By Clinton Gill
Glade Sun editor
According to the Environmental Protection Agency's website, there are more than 313 million people living in the United States. Of that population, less than one percent claim farming as an occupation. In 1935, farming was at its peak, with 6.8 million farms for a population of 127 million citizens. Today there are only about 2.2 million farms in the United States.
Fruit and vegetable consumption has been proven to be an important part of any healthy diet. There is a cultural shift beginning. As Americans are becoming more aware of the impact junk food has had on the nation's health, the demand for fresh produce has increased, even as the number of farms have decreased. Kirk and Carolyn Findley, owners of Crossville Crops, have been working hard to meet that demand.
The Findleys started planting the seeds of their business in 2008. What started out as a small, part-time five-acre enterprise has grown into a full-time 40-acre operation in just two years. Additionally, Crossville Crops employs a 16,000 plant hydroponic growing system to provide the community with fresh, high quality produce.
On average, produce travels 1,500 miles from field to market. This year, Crossville Crops is starting a produce club to provide super fresh, farm-raised produce to the local community. The produce that members receive will be hours, rather than days old. The produce club will provide members with a weekly basket of produce and value-added products from the second week of May to the second week of October. Members will be able to pick their baskets up at a variety of locations. In addition to the farm, drop off points will include locations in Fairfield Glade, Crossville and Lake Tansi.
Not only will Crossville Crops be providing their own produce, but they have partnered with other local farmers to provide those items that they may be short on, or that they don't grow themselves. The produce club will have a large variety of the following items: beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, gourds, green beans, greens, flowers, lettuce, onion, okra, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radish, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon and winter squash. A list of crops that are currently available can be accessed via their website at www.crossvillecrops.com. Recipes, baked and canned goods will also be provided for variety.
Crossville Crops is at 1124 Creston Rd in Crossville. Hours of operation are Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 2–5 p.m. Closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the website www.crossvillecrops.com or call 931-260-9672.