For some local food lovers, there is no happier day in Minnesota than when the fresh flowers, veggies, and fruits decorate Nicollet Mall and local farmers markets like abstract paintings. The eggplant, the broccoli, the kohlrabi, and the raspberries provide bursts of patterns and color and textures to a landscape of consistency. But along with getting local, sustainable produce at area farmers markets, more and more people are buying direct from the farm, too. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) allows you to be a farm "member" and offers pick-up or weekly
organic goods directly from the farm to your table.
best to do the research and find a CSA that suits your needs in terms of
prices, shares, and vegetable varieties. Some CSAs also include
flowers, herbs, eggs, cheeses, bread, pork, jams, cookies, and more.
You can go for a full
share, about an entire bushel, which is enough for two adults and more.
Or a half share, about a half bushel, which we think is still enough for
two adults. There's even a 1/3 share option, which is enough weekly
produce (and more) for one person. On average, a full share costs about
$450-$550 total with city delivery once a week summer through fall. A half
share runs about $225-$300 for the entire growing season.
And if the 1/3 bushel isn't an option, go in with a group of friends. You'd be surprised at how inexpensive all that great food can be if you split a bushel and throw potluck cooking parties.
Here's a guide to finding the best CSA for you:Local Harvest: LocalHarvest.org
is just one resource for the best in local farms. It's not exactly
extensive, but it does provide handy descriptions and links to the farm
sites with share prices. You can search the site by zip, and find plenty
of local organic farms delivering fresh and healthy fare weekly.The Land Stewardship Project:
This non-profit organization focused on supporting sustainable agriculture and communities offers a fantastic CSA guide
along with a list of questions you should as your CSA farmer that will help you build a relationship and choose a farm that suits your needs.Seward Co-op
: On Saturday, April 24th, from 11am-3pm, Seward Co-op offers its 9th annual CSA fair,
where you can meet 30 local farmers offering CSA shares. They'll be on-hand to share their stories about sustainable farming , their CSA offerings, and answer any questions you might have about becoming a CSA member.Wedge
This Uptown co-op also offers a fairly
extensive list of CSAs
, along with links to the farm websites. The
nice part is that the list includes delivery locations, pick-up sites,
share info, and events and opportunities.
Again, it's wise to
check out all of these sites to find a farm that delivers to your needs
and ensures organic and sustainable farming practices that are good for
the Earth and community, too. Happy hunting! And enjoy the bounty.