Laughing Stalk Farm

by Becky Davenport

Laughing Stock Farm


What can be more local than locally grown food? I had the opportunity last week to visit with Ross Peterson and Emily Scifers owners, operators and the brains behind Laughing Stalk Farmstead.


I feel like I’m at a loss for words to tell you about Laughing Stalk Farmstead, but I can tell you within 5 minutes of arriving I had developed a new level respect for these two quirky farmers.


Emily is a Southeast Missouri native that developed a love for growing things as a young girl when she planted gourds outside her bedroom window and watched them come to life.  With her well-established love for growing things, Emily headed off to college, discovering how deep her passion ran while earning a degree in horticulture and sustainable agriculture.

While off pursuing her dream and developing a deep passion for farming, Emily met Ross from the prairies of Minnesota.  Ross says helping Emily allowed him to realize how much he loved watching things grow and change; from there, after jumping over a few stepping-stones they developed Laughing Stalk Farm.

In 2011, Ross and Emily decided to return to Emily’s homeland and give farming in Southeast Missouri a chance.  On a small patch of land (2 acres) that used to be part of Emily’s mom’s yard they have created, established, and are maintaining a rather successful organic vegetable farm.  When the growing season of 2011 kicked off, they had only 3 members in their CSA program and sold their harvest at local farmers markets.  This year they have 15 members in the CSA program and sell weekly at the new Riverfront Market in downtown Cape Girardeau, as well as the Thursday Market in Cape Girardeau. 


A CSA program is not a new thing, but it is rather new to the Southeast Missouri area and I won’t lie, visiting Laughing Stalk Farm was a learning experience for me in this department.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, meaning members of the CSA purchase a share and in return, they have a box of vegetables delivered to them either weekly or bi-weekly depending on the share they choose.  Not a bad deal, but what is in the box?  Well this varies with different CSA’s, for Laughing the box includes 3/4 bushel (or as they put it 2 well loaded paper grocery bags) consisting of 7-10 vegetables.  Emily and Ross refer to it as adventure and seasonal eating, meaning you will not receive green beans and lettuce week after week, there will be a seasonal variety in the box.  The CSA program runs for 22 weeks of the year and the vegetables are delivered to your front door, along with a weekly newsletter filled with some yummy recipes.


Along with the CSA program Laughing Stalk Farm offers a nice variety of vegetables at the Riverfront Market in downtown Cape Girardeau and the Thursday Market on Independence in Cape Girardeau.  Follow Laughing Stalk Farmstead on facebook for latest news about the farm, fun ideas from organic farmers, and what they will have at the weekly markets.


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