It’s all in the family: Family maintains home farm to produce fresh foods

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  • Homing pigeons peer out of chicken wire used to keep animals out. Photo by Astin Ramos

  • A duck egg lays on top of freshly gathered chicken eggs waiting to be cleaned and placed into cartons. Photo by Astin Ramos

  • Blueberry plants start to bloom and are waiting to be planted in the garden for spring. Photo by Astin Ramos

  • Having all been rescued these llamas now get to roam an open pen freely. Photo by Astin Ramos

  • Moss, a Pot Belly- American Guinea cross, basks in the sun while enjoying a mud bath. Photo by Astin Ramos

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Astin Ramos, Photo Editor

Homegrown and homemade fruits, vegetables, produce and baked goods are becoming a new way of shopping. Family farms are growing whole foods to be sold directly to the consumer. Farm to table is taking over the way grocery shopping is done. 

“I like knowing where my food is coming from. When you get food from a store like Walmart you have no idea where it’s coming from,” said frequent farm-to-table shopper and parent Robin Cordill. “But getting it from a local family farm is a different situation. The food is way fresher and healthier.” 

Instead of going through a package and shipping process the foods are grown, harvested and sold all in the same general area to members of the community. 

 “They help give back money into the community instead of spending it at a large store that doesn’t need the money. It’s much better to give someone from the community $50 for your food instead of Walmart,” said junior Skylar Ryan. 

According to the owner of Porter Farms, Kristin Porter, the most important step in creating a successful garden is the soil. Along with adding supplements to the soil Wyandotte county extension office can help owners determine what their soil has a deficiency in.

“You amend your brown soil, you can add manure, potting soil, peat moss, there are all sorts of things you can do,” Porter said. “The Wyco extension agent can do a soil sample and tell you what your soil is deficient in or why your grass won’t grow.”

For Cordill, the biggest payoff of farm-fresh foods is how healthy, economical, and low-priced they are. Many of these family-owned farms grow their foods to be sold to the community at a low price. 

“I always like to get my eggs from a family farm because I really like to get free-range eggs. I also like to get whatever fruits and vegetables are in season, they tend to taste so much better than what you can get from the store,” Cordill said. “I do think it is also fun to try new things that I haven’t tried before.” 

Chores at the Porter Farm can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. With over 160 animals on their farm, the task of caretaking involves many attentive measures.

“I like animals better than people. I can go out and tell when one of my animals is off,” said Porter. “I’m responsible for feeding them breakfast, and dinner, they have to have water throughout the day so it is hard for me when I have to go out of town or when we go on vacations. Somebody has to do that, it’s a lot of trust.”