2024 Step Back Farm Updates

Happy (nearly) Spring! It's been a busy winter on the farm and in the Step Back Farm family. We've been busy chopping firewood, cooking on our wood burning stove, cleaning gardens, and boiling maple syrup!

The end of the 2023 season brought with it some uncertainties for our farm operations. The 2 year agreement we had for equipment use came to an end and we were left to decide how to proceed. The equipment we'd been paying to rent included everything for gardening and setting up at the farmers market. After a review of our sales and profit margins over the last two years we made the tough decision to not purchase the equipment we'd been using and to see where God would take our lives next.

The good news is that we secured a good CSA contract with a local catering company to provide our high quality produce which helped us start rebuilding our gardening operation and get seeds planted on schedule at the beginning of February.

The other good news is that during our time at the market we made many great friends and connections, including with members of the living history community. Our boys have taken a strong interest in developing historical skills and lifestyles.

The bad new is that to pursue this passion with them, we have decide to not go to the Farmers Markets this year. Living history shows happen on the weekends which prevents us from doing Saturday markets which is two thirds of our sales. Skipping the markets also helps keep our on-farm labor costs down because we won't be spending 30+ hours per week as family off the farm supporting the markets.

Now for more good news, we are still offering a CSA program! Since we're not going to the markets, our options are changing slightly. This year we will only offer full harvest boxes but we have two options:

  • Regular Season Full Box
    • 20 weeks: Mid-May through September
    • $600
  • Season Extender Full Box
    • 26 weeks: May through October
    • $750

We will also continue to offer pre-paid shopper cards in $250 increments.

As for pick-up and delivery options we have the following:
  • On-farm pick-up on Wednesdays, free of charge
  • Weekly home delivery on Wednesdays after 5pm
    • 20 week box: $100 adder
    • 26 week box: $130 adder
    • Limited to Lafayette, West Lafayette area

Another unfortunate update is that we have decided to surrender our USDA Organic certificate. Since we are not going to the markets, we have significantly less marketing potential to benefit from the certification. We are still committed to farming organically and are not changing our systems. By no longer being certified it does make certain aspects of our operation more flexible. We have a significantly larger pool of suppliers for seeds, soils, and composts. This not only reduces our expenses but makes it easier to work with niche online or local suppliers.