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Utah community farms take root, offer fresh summer eating

Community Supported Agriculture » Family expands its fresh food mission, linking several plots in the Salt Lake Valley as part of a new CSA.

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What’s not to like, as the Alston’s pay the water costs and Packer and his wife can enjoy as many fresh vegetables as they like, with plenty left over for the CSA and markets.

"You can produce a lot of food off 1 acre," he said.

At a glance

Community Supported Agriculture in Utah

Here is a list of Utah CSAs. Prices, delivery dates and what each farm provides is available by contacting individual farms or through the CSAUtah website: http://csautah.org. Most CSAs have drop-off points in several locations throughout the Wasatch Front.

3 Squares Produce » Salt Lake City; 801-243-2801 or www.3squaresproduce.com/csa

Adams Heirlooms » Midvale; 801-209-6739 or http://adamsheirlooms.com/

Appenzell Farm » Hyde Park; 435-535-1121 or www.appenzellfarm.com

Backyard Urban Garden (B.U.G.) Farms » Salt Lake City; 801-718-7478 or www.backyardurbangardens.com

Bell Organic Gardens » Draper; 801-571-7288 or www.bellorganic.com

Blue Spring Farm » Tremonton; 435-279-0563

Borski Farms » Kaysville; 801-941-9620 or www.borskifarms.org

Bryan Palmer » Wellsville; www.http://csautah.org/find-a-csa

Christiansen Family Farm » Vernon; 435-839-3482 or www.christiansenfarm.com

Copper Moose Farm » Park City; 435-604-0497 or www.coppermoosefarm.com

Creekside Lane Organics » Moab; 435-259-5425 or www.creeksidelaneorganics.com/farm/

Cricket Song Farm » Beryl; 435-630-6587

East Farms » West Point; 801-525-2219 or www.eastfarmscsa.com

Johnson Family Farm » Logan; 435-754-5638 or www.johnsonfamilyfarms.com/

La Nay Ferme » Provo; http://lanayferme.com/

Heritage Valley Poultry » Tremonton; 435-770-2365

Lau Family Farm » Soda Springs, Idaho; 208-547-3180 or www.laufamilyfarm.com

Little Weber Farms » Hooper; 801-686-4729 or www.littleweberfarms.com/

Live and Thrive » Holladay; 801-278-5313 or http://liveandthrive.com/Gardening/Local_Community_Gardening/Home

Petersen Family Farm » Riverton; 801-999-8548 or http://petersenfarm.com/

Ranui Gardens » Dog Holler; www.ranui.com

Red Acre Farm » Cedar City; 435-865-6792 or www.redacrefarmcsa.org/

Red House Farm » Boulder; 435-335-7654 or http://redhousecollective.webs.com/

Roberts Ranch and Gardens » Spanish Fork’ 801-836-0232 or http://robertsranch.org

Sadee’s Pride » West Valley City; 801-554-0553

Soup and Salad Club » Wales; 435-469-1161

South Meadows Produce » Price; 435-650-6139

Tagge’s Famous Fruit » Perry; www.taggesfamousfruit.com

Urban Farm and Feed » Murray; 801-910-4459 or www.urbanfarmandfeed.com/

USU Student Organic Farm » North Logan; 435-797-3192.

Utah Farms CSA » Draper; www.utahfarmscsa.com/

Youth Garden Project » Moab; 435-259-2326 or www.youthgardenproject.org

Zoe’s Garden » Layton; 801-721-8238 or www.zoegarden.com

Source: http://csautah.org

How a CSA works

Individuals or families pay a fee in the spring to become a member or “shareholder” of a Community Supported Agriculture program. The cash allows farmers to prepare the soil, buy seeds or purchase equipment to produce their crops. In return, shareholders receive a weekly portion of the farm’s bounty, usually from the end of May through October. Most farmers have several drop-off locations to make it more convenient for members to pick up their produce.

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The Alstons already have 25 early season crops planted, including beets, peas, turnips, kohlrabi, radicchio, arugula, kale and collard greens. They’ll start planting more as the weather gets warmer. In all, they plan to grow 200 varieties of vegetables throughout the season, said Alston.

While the farm is not certified as organic, it follows sustainable and organic practices. Urban Farm and Feed produce is free of pesticides and commercial fertilizers. Instead, goats and chickens help with weed and pest control and they provided manure that is tilled back into the soil. The chickens also provide eggs for the CSA.

Fortunately for the Alstons, and others farmers, eating fresh, local food is a high priority for Utahns, according to a recent UDAF public opinion poll.

Almost all — or 97 percent — of the 400 Utah consumers interviewed said "freshness" was the most important factor when shopping for food. Nutritional value, was a close second, mentioned by 85 percent of those questioned.

In addition, more than half — 53 percent — believed "locally grown" also was an important factor.

"What we are seeing is more and more people putting emphasis on buying local," Wilbur said. "If they’re not, they should be because, in my opinion, there’s a strong correlation between freshness, nutritional value and locally grown."


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