Gallatin Valley Botanical - Working Families - by Bozemama

September 13, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy

We first wrote about Gallatin Valley Botanical and their CSA in April and, after a

summer of relishing in their gorgeous produce, we thought we’d go back to Jacy and

Matt’s flourishing farm and check out what’s growing on during these last few

weeks of summer.

After gorging on a veggie scramble at Nova – which, naturally, gets much of its produce from

none other than GVB – we dropped in last Friday to chat with some of the CSA’s

working families and ask how they’ve enjoyed their weekly harvesting over the

summer. (Working families spend 4 hours a week for 13 weeks working on the farm

in exchange for a 50% discount on the weekly box of veggies.)

It’s not too surprising, but what we learned (and saw for ourselves) is that getting

your hands in this farm’s luscious soil with your kids by your side is an extremely

rewarding way to spend your Friday morning.

Not to get too hyperbolic or anything, but for those of us who grew up in the ‘burbs

and whose idea of pulling vegetables is opening the crisper in the fridge, the scene

we found at Gallatin Valley Botanical is a bucolic portrait so idyllic as to make a

Costco shopper weep and cut up her membership card.

Picture, if you will, three towheaded toddlers waddling blissfully in the carrot patch

with not a care in the world other than avoiding pesky thistles. Kissed by the sun

and surrounded by love, these little guys are reaping benefits way beyond nutrition.

And let’s not forget about the parents. “Of course I like the discount I get from

working here,” admits Kara, who’s here today with her 2-year-old son, “but I do

it primarily because it’s fun working all together and not doing it all alone. It’s a

bygone thing – it’s how people used to farm.”

Kara, who has a degree in Agriculture, is a Bozeman renter and can’t have a garden

of her own. So, she and her boy come out here for their farming fix. “I love getting

my son out here and I love getting our here myself. And I love getting fresh, local

organic veggies.”

“It’s a nice community for sure,” says Kristen who’s here with only her preschool

daughter today now that her older son is in Kindergarten. “During the summer

I make my son work for at least an hour. He works on sorting, organizing and

counting the vegetables.” After making a crack about child labor, Kristen giggles and

says earnestly, “My kids just love coming here.”

“My baby loves it too,” agrees Hannah, watching her 18-month old dig in for another

carrot. “He’s happy as can be as long as we bring our own small snacks.” Considering

that he’s now heartily gnawing on the carrot freshly pulled from the ground, he

seems pretty happy with today’s crop of snacks.

It should be noted here that nobody’s hands have been idle during this

confabulation. The conversation just flows, as the pace remains steady with

everyone pulling carrots, cutting greens and moving on. In the middle of it all (both

literally and figuratively) are Jacy and Matt who own Gallatin Valley Botanical and

have two young children of their own.

When asked about whether there will be any Halloween “happenings” at the

farm, Jacy smiles -- happily oblivious to the fact that her daughter is using her as a

climbing wall, -- “We’re less about events. We’re more about the food.”

And that’s the best part about GVB – it’s not a gimmicky U-pick-it operation with a

gift shop, it’s a serious working farm that provides local restaurants, markets and

co-ops with fabulous organic produce. You can bring your kids to work and feel

good about providing nourishment for your family and your community.

“I always leave here with a sense of peace,” Hannah says thankfully.

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