A local organic farm providing students and Ruston residents with Certified Naturally Grown food.
Six miles west of Ruston, 47 Daisies offers over 200 different fruits and vegetables free from pesticides and herbicides.
Harmony Dillaway and her husband Dylan moved to Ruston from Wisconsin three years ago to develop their farm idea, which has been 10 years in the making. The farm was officially up-and-running in 2010.
“Our plans for the farm change and evolve all the time, but we’re currently working on plans to continue our current Community Supported Agriculture, as well as in the future have other items available at the farm on Saturdays for CSA members as well as the general public,” Dillaway said. “Some of these items are specialty crops [like] berries, melons, garlic, leeks, eggs, farm raised broiler chickens and possibly goat’s milk via goat shares.”
She said eating fresh produce, like the items 47 Daisies offers, is extremely important for college-aged students.
“In most cases, their lifestyle has changed dramatically and they are eating less healthy and stressing their bodies out more,” Dillaway said.
Dawn Erickson, a nutrition and dietetics instructor, said the Student Dietetic Organization at Tech had the opportunity to participate in a presentation and tour of 47 Daisies from the Dillaways.
She said they were also able to sample some of its produce fresh from the fields.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for students and the community to become aware and see personally how their farm works,” Erickson said.
With the hopes of benefiting the community, Dillaway said she thinks healthy eating and the absolute knowledge of food’s origins makes individuals healthier and happier, thus creating a better community in Ruston.
Kira White of Ruston has four small children and participates in 47 Daisies’ CSA program. She said an organic diet is very important to her and her family.
“I like that the food is organic and local,” she said. “It’s a good thing to do, and the snap peas are really good, too.”
Dillaway said, “We have customers that have had increased health and energy, and didn’t even realize they were lacking. When you start to eat a healthier diet, your body craves what it needs instead of what it desires.”
Though many are unaware of 47 Daisies, Erickson is making an effort to inform her nutrition students of its existence in the hopes of increasing campus-wide participation, she said.
“Before our trip, I opened up the opportunity to attend to my nutrition class and shared what we learned after we got back,” she said. “We have been invited to go back to the farm in the fall and I am excited to hopefully take some new students too.”
The main reason to eat in a fresh diet from small farms like 47 Daisies, is that it harvests no more than a day in advance, thus retaining its entire nutritional quality, she said.
“It is slowly spreading through Ruston that we exist, and we love the interest we’ve been getting,” Dillaway said. “Even if you aren’t a part of the CSA, there are volunteer opportunities and farm events that you can be involved in. If nothing else, you can get an idea of why we do what we do and possibly spark an interest to make some changes in your life.”
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