Why We Do What We Do…
While most of you may know me through the CSA, some of you may not. I’m Toby, Brandon’s brother. Sometimes I tend to be a little more verbose than necessary, so settle in and enjoy.
I initially got involved in the Home Grown Farm when Mom had the idea back in 2010. From the beginning, my mom had the right idea: providing the best, all-natural, local produce she could to her community. From the beginning, I was excited about the potential and what it could mean for the Greater Waco area. I helped her come up with a name for her small “hobby” farm and cashed in a favor with one of my friends to design the logo you now see on our tubs, website, and Facebook page. Shortly after getting her a few essentials, I left the US for the trip of a lifetime around the world. When I returned in December of 2011, I came back to a much different Home Grown Farm.
My mom and brother, had spent a great deal of time, energy, and money growing the Home Grown Farm into a truly unique farm serving the Greater Waco area. I had been sold on the vision from the beginning but it was exciting to see how much my family had grown things in my absence. Shortly after my return, the Home Grown Farm came to a crossroad. As many of you already know, farming is difficult. It’s not just difficult in respect to the manual labor, planning, and risk, but most importantly it’s difficult economically.
We had to decide if we were going to go all in and risk everything or quietly shut-down before we risked too much. As you can probably tell, we decided to risk it all. Since that time, we’ve made significant changes to our CSA model and it has taken a great deal of hard work; requiring us to enlist the help of our sister, Melanie, as well as numerous friends of the family!
If it weren’t for the support of our friends, family, and community we wouldn’t be where we are today.
The journey has been a tough one so far. Between the politics of farming and the inherent “riskiness” of agriculture, we have had our fair share of struggles. It’s been good though. Things like that force you to focus on why you do what you do and requires a commitment to your core values as a person and as a business.
So here’s our list of why we do what we do:
Real food, grown with integrity is important. There’s so much deception in the food system, we believe it’s important for someone to champion integrity in one of the most important areas of our lives. After all, if we are what we eat, shouldn’t we know exactly how the food was grown and that we aren’t poisoning ourselves and our loved ones with the food we eat.
We’re passionate about diversity and supporting other local farmers. We’ve worked hard to build our Home Grown Certification that allows us to partner with a couple other local farms to provide a greater variety of produce that we can be confident is grown the same way ours is. We inspect the farms once a month to ensure standards are being met. This provides our members with a greater diversity while helping out our farmer friends.
Customer service should mean something. As the business sector has evolved, it not only lost connection with customers, but it has justified dismissing customer feedback and the idea that the “customer is always right.” We hope our customers and members will testify that we value their opinion and feedback more than our own. We constantly strive to ensure The Home Grown Farm’s primary measure of success is customer service and experience.
Access to good, wholesome food should be convenient and easy. This is a value that makes our jobs very difficult at times. With every decision we make, we hope that we are reducing the barriers to access the best, most-nutritional food available in our area.
We want to be a part of the community. We want to contribute something meaningful and important to our community and for us, few things are as important as the food you eat. There’s something very rewarding about growing the food that brings families and friends together to share in a meal. There’s something uniquely special about sharing a meal with others and we love being a part of that.
Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. While I realize that was a little long, it’s important to us that you know and understand why The Home Grown Farm exists.