Three Creeks Produce
Down a gravel country road, over a bridge, up a steep driveway straddling a ridge, marked only by a common mailbox, sits Three Creeks Produce. A humble space, lined by cedars and rows of seasonal crops; carefully tended by Paul Weber and Emily Wright.
On the evening that we visited, you could not have found a more quaint and lovely space to listen to the birds in the trees and watch the pollinators dart in and around the native plants and cultivated crops. In just three years, these two passionate farmers have established their own space in the commercial food market of Columbia, Missouri. Foregoing the usual small acreage farming practice of farmers market selling and CSAs, Emily and Paul find their process of selling directly to grocery stores and chefs to be at the best fit for them. By knowing exactly how much to harvest each week with an order already in hand, it provides them a more consistent sales base and a healthier work life balance. This practice also allows them the ability to try new things and experiment with new crops, sometimes by request of a client, and sometimes just because they want to do something no one else is doing.
Over the two hours we spoke on their property, we walked around their modest operation and two things became apparent. First, they love what they do and are passionate about learning everything they can, and second, they want to keep expanding their reach. Whether that’s through new adventures such as Berkshire hogs or through approaches such as agroforestry (they have a grant to grow things such as chestnuts, elderberry, raspberries, baptisia, ninebark, sumac and prickly ash [the native version of a Szechuan peppercorn]!) these two have big goals. And they have something even more important - chefs and florists wanting to get ahold of the stuff!
You can find Three Creeks Produce in Columbia at Clover’s, who carry most of what they grow, Lucky’s and Hy-vee (Conley Road and Rock Bridge), and at some of our favorite food establishments including Cafe Berlin, Peachtree Catering, Barred Owl, Flyover, and Meriwether Cafe. More recently, their beautiful flowers can be purchased at Ophelia's Flowers. For us, patronizing these wonderful restaurants is not only filling yourself with the best food in town, but supporting local establishments AND the farmers who live in your community. We see it as a win-win.