With the warming weather, many of us are thinking about welcoming back green plants. One thing green plants mean is food!
If you don’t have the skills or time to grow your own food, you can connect with the amazing flavor and freshness of locally grown food by becoming a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) member at a local farm.
A CSA is a “subscription” to a farm's products. Each week during a growing season, members get a box full of what the land is producing that week. Each box is a new adventure and a great way to explore new vegetables.
I had no idea I would fall in love with root vegetables when I got my first CSA. For very busy people, a CSA is a great way to “force” yourself to eat healthier. I found it very easy and pleasurable to make up a stir-fry of many of my weekly vegetables and herbs. I would never have done that had it not been for the box of vegetables I picked up. A good CSA, at a minimum, will provide a full box with wide diversity of items in each delivery, supply recipes for the items in the box that week, and let you know how you can store items (freeze, can, etc).
While CSAs give you an abundance, you are buying into the risk of farming - and all the weather and disease pressures that go along with it. Because of this, you may not be guaranteed to get a healthy dose of your favorite crops each year.
Each farm only has a limited number of shares, and this is the ideal time to sign up. To my knowledge, Scott County has a growing number of CSA vegetable farms: A Place at the Table (Belle Plaine), Green Earth Growers (Prior Lake), Gysland Brothers Farm (Jordan), Marshwatch Farm (Shakopee), Muttville Farm (Shakopee), and Wozupi (Prior Lake). If you know of another farm in Scott County running a CSA, please let me know.
Victoria Ranua is a Shakopee resident and long-time beekeeper. She is eating only Scott County- and Minnesota-grown food for a year. This project is funded in part by Scott County’s Statewide Health Initiative Plan to promote healthy eating in the county and the Local Harvest Alliance to promote awareness of local foods. Comments or ideas? Contact her at email@example.com.