By Naveena Sekaran
Our mental images of who farmers are might not initially coincide with motherhood, but for Choua, mother of four and farmer at Big River Farms (BRF), these two identities are inextricably connected. When she began farming, her goal was to earn an additional income to support her four sons, and the summer agricultural season fit well into her schedule as a school teacher. As she embarks on her fifth year as a professional organic farmer, she reflects that while the additional income was what had brought her to BRF, the health and wellness which her work provides for her family is why she stays.
As the mother of four boys, Choua is no stranger to the challenges of time management and juggling responsibilities. Health quickly became her top priority when doctors informed her that her first son, now 11, would be premature due to her own high blood pressure. Choua then made the decision to adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle. Over half a decade later, Choua was pregnant with her fourth son. She farmed both before and during that pregnancy, and proudly explains that her health was perfect. Now, all of her children can identify different vegetables and they spend their summers with their parents, learning the importance of healthy, active lifestyles. To Choua, the connection between motherhood and farming is clear: When she farms, she puts her family’s health, diet, and business first.
Choua and her partner grow certified organic produce for Big River Farms CSA as well as farmers markets. Since 1983, Big River Farms has provided education on sustainable agriculture to hundreds of farmers that have historically been underrepresented in farm ownership, including immigrants, people of color, women and refugees. The Big River Farms CSA serves as a guaranteed market for these farmers’ produce with 4 unique share types available for purchase. Shares are delivered weekly on Wednesdays, June through October to 15 different sites throughout the Twin Cities, including Health Foundations Birth Center.
To learn more about Big River Farms, purchasing a CSA share, and how to support Choua’s small farm business, visit www.mnfoodassociation.orgor call 651-433-3676.
Are you a Health Foundations Birth Center patient? Use code healthfoundations2019and receive $10 off any CSA share type.
Kid Photo: Choua’s four boys are Big River Farms’ cutest farmers.
CSA Half Share: Big River Farms’ Half Acre Share price averages out to less than $25/week, and includes around 7 items, 100% USDA certified organic. Our CSA also offers full shares & fruit shares.