Tag Archives: Community Supported Agriculture

CSA Fair in Fort Collins This Weekend

Grant Family Farms ‘orphans’ & others learn about other local farmers’ and ranchers’ CSAs

This logo is frp, The Calhoun School in Manhattan.
This logo is frp, The Calhoun School in Manhattan.

Be Local Northern Colorado hosts what its anticipates to be the first annual CSA Fair on Saturday, March 2 to give local residents a chance to meet and connect with farms and ranches in northern Colorado that operate Community Supported Agriculture programs. The event takes place at the Opera Galleria in downtown Fort Collins from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Grant Family Farms “orphans” take note. CSA members left high and dry with the farm’s unfortunate lapse into bankruptcy last year can shop around for a new one to join from the 20-plus in northern Colorado.

It seems unlikely that any foodie would be unaware of the CSA concept. But just in case, know that the initials stand for Community Supported Agriculture, a mutually beneficial commitment between a farmer and a community member to produce and purchase locally grown and raised foods. The most common model is vegetable “shares” in which people purchases “memberships” to a farm, which then supplies a “share” of the harvest throughout the vegetable growing season. Hereabouts, that is  roughly from May to October. A membership also engages people in the reality of farming in a difficult climate.

Be Local Northern Colorado, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, also operates the Winter Farmers’ Market at the Opera Galleria from November to April. If you are in north Colorado and haven’t been there yet, so go. The Opera Galleria is at 123 N. College Ave., Fort Collins.

A Focus on Front Range CSAs

Community Support Agriculture brings farm-fresh to your table

This logo happens to be from The Calhoun School in Manhattan, but it looks generic enough to use here.
This logo happens to be from The Calhoun School in Manhattan, but it looks generic enough to use here.

Let’s thank the Boulder Daily Camera for an informative list of more than two dozen area farms and other purveyors with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. The majority offer pay-in-advance full, half and (sometimes) working shares for seasonal produce direct from individual growers. Share-holders get what it is freshest each week or two (depending on the schedule customers select). CSA boxes are delivered to local farmers’ markets or other central pick-up locations on a regular schedule during a season that generally runs from May or June until October.

In addition to the traditional veggies, fruits and flowers, some include eggs, soaps, honey, locally roasted coffee or flowers. Several offer meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck and even rabbit), and one offers wine. I knew you’d want to know. Settembre Cellars’ wines made from Colorado grapes are available at the 63rd Street Farm, which also offers pizza pick-up.

Another option is to have the shares come to you. Door to Door Organics, which partners with area farmers, brings fresh, organic produce and natural groceries right to your door. Weekly orders are customizable, there is no commitment so you can cancel at any time — and the farmers still are included in the process. For convenience and flexibility, this can’t be beat. Azure Standard, an Oregon-based family-owned company new to the Denver area, delivers organic products weekly to drop points along established routes. They source from a wider geographic area, which can be considered a benefit (more variety) or a drawback (larger carbon footprint). Azure Standard accepts orders of all sizes that are also customizable, but without the to-your-door convenience.

For the record, I’d love to buy a CSA share, but there are more vegetables that my husband won’t eat than those he will, and we are empty-nesters, so it’s a tad pointless. Besides, I like to buy in season at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market.