Chatfield church hosting gathering to promote CSAs, local agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been around for a long time. CSAs are shares that a family or individual purchases to help a community based farm budget how much product to plan for in the coming growing season. In exchange for the share, boxes of food are then provided to the investor. Investors are often invited to the farm, given special boxes of food and have access to extra produce before the public.

However, even though growers in local communities are supported by agriculture, CSAs have not been widely available to rural and small town communities. This means if one wants to eat locally raised produce, most likely individuals have to go to a growers’ market or a coop. Often for busy professionals, growers markets are not convenient and gardening is not part of their lifestyle. So, they revert to food that is produced miles away.

Chatfield producers would like to change that. They would like to partner with their neighbors in southeastern Minnesota, especially those who travel the Highway 52 corridor, to provide access to locally grown and produced food.

On Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m., a number of local growers and producers will be at Chatfield United Methodist Church, 124 Winona Street SE, to share stories of why and how they produce locally grown food and how area residents can access the food they produce.

An opportunity will be provided to sign up for a CSA from Earth Dance Farms. If they get enough subscriptions, Earth Dance has agreed to make Chatfield a drop off for their seasonal CSA packages. Participants will also find out how and where to purchase other foods such as pork, beef, poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables conveniently in the area along Highway 52.

Monday’s session will be an informal but informative evening of meeting neighbors. Participants will learn how to support each other and how to help make southeastern Minnesota a stronger and healthier community.

Besides Earth Dance Farms, those attending will hear from Pekin Family Farms, Hidden Streams Farms, Land Stewardship and others.