Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Stam Farms

The Market stand  Photo Credit:  Natalie Stam

In 2014, while perusing a Facebook page, I saw a post about eggs for sale at Stam Farms.  At this time I was really starting to take an interest in getting to know farmers in the area and what they might have to sell my family and I so I sent a message inquiring about what else they might have.  It was between seasons for the farm but I was told by Natalie (the lovely face behind the Facebook page) they would have chicken in early summer as well as a CSA program for produce.  I filed this in the back of my mind and eventually, if I am being honest, forgot! 
Fruit was brought in from another farm as an offering

When I received a message from Natalie about the start of their new season I was thrilled!  The simple fact that she had taken the time to write down what I was interested in and follow up months later was exceptional.  As a former retail worker I know how close to impossible that is with lots on the go. 

I made my first drive to Stam Farms in Hagersville to purchase 4 whole chickens and was greeted by a wonderful family with smiles and cheerful conversation.  Natalie made sure any questions I had were answered and I felt really great knowing our hard earned money was going to a family vs a big corporation.  Although the CSA program in 2015 didn’t work for us Natalie would often prepare me a large basket pack full of delicious organically grown produce as needed which was greatly appreciated.

I had a mini seedling crisis this past spring and Natalie came to my rescue with oodles of healthy seedlings for a fantastic price and even graciously donated some.  She also offered me continuous guidance and growing support through the growing season – if it wasn’t for her I would have ripped out my peppers that ended up thriving after a rough start!    
Beans in the field  Photo Credit: Natalie Stam

This year I was able to take part in Stam Farms market share program they ran as a customer friendly CSA.  This program was unique in that you would commit to spending $50 or $100 a month (more if desired) depending on your produce needs.  Each week 2 market dates were offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays and you could go and pick what you would like and have the total cost deducted from your tab.  Not only were vegetables a part of this but eggs, honey, meats when available and preserves were all part of this program. 

This model of CSA I really enjoyed since I didn’t have to commit to the drive every single week to pick up a share.  I was also able to stock up with bulk items for my freezer with the freedom to add more credit as I went along. 

There was a lot to choose from weekly depending on what was ripe at the time - cucumbers both pickling and slicing, peppers galore, herbs such as basil and dill, zucchini, garlic, potatoes, beans, many tomato varieties, kale, salad greens, the best cantaloupe I have ever eaten and so much more.   I often left with a huge heaped basket.
Market day!  Photo Credit:  Natalie Stam

The drought this season was extremely hard on all farmers, growers, livestock - pretty much all living things - but even through the loss of a huge corn crop Stam Farms carried on with a positive and thankful spirit.  It was so encouraging during a time that was otherwise very discouraging.

If you have ever gasped at the organic grocery store pricing consider a drive next season to Stam Farms!  The pricing is a fraction of the chain stores and everything is grown with love and care.  You do not have to be a member of the CSA share program to shop their stand and you have the comfort of transparency when you buy from a family run farm – knowing exactly how your food was grown.

My family and I have enjoyed the past few seasons shopping from Stam Farms market and are thankful for the many laughs, great advice and fantastic food!  We look forward to watching the farm grow and change in years to come!

Thanks for reading!

You can find Stam Farms on Facebook:

and on Instagram:

Some Stam Farms bounty

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