Member Spotlight- Fly Away Farm USA
If you currently have a garden at your home, or have ever had one, you know that they are an investment. It’s an investment of labor, sweat, time, and an on-going commitment to make it successful. So, imagine having a garden that would feed not only your family, but 60 other families as well! That’s a serious undertaking! But that’s exactly what Sue and Chad Johnson have done with Fly Away Farm USA, located at 1911 Frontier Road just outside of McPherson.
So, what motivated the Johnsons to start Fly Away Farm USA? Chad said that they wanted to eat better, know what they were eating, and where it was coming from. He said he got a good dose of reality when on two separate occasions he was in a grocery store and the computer servers happen to go down. Shoppers became frustrated because that night’s dinner was in their shopping cart and there wasn’t a way to pay for it. Chad watched as people left the store without any food and their evening meal was left behind in a shopping cart. He thought, “You know what? I better figure out how to provide for my family. How to grow some food … and grow really good food on top of that.”
He and Sue started experimenting growing plants in town and began the process of looking out in the country for an expanded operation. Not necessarily for a business, but enough room to grow food to feed their family. They did a lot of research discovering what it takes to grow nutritious food by feeding the soil. Their desire was to get back to like it was in the 1940’s and prior, when everybody had their built-in grocery stores with their gardens, hogs, milk cows, etc. and didn’t have to go anywhere to get food. Sue and Chad also decided that they wanted to be able to provide healthy, nutritious food not only for their family, but for others as well. Hence the establishment of Fly Away Farm USA about five years ago. This year they have been able to service around 60 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce shares.
Instead of growing all the food then going to a farmers market to sell the produce, Fly Away Farm pre-sells the food. Clients purchase a full or half share by around the 1st of April. Fly Away Farm then takes those funds to purchase the seed and the infrastructure needed to get that food grown. By mid-May the magic begins to happen and it’s harvest time! Chad’s area is the infrastructure – the nuts and bolts, nails and hammer and Sue’s side is the finesse of growing and harvesting great vegetables. Fly Away Farm USA has found a real niche and as Chad said, “People are literally hungry for this kind of food … What you get, what you see out here, is nutrient dense stuff.”
To learn more about Fly Away Farm USA go to their Facebook page or give them a call at 620-755-4280. When you visit Fly Away Farm not only will you get healthy, nutrient-rich, taste-explosive produce, but Sue might also share some of her fantastic tips for preparing your veggies or ways to supplement a recipe with healthy, delicious veggies. As far as signing up for a CSA produce share, don’t procrastinate! Sue said she’s already had some who missed out this year sign up for 2020’s veggie harvest. And for those of us who were too late this year … don’t despair. Fly Away Farm USA has an Open Market at the farm for the general public to enjoy on Wednesdays during harvest season from 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. So, get out to Fly Away Farm USA, get those nutritious veggies, and enjoy some good tasting, healthy eating!