Thinking about signing up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) share but want to learn more about the idea before you commit? Read on.
For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a favorite way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “food shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included such as meat and/or dairy. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. Here in southwest Colorado, there is an abundance of farm fresh food to offer our community members.
Sometimes farms have pickups only at the farm, but often there are other locations where you can get your produce. Below are farms with shares that can be picked up in Mountain Village and Telluride.
Borden Farms is situated in the fertile Uncompahgre Valley in the historic farming community of Pea Green. At an elevation of 5,423 feet, the warm summer days and cool nights combine with a fertile, sandy loam soil to provide ideal conditions for growing. From a modest beginning, we have grown each year to 14 acres of field production and over 13,000 square feet of flowers, herbs and vegetable plants in our greenhouses.
Buckhorn Gardens, located at the base of Buckhorn Mountain at 6700′ elevation, Buckhorn Gardens is a small, organic vegetable farm 13 mile. south of Montrose, Colorado. Our farm is an active part of a 12,000-acre ranch; however, we only manage 3 acres with intensive vegetable gardening.
Farm Runners is a regional food distributor specializing in custom-harvested farm products that serve the Roaring Fork, Gunnison, and Grand Valleys of Colorado with local food year-round. Based in Hotchkiss, CO, where they have been building lasting relationships with farmers since 2012. In addition, they help new and established family farms find a market for their product while making it easier for consumers to access the amazing food grown here in Western Colorado.
Fresh Food Hub is the only CSA that can be picked up in Mountain Village at our Market on the Plaza. They are a community food cooperative based in Norwood offering local meat, produce that is all organically grown and non-GMO. To sign up before their April 20 deadline, please visit their website.
Happy Belly, located in Paonia, CO is a small farm that specializes in culinary and medicinal herb production, as well as value added products. Located at Elderberrys, the former Fresh & Wyld property, now owned by The Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. They are dedicated to growing highly nutritious culinary herbs and vital medicinal herbs for our CSA farm share members, as well as education for use in the kitchen and beyond. They thread together this holistic multi-farm experience, providing weekly menus and newsletters full of inspiration from the garden.
Indian Ridge Farm is a pastured poultry apprenticeship in Norwood, Colorado, located at 7,000 feet in elevation, is a 120-acre diversified farm operation that centers around pastured broilers, layer hens and turkeys, but also includes hogs, beef cattle, dairy goats, horses, a large on-site vegetable operation, beehives, greenhouse, and hay pasture. The farm is situated outside Norwood, Co., on a mesa-top in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, near Telluride.
Jubilee Family Farm is a local farm in Olathe, Colorado.
Mountain Roots Produce located in the beautiful Mancos Valley, just to the east of Mesa Verde National Park, in Southwest Colorado. Their goal of producing high quality and reasonably priced vegetables for their local and regional communities while improving soil health and being water resilient in their high desert climate.
Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative is a collaborative of small family farms from southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, and now the North Fork Valley of Colorado. Their farms came together in 2014 to form the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative, a farmer-owned marketing and distribution business.