Couple switches gears by going into farming

Dear TRENDS Diary -

We've never been business partners before, or even colleagues within a similar field. When we realized that starting our own farm was finally becoming a reality last fall, we brainstormed possible names. 

Brett suggested "Switch Gears Farm" while we were walking Puck (our pup) one night and we each took a turn to describe what it could mean. 

Brett said that the name is based on an idea that we never stay complacent with the current trends in agriculture, including whatever practices we are currently utilizing. There is always something new to explore in the world of food and we should be open to trying new things. 

Vanita joked that the name reflects our conversations sometimes - all over the place and constantly switching gears.

Brett's grandfather, who was a dairy farmer, was a big influence for starting this farm. As a kid, Brett was always asked to help with "just one more task" and hours would go by with his grandfather. 

Vanita is not a farmer so there's been a steep learning curve in understanding what exactly happens on a farm. We each are taking lead on a certain aspect so that it becomes more manageable.

Like many local farmers, we offer a CSA program. We also have an alternative program so that our food is accessible, regardless of one's income or access to wealth. Folks can pay in installments or request a cost-adjusted share without being asked to show any proof of need for one. We've also been connecting with organizations who have food-share systems in place for community members needing access to local, healthy food through affordable means.

We want to encourage everyone to come chat with us at the Nederland Farmers’ markets, no pressure to purchase food. Or come check out the farm, and talk to us about our vision for the season up ahead!

- Brett Matson and Vanita Patel