Couple takes on farm’s community supported agriculture

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Farm Forum

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A couple has taken over operation of a farm south of Mandan and is putting its own spin on the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture operations.

The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1ROpzeN) reports Richard Baumgartner and Brenda Christophersen have taken over operation of the former Riverbound Farm. They have signed a one-year lease for five acres of the farm.

The couple’s Hillview Organic Farm will have vegetables including cabbage, carrots and leeks for Community Supported Agriculture members, who will be able to go to the farm on Saturdays or Sertoma Park on Wednesdays to get their pick of produce.

Produce will be certified naturally grown, which Christophersen said isn’t organic but adheres to many of the same rules. The couple would want to seek organic certification if they keep farming beyond the first year.

Former Riverbound Farm owners Brian and Angie McGinness wanted someone to continue what they started when they opted to pursue an opportunity in Hawaii. Baumgartner and Christophersen, who had been Community Supported Agriculture members, took the opportunity.

“I’d rather be out here and doing what I love instead of wishing I was,” Baumgartner said.

The farm’s Community Supported Agriculture operations had 200 members when the McGinnesses were running it, and Baumgartner said he plans to begin with 50.

Hillview is also supplying produce for the opening of the Bisman Community Food Co-Op, primarily providing onions, beets, radishes and carrots. The co-op is on target for an April 21 opening, with a June 4 grand opening celebration planned.

General manager Randy Joersz said the co-op has hit more than 1,500 of its goal of 1,750 members. The co-op has 20 local producers contracted.

“We’ve got a lot of local producers working on ramping up production,” Joersz said.