I know I first encountered Breezy Willow at the Glenwood Farmer’s Market, but I don’t remember when. The market was small when we first moved out here, but as a Saturday market it was easy to attend while we still had day jobs in DC. I buy quite a few veggies from them on Saturday mornings and still do much of my purchases of items I don’t grow in my garden from their stand. Things like the sweet corn, the radishes, the summer squash, peppers, and more. And, of course, their lovely free range eggs.
Breezy Willow offers all sorts of items, including eggs, honey, breads, soap, herbs, rare veggies, and fruit. They are a certified organic farm. Here is a very detailed description from their website.
Besides, who can resist the alpacas? And, the sheep, the chickens, the dog, any or all of them will greet you when you pick up your Community Supported Agriculture “basket” in the farm store. Visits weekly to the farm really do create that connection between us and the source of our food.
They also make and sell other goodies, like handmade jewelry, alpaca scarves and socks, felted soap balls, scented soaps, the list goes on. It is truly a labor of love on a family run farm. I love to buy the soaps to give as Christmas gifts.
RJ, Ken, Casey and Jason are all out and about. You may run into them at the markets, on the farm, and CSA pick up points beyond the farm. The farm does offer work for your CSA options, for those who staff the CSA pick up points, or the market. They work for their share, instead of paying for it.
This is an incredibly popular CSA in the county, one that has been adding pick up sites every season, and now has more than 700 members.
For the summer and fall CSA, which runs 24 weeks, starting in June, the vast majority of your items come from surrounding farms and from Breezy Willow. They do bring in goodies like mushrooms from PA and a few farms are outside of the county. To me, that is a good thing.
The success or failure of CSAs depends on happy customers. Some people are leery of taking risk if weather could wipe out part of a harvest, and the only source of their veggies is one farm. By diversification, and use of a cooperative venture among small regional farms, CSAs like Breezy Willow are a very good value for those looking for healthy foods to serve themselves and their families. The diversification mitigates some of the risk, and by paying up front for your future “shares”, you assist the farm in getting cash flow in spring when they need it for planting. It is a good thing for both sides of the transaction.
In the early spring, Breezy Willow added an “early bird CSA” a few years ago. It runs 12 weeks from March through May, and supplements cold storage fruit and vegetables with greenhouse grown, high tunnel grown, and some shipped in items from the South. Items like fresh Florida citrus at the height of the Florida growing season. For those of us weary of winter and ready for spring, this CSA gives us really fresh outstanding veggies and fruit from small farms along the coast. I can’t wait to see if we get some early berries from Carolina or Virginia.
Breezy Willow also works with the other farms in the area to offer their dairy products, and meats out at the farm. I am partial to the yogurt, and if they have Bowling Green Farm feta in the fridge, I grab it. The farm store was open on Saturdays this spring from 10-2, and is open for CSA members on CSA pick up days.
Now that they have added an extension to the farm store building, we were told that the CSA will pick up in the extension and the farm store will take over the entire original section.
If you want a real treat find out what flavors of ice cream are in the cooler. My personal favorites, salted caramel, honey graham and maple bacon. Yes, maple bacon ice cream. The sweetness of maple with the saltiness of tiny pieces of bacon.
If you get the chance, check out the farm on one of their open days. Call ahead if there isn’t a notice on the web site. You can see what they offer by browsing on the site, and if you want to order, they will arrange a convenient pick up time.
You can’t miss them on Old Frederick Road (Rte 99), just west of Rte. 32 and the West Friendship fire station.
Or, stop by when they begin their participation in the Glenwood Saturday market at the library and community center parking lot. Last year, they started selling in early June, once they had a good supply of veggies to bring to market.
Since viewing your week-by-week photos, I’ve regretted not participating in Breezy Willow’s “early bird CSA.” My concern that the quantity of bread would have been beyond my family’s usage and freezer capacity was valid, but the produce has impressed me so much I wish I had signed up and gifted the excess loaves to friends.