There's a new kind of farm in town
- Written by Bruce Olson
Last July, Brian and Miranda Hofstad began clearing land for their new farm, "Between the Oaks, along Hamblin Road just East of U.S. Highway 59. They were acting on an idea; a dream in their minds that they have made a reality. The idea was Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Kingwood. The reality is "Between the Oaks Farm." As a result, the Hofstads are providing the freshest organic, locally grown produce available to residents of the Kingwood, Forest Cove and Humble areas. They use only Non Genetically Modified seeds (NON-GMO), certified organic by the USDA and grown naturally by using true organic practices. They use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides and employ biological controls to maintain a self-sustaining balance in the farms ecosystem. "The harshest things you will find on our farm are some ladybugs and a little jalapeno water," the Hofstads said. The farm includes a total of three acres of farmland. The Hofstads are currently growing their crops on two acres with plans to expand into the third as soon as their customer subscriptions will support it. They started out slowly to get their produce started in tandem with building their customer base. Miranda explained they operate on a subscription basis and offer an optional delivery service within the area of the 77339 and 77345 postal ZIP codes. The subscriptions are for a commitment of 44 weeks billed at a monthly rate of $145 per month for on-site pickup or $165 delivered. The produce is harvested, boxed and provided to customers for pickup or delivery every Thursday. Each weeks box contains 8-12 varieties of produce which change with the seasons and is intended to feed an average family of four for a week. "Up to this point we have sold out our available subscriptions within hours of making them available," Miranda Hofstad said. She explained there is a lot social of networking and word-of-mouth information among their customers. As a result they have had more demand than they can fill. "We started out with our initial subscribers and first harvest last October. We added 15 subscribers in the next round, 25 in the next round after that and we now conservatively have more than 75," she said. "We are going to open it up to a larger number of subscribers now that we are able to grow more." The boxes of vegetables ready for pickup Feb. 13 included leaf lettuce, collard greens, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, snap peas, mustard greens and onions with a jar of honey thrown in for Valentines Day. When Susan Carson, an original subscriber, came by to pick up her weekly produce she expressed her satisfaction. "It tastes better than anything Ive bought in the grocery store and my kids are more excited about eating their vegetables," said Carson. Brian Hofstad grew up in Kingwood and graduated from Quest High School. He first became interested in organic farming as a student at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn. "Thats where I got into organic gardening. My parents had a lake home on five or six acres there and I started gardening on a half-acre the first year and increased it to several acres after that," he said. Miranda grew up in Ennis and Burleson, Texas and is a Texas A&M graduate. The Hofstads came back to Brians roots in Kingwood to live and rear their family. They have three daughters: Hallie ,7, Shawnee ,6, and Olivia Max, born Jan. 24. More information about the farm and its produce is available at betweentheoaksfarm.com. (Photo:) Brian and Miranda Hofstad with newly born Olivia Max, and best friend and part-time employee Josh Haisten (left) display their produce, ready for pickup.