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    Eat & Swig

    Growing in Louisville: From Farm and Fish to Table Top
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    Two Louisvillians have decided to leave city life behind and launch the farm of their dreams. Former massage therapist and performance artist Jorden Duvall and her culinary artist husband Shawn Duvall are the proud owners of Swanberry Farm, an organic farm on the eastern border of Louisville. The farm is home to two large green houses, two additional gardens, chickens, ducks and pigs.

    "We knew each other when we were younger," said Jorden. "When we met again, we both had the dream of owning a sustainable farm. Shawn's desire to do so came from his culinary background and catering. Mine came from a background of eating microwave and processed foods. I had all kinds of skin  and mood problems. I had problems with anger management. I made the change to a better diet, and now I can immediately feel the change in my body if I sway from good eating habits."

    Shawn purchased the 14 acre farm property four years ago and started with just a small garden. He kept the garden going with the help of families and friends. When Jorden joined him at the farm and leant her planning skills, they began offering Community Shared Agriculture (CSA.) People pay in to receive a share of the farm's yield. They also began to sell their produce and cut flowers at roadside stands and farmer's markets. The farm's produce has been growing each year, but the Duvalls are ready to take things to another level. The couple is trying to raise funds to expand their operations and diversify their services. They'd like to add an aquaponic system, upgrade their garden and build a processing space on the property for produce and flowers. They've turned to friends, family and the internet for help with a Kickstarter campaign. 

    "Aquaponics is the combination of fish farming and hydroponics," said Jorden. "It creates a symbiotic system that uses 90% less water and no chemical fertilizers. This system will be able to hold up to 1,000 pounds of fish while nourishing over 500 plants at once. It will yield over 6,000 plants per year."

    Jorden also said that the funds will help them modernize their garden and reduce the amount of personal maintenance needed, allowing them to spend more time on producing and less money on labor. The increased output will allow them to market to grocery stores, restaurants and more farmer's market locations. The funds will also help them to protect against the climate. The processing center will include a counter, washing space, storage and a welcome center where people can pick up produce. 

    You can find out more about Swanberry Farm on their Facebook or you can contribute to its expansion by giving to their Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Those who do contribute will receive an array of perks for their contribution ranging from stickers or t-shirts to naming one of the Koi fish or having a private dinner party at the farm.

    Photography of some produce from Swanberry Farm supplied by Jorden Duvall

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    About Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn has been writing for since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.

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