Boozer Farms is growing healthy communitiesPublished 4:43pm Monday, July 22, 2013
By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist
I approached the Boozer Farms tent at Calera Farmers Market and asked the woman setting out baskets of colorful vegetables and tree-ripened peaches to tell me about the farms.
“Boozer Farms began my daughter’s freshman year at Auburn,” Sonya Boozer said. “She came home and said I’ve got an idea. I want to start growing peaches to help pay my tuition. That summer, 2003, she carried them to Auburn to sell, then we began going to other markets. It’s put three of our kids through college, our youngest is still attending.”
My eyes drifted to her daughter, Taylor Hatchett. She was thoughtfully placing produce such as squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peaches and homemade jam into boxes. A small, family owned farm in Thorsby, Boozer Farms participates in Community Supported Agriculture. CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
“With CSA, consumers take part of the risk with the grower,” Hatchett said. “They pay at the beginning of the season in hopes of getting an abundance of produce. For instance today my boxes were going to include heirloom tomatoes, but the rain changed that. Instead I used another variety that does better with rain. I send a weekly newsletter of recipes and what to expect in the box. Members pick their box up at the market location convenient for them.”
Boozer Farms is not only growing healthy communities, but encouraging people to help those in need. For every three shares sold, Boozer Farms donates a share to a needy family. Any extra produce beyond that goes to local food banks.
Hatchett earned an undergraduate in agronomy and soils and a masters in plant pathology. She owns and manages with help from her dad Bobby Boozer, a retired Auburn University extension fruit specialist, Mims Sod of Boozer Farms and 23 acres of farmland. She resides in Stone Creek in Calera with her husband Jeremy, a third-year internal medicine resident at UAB, and their son Matthew.
Boozer Farms produce can be purchased at Calera, Auburn University and Helena Farmers Markets. For CSA information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-688-6866. Check out Boozer Farms on Facebook or boozerfarms.wordpress.com.