Pictured are some products that appeared in Wildwood Harvest’s member
boxes early last spring. Farmers Keith and Katie Bien are promising
more variety this year.
By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
Keith and Katie
Kasch Bien of Wildwood arrived home this fall from the intensive permaculture
design course they took in California vibrating with horticultural zeal and
eager to spread the word.
“I believe that
if everybody had a kitchen garden the world would be totally different,” said
Katie. “We could save the world with kitchen gardens.”
If you’re not
sure how to go about growing a kitchen garden, she and her husband would love
to show you. They are now certified horticulture designers and available for
private consulting. Or you can always just attend one or both of the free
lectures they will give on Feb. 5 and 19 (see accompanying article).
But if you
can’t have a garden because of geography, scheduling or simple inclination, the
Biens invite you to participate in theirs. They are doubling the size of their
CSA (community supported agriculture) operation this year and are currently
recruiting new members.
In a CSA,
members pay for shares in a garden, then receive fresh produce throughout the
growing season. In the Biens’ CSA, Wildwood Harvest, the seasonal price is $600
for a full share, which entitles members to a large box of organically-grown,
seasonally available vegetables each week for the 20 weeks of the season.
A half share,
which costs $350, for this year will be defined as a smaller box each week.
Last year, the couple defined it as a full box every other week, but half-share
members requested less produce more often, and the Biens think the new model
will be easier for them, too.
is that boxes will be larger all around this year, say the farmers, and members
may pick them up two days a week rather than just one. Eggs and grass-fed beef
will be available for an additional price, and eggs will be discounted for CSA
The Biens also
promise greater variety. As they sat down recently with the Sentinel to discuss
spring gardening plans (all three quivering with anticipation like racehorses
at the starting line), they awaited 250 varieties of vegetables and herbs they
had ordered. As they did last year, they will specialize in heirloom plants,
but more of them, and herb-wise they will offer a wider selection of medicinals
as well as the culinary varieties.
The couple also
plans to sponsor a series of “open-farm”-type seminars, demonstrations and
dinners, at which members and the public will be welcome to come and see what’s
going on at Wildwood Harvest.
“That’s one of
the major things that we learned through the CSA and through our permaculture
design course, is that it takes community to do anything like this,” said
To join, or for
more information, call or email the Biens at (706) 657-3444 or