Getting in touch with your food
July 27, 2012
When first driving into Copper Moose Farm, it can feel like you are entering another world. The farm is nestled behind a wall of trees in the heart of the Snyderville Basin, a dirt road leading onto the three acres of land where burgeoning plants are methodically ordered in rows and the odd rooster call fails to signal the correct time of day.
Even if Copper Moose Farm seems like some tucked away secret in the Basin, Park City locals are a regular sight on the property. The farm uses a Community Supported Agriculture program, meaning that every week members who have bought a share in the season’s crops stop by to pick up the freshest kale, spinach, beets and carrots.
"Something is always going on," said Daisy Fair, the manager of Copper Moose Farm. "Either a crop is actively producing, working on producing, being tilled in to get the next crop going."
"This is healthy soil in action," she added. "It’s amazing how quickly our crops can grow because of that."
According to the farm’s website, the purpose of CSA is to "get your food from someone you know and trust, know the land your food is grown on, and know the techniques used to grow your food. You put your trust in your farmer; and by paying for your vegetables up front you are agreeing to be a part of the joys and risks of farming in your bioregion."
"You never know what can happen any day," Fair said. "Sure, you plan but working on a farm, you get stuff thrown at you all the time, challenging but fun. You’re always doing something different."
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In 2006, Copper Moose Farm got its start supplying organic produce to local restaurants and has since become a popular supplier for restaurants such as the High West Distillery, The Farm, Montage Deer Valley, and Promontory. This season, the farm included quail eggs as part of what it offers to restaurants, alongside its organic chicken eggs and fresh honey.
The CSA program started in 2007 and quickly became an important part of the business.
"I’ve done and continue to do a lot of learning on the job." Fair said. "There were a million things I didn’t anticipate, but that’s what I love about this job."
The doors of a large, rustic shed are propped open. Inside chalkboards outline what is included with the weekly pickup, and barrels line the walls with the produced picked earlier that day. Aware of the fact that some people may not know what to do with a bundle kale of or turnips, farm staff created recipes to try using that week’s produce, samples available.
Locals wander in after work, in several cases calling out a quick hello to the staff or stopping to chat with other members. They all leave the same way, shoulder bags or baskets brimming with the latest crop yield. Copper Moose Farm expanded its field share offerings to also include flowers and canned goods in the fall, even incorporating a do-it-yourself program where members can collect their own food in the fields.
"Everyday I’m thinking and problem solving and creating," Fair said. "I grow food and get to see the people it goes to which is important to me. I meet their families and know they are being fed well.
"I love how connected I feel to those coming to this farm."
Another growing part of the business is hosting special events, especially farm dinners, Fair said. On August 11, Copper Moose Farm will host the Half-Moon Harvest Fest which will feature other local food producers and chefs, including Beehive Cheese, Red Bicycle Bread Company, High West Distillery and Uinta Brewery. Chefs range from the St. Regis and Montage to Main Street favorites such as the Sky Lodge and Bistro 412. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and costs $150 per person or $1,080 for a table of eight.
Copper Moose Farm 1115 Old Ranch Road 435-604-0497