Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 2019

Friday, February 22 is National CSA Day—a celebration of Community Supported Agriculture. For those who might not be aware, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a direct farm-to-consumer market model in which people pay for a share of a farmer’s harvest in advance; each week during the harvest season subscribers receive a share of what the farmer grows. The model is designed to build relationships between local farmers and consumers while mitigating the risks associated with small-scale, sustainable farming. Starting in 2015, the last Friday in February has marked the official launch of the coming CSA season. It’s become a day to acknowledge the importance of fresh, sustainably grown food and the work of local farmers.

When you join a CSA, you are making a commitment to a plant-rich diet, which has wide-ranging effects. First, the seasonal fruits and vegetables you receive each week are higher in nutrition. Studies have shown that the nutritional value of vegetables begins to decrease as soon as they are harvested. CSAs dramatically shorten the time and distance between field and fork. Second, you are embracing a healthier diet. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables have been proven to lower both blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol. Third, you are helping the environment by reducing your environmental footprint. CSAs shorten the food supply chain and decrease food miles; plant-rich diets help to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Your participation in the Institute for Food CSA has added benefit, because you are providing Miami students with the opportunity to learn about sustainable food systems on a working farm. Each season, the Institute for Food farm serves as a laboratory for a course in food systems and food studies. In addition, the farm hosts student interns, volunteers, and a range of student research projects.

F0318 Institute for Food WST 341 Class Building Green House

Our farm is a mid-sized, intensive vegetable farm. This season we will have four to five acres in production. All fruits and vegetables are grown using sustainable and organic methods that adhere to USDA food safety guidelines. We are committed to ecological practices to grow nutritious food; we support biodiversity; we use integrated pest management, organic compost, and natural plant-based products to help build and maintain healthy soils and healthy plants. Artificial chemicals and synthetic fertilizers are not used. The farm allows students to get their hands dirty and gain working experience in basic environmental science, while exploring the connections between food and nutrition, along with the challenges of the agricultural marketplace. Our CSA supports these learning experiences.

This will be the Institute for Food’s third CSA season. Our goal this year is to continue to offer a rich variety of fresh, sustainably grown, seasonal vegetables to the Miami community, including students, faculty, staff, residents and anyone else who might be interested. We begin the season with a range of leafy greens and spring vegetables. As the days get warmer and longer, CSA shares overflow with a bounty of summer vegetables from tomatoes and peppers to eggplant and chard. Once fall arrives, the weekly shares shift towards cold weather greens like kale and spinach, along with potatoes, winter squash, and broccoli. You can expect all the familiar vegetables as well as a few novel items like fennel and kohlrabi.

This year, we are expanding the number of CSA subscriptions from 100 to 140. After a successful pilot last season, we are also offering a student CSA share, which is designed to accommodate student needs. We have also made it easier to subscribe and pay by providing a CSA Subscription link on the Institute for Food Website, which allows you to select what size share you want along with the summer, fall, or combined summer-fall options, and pay by credit card or e-check. (Please note there is a 3% service charge fee for payment by credit card; no charge for e-checks.) The 2019 Summer CSA runs for 14 weeks from May 23 to August 22. The Fall CSA runs for 14 weeks from August 29 to December 5. If you sign up for a combined summer-fall subscription, you get a price discount.

We offer three share sizes. A whole share for a family of four is six to eight items with three to four self-selected items. The cost of a 14-week whole share, summer or fall, is $400, combined is $720. A half share for two adults includes three to four items with two to three self-selected items. The cost of a 14-week half share, summer or fall, is $250; combined is $450. A student share for one adult includes four or five self-selected items per week. The cost of a 14-week student share, summer or fall, is $140, combined is $250. We will be accepting subscribers on a first come first serve basis. Our weekly CSA pick up day is on Thursday afternoon from 3:30pm to 5:30pm in the Cook Field parking lot at the Cook Field pavilion. For questions or more information please contact Peggy Shaffer at ifmiami@miamioh.edu or 529-7527.

If you would like to pay by check, please copy and fill out the following information and return with your check.

PLEASE COMPLETE AND RETURN WITH PAYMENT Checks should be made out to Institute for Food and sent or delivered to:

The Institute for Food c/o Denise Withrow

120 Shideler Hall

Miami University

250 S. Patterson Avenue

Oxford, OH 45056.

Name: ­­­_________________________________________________________________

Alternate Name for Pick-Up: __________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Email: __________________________________________________________________

Contact phone: _________________________________________________________

Select Box Option:

________Whole Share Combined Summer & Fall $720.00

________Half Share Combined Summer & Fall $450

________Student Share Combined Summer & Fall $250

________Whole Share Summer $400

________Half Share Summer $250

________Student Share Summer $140

________Whole Share Fall $400

________Half Share Fall $250

________Student Share Fall $140

If you know you will be out of town on certain weeks during the season, please list below and indicate whether you would like to donate your share to Oxford Choice Food Pantry or give your share to a neighbor or friend.

Dates to donate________________________________________________________

Fostering healthy food, healthy eating, healthy communities and a healthy planet.