That’s the element of surprise every week for people who sign up to be members of CSAs. It could be lettuces, turnips, radishes, strawberries, spinach, chard and kale. Or maybe it’s July, and you get cucumbers, green beans, and peas, or August when peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, melons and okra begin to appear. If it’s in season, it’s in the bag.
Jess and I have been growing for a local CSA — that stands for consumer supported agriculture – for four years now. The one that we participate in is organized by Jill Elmers, owner of Moon on the Meadow, and also the farmer with whom Jess apprenticed when we were just beginning to think about this whole farming thing. When the CSA begins in May, people who signed up stop by their chosen location in Kansas City or Lawrence and walk by a table mounded with a wide variety of produce. Sometimes, everyone gets one of the same item, such as a box of cherry tomatoes, and other times, they have a choice, such as broccoli or beets, carrots or cauliflower, honeydew or watermelon.
The surprise element is that the produce changes with the season, and you get to know what grows in Kansas, and when. In exchange, CSA members support a small local farm, and they get to know the farmer when they pick up the produce.
The Common Harvest CSA, as it is known, is only $17 a week for produce items that will typically feed a family of four, and includes vegetables, some fruit, and sometimes eggs from Red Tractor.
If you live in the KC area and want to pick up in the Midtown area, sign up here. Lawrence people may want to go directly to Jill’s farm just outside the city limits and pick up on Fridays; they can sign up here. And we also have a pickup location at Hilltop Child Development Center, for the parents of Hilltop children, and we’re starting one at KU Endowment for their employees, too.
We hope that as Red Tractor fans, you’ll support our farm by joining the CSA and get fresh produce all season long. -Jen