Six months ago, give or take a few, I took you off the beaten path to some of my favorite small-town shops. If you’ll allow it, I’d like to do something similar today.
There weren’t six degrees of separation between myself and this new gem, in fact, only one degree, in the form of a mutual IG follow (& about 20 miles.) St. Joseph Homestead, a family run farm just outside the boundaries of Lafayette proper is my latest obsession. And if you live in the Hub City, it’ll be even more exciting for you! But… I’m getting ahead of myself.
Kristin Johnson and her husband Trey, along with their 5 precious children are both the brains and the brawn behind the operation. Planting, tending and harvesting all of the crops that find their way to homes, grocery stores and restaurants in & around Lafayette. On a recent Friday afternoon foray to the farm, I left with a 1/2 lb of salad mix, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, mint, and a pint of tomatoes. The nachos that we ate, built around these veggies and herbs were stuff that legends are made of!
The Johnson family, by way of their website and online store, sell their fresh produce every Wednesday ready for pick-up or delivery that weekend. Because I don’t live in Lafayette, I used the pick-up option, and had the chance to drive out to the farm and see it in person. If you’re one of the lucky ones who live in the following zip codes, 70501, 70503, 70506, 70507, or 7508 they’ll deliver FOR $3! (On Saturdays, right to your door… more info here.)
For me, eating fresh, local produce is becoming increasingly important. I learned a lot during the great Spring Slowdown of 2020 (you know what I’m talking about.) One of the biggest, and most important takeaways has been shifting our stance to try and live as local as possible (more on that another day.) To hammer that point & borrow a line from their website, “Almost all of the commercial produce in the grocery store is from California, and it’s delivered already a week old.” California is SO FAR AWAY!
Having a garden myself, I know how delicious the fresh stuff is. It’s also planted seeds of doubt in some of the practices behind store bought produce. (To be clear, the questions are directed at mass produced produce farms… not the local stores that I love.) I also feel strongly about supporting small businesses in & around Acadiana. When we talked, Kristin said, “we want to become an expert on local produce” and continue to share it with the people of our area. Who better to but your greens from, than a future-expert, fellow-mom & local farmer who’s methods are “beyond organic” (their words, not mine.)
The St. Joseph Homestead website also offers great insight into their growing techniques. (So do their IG posts and weekly emails!) If you’re a nerdy gardener like myself, there’s a lot to be excited about their methods. If you don’t care about the how & why, and you just want the goods, I can also vouch for that too. In fact, I hadn’t driven a half-mile from the farm and the tomatoes were disappearing. I tried to stop at one but it was impossible! They were so amazingly juicy, the best way to describe it was an explosion of awesomeness in my mouth If the fresh-to-your-door options isn’t for you, and you can’t make it out to the farm. You can see a list of places to purchase their produce, and the restaurants around Lafayette that serve it here.
Here’s a quick recap… St. Joseph Homestead, a local farm with fresh, delicious produce to sell. Using their online store, you purchase all the goodness on Wednesday and either pick it up Friday afternoons at the farm (like I did) or get ready for Saturday deliveries (you lucky Lafayette residents.)
I asked Kristin for the names of other local farms and she offered a treasure-trove of names. Check out these other Acadiana area farms…
- T-Moise Farms :: Livestock farm that specialized in raising pasture raised Berkshire Pork & country eggs. “We believe in sustainability and growing humanely raised animals.”
- Blazing Star Farm :: Growing fresh cut flowers and vegetables in Sunset, LA (www.blazingstarfarm.net)
- St. Rose Flower Farm :: Providing fresh cut flowers to our local community while supporting and encouraging the art of home floral arranging (www.stroseflowerfarm.com)