Now that the seedlings in the greenhouse are on their way to adolescence- it's a good time to point out some of Rathgebers' Garten Team that bring the farm to the table for our wonderful customers and fellow community members.
Enter, our CSA Hype-woman/ Farm Hand & Web Developer: Mallory Rickbeil. 2018 marks her second year on the Rathgebers' Team, and first season as the self-appointed brand manager. When not working for the CSA, Mallory serves as a Purdue Extension Community Wellness Coordinator for Greene, Owen and Clay counties.
Mallory and Dustin met during their first season working with the Linton Farmers' Market as a Market Bucks Program Manager and first-time vendor, respectively. Dustin soon became Mallory's 'go to guy' for the world's most delicious lettuces, baby carrots, paste tomatoes, and Honeynut winter squash. At the end of the 2016 Farmers' Market season, Mallory felt compelled to grow her agribusiness management skills and develop more opportunities to support her programming areas that do not otherwise have sources of revenue. Mallory reached out to Dustin to see if it would be possible to collaborate on a CSA program in Monroe and surrounding counties... And, the rest is history...
In the weeks leading up to the beginning of CSA season you will find Mallory hustling for shares and working with Dustin to get a sense for what vegetables to plant in the oncoming year. So far, her suggestions that Dustin plant Calendula flowers, pinto beans, and patty pan squash have been commercial failures as far as market sales are concerned. However, she remains committed to the idea that popcorn would be 'very popular' among the customers despite only having her undying love for the popped snack as evidence of this emergent market trend.
During the growing season, Mallory is responsible for writing the weekly newsletters, driving the produce between the farm and the drop off locations, styling and taking pictures of the weekly bundles, sharing healthy recipes, and getting feedback from the customers on how the CSA can best meet their needs.
To this day, the delivery fees for a Rathgebers' Garten CSA support the programs Mallory facilitates through her work. In 2018, the revenue gleaned from the CSAs will proudly support a youth garden for afterschool kids, community meals for local food pantries, and promotional materials for the Market Bucks program. "Our CSA customers should know that their support of the CSA business model not only enriches the community in the conventional way that supporting local small farms do-- but, also in a way that strengthens the fabric of the community and helps engage a new generation of young farmers, gardeners, and vegetable connoisseurs," Mallory said/quoted herself in the third person.
Mallory is pictured above with her partner, Chris who makes amazing things with the bounty of vegetables/ serves as her copy editor from time to time. They live in Bloomington with their two spoiled cats.