Schaffer Farms: family farm focuses on community supported agriculture

By Hattie Robb

The year 2020 was filled with unfamiliar changes for families, businesses, schools and communities across the nation. After closing their gym during COVID-19, Blair and Blanca Schaffer traded in their dumbbells for some soil and started Schaffer Farms.

“During COVID, it became challenging to get food and other supplies, so we started growing seedlings in our gym,” Schaffer said, “and we eventually moved them to our backyard.”

While the small garden was originally intended for their family, they started to sell their extra produce to their nutrition club customers and clients. Shortly after, they purchased some land 12 miles east of Groom that is The Old Township of Jericho and started a 10,000 square-foot market garden.

What makes this operation so unique is its dedication to sustainable food production through its CSA program. According to their website, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) directly connects the farm, crops and farmer to the consumer. When joining CSA, members purchase a share of the farm’s crops and receive their portion weekly throughout the growing season.

Schaffer said the farm has 55 CSA members who enjoy the operation’s produce weekly or biweekly. Their growing season is anywhere from 20 to 23 weeks and includes a variety of crops such as tomatoes, corn, eggplants, squash and more.

The farm’s mission is “to bring delicious nutrient rich food crops to our community with a positive impact on our environment.” Their sustainable and regenerative farming practices focus on soil building through the use of compost and amendment material.

The operation has seen a great amount of growth and support within the first year, and the Schaffer family plans to build on their momentum.

“As we continue to develop the land and get more infrastructure to build, we plan to add more square feet and sell to local farmers markets next year,” Schaffer said. “We want to keep doing what we are doing and serving our community.”

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