The soil alone at Red Acre Farm is worth writing about. For one, the dirt in southern Utah has a red tinge. But this spot stands out mainly because it’s teeming with microbial life, producing nutritious plants and healthy people. Red Acre Farm CSA is a highly diversified biodynamic farm in the pastoral Cedar Valley. Flavorful vegetables, herbs, and fruits grow year-round on the two-acre plot, owned and managed by Sara Patterson, who has dedicated most of her young life to building a more resilient community.
Sara was only ten when her family moved from Los Angeles, CA, to a slower way of life in Cedar City, UT. She instantly fell in love with the land, and she and her dad started a garden together. Within two years, Sara had a flock of hens for eggs and grew enough food to sell to friends and neighbours. By the time she was 14, Sara had sold her first four CSA shares.
Eventually, Sara’s parents began working alongside her on the farm. Sara started to sell at farmers’ markets and even founded a weekday market in Cedar City. By the time she was 16, her weekly CSA was 85 members strong, and she bought the adjacent acre of land. Sara became active in state politics, highlighting laws restricting her and others from starting small, diversified farms. In March 2015, she helped pass a bill that made it legal for small farms to share milk from a cow.
Sadly, Sara’s father suddenly died shortly after that. Tragedy struck again 18 months later when their family home was destroyed by fire. Sara and her mom, Symbria, persevered through both devastating losses, never giving up. They rebuilt a farmhouse with a commercial kitchen and kept growing.
They follow organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming practices. Unheated high tunnels make growing seasonal produce year-round possible, and a drip-irrigation system delivers untreated well water directly to plant roots. Composting, cover crops, crop rotation, and compost teas build soil. The homemade compost is inoculated with herbal biodynamic preparations, ready to welcome the many heirloom, organic, and open-pollinated seeds at planting. Conscious of food miles, Sara’s products stay within a 45-mile radius of the farm.
Sara believes that knowing your farmer is crucial. Anyone is welcome to visit the farm during business hours. In addition to the community outreach groups Sara and Symbria have created together, they also host several events throughout the year where people learn how their food was produced, tasting the difference for themselves.
The grass doesn’t grow under Sara’s feet; only soil life and delicious, nutritious crops for the Cedar City community.