High Country Conservation Center celebrates opening of community supported agriculture program | SummitDaily.com

High Country Conservation Center celebrates opening of community supported agriculture program

The High Country Conservation Center recently celebrated the grand opening of its community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Over 50 locals attended the pot luck style celebration on Aug. 18. Attendees learned about growing food at 9,200 feet and got a taste for locally grown produce from dishes made by shareholders. The event showcased the new greenhouses at the Frisco Transit Center, built in the fall of 2015, quadrupling the growing space.

Community Supported Agriculture is a local farm operation, supported by shareholders who purchase a produce share in the spring and receive seasonal veggies for 16 weeks throughout The Summit CSA operates at Nancy's Place in Frisco and the Frisco Transfer Center with a total of six greenhouses and over 6,000 square feet of growing space. Part of the experience is the mystery of what will be in the next share.

"I am eating veggies I've never even heard of," said CSA shareholder Barbara Strauss. "It's a wonderful program and I'm so glad bonus food is going to people in need."

Bonus crops from the Summit CSA and HC3's five community gardens are donated to the Summit County WIC and FIRC's food banks through the Grow to Share food donation program. In 2015, the Grow to Share program served over 250 families in-need with supplemental, healthy produce. Grow to Share includes an educational component where food recipients gain hands-on experience in the gardens, learning about how food is grown and where it comes from.

This summer, the Summit CSA has produced 75 shares with veggies ranging from cold hardy greens and root crops to garlic, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. In 2016, a share cost $250 which is roughly $15/week. The program has a waitlist of 40 people for 2017 illustrating a need for more local food programs.

"We want to thank all our program partners for making our local farm a success," said Jessie Burley, program manager at HC3. "Summit's commitment to local food and healthy eating is demonstrated by the variety of organizations supporting our small farm."

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Contact HC3 at info@highcountryconservation.org or 970-668-5703 to schedule a tour or to sign-up for next year's Summit CSA waitlist.