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Clayton Farmers' Market: Meet Keith Biver of Biver Farms

A man of few words, Biver is the farm vendor with the longest history at the Clayton market and the only farmer to sell certified organic produce there.

Biver Farms is an organic farm owned and run by Keith Biver. It's one of several farms that has sold produce at the Clayton Farmer's Market.

“They are the oldest farm vendor at our market,” market manager Deb Henderson said. “Brett (Palmier) used to be the ‘face’ of Biver Farms at Clayton, and Keith handled their Edwardsville stand.”

But when Biver’s colleague, Brett Palmier, left the farm partnership at the end of the season last year, many long-time customers wondered: Would the farm’s produce and services be available to them any longer?

Biver Farms is Still Going Strong

The answer is yes, Henderson said. The farm will again have a booth this year.

So why do people love Biver Farms so much? Henderson said Biver is the only market vendor to offer a certain kind of produce. 

“Other vendors use organic practices, but Biver is the only one at the Clayton market that is actually certified organic,” she said.

In an email Friday, she added: "I've been a customer of Biver Farms for over 10 years.  I discovered their produce when I discovered the Clayton Farmer's Market when it opened in 2000, and I've been returning nearly every week all these years. 

"Not only are their vegetables fresh and full of flavor—I could also enjoy them with peace of mind, knowing that they were certified organic and free of pesticides. This makes a difference, not only to myself but to a lot of people."

Community Supported Agriculture, Products That Speak for Themselves

Like fellow Clayton market vendors , Biver Farms has participated in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

CSAs are a partnership between farmers and customers who want fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce is delivered to CSA members at pre-determined drop spots. In return, farmers earn money that can be used to purchase supplies for planting.

Biver Farms launched its CSA in 1996.

Henderson said Biver's products speak for themselves. While he is not a big talker, he is an experienced farmer who knows his business.

Many loyal customers have been buying his organic produce for more than 10 years, she said.

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