In their first year of farming, Summer and Shawna Cooper are continuing a family tradition of love for the land. Their grandfather raised sheep and cattle on close to 200 acres near Belleville, Indiana. Now his granddaughters are farming some of that land, and in their own words they are “rooted, grounded, and growing.”
Summer had worked for other farmers and had been a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) manager, but longed to be a grower. Initially, she intended to be a CSA grower, but found that to be a bit ambitious for a beginner. Their farm is following what she calls a natural progression, learning and letting it unfold without pre-conceived ideas. Older sister Shawna acts as business manager and plans the chemical-free crops, while Summer handles the harvesting and also forages on 10 uncultivated acres.
Along with traditional Indiana farm produce, the Coopers regularly feature unique items such as the radish pods and daylily buds they offered for sale last week at the Market. Daylily buds are delicate in flavor and can be dipped in a batter and fried up like a fritter or just sauteed with a little oil and salt and pepper, as they told one customer who asked. The radish pods had a nice crunch to them and a distinctive radish flavor. This kind of face-to-face contact with customers is one of the things they love about participating in the Market.