Story and photos by ALICIA LEONARD
Off a side road of Coy Burgess Loop in DeFuniak Springs, there is a path to a small piece of organic, home-grown heaven known as Sun Crop Farm.
David and Michaela Watson, owners of Sun Crop, have carved themselves a little Eden at the dead end of Deer Run West and for those that wish to, they can have a little share of the goodness that comes with no pesticide use and smart soil stewardship David applies to raising vegetables and fruits of all kinds on his property.
“We have lots of birds, and lizards. They help with the pest control, but the most important part of keeping the bad critters away is to use good soil. You start with good soil and everything else is easier,” David told The Herald on a visit to the farm.
The Watsons’ farm does not resemble commercial farms. There are no super clean rows and weeds are not absent. Instead, David uses nature to tame the unruly, sometimes planting crops, like peas (“They’re a good source of nitrogen,” he adds) not to sell, but to turn under and add nutrients back into the ground. Davis works with nature, and “not against it,” he said with as a smile while showing off some of the different food plots he has prepared for this year.
“Sun Crop Farm was never meant to get too big. We just wanted to farm naturally, in organic accordance, and help people have healthy food to eat. That’s what it is really about. I’d travel to take one of my customers a single tomato if that’s what they wanted. I just want people to eat healthy if possible,” he said.
That is also what makes the Watsons’ farming so special – the personal touch. Sun Crop works on a membership basis. The membership is free, but limited to around 35-60 people or families at a time. This helps keep the produce fresh, customers satisfied, and allows the Watsons to deliver the fresh, organic food to customers’ doorsteps or businesses and still operate on a small, local scale.
The property is loaded with fruit trees and different vegetable plots. They even have fresh eggs for customers that like them. Crop rotations and keeping on top of soil and weather changes keep a variety to the produce offered twice a year. David has even delivered a box of his organic best to California for a customer’s mother’s birthday. “That’s when you know you’ve made it in the organic world,” he jokes, “when you ship to California.”
Davis came from a long line of farmers, helping his father with his blueberry business in Washington County since 1968 but has since found his own little paradise in Walton County. “We love it out here. I love growing good food and seeing people enjoy it. That means a lot to us both,” He adds.
Locals that are interested in learning more about Sun Crop Farm can go to their web site at www.suncropsystem.com or call (850) 419-0730 to speak with the farmer himself. Readers better hurry. This reporter has already signed up for home veggie delivery. Spaces are limited.