The plan to welcome back family dinner starts with sweet corn.
Carden Giles, a longtime farmer and heir of Giles Farms in Herndon, has been growing his “famous sweet corn” to the delight of family, friends and neighbors for the past 20 years, said his daughter, Becky Green, and they’ve now decided to offer his specialty and a little bit more on the farm to the rest of the community.
“We’ve had people from Hoptown who would come out and make the drive to the farm, and we just saw how much joy it would bring them to kind of get outdoors, get in nature and then also know the person who is growing your food for you,” said Green, sixth generation on the farm and a public relations professional. “We decided to just expand that and open up our farm.”
The Giles family is launching its subscription-based, local produce program June 8, and it will run for 13 weeks until Sept. 1.
The Giles Farms Fresh Produce program will allow members to select the vegetables they want from 9 a.m. to noon every Friday and Saturday at the farm for $28 a week.
Along with sweet corn, offerings will include a mix of heirloom and traditional produce such as tomatoes, lettuce, onions, radishes, cucumbers, herbs, okra and other novelties throughout the season.
Each subscription box will equal about a half bushel in size — enough to feed two or three adults, Green advised.
Although it won’t be a u-pick style program, it will be close to it. Green said it will be set up “market style” where members will be able to pick how much of what goes in their box, that way they don’t get too much of something they won’t eat.
“Someone like myself, I don’t eat tomatoes, so I wouldn’t want to show up to a box full of tomatoes,” she said. “We want people to have their preferences as far as what they want.”
Giles noted that the market and pickup site will be set up in a building on the edge of their property. Bulk items will be there for people who want a little more sweet corn or to add a sample of another produce to their box. He also mentioned that a small garden will be near the building with onions, cabbage and more.
“If they browse around the garden and see something they want, they can just go for it,” he said.
Green, who is a mother of two young children, said her love of the family farm has come full circle, and the program is a way for her to share that with her kids and others.
“I think that kind of appeals to families with little ones,” she said. “They can come and dig out potatoes and learn from that.”
Along with the farm fresh produce, members will receive a weekly email about what produce to expect on the farm that week and recipe ideas.
Signups are available online at www.gilesfarms.com or by calling 270-883-2627. Payment plans are also available.
There are 17 spots left, Green said, urging people to sign up sooner rather than later.
“I’m excited because I think it’s a way for people to have a connection with the land that they crave,” she said. “They have a little bit more pride when they know where it came from, and I think it makes the food taste a little better too.”
Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.