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Radcliff farm hosting field day

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Local family offering homegrown produce packages for residents this summer

By Marty Finley

A local family is opening up their Radcliff farm to the public next week as they plow the field for spring planting.

City Field Gardens, a Radcliff-based Community Supported Agriculture program, is hosting a field day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 30, featuring an old-fashioned horse and plow team tending to the fields in preparation for summer harvest.

John Allender, who runs City Field Gardens with his wife, Melissa, has partnered with local vendors to host activities including a petting zoo, bounce house, Easter egg hunt and food, drinks and baked goods for sale. Wristbands for the bounce house are $5 and cover the entire day. The Easter egg hunt is at 1 p.m., according to City Field Garden’s website.

The first field day was last March with little marketing fanfare but attracted a large crowd, Allender said.

City Field Gardens’s entrance is at the intersection of Lake and South Wilson Roads in Radcliff.

Allender said rain could force rescheduling, but any changes will be announced at www.cityfieldgardens.com.

The couple married in 2011 and moved onto the property, which had been held by Allender’s family for years. Allender said he was not interested in developing the land for housing. The idea for the garden emerged as they fixed up the nearly 20 acres of property.

“I’m in construction and I love the business, but everything shouldn’t be built (on),” he said.

Allender said the farm yields enough for his family to produce packages, which will be available by June. Those who sign up for a membership in the CSA program during the field day receive a 5 percent discount, he said.

Purchasing a membership in the CSA guarantees a portion of the Allenders’ harvest before it is sold at market. The CSA program runs from June to October, offering members a package for a minimum of 12 weeks or more depending on harvest size and products available, he said.

“You may get 14 (packages),” he said.

City Field Gardens offers an all-inclusive package for $500 for the whole season or $50 per week once whole season packages are filled. The package includes a vegetable box; brown eggs; apple butter, jams or jellies; fresh-basked bread, rolls or biscuits; herbs and spices when available; and cooking suggestions. Allender hopes to offer goat milk products soon, such as soap and cheese.

A vegetables-only plan is available at $400 for the whole season or $40 per week. The last package offers eggs at $4 per dozen or $16 a month.

Leftover items are sold at a fruit and vegetable stand at the farm on weekends.

Allender said members can pick up packages at the farm or dropoff locations set up in Elizabethtown and Louisville. Sites still are being determined, he said.

He did not rule out home deliveries when warranted, such as requests from the elderly.

Those who fail to pick up a package or contact the farm will forfeit that week, but he said the food will be donated to a local charity, such as Helping Hand of Hope. Allender said the farm will not resell forfeited packages but wants to ensure the food does not go to waste.

City Field Gardens has received orders from several in the Louisville market, which has shown openness to the CSA program and the opportunity to eat fresh, family-grown food, he said.    

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.