Think you’ve seen
farms offer at
grocery store or farmers’
As you read this, boxes of
fresh, local farm products are
being picked up or delivered
to people who have memberships
in a community supported
Generally, in exchange
for an advance fee, a farm
will provide a season’s worth
of “shares,” usually a certain number
of boxes of fresh produce that are
supposed to be enough to feed from
two to four people. Shares could also
be honey, eggs, meat, flowers, herbs,
baked goods or whatever else the
farm produces, in season.
Not all of the farms are certified
organic, but the emphasis is on sustainable
and responsible farming.
Each farm has a finite number of
shares available; some offer halfshares
or other arrangements such as
including volunteer work as payment.
Some CSA programs offer custom
shares, with members able to choose
what to take, others are a take-it-orleave-
Bad weather, pests, or sometimes
just plain bad luck could mean a limited
or skipped share, which is part of
the risk of “sharing” a farm’s fortunes.
The idea is that the long-term benefits will be worth the gamble. It must be working; Boulder County’s EAT LOCAL! Online resource guide and directory says that CSA shares have increased exponentially since its campaign to raise public awareness for eating locally produced food was launched in 2007.
Farm dinners, restaurant-quality
meals chock full of the freshest ingredients,
are another way of enjoying
the harvest with less commitment.
From casual to upscale, the dinners
are sometimes created by chefs from
the very restaurants these farms are
providing with their regular fixin’s.
Not just food, by the way, these
events provide tours, talks, sometimes
live music and wine.
They can be as relatively modest as Frog Belly Farm’s upcoming four-course meal for 40 guests at $75 each on June 26 (seats still available) to the lavish Munson Farms banquet now in its third year of serving 200 diners at $210 a pop. (Tickets for the July 25 event, arranged by the national farm dinner sponsor Outstanding in the Field, are already sold out.) Another fresh innovation offered by some farms today is summer camp for kids.
No sleep-away accommodations, and few of the things you might otherwise associate with traditional summer camp, this is more about introducing children to the basics of farming, animal care and an appreciation for growing food. And that’s not all — some farms in Boulder County are also offering tours, workshops, festivals, even concerts.
t’s definitely worth a little digging to reap the benefits of today’s farms. But even if all you’re looking for is an old-fashioned farm stand, know that this tradition still thrives. Stands are now open or soon will be, so it’s worth the drive to check ’em out frequently, or scan their websites for schedules, product lists and news.
For farms, dairies and ranches offering these goodies to the public, see Boulder County’s EAT LOCAL! website directory at www.eatlocalguide. com/bouldercounty/the-10- year-eat-local-campaign.