Growing for Good
Riehm Produce Farm celebrates Community Supported Agriculture Day, February 28
Keto, Vegan, Caveman…the list goes on. With any number of fad or trend diets and lifestyles, it can be hard to know where to start or what to look for. Luckily, with the help of local farmers, getting your daily nutrition doesn’t have to be a mystery. By subscribing to a weekly veggie box, you get farm-fresh food delivered right to you, while helping to support our local economy as well.
February 28 is CSA Day! Community Supported Agriculture is an ever growing system of food share boxes supplied by local farmers for a flat fee. Veggie boxes can host a wide variety of items from fruit to beef to bread and, of course, farm fresh vegetables.
In addition to the benefit of fresh, healthy, locally grown food delivered right to you, Riehm Produce Farm is known for adding a little fun to the mix via unusual vegetables you likely won’t find at your grocery store. Some items that have found their way into previous boxes include Pineapple tomatillos, Pink Berkeley tie-dye tomatoes, Sungold cherry tomatoes, garlic scapes and purple potatoes. Best of all, when you receive these boxes chock full of freshness, you’ll also get recipe ideas on how to prepare them to showcase the unique flavors.
Signing up for a CSA with Riehm Produce Farm is easy! Just visit FunAcres.net/csa for all the details and get your veg on! We spoke with Farmer Phil from Riehm Produce Farm about the benefits of joining a CSA and what the program means to him on a professional and personal level.
Years lived in NW Ohio: I was born and raised here! I only lived away during college and three years after.
One thing that describes me: I like sports and love challenges. I’m always trying to find unique flavorful varieties for our veggie boxes. It’s one of the main reasons we now grow over 50 different crops.
What I’m doing, and what I want to achieve: I push the envelope for seasonality and that’s why I convinced my parents to grow all year round on our family farm. I want to help people enjoy the flavors of the season through our veggie boxes, as a result, members may become healthier and happier as well.
Tell us about your CSA farm shares and what it means to you: It is a weekly box of food that comes to you directly from the farmer. It is what helped Riehm Produce Farm become sustainable enough to bring me back after working away from the family farm for 13 years.
How did you get started: “My parents started the CSA farm shares after 28 years of struggling to make ends meet while growing for food warehouses and grocery stores. When I came back to the family farm we began to customize the veggie boxes online and grow year-round.”
What inspires you to keep going when it gets tough? My ten years of working at the Chef’s Garden taught me to think outside the box. I saw so many times that “not giving up” and coming up with a different solution usually turned out for the best. Even if you have to use your second or third idea.”
Tell us about your deliveries: We have work-place drop-offs. You can switch your pick-up location if you won’t be in town on a particular day. You can put your delivery on vacation-hold three times a year and double up when you return and your refrigerator is empty.
If I could change one thing about Toledo: I want to bring farm-fresh food into our local school systems! We currently deliver our veggies to chefs and schools in the Cincinnati area through a food distribution hub called Local Food Connection. It would be great to also do this in NW Ohio.
If I knew I could get away with it, I would: Have a CSA farm share delivery route from March to May. Who knows… maybe one day!
The Toledoan I most admire: The ones that get our veggie boxes and say “We do this every year because we love what it does for us and supporting a local farmer is a cool”
My favorite local people to follow on social media are: The Girl in the Glass City. I love what she is doing for the local farm-to-table movement.
More CSA Options
Toledo area shoppers have a wide variety of deliciously fresh meats and produce that can be acquired directly from local growers via CSA shares. A few other options include:
Bittersweet Farms: Member shares bring fresh crops to your table and support the farm’s mission to employ adults with autism. 419-875-6986. bittersweetfarms.org
Toledo GROWs: GROWs’ Grown Food Hub gives urban farmers a chance to sell food to the hub, which then sells it to consumers as part of a CSA. 419-720-8714. toledogrows.org
Legacy Acres Farm: Weekly or bi-weekly boxes, meat and produce. 419-217-8226. legacyacresfarm.com
Shared Legacy Farms: Farmer Kurt in Elmore offers a variety of options, from a standard vegetable box to “The Works” featuring fruit, eggs and more. 419-344-7092. sharedlegacyfarms.com
Pilbeam Family Farm: Established in 1910, this generational farm offers CSA shares as well as a produce stand. 734-320-0589. facebook.com/ThePilbeamFamilyFarm
Weber Ranch: Choose from a variety of pasture-raised meats, eggs and honey, then pick it up at a scheduled pick-up date in Perrysburg, Sylvania or Wayne. 419-575-5104. weberranchllc.com