Updated: Nov 17, 2018
We've often heard people refer to Minnesota as "the California of the Midwest," which suits Sean just fine, as a former Californian. I, too, enjoy being part of a progressive state because I appreciate many of California's liberal views and the state's ability to supply the nation with produce. But I am glad we live in Minnesota because the cost of living is cheaper, and it's closer to my family than California is. As I've been trying to learn more about ag in the state, I came across this great Minnesota produce and CSA finder.
What is a CSA?
If you're not familiar with the term, CSA stands for "community supported agriculture." As a product, a CSA share is a produce box filled with in-season goodies harvested and packed on location. Participants buy in at the beginning of the season and purchase as many shares as they want (1 share is typically one delivery a week).
The up-front funding helps the farmer get started each season, and reserves the client's spot. If a week is hailed out, say, and there isn't anything for the box, the client helps shoulder the burden -- thus the idea of community support for the farmer.
Our friends and neighbors Berty and Joseph run a small CSA as part of their operation at Riverbend Berries. Recently they've featured our melons, cucumbers and tomatoes in the weekly box. It's been a fun way to share some of the bounty coming from our farm and get to know other neighbors. And we are talking with Berty about being a regular contributor to her CSA next year -- stay tuned and we'll see how the talks go!
Finding a CSA through your local food co-op is a good place to start, if you don't have a handy CSA-finder site like the one listed at the beginning of the post.