Emily Oakley and Mike Appel, OK

We are Emily Oakley and Mike Appel, and we own and operate Three Springs Farm, a diversified, certified-organic vegetable farm in northeastern Oklahoma.  We cultivate over fifty different crops on six acres of land.  Farming is our full-time job; we don’t have any off-farm income.  About half of our crop land is sown in annuals and the other half is in perennials.  We sell our produce directly to our customers through a farmers’ market and a 100-member CSA an hour away in Tulsa.  We sell over a five-month period from April through August.

Emily was born and raised in Tulsa, and Mike is originally from Long Island, New York.  After convincing Mike that Oklahoma was ripe for young farmers, we moved to Oklahoma in the fall of 2003.  Internships on farms in California and degrees in sustainable agriculture made the transition from being interns to full-fledged farmers possible, but starting a new farm is never easy.  We were lucky to have the generous support of a wonderful family that let us borrow some land on the edge of Tulsa.  All they wanted in exchange were cherry tomatoes!  Three seasons leasing made it feasible for us to save money and purchase a farm in the fall of 2006.  We have been on our own place for four years.  We begin each day with the joy, appreciation, and excitement of getting to do the thing we love best: grow fresh, local food for our community. (more…)