Despite the clear logic, sometimes the connection between food and farm is forgotten. We get so busy eating that if asked where our food came from, our response would likely be the name of the restaurant or grocery store at which the food was purchased.
Not a wrong answer, but certainly not a complete one either.
This is where Dan Meyer comes in. He’s helping people remember the roots of their food.
“Farming is such a beautiful play with chaos and order and working with nature rather than against it—seeing the beauty of straight rows but also the beauty in weeds and pests,” Meyer said.
Meyer is the farm manager at Dry Creek Ranch Neighborhood Farm. Dry Creek Ranch is a 1,400 acre housing development just north of Eagle and about 20 minutes from Boise.
The neighborhood farm will offer a community supported agriculture (CSA) program to Dry Creek Ranch residents as well as members of surrounding communities. This means people can sign up to receive produce that’s planted, grown and harvested directly from Dry Creek Ranch.
If you’ve never heard of a housing development with its own farm — you’re not alone.
“While there are a couple around, certainly none around here where the developer actually is putting money toward a farm and farmer to get this thing going as an amenity to the subdivision. It’s pretty cool,” Meyer said.
Meyer graduated from Boise State University in 2009 with a degree in business management.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but was reading a lot of Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan at the time and wanted to get in on the local food thing on more than just a consumer level,” Meyer said.
He ended up at Morning Owl Farm in Boise—taking over the farm in 2012.
It wasn’t until this year that Meyer made the switch to Dry Creek Ranch Neighborhood Farm.
“So I had heard rumors that their definition of a farm-to-table community was taking old barn wood and turning it into tables. So farm to table and that’s what kind of triggered a lot of local growers to be like, ‘Okay, if they’re going to try to hitch their name to this whole food movement, let’s make sure they’re actually doing it.’,” Meyer said.
So in an effort to hold the developer accountable, Meyer ended up with a lot more than he bargained for.
“I kind of inserted myself by asking them how much land they had set aside for a farm and what they were going to pay the farmer. Long story short, ended up submitting a proposal and they ended up hiring me at the end of January to get this thing started,” Meyer said.
And now, Meyer gets to play a part in making sure both the food — and the land are remembered the way they’re supposed to be.
“It’s all about creating a sense of place and honoring the heritage of this land. This Dry Creek Valley has been a farming staple around Boise since we’ve been here,” he said.
“It’s having fresh veggies grown real close to you; I mean, walking distance. And just developing that sense of community with your neighbors, a place where you can come see the stuff that’s growing and interact with everyone else in the community,” Meyer said.
The Dry Creek Ranch CSA program has already kicked off with a delivery of nine items including, lettuce mix, boy choy, chard, lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula, mizuna and radishes.
If you’re interested in learning more or getting in touch with Dan, you can check out their website HERE.