HOUSTON – Driving through Fort Bend County, construction and new developments are everywhere you look, but tucked away in plain sight is Loam Agronomics.
It's a 288-acre, sustainable, diversified year-round vegetable farm in Richmond located off the Grand Parkway between Sugar Land and Katy.
The growers use no synthetic chemicals or pesticides. It is a CSA, or community supported agriculture. It's like crowdfunding for farms.
Each weeks costs $30. You have to buy in at least four weeks at a time, supporting your local farmer and the local economy.
"CSA program is one that we basically sell chunks of time to people. It kind of works like a subscription box service. Every week, we deliver boxes to drop sites all around town," owner Scott Snodgrass said. "We are a direct marketing farm; we sell directly to the public. What that means is we get more of the margin that you're paying, less of it goes to middle men or distributors."
Loam Agronomics currently has 41 pickup locations in the greater Houston area.
People go each week to pick up their veggies. Each week, your box is full of eight to 12 different varieties of produce.
The Loam Agronomics website explains what each vegetable is and even provide recipes for those crops.
Loam Agronomics is a 288 acre Community Supported Agriculture Farm. You purchase weeks worth of crops, like crowd funding for farms, if crops are successful or not. You can get more info at www.loamagronomics.com KPRC2 / Click2HoustonPosted by KPRC2 Sofia Ojeda on Monday, June 26, 2017
Snodgrass said this kind of exchange is the best for both farmer and consumer.
"We say conventional agriculture has left a bad taste in people's mouths, that people are worried about their produce. They don't feel like they have information about where their food comes from, but we provide people with where the piece of land their vegetables are coming from," he said.
It is especially true for farmers, because their yield can be hit or miss.
"You can spend 12, 16 weeks growing a single crop and have no one to buy it and it perishes just within a few days, and it helps us to know we have guaranteed sales for those," Snodgrass said.
Trying some of the sweet peppers at Loam Agronomics ! A little dirt never hurt nobody! KPRC2 / Click2HoustonPosted by KPRC2 Sofia Ojeda on Monday, June 26, 2017
At Loam, controlling the condition of the crops is the best way to make sure the crops are at their best when they reach your table.
"We shape beds, we cultivate, we weed our tractor implements and then we seed. A big process is hand, hand process, with people on the farm. Every piece of produce that comes in that box is hand-picked," owner Clayton Garrett said.
The farm has a succession planting program, so the crops and rows are taken out in varying succession in order to have crops all year long, Garrett said. Of course, that all depends on Mother Nature.
"Weather affects us in a lot more ways than whether the farm is muddy or not. The soil moisture affects our planting and germination we are often looking at when is a rain or weather event going to happen on the farm and forecasting weeks ahead," Garrett said.
Loam Agronomics is a year round farm growing and delivering vegetables every week of the year, says owner Scott Snodgrass. KPRC2 / Click2HoustonPosted by KPRC2 Sofia Ojeda on Monday, June 26, 2017
The farm has been delivering fresh produce to its customers since November.
Construction is still ongoing at the farm, and the owners hope to have it completed in the coming year.
As more events are planned at the farm, eventually, customers will be invited to come out and pick their own produce.
For more information on how you can join Loam Agronomics, visit http://www.loamagronomics.com.