, Rambouillet sheep for wool and for meat, chickens for eggs and meat, and we have an apiary of about 15 hives.
All the food that we grow is distributed within about 50 miles through our community supported agriculture (CSA) program. We also sell at an on-site farm stand, we participate in the Boulder Farmers’ Market twice a week and we have about a dozen restaurants that we sell to throughout the year.
Douglas Gayeton: How would you define a CSA?
Anne Cure: A CSA is where people in the local community come out and develop a relationship with the land and the people that are growing their food. They participate by eating seasonally, eating locally. Whatever is coming out of the field is what they take home for their families. It’s about keeping the local economy strong; it’s about keeping agriculture as a focus in our communities; it’s about developing a relationship with the land and the people who grow our food.
Douglas Gayeton: With most CSAs you pay a set amount of money and then you get a box every week, but can you explain how your CSA is a little different?
Anne Cure: Our CSA is a little different in that our CSA members share the risks in the bounty of the farm. When we have a great season they’ve got extra green beans to put in their freezer. When we have a light season or our crop gets frosted out, members shared that risk with us as well, and we don’t have as many tomatoes to share that year.
We try to foster a relationship between CSA members and the land of teh farm where CSA members come. They read off of a chalkboard how much of each item is in their share. THey pack their own produce out from the farm.
There’s also an exchange table. if there is something they don’t care for that week, they can trade it out for something else. Having people here on the land is really important for people to actually see where the food is coming from.
Douglas Gayeton: What do you envision the maturing local food system looking like in five years?
Anne Cure: I think we are on the way to more people having some understanding of how food gets to their place, whether they’re buying it in a grocery store, at a farmers’ market, or at a restaurant.
All across the nation small farms are popping up. Younger people are getting excited about farming again. Many farms offer work opportunities to learn the skills and the business part of small farming.
My vision is that there’s going to be small farms that pop up which provide a connection for our consumers to know where their food comes from and how it gets to their plate, and continue to teach the next generation of farmers how to grow wonderful food and take care of the ecosystem at the same time.