Local Organic Produce in the Greater D.C. Area
A Spotlight on Spiral Path Farm
by Robin FillmoreFor the past 25 years, Spiral Path Farm has been supplying good, fresh, organic produce to eager consumers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The farm, located in south-central Pennsylvania, was founded in 1978 by their parents Mike and Terra Brownback. Brothers Lucas and Will Brownback continue the legacy of their parents by sharing the works (and the tastes) of their labors.
The family started Spiral Path Farm on a 60-acre conventional spread, growing corn, hay, oats and other small grains, but decided in 1991 to transition completely to organic methods. They are now a 255-acre USDA certified farm. Since the beginning, their mission and commitment has been to build the fertility of their soils and health of their farm and surrounding woodlands. As Lucas notes, “We strive to provide wonderful tasting, fresh produce to our customers, loaded with nutritional value.”
The Brownbacks offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships, with a wide variety of options—depending on the frequency and size of order for each customer. Each week, they provide their members with a "share" of what is currently yielding at the farm. The shares include eight to 15 different produce items, along with a weekly farm newsletter that offers recipes and storage tips.
Members get to experience and taste the array of the entire growing climate without farming themselves. To see all the available options for membership and the pickup locations, visit their website at SpiralPathFarm.com. There is also other great information and more about the Brownback’s story found on the website as well.
CSA members can pick up their share at any of their three market locations in Bethesda and Silver Spring. Pickups are on Saturdays and Sundays directly at their farm stand within the markets. They also bring many boxes to sell a la carte for those who would like to buy a box at any time without committing to our entire growing season.
CSA memberships have been their primary source of business for Spiral Path Farm since the early 1990s. This type of membership model directly benefits the farmers by locking in one’s produce source for the season and paying the farmer directly without passing the money through any middleman. For many health-conscious individuals, knowledge and assurance that all of their produce is coming from the same farm with the same growing organic practices applied is vital to maintaining good health. The benefits for members is fantastic—having fresh produce stocked in the fridge weekly and encouraging healthy and nutritious eating, while learning how to cook using different foods from our local region.
The Brownback family offers a farming legacy with generations working together, as well as delicious and healthy food for the rest of us. As Lucas notes, “We are inspired as stewards of the land to help heal our environment and healthcare crisis by aiming to promote healthy lifestyles through conscious food choices. Creating sustainable agriculture methods for future generations inspires us to continue our mission and role in the ecosystem.”
To learn more about Spiral Path Farm or to order your CSA share, visit SpiralPathFarm.com.