DELMARVA ALMANAC

Naturally Sun Kissed Farm

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Meet a couple who are part of a growing group of pioneer young people taking up farming for the first time.

Watch our video to hear what Megan and Bret have to say about their farm.

Megan Mudron is a biology teacher in the Indian River School District. Her fiance Bret Hines is the assistant brew master at a new microbrewery in West Rehoboth called Revelation Brewery. Together this hardworking young couple, who will be married in June, run Naturally Sun Kissed Farm in Bishopville. I recently visited them and took a tour of their family farm operation.

Megan and Bret grow just about all their own food. It is fresher often more nutritious than what can be found in local supermarkets where the produce often comes from across the country or even from places as far away as Chile. They are part of a growing number of people returning to small sustainable family farming. This is farming that relies less on chemical fertilizers and pesticides and more on environmentally friendly practices. They call their approach to farming "practi-culture."

One aspect of sustainable faming is the use of local sources for anything the grower needs there by reducing the amount of fossil fuels ultimately need to produce their food. Another is the approach to livestock. You may have heard of free range animals. This does not mean simply letting all the animals run free on the farm. Rather the farmer has a system rotating the livestock to various fenced areas to ground off ground cover crops and dried feed supplements. The animals are happier and less susceptible to disease.

Megan and Bret are also learning about the growing trend of CSA's or community sustained agriculture. CSA farms invite the public to sign up for shares of whatever they produce. The grower lets the participants know what they are planning to grow that year but each week can be a surprise depending weather conditions or on what is ready to harvest. This could be fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats, eggs, or anything grown and produced on a farm.

Megan and Bret offered shares for sale last year but this year while they concentrate on wedding plans they are taking a break from that part of their operations. In the mean time they will be selling in few limited places. They have learned how to prioritize their efforts and the value of an ongoing education that comes best from community. Find out more about their farm at their website: http://www.naturallysunkissedfarm.com

Get links to other locally produced food sources on our Living Coastal page: delmarva-almanac.com/living