Seminary Hill Farm is finding new business in places where customers enjoy a craft ale as much as fresh kale.
The farm on the campus of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike (U.S. Route 23) in Delaware, has added Endeavor Brewing and Spirits and Nocterra Brewing Co. to its six central Ohio drop-off sites this season.
It also has introduced a new ordering system that permits customers to choose items they will receive.
Ruthanne Bandy, coordinator of community-supported agriculture, often referred to as CSA, for the farm, said pints and produce are "entirely compatible."
"I think we have just found that the demographics, the folks who are supporting local brewing, are interested in knowing who is growing their food," Bandy said. "I think folks want to know what they're putting into their bodies. They care about where it came from and how it was produced.
"It's important that the quality's good for them and as good as it can be for the world at large."
That fits the mission of Seminary Hill Farm, which is certified naturally grown, using no genetically modified organisms or synthetic fertilizers, Bandy said.
"We are committed to all the practices of organic growing," she said.
Bandy said Seminary Hill Farm provides herbs, fruits and vegetables, and it sources other goods -- such as eggs, bread and fresh flowers -- from nearby growers.
"We're obviously trying to get folks high-quality, fresh produce," she said.
In many CSA programs, farmers offer shares or subscriptions for their produce, and customers receive the food as available over the course of a farming season.
However, Seminary Hill Farm's program is more like "an an online farmer's market," according to seminaryhillfarm.org.
"Our program is different from a traditional CSA program because we let you order what you want, when you want it, every week of the CSA season without the obligation of subscribing to the entire length of the season," the website said. "Each week of the CSA season, our farm team will update our online market and send an email letting you know what we have planned to harvest from the farm. Order your items for that week by simply visiting the online market on our website and choosing the items and quantities you would like to receive. It is a quick and easy process that helps make sure you get exactly what you want in your CSA share on the weeks that you want it."
Locations and pickup times include: 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays at the German Village Society Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St. in Columbus; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Endeavor Brewing and Spirits, 909 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus; 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays at Seminary Hill Farm and Zaftig Brewing Co., 7020A Huntley Road in Worthington; 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Seventh Son Brewing Co., 1101 N. Fourth St. in Columbus; and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Nocterra Brewing Co., 41 Depot St. in Powell.
Customers are required to register on the farm's website and complete their orders by 8 p.m. for delivery the next day at one of the pickup locations.
The change in format from past years means customers no longer need to purchase a year's supply and would not receive a predetermined package of items delivered weekly, sometimes with less of what they might want or more of what they could use, Bandy said.
"It's totally up to the customer how much they want to purchase and when they want to purchase," she said.
That is good news for Jennifer and Geoff Clark of German Village, who have signed up for the CSA program for the past two years.
"I really think this is going to be a good way to go for (the program) so no one gets locked into anything," Jennifer Clark said.
She said the food quality is high and the staff is friendly.
Seminary Hill Farm, founded in December 2013, is on 14 acres and includes a greenhouse, two 96-foot-long hoop houses and traditional growing beds at the theological school.
CSA distribution began in 2014, serving 30 clients, Bandy said. She said she hopes to attract more than 300 customers based on the new ordering system.
The farm has seven full-time staff members.
"We've come a long way in six years," said Noel Deehr, manager of farm and food at Seminary Hill.