community supported agriculture

Twin Cities Local Food Events, April 25 and 26

This is a big local, sustainable, and organic food weekend in the Twin Cities, so I thought I'd dedicate this post to a few of the events I'm most likely to trymplsfarmmkt and make it to this Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26:

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The Every Kitchen Table Blog: Why CSAs Aren't Enough

Some of my favorite writing on the topic of local, sustainable food these days comes from Rob Smart in Vermont, whose Every Kitchen Table blog (and Twitter posts) cite some of my favorites (Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser) as inspirations. Smart's March 27 post, explaining the downside of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, is especially good.

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Choosing a CSA

CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) provide opportunities for people to eat locally, the get the kinds of foods you would normally find at local farmers markets, and to take part in the agricultural process. Most CSAs require some sort of ongoing commitment, such as a monthly fee in exchange for a weekly box of locally grown vegetables. Depending on where you live, the weekly box may include a wide assortment of mostly-root vegetables (kale, cabbage, squash, turnips in Minnesota, for example) or of anything else grown on a particular farm, in a particular climate. Many CSAs encourage their members to work at the farm for a day or more, to better understand the farming process and to get closer to local, sustainable food. Some require it. When I tell friends that I recently joined the Harmony Valley Farm CSA, they often start asking questions. Why did I join it? Am I concerned about the cost?

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Star Tribune Features Local Food

strinThe Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune recently ran a story about how more people are eating local food and joining CSAs. It's a good article that speaks to increased awareness on the part of Twin Cities eaters. This year, there are more than 40 CSAs serving the Twin Cities (30% more than last year), and the folks at Health Partners are embarking on a study to see if local, sustainable foods might reduce health care costs down the line. Here's a quote from the article:

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