Third-generation Allenbrooke Farm joins growing farm-to-table movement


Third-generation Allenbrooke Farm joins growing farm-to-table movement

By CHELSEA KALLMAN / For Franklin Home Page

Daniel Allen and his wife Stephanie are the third generation of Allens to farm the land on which they live.

“They don’t make more land.”

That’s what Daniel Allen’s grandmother has always told him. Because of this thinking, Daniel and his wife Stephanie are the third generation of Allens to farm the land they live on in Spring Hill, Allenbrooke Farms.

When the Saturn car plant came to Maury County and the housing boom happened, Daniel said a lot of farmers in the area sold their land. Not the Allens. They know it’s one thing that can never be recreated the same way.

Stephanie says they’ve always farmed to feed themselves, their friends and family. It wasn’t until last year, when she saw Daniel’s passion for farming and the happiness it brought him that they decided to farm full time and bring their produce to the community – through a CSA program.

After much research, Stephanie realized a CSA is one of the only ways to farm today without giving into the pressure of huge corporations like Monsanto, known for growing genetically engineered seeds and creating the herbicide Roundup.

Stephanie describes a CSA like a subscription. You purchase a share of the produce a farm grows and you get to enjoy fresh, local fruits and vegetables every week. By buying in, she explains, you ensure the land won’t be developed into something like a parking lot.  

Daniel and Stephanie grew up in Middle Tennessee. They love this area and they want to see the families in it learn how to eat locally and nutritiously.

“It’s one of those jobs that no matter how hard it is, you know you’re doing good. You’re not stepping over anybody, climbing over anybody, politicking. You’re feeding families. That just feels good no matter how hard that is,” said Stephanie.

This is a large part of why Stephanie has been working with board members of the Franklin Farmer’s Market to create a cookbook. It will be called Eating in Season. The whole point of the collaboration is for families in Middle Tennessee to learn how to cook native produce.  

She and Daniel know the hard work that goes into farming here – and the struggle of growing foods naturally.

The Allens, like most farmers, can’t afford to label their produce as organic. Stephanie and Daniel don’t use any chemicals on their foods though. They’re still inspected and follow guidelines to ensure what they’re growing is healthy and as nutritious as can be. They’ll often have to plant three times as much to ensure bugs or weeds don’t overtake what they need to feed their CSA customers. Daniel explains this is why organic produce costs so much more in the store. When you’re not using chemicals to keep bugs off, you just have to plant more and hope some of it makes it through.

The cost is in the risk.

Farming at Allenbrooke Farms

“We have literally spent hours and days picking bugs off of plants because that’s an organic way to get them off,” said Stephanie.

As weird as it sounds, that’s one of the reasons why she’s excited to offer the community this CSA. It’s cheaper to buy naturally and sustainably grown produce through a CSA than it is to buy it from the grocery store, which won’t be completely local, nor completely fresh. It’s important to her and Daniel to support the community in this way.

“It’s very hard work. It’s very challenging work. But, it’s very fulfilling work,” said Daniel.

For more information, visit Allenbrooke Farms’ website.

There are several farms in the middle Tennessee area that offer CSAs, most with local pickups in Franklin and/or Brentwood, with many different options for your budget and family size. Scroll down for a breakdown of questions you may have.

Allenbrooke Farms

  • Certified organic? – Certified naturally grown
  • Payment options – Four installments
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $900/$550/$300
  • Number of deliveries – 24
  • Meat shares – Yes
  • Number of pickup locations – 2
  • Winter CSA – No
  • Pick your own – Yes
  • Location – Spring Hill

Avalon Acres

  • Certified organic? – No
  • Payment options – Pay as you go
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $22.50 – $60 a week
  • Number of deliveries – 26
  • Meat shares – Yes
  • Number of pickup locations – 36
  • Winter CSA – Yes
  • Pick your own – No
  • Location – Hohenwald

Beaver Dam Creek Farm

  • Certified organic? – Certified naturally grown
  • Payment options – Two installments
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $950/$525/N/A
  • Number of deliveries – 24
  • Meat shares – Yes
  • Number of pickup locations – 4
  • Winter CSA – No
  • Pick your own – No
  • Location – Centerville

Delvin Farms

  • Certified organic? – Yes
  • Payment options – Five installments
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $725/$425/N/A
  • Number of deliveries – 24
  • Meat shares – No
  • Number of pickup locations – 14
  • Winter CSA – No
  • Pick your own – No
  • Location – College Grove

Flying S Farms

  • Certified organic? – No
  • Payment options – Pay in full
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $640/$380/$270
  • Number of deliveries – 20
  • Meat shares – No
  • Number of pickup locations 5
  • Winter CSA – No
  • Pick your own – No
  • Location – Woodbury

Gardner Grove Family Farms

  • Certified organic? – No
  • Payment options – Three installments
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $575/$300/N/A
  • Number of deliveries – 26
  • Meat shares – Yes
  • Number of pickup locations – 2
  • Winter CSA – Yes
  • Pick your own – No
  • Location – Maury County

Real Food Farms

  • Certified organic? – No
  • Payment options – Three installments
  • Price (full/half/quarter) – $800/$550/N/A
  • Number of deliveries – 20
  • Meat shares – Yes
  • Number of pickup locations – 7
  • Winter CSA – Yes
  • Pick your own – On farm pick up only
  • Location – Franklin

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

Related posts

Leave a Reply