It's a good time to be in the market for local produce, eggs and meat. A number of area community-supported agriculture programs are now taking deposits for the upcoming season. With a CSA, you pay a fee for a portion of the harvest on a given farm or collective of farms. Some require members to work a few hours on the farm or even pick the produce themselves, but many are simply subscription services that have a weekly pickup or delivery of goods.
Full shares are typically best for a family of four, while a single person or couple could eat very well on a weekly partial share. If you're interested in a CSA membership, below are a few I'd recommend:
Fruitful Hills CSA could almost replace your weekly grocery-store trips. The 22-week season (May 19 to November 17) for the horse-powered farm collaborative in Trenton, Missouri, includes sugar snap peas, heirloom tomatoes, and pumpkins. The weekly pickup is on Thursdays between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at 525 Gillis in Columbus Park. A full share is $495, while a partial share is $285. You can add poultry and eggs for $175 or beef for $198. You have to deposit $50 with your sign-up, and the balance is due by April 15.
And this year, the Gibbs Road Community Farm, part of the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, is offering a market CSA share. You put down a deposit (a minimum of $300), which can be drawn down like a debit card at the KCCUA's booth at the Farmers Community Market at Brookside (63rd Street and Wornall). This allows members to choose the specific vegetables and amount they want each week.
For a list of 12 CSA programs, visit The Kansas City CSA Coalition. The coalition is having an Open House on Saturday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 600 Broadway (4th floor), to give the community a chance to meet farmers who will be having CSA programs this year.
[Image via Flickr: ScottdMoose]