Love still growing local at Terra Firma Farm

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 neighborhood drop sites throughout San Francisco, the East Bay, and Sacramento areas.  “We started out with like 40 people,” says Underhill. “We went from farming 20 acres to 200 acres in that time.” “At one point we had 1400 subscribers. Although we are down quite a bit, we are down now to about 800,” says Underhill. “Other farms doing CSAs have noticed similar trouble,” he admits. “It’s happening all across the state,” adds Alcorta. Part of the problem was that most Terra Firma subscribers live in San Francisco, where, for some, housing is neither stable nor affordable. Some customers with drop-off locations (like the one locally at Ace Hardware) have had to move elsewhere. The advent of packaged meal prep box subscriptions has also reduced the local organic farm’s Bay Area fan base. “We don’t have that big of a marketing budget,” Underhill jokes. “Our truck has a logo and now people have some awareness that we are here.” The community that supports Terra Firma Farm includes 45 year-round employees. “The folks that work on our farm are also a really big part of our operation, our family, and they are part of this community,” Alcorta emphasizes. “We try to employ as many as we can year round, so that they have both employment and consistent security… they are the ones that really are the backbone of our farm.” Some of those employees could be seen as this year’s Holiday Tractor Parade float rode down Main once again. Their entry this year was a sleigh teeming with green CSA boxes. Underhill says the farm has about 40 local subscribers, and hopes the small town parade will call some extra attention to their small farm and its locally-grown food packages.]]>

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