Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Millsap Farms near Springfield. This is another of Missouri’s great small family-owned farms.
The farm is owned by Curtis Millsap and his wife. They have about 20 acres just north of Springfield, and primarily grow vegetables and raise animals, including ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, pigs and goats.
There are a couple things that make Millsap especially interesting: 1) they are primarily CSA-based and do very little farmer’s market sales. They also do some retail through Homegrown Foods, a local foods store Curtis’ sister owns in Springfield. But the CSA is their primary source of sales. Their customers even come to the farm to pick up their shares – which means the Millsaps don’t have to pack up the farm and transport it to the market every weekend like most farmers. 2) Their CSA is year-round. In Missouri! I am always impressed by well thought-out systems that show that many of the things we think are impossible actually are quite manageable.
Millsap Farm is not currently certified organic, but they do use organic practices. When I asked about any sprays they had used this season, Curtis told me that all but one of their crops were entirely spray-free this year, and the one that was sprayed was sprayed with Bt, an organic pesticide. Not bad for $22/week. Curtis’ sister-in-law Melissa Millsap pointed out that they are less concerned about the “organic” label and more concerned about using sustainable farming practices. Amen, sister.
Curtis jokes that the Millsap family is becoming Springfield’s local foods cartel. In addition to Millsap Farm and Homegrown Foods, Melissa and her husband also run an urban farm in Springfield called Urban Roots. I spent a good bit of time chatting with Melissa when I visited and told her that she is living my dream.
These are super-friendly folks who are interested in farming the right way. If you’re in the Springfield area, this is a great farm to support.