If you live in the Midwest but aren’t yet embracing the availability of farm-fresh food, up your game and enjoy the fresh produce from Mother Earth. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) makes locally grown, fresh food easy to access. CSAs allow consumers to purchase local, seasonal food directly from farmers by offering “shares” to the public, typically featuring vegetables and fruit. The shares are delivered to a set pickup location, weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the schedule included in the share purchase. It’s a mutual relationship as the consumer supports local farmers while also enjoying ultra-fresh produce, saving money, and saving time. We’ve rounded up information on local CSAs so you can find one to fit your needs.
The word “farm” does not immediately conjure up images of an urban setting, but maybe it should. Toledo GROWS focuses on community gardening, transforming neglected areas into bountiful, green space. While the summer share sold out already, check back in July for information about the late summer share, which runs August-October. Individual produce items can also be ordered weekly, depending on availability, through the online store.
Share sizes: $450/20-week full share (feeds 3- 4). $250/10-week full share. $300/ 20-week half share (feeds 1-2). $175/ 10-week half share. $80/20-week egg share.
Pickup location: Urban Farm, 900 Oneida St.
419-720-8714 | toledogrows.org
Toledo GROWS top tips for vegetable garden success:
- When planting seeds always follow the directions on the package which are specific to the seeds you are trying to germinate and offer the best chance at success.
- Space out your vegetables for a good yield. At maturity, they should all receive sunlight and air flow on every side of each plant.
- In the summer, water your garden in the morning or early afternoon before the heat of the day. Hydrated plants are less prone to become stressed by lack of water, a condition that can result in poor growth.
- Water the base of the plants to keep leaves dry while using a perforated hose head so the water hits the ground in a soft strike, disturbing fewer soil pathogens, which cause diseases, preventing them from splashing the plant’s leaves.
Riehm Produce Farm
Say goodbye to grocery store shopping this summer. Riehm Produce Farm provides fruit, meat, eggs, coffee, bread and even flowers as an addition to your CSA share. Each delivery also comes with culinary tips and tutorials so you can make the most out of your vegetables.
Share sizes: $11.25 per week/mini vegetable share (3-5 fresh vegetables). $19.25 per week/ base vegetable share (6-9 fresh seasonal vegetables)
Runs: June-mid October.
Pick locations: Sylvania, Tiffin, Ottawa Hills, Bowling Green, Maumee, Downtown Toledo, Perrysburg and the farm.
Riehm Produce Farm, 7244 N. State Route 53, Tiffin
419-992-4392 | funacres.net
Goetz Family Farm
Michigan-based Goetz Family Farm has worked the same plot of land since 1905, but transitioned from grain and livestock to produce in the late 1970s. Today, the farm’s fresh vegetables, bedding plants, hanging baskets, herbs, and more are loved by both families and restaurants, like Zingerman’s, Grange Kitchen and Bar, Lunch Room, Spencer’s, and the Detroit Street Filling Station.
Goetz Family Farm delivers primarily in Michigan cities, but they also deliver to Country Grains Bread Company, in Sylvania, every Wednesday. Pick up some of the best loaves in town (Sin’O’Man, anyone?) while retrieving your share of fresh produce.
Share sizes: $400/double share (recommended for larger families) delivered weekly. $220/half-share delivered bi-weekly.
8852 Goetz Rd., Riga Mi. 419-367-0269. facebook.com/GoetzCSA
Pickup locations: Online and phone orders for produce, bedding and vegetable plants can be picked up at a variety of locations in Michigan. Visit facebook.com/GoetzCSA for a list.
Country Grains Bread Company, 6808 W. Sylvania Ave.
Bittersweet Farms is a model farm which employs adults with autism, aiming to positively impact their lives. Sign up for a Bittersweet CSA and let their produce positively impact your life. Due to the pandemic, Bittersweet Farms cancelled the spring share, but they currently have plans to operate summer and fall shares beginning in July and September.
Share sizes: $300/large. $200/Medium. $125/small.
Pickup locations: Whitehouse and Maumee
Bittersweet Farms, 12660 Archbold-Whitehouse Rd., Whitehouse. 419-875-6986 | Bittersweetfarms.org
Bittersweet Farms top tips for vegetable garden success:
- To deter pests, plant marigolds near your vegetable plants. Insects and small animals do not like the smell of the flowers.
- Plant nasturtiums as a companion plant for lettuce, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and other plants in the brassica family that are susceptible to aphids, because aphids will be more attracted to the flowers than the veggies in the bed. Nasturtiums also attract beneficial insects that eat aphids and other pests, along with attracting pollinators to your garden.
- Consider starting with heartier plants, like lettuce and radishes, that can withstand unpredictable weather. Cold tolerant plants are beneficial in the uncertain weather of spring. Grown together as companion plants, radish tops provide some shade for the lettuce as it grows, preventing it from bolting and becoming bitter.
This third generation family farm prides itself on sustainable practices. They hand weed, rotate crops yearly, use compost and manure instead of chemical fertilizers, and employ rotating pasture techniques.
Share sizes: $400/ full share. $250/half-share. $60/egg share. $115/whole, frozen chicken share, delivered every other week.
Pickup Locations: Perrysburg Farmers’ Market. Toledo Farmers’ market
7900 Dixen Rd., Monroe Mi. | 734-777-2824 | jentzenfarms.com
Shared Legacy Farms
Share Legacy may have sold out of CSA slots, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy their produce. Sign up to receive weekly emails letting you know what extra, seasonal veggies are available for you to purchase.
Pickup locations in Perrysburg, Downtown Toledo, Port Clinton, Sylvania, or at the farm in Elmore.
3107 S. Schultz-Portage Rd., Elmore | 419-344-7092 | sharedlegacyfarms.com
Weber Ranch already sold out their 2020 CSA slots, however that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy their products. Browse their online store which boast pasture raised products like turkey, eggs, pork, beef, poultry and honey. As you would with a CSA, just set a time and place to pick up your items. But instead of a weekly pickup and predetermined products, make your selections online when you want to purchase.
Their website also features yummy recipes like grilled brown sugar butterflied chicken, spinach and mozzarella egg bake and more.
Pickup Locations in Perrysburg, Sylvania, and at the Ranch.
4965 Defiance Pike, Wayne OH | weberranchllc.com