meet maranatha farm
Maranatha Farm was born out of one Louisiana man's desire to grow the same nutrient-dense food for others that he had begun to grow in his backyard. In order to do this on a larger scale, he purchased a 4-acre property in Slaughter, LA, about 25 miles north of Baton Rouge.
After preparing a half-acre of land and growing cover crops during 2017, Maranatha Farm had its inaugural season of market produce in the Spring of 2018. Our primary focus is delivering fresh produce to families in the Baton Rouge area with the Maranatha Greens CSA.
Sustainable Growing Principles:
What makes Maranatha Farm different from conventional agriculture? For one, we avoid the use of biologically-destructive synthetic herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other chemicals that can disrupt the delicate soil-food web balance. Our focus instead is on building up the health of our plants and soil, thereby giving them the tools they need to better fend for themselves in the difficult growing environment of South Louisiana.
We also mitigate weed pressure preemptively with the use of shade cloth and tarps to provide a weed-free seedbed before planting. We have invested in these intentional practices at the initial stages of Maranatha Farm in order to regenerate our soil-food web and sustain the farm's productivity long-term.
It is our anticipation that years from now the nutritional quality and taste of our produce will continue to exceed that which is normally available in grocery stores, whether conventional or organic.
Why We Keep It Small:
One of the benefits of growing on a small scale is the growers can devote much more attention to detail. They can observe the health of each of their crops to a higher degree and proactively monitor situations before they become problematic and might warrant harmful pesticides or other chemical applications.
In stead, by proper soil mineral balancing before each season, and feeding plants and soil biology what they need during the year, a thriving environment that nurtures life can be established and stewarded.
What is a CSA FARM?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
While most small-scale Farms are participating in agriculture, and all are supported by a customer base, the C in CSA is what sets this model apart from other forms of farming.
To build a farm community around shared values, including the desire for locally-sourced food, is a powerful concept that can lead to healthier and more empowered lives.
The Maranatha Greens CSA
Our seasonal CSA program is the primary way Maranatha Farm brings its fresh produce directly to the local consumer.
Members of the Maranatha Greens CSA receive an allotment of fresh produce each week, consisting of that which was just harvested and washed at our farm in Slaughter, LA.
The CSA Model
The CSA farming model has only existed in North America for the past 30 years, but it has gained great popularity among small farms in the northeast and west coast during that time.
The concept is a bit more rare in the Deep South, just like small-scale farms with organic growing standards. But we believe the tide is beginning to turn.
Why Eat Local?
Higher Nutritional Content, Better Taste
Buying and eating locally-grown produce offers you many benefits over that which must be shipped from long distances. Local produce is much fresher, having just been harvested from the soil in which it grew. Therefore, it retains much more of its nutritional content, having had less time being transported and sitting in storage.
Fresh, local produce should not only be better for you, but also should result in better taste. And economically, it's always a win-win for a local grower to sell as directly as possible to a local buyer.
The Potential In Our Backyards
Much of the fresh produce sold in Louisiana is not grown locally but was rather imported from California, Arizona, and even foreign countries. And that's understandable since we often want to eat that which cannot be grown out-of-season locally.
Yet, there remains so much untapped potential in our own backyards where most Louisianans spend time, money, and effort cultivating Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses, but not edible plants.
Growing Year Round
The opportunity to grow food twelve months of the year is an advantage Louisiana growers have over most of the rest of our country. But not every backyard would-be Urban Farmer has the time or patience to learn how to grow enough nutrient-dense food to feed his or her family.
Your next best option may be to support a local small farm that will do all the hard work for you and deliver produce to you directly throughout the year.
Do You Know Your Grower?
It would be ideal to support a small farm that you can visit personally, with a grower you can know personally, and a farm community that will help you make the most of your involvement with that farm.
One such community is the Maranatha Greens CSA, with all of its produce grown locally at Maranatha Farm, just 20 miles north of Baton Rouge. We offer five CSA share sizes to best fit the needs of you and your family.