There’s still time to enjoy fresh, local produce, meat and even cut flowers all season long! The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown Program encourages consumers to purchase shares in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms now while they are still available.
CSA farms sell subscriptions or memberships to individuals or families who pay up front to receive a share of produce, generally once per week for 14-20 weeks. Typically a full share is enough to feed four vegetable-loving adults. Many farms will offer full, half, and even mini-shares. Some include seasonal recipes, e-newsletters, and on-the-farm events like pumpkin picking in the cost.
By joining a CSA farm, you are showing your support for local business, connecting with a local farmer, and providing your family with fresh produce.
Dan Zimmerli of Cedar Crate Farm in Kasota said he is looking forward to a great CSA season and encourages customers to sign up now to reserve their “share” of the harvest.
“One of the best parts of purchasing a CSA share is that you really experience eating seasonally,” he said. “Each season has something unique to offer: lettuce and radishes in the spring and then into peas, beets, and carrots followed by summer crops like green beans and tomatoes. The season wraps up with fall produce like squash and potatoes. It is a great way to get fresh produce right from your neighbor.”
Norm Gross of Earth Dance Farm, located 20 miles south of Rochester said connecting with his CSA customers is “what keeps him going”.
“I love bringing healthy, fresh food to families’ tables at night. Nothing is more satisfying to me,” he said.
The Minnesota Grown Directory includes 87 CSA farms with 142 drop sites around the state. Consumers can quickly find their CSA and pick up locations by visiting www.minnesotagrown.com. They may also order a free copy of the printed Minnesota Grown Directory by calling 1-800-657-3878 or by going online to www.minnesotagrown.com/order
Minnesota Grown spokesperson Danielle Daugaard says since each CSA program is unique in what it offers, it’s a good idea to review the options in the Directory to make sure you pick the right CSA for you or your family. She also recommends finding a convenient drop site location.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications