Christa Barfield believes everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food
“You shouldn’t have to choose whether you eat organically or eat food or chemicals because you can’t afford it.”
Barfield is the owner of FarmerJawn Community Greenhouses, a community-supported agriculture business in Germantown. CSA’s give a farmer the ability to offer fresh produce bundles directly to local residents.
Last year Barfield provided ten families with affordable fresh produce from a small garden in Roxborough. This year she expanded to two full greenhouses in Elkins Park, and hopes to use more greenhouses on the property.
Although FarmerJawn is a new venture for Barfield, it is her second business supported by farming. Viva Tea Leaf, a Germantown tea company where Barfield grows herbs to create tea blends, is the sister company of Farmer Jawn.
The Germantown native became passionate about growing herbs and vegetables two years ago after returning from a spontaneous birthday trip to the Carribean island of Martinique. During her time there, she lived with a family of Black farmers and decided she wanted to farm.
CSA’s can be expensive, according to the Germantown native. “That’s how a CSA works, [customers] pay up front,” Barfield said. “I have mine tweaked a little differently because I come from a family that wouldn’t be able to afford putting out hundreds of dollars at one time.”
At FarmerJawn customers pay $100 at the beginning of the season and then $22 per week for 25 weeks of produce boxes. Barfield has other payment plans for biweekly programs. Like most CSA’s the box contains a selection of whatever is ready for harvest.
Barfield hopes to use a third greenhouse for a subsidized food program. “For people that can’t afford it,” Barfield said. “So organics would just be for everyone.”