News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 7/28/2015 6:05am by Cindy Pruett.

We're looking forward to seeing you today between 4-6. This time of year we are always sorry that we do not have an enclosed building from which to distribute. Even in the shade of the shop, it is extremely hot. But we'll have the fan blowing and maybe something cool to drink!

Your share today is pretty limited: a few rather crispy greens, eggplants, peppers and a few tomatoes. This morning we will assess if there is anything else that we've overlooked. The celosia (a gorgeous pink flower) doesn't appear to care that it's been almost 100 degrees for two weeks, so I will cut a few for you. It's WAY too hot to go out there and do it at 4:00!

It's time to renew for August.  We hope that you will cheerfully so do, even though this month maybe the most limited month variety and quantity wise so far this year. As you know a true CSA model is one in which the community supports the farm even when the farm struggles to support the community. We're confident that you will, and we promise to wow you with abundance in September and October. Speaking of October: PLEASE put our annual Hootenanny on your calendars! October 3rd. The Sawmill Vagrants have agreed to join us again! It will be a fun event! 

Many new veggies are already planted and growing in our "air conditioned" potting house. If there's something you would like us to grow this year, please let us know!

We still have a few broilers unspoken for, we will be processing them this month. You can reserve yours on the website.  


Farmer Bryan & Cindy 

Posted 7/21/2015 2:21pm by Cindy Pruett.
Much of the same... it's VERY summer on the farm. However, the tomatoes alone are worth your share price this month! Enjoy! We certainly are! See you soon!
Posted 7/13/2015 3:57pm by Cindy Pruett.
Don't melt on the way over here....
Posted 7/6/2015 2:46pm by Cindy Pruett.
celery, collards, tomatoes, peppers, basil
Posted 6/23/2015 3:57pm by Cindy Pruett.
Celery, komatsuna, kale, cucumbers (lots!), banana peppers (lots), jalapeños and a few green tomatoes. 
Posted 6/17/2015 1:05pm by Cindy Pruett.

New Website... operational, but still under construction... be patient. Check it out!


Farm Camp was a rousing success. Pictures soon!


Organic chicken available in August. Reserve immediately with deposit to guarantee your purchase.

Click here:

Posted 6/14/2015 5:45pm by Cindy Pruett.


You SHOULD receive a nearly identical email from me via CONSTANT CONTACT. It will be the last one from them. I am sorry that I have had to generate so many different emails during this transition.

Hopefully, I've about got it figured out. You need only be concerned if you received the CONSTANT CONTACT email and not this one. I THINK I have you all on board now. Please tell me!  


This week in your share: collards, kale, komatsuna, leeks, onions, peppers (banana and jalapeño) and cucumbers. Make sure you try the Suyo Longs and the Poona Kheeras... Yum!

Loving the komatsuna!


Also, after this week I will be offering the organic chickens to the general public. You must reserve your chicken if you want one or more in August when we process them.


Don't forget we have organic eggs, pastured eggs, and grass fed beef. And lots of herbs and flowers.

Thanks for your patience! 


Cindy 936-645-7201
Appleby Community Farm

Posted 5/21/2015 3:25pm by Cindy Pruett.

Founded in 2009

We're moving again! Not literally! In an effort to serve you better, we've asked Small Farm Central to partner with us in creating a more streamlined experience. Look for lots of new things: online payment, account management, more access to information about varieties and recipes and lots more!  

Posted 4/20/2015 1:59pm by Cindy Pruett.

Farmer Bryan is hard at work with some wonderful volunteers trying to save the strawberries. The unusual amount of rain has caused both gray mold and ? rot to spoil a majority of the harvest. It's heartbreaking for all us to dump big bins of strawberries on the burn pile. (We're afraid to compost them for fear of contamination.) This Saturday is our Strawberry Project Field Day.  Farmers from all over the state and our mentors from A&M will be here to look at our crop. The plants appear healthy and continue to set bloom. We have high hopes that we're in a drying trend and we can get at least a small harvest. We estimate the losses so far at 80%.


Posted 4/16/2015 10:01am by Cindy Pruett.

Small farms today are direct marketers and as such are in the business of relationship marketing with each customer that buys products from the farm. The customer is not at the CSA pickup, farmer's market,  or on-farm market because it is easiest or cheapest food source -- they are there because they respect the farmer, want to support the local economy, and feel that their dollars are spent on a worthwhile endeavor. Every chance you get as a farm to interact with your customers should reinforce the connection to the land and make the customer feel like they are doing a good thing by patronizing your business. This is a very difficult task for a busy farmer. I challenge you to take your relationship marketing into the 21st century and start a blog on your farm website.

I'm sure some of you are unclear on the meaning of the term "blog". It is a rather fluid term that is a shortened version of "weblog." In my mind, it signifies a webpage that displays content of varying lengths in chronological order and invites readers to interact in the form of comments. Often, blog postings are categorized or tagged by topic so that users can navigate through related blog entries by the tags, such as "farming challenges" or "farmer's market." Blogs take many different forms from personal, public diaries to political commentary to blogs that are published by businesses themselves. This is the most popular form of content generation and information retrieval on the Internet today and the very website you are looking at right now, Small Farm Central, is a blog-style site. If you have heard of the term "Web 2.0", blogs are big part of the Web 2.0 movement.

Your farm should blog because it is an easy and time-effective way for you to get your story out to customers. Repeat customers come to you because of the relationship that they have with you and a blog is a perfect way for you to start and augment the real-world interaction that you have with the customer. Granted it does take some time, energy, and thought to produce effective blog posts that communicate the farm experience, but that post will easily be read 100s or 1000s of times over the life of your blog. That works out to be an extremely time-efficient way to build a consistent and faithful customer base. Customers that read your blog will be more understanding of blemishes or crop shortages because you can explain the exact cause of the problems. This becomes a story that they can take home with their produce and they will feel more connected to the farm and the food if they know some of the challenges that went into growing it.

The complaint I hear the most is that farmers don't have time to be writers as well as producers. Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo dedicates one afternoon every two weeks to writing six blog articles. He then releases one each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are other techniques of course too: get a trusted intern to write an article each week, find a very enthusiastic and involved customer who will volunteer to write a blog article every once and a while, or just commit to posting a short update once each week. There is no right way to write or schedule your blog, but post on a regular schedule and write with passion because passion is infectious.

At this point, if you are considering a farm blog, start reading a few established farm blogs and get some general advice on how to write blogs. I have discussed some aspects of blogging at Small Farm Central in Farm blogging isn't always literature, but this is and What I learned during an interview with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo. Blogging will be a topic that I come back to over the next few months because I believe it is the core of any modern farm web marketing strategy.

Some farm blogs to get you started:

  • Eat Well Farm Blog : recently discussing problems with the Med Fly and how they are certifying their packing shed as Med Fly-free.
  • Life of Farm Blog : this blog is sponsored by the Mahindra tractor company. Perhaps the writer got a free tractor for writing the blog?
  • Tiny Farm Blog : wonderful photos and at least a post a day.
  • Rancho Gordo Blog : this popular blog receives 300-500 unique visitors a day (which is impressive for a farm website) and even helped the author secure a book deal.

Read about the process of writing a blog and more:

Spend the next few weeks reading farm blogs and exploring some of the resources listed above. Then when you think you know enough about blogging to start, you will probably want to go back to Hosting Options to get your blog online. Not coincidentally, the Small Farm Central software contains all the features you need to get your blog (and farm website) up and running within a few days. I know that not very many farms are taking blogging seriously as a marketing tool, but I have a strong feeling that every serious farm will have a blog in five years.