BY ANDREW P. ROBINSON
GETTYSBURG, Pa.– Produce in the grocery store can travel hundreds or thousands of miles before it reaches your plate. Members of local farms in Adams County are trying to change that by giving people the opportunity to eat locally all year long.
Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been around for years. A CSA allows community members to buy local, seasonal produce directly from the farmer. In essence it’s a farm share.
Jayne Shord owns Beechsprings Farm in just a few miles west of Gettysburg. She said buying local produce gives people access to something you can’t find in a grocery store. “We provide our members with more food options so they know where their food is coming from,” she said.
Running a CSA is nothing new for Shord. In fact, she’s been doing it for six years. “This year we’re including chicken shares from a local farm and we have mushroom shares along with fruit shares and cheese shares.”
Everything from a CSA is 100% local- even farms that offer a winter CSA.
Lauren Sadler is the farm manger at Everblossom Farm in East Berlin. She stays busy all winter long by growing produce in greenhouses and boxing it up for her CSA members. “Right now, we have carrots, parsnips, potatoes, lettuce, salad mix, brain greens, tot soy, arugula, kale, chard and radishes,” Sadler said.
They grow the produce in greenhouses. The offering of produce during the winter can be unique. “Something that’s different about a winter CSA than a summer CSA are there a lot more root vegetables,” Sadler said. “You know, that’s something we can grow in the fall and then store.”
Eating locally is a relatively new concept for Salder. She didn’t grow up eating a lot of fresh produce. “I didn’t know what to do so I jumped on Pinterest and started cooking away.”
Sadler said her most favorite thing growing right now is watermelon radishes. “People are a little nervous of them because they’ve never really seen them before. They’re so beautiful,” Sadler said. “On the inside when you cut them, they’re almost a white and pink kind of tye die and they’re awesome as potato chips or shredded up.”
Sadler said the thing that sets Everblossom Farm apart from the rest is the “build your own box share. “People can go online- it’s like an online farmers market and they can pick out exactly what they want. So if they hate kale, they never ever have to get kale.”
It’s possible to eat local all winter long.