Farmer spotlight: Maggie Dungan from Salad Days Farm...
Maggie launched Salad Days Farm in Versailles, KY in 2015. Coming into the venture as a first-generation farmer, Maggie applied her formal education in nutrition to focus on producing quality, fresh foods for the local community. With this foundation, she’s continually improving her efforts to grow nutrient-dense crops and create other value-added products to feed Kentuckians.
Salad Days Farm not only sells at nearby farmers markets (including Franklin County and Lexington), but also wholesales produce to the University of Kentucky and other institutions, builds relationships with local restaurant owners and chefs, provides food and farm education to the local school district, and markets their products through an on-farm store.
Farmer Maggie does a bit of everything on the farm and is also dedicated to getting the word out about supporting fellow local farmers. This spring is a “great time for people to get to know your farmer and build those relationships."
Maggie encourages those in the community to "go to the farmers market and strike up a conversation with them. Join a CSA and get to know that farmer providing your CSA, and get to try new fresh foods. Google local farms and shoot them an email. I am personally responding to every email that I receive right now. But now it’s important to find ways to support these local farmers. They’re always going to be there for you.”
Keep in mind when you support a local farm, you not only get fresher food, it also creates jobs and makes it easier for more food to be produced locally. Farmer Maggie with the help of 4 other full-time and 2 part-time staff in 2020 produced more than 28,000 pounds of produce on Salad Days Farm.
As Maggie mentioned in a 2020 interview with Community Ventures, “There are a myriad of good reasons to shop local, especially food. It’s fresher, nutritionally dense, and healthier for you, which is even more important right now. And when people buy from me – it stays local.”