Hi! I'm Julie. I run Evensong Farm, our family farm in beautiful historic Sharpsburg, Maryland. We are very low key here and tend to shy away from anything industrial or big scale. Sustainable, green, regenerative, humane, grass-fed, organic, low input are all ideas we cherish.
In the summer of 2012 we were selling vegetables, herbs, meats and eggs as a part of a new market that was in a sweltering location in downtown Washington, DC. The customers at this market were not familiar with culinary herbs and their flavors and were often asking me what they tasted like and how to use them. I decided to start showcasing the herbs in a cold drink so that we could refresh and educate at the same time.
Soon, I was selling more lemonade at the market than vegetables and the idea to take this herbal lemonade to the next level began. The name Urban+Ade was born and the business has been expanding ever since. In 2016 I built a commercial kitchen here on the farm to make Urban+Ade at the source!
Originally I was going to bottle our lemonade as a ready-to-drink product, but the idea never really sat well with me.... packaging in heavy and expensive bottles to basically move around a product that was mostly water. It just seemed like a huge waste and not environmentally friendly. Also, after doing product testing we realized that having a shelf stable product meant using preservatives and heat to bottle, things which made our product have a reduced flavor. I knew we could do better!
The year before the pandemic I had my eureka moment and began putting the base into bags and then freezing them. The bags were a much more green option because of how little packaging they use compared to bottles. They are also very space efficient and lightweight for my customers, who really appreciated not having to lug home heavy containers from market. Add to that the fact that the pouches barely take up any room in the freezer and people were getting really excited about this new way to buy Urban+Ade.
As the world was beginning to shut down we had to design all our packaging virtually and hope markets would open back up by summer. There were a lot of tough times that year, but the introduction of our frozen Fill + Serve pouches were able to make up for some of the lost sales from closed markets. A year later we added on the Sour Packets as we wanted to give a sugar-free option for our diabetic customers. The Sour Packets have proven popular with all kinds of people who want to be able to customize their drinks.
In order to survive (and hopefully thrive), it is vitally important for small, family farms like mine to diversify their offerings and add value to their products so that they can remain sustainable. I still raise our small grass-fed herd of Red Devon / Angus cattle, and I have a couple of glamping sites on the farm so that people can come and enjoy our beautiful land.
Thank you so much for visiting our site and learning about our farm. Your support means everything!