First generation urban farmers spreads passion for healthful food through offering farm shares

With spring just around the corner, dreams of fresh, local produce are at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially Stephanie Taylor.

Stephanie Taylor, alongside husband Isaac Taylor own and operate Farm Yard Fresh, which are farm shares, which is a cost effective way for individuals to have regular local produce, while also supporting local farms. The Taylors also operate their own urban farm out of Mayfield, which is a first generation farm. Stephanie said that she and her husband took a leap of faith to have a new way of life for their growing family.

“We started our urban farm in May of 2018 when we moved from Orange County to Santaquin,” she said. “We had no background in agriculture, in fact, Isaac was working as a director of product in LA, and I was doing property management in Orange County. We were getting tired of the go-go-go lifestyle there, and soon we found ourselves escaping on long weekend drives out to the country, dreaming of getting our own land one day.”

Stephanie explained that her husband started researching sustainable, organic farming/market gardening as a hobby, reading every book and watching every YouTube video for several years. He even took a course in raising livestock. When the couple felt like it was time, they sold their townhome in California and moved to Santaquin where Isaac’s parents lived. Six years later, the couple are in their seventh season as full-time market gardeners in Utah.

“In Santaquin, we were producing thousands of pounds of food on 3/4 of an acre of backyard space, and in April 2023 we expanded to several acres in Sanpete County!” Stephanie exclaimed. 

What is a farm share?

With the couple’s ability to farm expanding, they have searched for ways to share their crops with the community, and so they opened their farm share called Farm Yard Fresh. Stephanie explained that a farm share is something that all can benefit from.

“A farm share is how community members support their local farm by paying for a share of the harvest for the upcoming growing season,” she explained. “This helps us buy all our seeds, soil amendment, and even baby chicks for the upcoming season. We recognize not everyone can afford to pay all at once so we also offer payment in weekly installments. Then once a week for 15 weeks (July 5 – Oct 11), you can pick up your curated bag of fresh veggies, herbs, and fruit at one of our several pickup locations. We’re also working to offer home delivery this year.”

“Occasionally we partner with local farms in Utah County in order to supplement our weekly farm share subscriptions with fruit that we don’t grow,” she continued. “It’s important to us to support other local growers because it helps foster a sense of community, grows our local economy, creates local food security, and most of all it can be picked when ripe. You can’t beat the taste!”

Farm Yard Fresh has just opened their farm shares to the public, including restaurants and small markets offering over 40 varieties of veggies and herbs. Stephanie said that she loves being able to share her passion and food with as many people as possible.

“We love being part of a food scene that increases the health, happiness, and interconnectedness of our community,” she said. “Only 2% of the vegetables consumed in the state of Utah are actually grown here, and even fewer are grown with organic practices. We feel passionately about providing food security for our community and sharing the joy that comes from eating really fresh, flavorful local produce. It’s so fun to see people eat our carrots at the market when their eyes light up, and they say, ‘I didn’t know a carrot could be so sweet!’ You can also feel good about feeding our produce to your family because we only use organic soil amendments, and we don’t ever use any harmful insecticides or herbicides.”

Those who sign up for a farm share, will receive about 7-10 different kinds of produce, which can feed 2-3 adults for a week depending on diet. The pay is week-to-week and you can cancel at any time. 

Serve daily readers will get their half off their first week by using the code SERVEDAILY. To sign up, go to farmyardfresh.com. They can also be found on Instagram @farmyardfresh.

Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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