Bob Young, Deer Valley Farm
Cold Storage and Season Extension of Vegetables and Trout
Grant Award: $6,000
With the goal of doubling his production of vegetables and rainbow trout in the next two years, Bob has added cool storage and processing space. He has extended his season with row covers and shade cloth. With the help of a full-time partner and three part-time paid interns, Bob currently raises 2.5 acres of rainbow trout and grows three acres of vegetables using organic methods.
“By increasing our storage capacity, improving our cleaning facilities and extending our season, we expect to see a year-over-year increase in profits of 40 percent during the next two years,” Bob said. “Couple this project with the overall increase in planted area and it becomes easy to see how the farm can reach its goal of doubling in size and profits within two years.”
The 12-foot by 16-foot insulated structure contains stainless steel processing tables and sinks, two refrigerators, two freezers, ventilated shelving and transportable coolers. It is cooled by a 10,000 BTU air conditioner and heated with a small space heater.
With the purchase of floating row covers and shade cloths, Bob has lengthened the growing season of some vegetables and expanded the variety of vegetables grown. The covers also will reduce insect damage, improving yields.
Deer Valley Farm grows for county CSAs, which has one primary farm and several secondary farms that supplement the weekly share. Bob currently supplies McDowell CSA with 90 percent of their produce as well as supplements Cleveland CSA. He also sells at Foothills Farmer’s Market and Rutherford County Farmer’s Market as well as to Polk Farm Store and Farm to Front Porch, a food delivery service in Charlotte. He supplies Lodge on Lake Lure, a waterfront B&B, with 50 percent of their produce and 100 percent of their rainbow trout.