Community Support Agriculture and Farm Stands

At the February MACC meeting, several farmers came to talk to us about their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  and farm stand programs. There are a number of local farms that offer CSA subscriptions and/ or farm stands in and near Morningside, including:

These programs offer a wonderful way to pick up local produce close to home. A couple other great resources are the East Liberty Farmer’s Cooperative which operates year-round on Saturdays and the Citipark’s Farmer’s Markets which will start back up in the spring and have an East Liberty location as well.

Not sure what a CSA is? Here’s a great summary from Local Harvest:

“For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown”

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