Saturday, 22 September 2012

Eating local longer: Community-supported agriculture farms offer local winter pantry options

Eating locally grown produce without toiling in your own garden or heading to a market each week has become a possibility with several community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms in Door County. Now there are options that extend the local food season a little longer with winter CSA shares.

A CSA farm is a simple concept. Members buy a share in exchange for a season’s worth of locally grown, fresh produce. It is an investment in the farm for the season and commitment to share in the costs — seeds, equipment and labor — as well as the risks of the growing season in exchange for a portion of the harvest. Shares can be delivered weekly or every other week during the spring, summer, and fall.

Trusted Earth Farm, 7095 Lost Lake Road in Egg Harbor, is owned by Yvonne Rynearson and Steven Shoemaker and operates on Rynearson’s grandparents’ homestead farm. Trusted Earth Farm will offer winter shares every week from mid-November until the end of January.

“We started with the winter CSA ... because we thought people would enjoy an extended share though the winter,” Rynearson said.

In the winter share, Trusted Earth offers storage crops and overwintered greens such as spinach and baby lettuces. Other products can be added to the basic share, such as baked goods like breads, muffins and pies, canned goods such as pickles, salsas, and sauces, eggs, meat — chicken and hog — and goat milk cheese from LaClaire Farms in Chilton.

Canned goods in Trusted Earth Farm’s shares are made at the Farm Market Kitchen, tapping into the local food business incubator’s custom packing and processing services, and the breads are from Island Bread Co.

“People just really enjoy it. They want to eat local and it helps them to do that ... It is as easy as a summer CSA,” Rynearson said. “Not a lot of farms have winter shares, so people are very excited about it.”

At Steep Creek Farm, 1902 County U, Sturgeon Bay, winter shares are new this year. Steep Creek Farm has offered regular CSA share for four growing seasons and is looking forward to extending the season, especially to provide members with two bulk produce deliveries just in time for the holiday season — in mid-November and mid-December.
Original Article Here

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