Since the early 1990s, Rick Brossman has run a thriving roadside stand in Lucketts, Virginia. The stand sold peaches and nectarines, but as the trees’ fruit-bearing years came to an end, the Brossmans realized they had to find alternative ways to keep their business going. Their idea? A new kind of Consumer Supported Agriculture.
Unlike traditional CSA shares, customers at Brossman’s Family Orchard don’t receive a weekly box of mixed produce. Instead, they rent plots of land where they plant only the fruits and vegetables that they would like to harvest. It’s a unique idea, and Brossman realized that in order for it to work, they would need to expand.
The retail component of Brossman’s Family Farm was located on leased land on Route 15. The Brossman family was able to purchase an adjacent parcel of land, but needed to turn the property around quickly. That’s when they enlisted the help of the Department of Economic Development to compile the necessary documents and navigate smoothly through the county permitting process. We also worked with them to meet the Department of Transportation standards for a new entrance onto the farm.
This assistance helped get the Brossmans’ new venture up and running in time for the next harvest season. Brossman offered 20 “rent your own plot” spaces, and they sold out in a day and a half. Based on their initial success, the Brossmans continue to expand and plan to offer more plots for upcoming seasons.