Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 2020
Saturday, 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.
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 fourth 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 changing the CSA share sizes. We will be offering single shares for individuals and double shares for two people. You can add additional shares to increase the amount of produce for larger families. In addition, we will offer a deluxe share, which is a grab-and-go, pre-packed, box filled with refrigerator ready produce for two people. This box is designed to accommodate those people with busy schedules who don’t have the time each week to clean and properly store their produce. Our goal is to make the CSA experience as convenient as possible while also reducing food waste.
Here is information about our new share sizes:
- Single Share (1 adult) includes 4 items some of which will be self selected. The cost of a 14-week single share, summer or fall, is $180, combined summer and fall is $325.
- Double Share (2 adults) includes 6 items some of which will be self selected. The cost of a 14-week double share, summer or fall, is $280; combined summer and fall is $525.
- Deluxe Share (2 adults) includes 6 pre-selected, pre-packaged, refrigerator ready items, boxed and ready to store. The cost of a 14-week double share, summer or fall, is $350; combined summer and fall is $635.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 529-7527.