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Get a Box Full of Locally Produced Food Through Your Local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Share

Dec 10, 2015 10:02AM ● Published by Kirsten Gehlbach

As the sun sets earlier and the days grow shorter, one way to keep the winter bright for your family and your neighbors who farm is with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share.

Many Upper Valley farms are offering winter farm shares. Squash, onions, potatoes, fresh greens, carrots, and meats are just a few of the local products offered during the winter months. A share provides a box full of locally produced food and helps support a local farm. Each farm does the winter share with different starting and ending dates, drop-off times/locations, and products.

“Buying local and supporting local farms and producers is becoming more popular,” says Nancy LaRowe, Valley Food & Farm Coordinator. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years. She believes “the community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.”

For the winter months, farms have built the infrastructure needed to store crops as well as to continue to grow them throughout the season, she explains. “Fresh greens, mustard greens, fresh Brussels sprouts—fresher is better.”

The list from Valley Food & Farm includes the following (though there may be additional farms that offer winter CSA shares):

Vegetables

Luna Bleu, South Royalton

Cedar Mountain Farm, Hartland

Heartwood Fable Collective Farm, Barnard

Harlow Farm, Westminster

Edgewater Farm, Plainfield, NH

Root 5 Farm, Fairlee

Spring Ledge Farm, New London, NH (may have winter shares)

Meats

Hogwash Farm, Norwich

Winter Moon Farm, Corinth

For an online list of local farms, go to

http://vitalcommunities.org/valleyfoodfarm/onlineguide/search/?searchby=farm_services&searchval=CSA/farmshare

Nancy encourages, “Shop around to decide what is best for your family for quantities in the share and schedule for pick up.” Plus check what crops are offered by the farm and the length of the CSA. Some farms offer online sign-up, others by email or phone. Pick-up options may be at the farm or at farmers’ markets.

Vital Communities has funding from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program to increase direct sales to farmers. Part of the grant work includes a December buy-local initiative at area farmers’ markets. In the works are plans for a raffle and family-friendly activities at area markets to encourage people to eat local food throughout the winter as well as giving gifts of locally produced food for the holidays.

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