Summit County welcomes community supported agriculture program
August 21, 2016
On Aug. 18, the High Country Conservation Center hosted a grand opening party for its community supported agriculture (CSA) program. More than 50 people attended the pot luck-style celebration.
Attendees learned about growing food at 9,200 ft and got a taste for locally grown produce from dishes made by CSA shareholders. The event showcased the new greenhouses at the Frisco Transit Center, built in the fall of 2015, quadrupling the growing space.
A CSA is a farm operation that's supported by community members who purchase a produce share in the spring and receive seasonal veggies for 16 weeks throughout the summer. That mutual commitment is the core to the sustainable food model.
Shareholders undertake the risks and investment associated with food production in exchange for fresh food throughout the summer. Part of the experience is the mystery of what will be in the next share. Shareholders pick up produce weekly at a designated time and place, mingling with other program participants and receiving recipes and ideas from farmer Kyla LaPlante.
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. in
"I am eating veggies I've never even heard of," said CSA shareholder Barbara Strauss in a press release. "It's a wonderful program and I'm so glad bonus food is going to people in need."
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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 more than 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, in a press release. "Without the in-kind and capital support of Summit County government, the Town of Frisco, Freeport McMoRan, Breckenridge Grand Vacations, the Breckenridge Restaurant Association, Alexandra Storm, and Norris Designs among others, this project would have been dead in the water. Summit's commitment to local food and healthy eating is demonstrated by the variety of organizations supporting our small farm."