The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown Program encourages consumers interested in Community Support Agriculture (CSA) shares to sign-up for memberships now. CSA memberships offer many benefits, including subscriptions to healthy foods, the ability to connect with a local farmer, and the opportunity to directly support an agricultural business.
CSA farms sell subscriptions or memberships, and members receive a share of locally grown produce throughout the season, which generally lasts from 14-20 weeks. CSA farms deliver member shares to a drop site, where members can pick it up, take it home and enjoy a variety of local agricultural products.
Lisa Baker is the owner and principal operator of the 15-acre organic certified Bakers’ Acres farm in Avon, Minnesota. Baker and her staff grow produce, sell eggs, and raise poultry, grass-finished lamb and beef. Bakers’ Acres also offers a CSA program and Baker recommends signing up early.
“CSAs offer a journey through the seasons that’s unique to each farmer and customer,” said Baker. “CSAs can help families get their kids to enjoy fruits and vegetables because they get to know their farmer and see where their food is grown. Plus, supporting small family farms keeps good land stewards in our communities.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson encourages customers to look for a CSA option in their communities.
“Dozens of Minnesota farms offer CSAs, which give customers a chance to try new produce and even meat or dairy products,” said Commissioner Frederickson. “Each CSA is different, so do some research. Many farms offer half shares that might work best for smaller families, and some deliver produce to multiple drop sites. Buying directly from a farmer is a great way to contribute to your local economy.”
The Minnesota Grown Directory includes 82 CSA farms to choose from with 129 drop sites throughout the state. Visit the Minnesota Grown website for a searchable list of CSAs, or pre-order a free copy of the printed Minnesota Grown Directory by calling 1-800-657-3878 or visiting www.minnesotagrown.com.
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications