Michael Protas has been running his own CSA for the past twelve years. Michael's interest in farming began during his college years at Penn State University. State College, PA is surrounded by farms of all sizes and something drew Michael to a small CSA farm right on the outskirts of State College. He started as an intern at the farm where he developed his passion for farming and using organic principles and methods. After graduation, Michael joined the farm team for a year-long apprenticeship, in which he aided and assisted in all facets of the planning, planting and distribution process for approximately 120 families.
After this apprenticeship, Michael followed his future-wife-to-be to New York City so she could pursue her legal education and he could pursue a career in the film business (despite his love for all things agricultural, Michael obtained a degree in film and thought it would be wise to pursue his degree). Two years later, with thoughts of farming pulling at his heart strings, Michael left the "big city" to work at one of the largest organic vegetable farms in Maryland, One Straw Farm. As One Straw Farm's CSA-liaison, Michael was responsible for the harvest and distribution for 200 families, as well as local restaurants and farmer's markets.
Farmer Mike and Family
In 2008, Michael teamed up with a family in Montgomery County and started a market-only operation, selling his produce to several markets around the county to gain the necessary experience of planting, growing and harvesting on his own. With the confidence of these past experiences, Michael began his endeavors at One Acre Farm, on the same land in Montgomery County and continued farming there through 2010.
In 2017, One Acre Farm finally purchased land In Dickerson, only a stones throw from where the business began and is very excited to have a permanent home in the county Michael was born and raised.
But the truth is, you wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious vegetables from One Acre Farm without the support and brains of Michael's wife, Kristin Protas. Kristin has learned a lot about the operations of a CSA over the years. Kristin's other full-time job is a practicing attorney in Maryland and a mom to their two daughters, Amelia and Dylan.