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CSAs in Eastern Iowa

Finding a Local Community Supported Agriculture Farm

BY JOCELYN ENGMAN

Do you know where your food comes from? If the answer is yes, you’re in the minority—most Americans have no idea how or where their food is grown. If you belonged to your local CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture farm, you'd be enjoyed fresh, locally grown produce throughout the growing season. Large industrial farms use mechanical- and chemical-intensive processes—neither of which is natural or optimal for the health of our soil—to mass produce our fruits and vegetables. These mass-produced vegetables and fruits are shipped all over the world, which means that the tomato or head of lettuce in your supermarket display could come from as far away as Mexico, or even China. If the produce is grown in the U.S., it travels an average of 1,500 miles and spends an average of 10 to 14 days in transit and in the store before ending up on your plate. During that time, nutrients and flavor are lost. Since the food is harvested miles and miles away from where it’s eaten, the varieties grown have to be hardy in order to survive the long trip, meaning that varieties with better flavor and nutrients are lost.

For thousands of years, we were directly connected to the production of our food, first through gathering and later through agriculture. With the advent of modern agriculture, however, we have lost our direct connection to the growing process. Community shared agriculture, or CSA, is a rapidly expanding movement to reestablish the severed connection between grower and consumer. The CSA movement originated in Japan almost 30 years ago in response to concerns aboutthe quality of food produced by industrial agriculture. Its originators called CSA teikei, literally meaning “partnership” but philosophically meaning “food with the farmer’s face on it.”

CSAs, sometimes called subscription farms, sell advance shares of their harvest directly to the consumer. For a set price, members receive weekly produce throughout the harvest season. The result is a direct connection to your farmer and healthier, fresher, better-tasting food for you. Every year the CSA movement grows in popularity. It came to the U.S. in 1986 when a CSA farm began in Massachusetts. Today there are more than 1,200 organizations in the U.S., some serving as many as 1,200 members. All provide an answer to consumers’ growing discontent with the current food system.

FAIRFIELD

Abundance CSA Student Farm
Abundance Ecovillage
2151 185th St
Fairfield, IA 52556
641-472-7000, ext. 3314
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Aurora Farm
Dawn & Billy Hunter
2309 Kale
Fairfield, IA 52556
641-472-9941
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Dahlias Organic
Alexander Gabis
51 S. Fifth St.
Fairfield
515-897-5173

www.DahliasOrganic.com/

Maharishi Vedic City CSA
www.mvccsa.com

 

KEOKUK COUNTY

Rolling Prairie Acres
Doug & Tanya Webster
718 E. Ringold St.
Sigourney, IA 52591
641-622-1221
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KEOSAUQUA

Bloom and Bark
Tim Blair & Kim Steele-Blair
18517 Rt. J40
Keosauqua
319-293-6168
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www.bloomandbark.com

LEE COUNTY

Kathy’s Pumpkin Patch
Kathy, Adam, and Julie Hohl
1977 Hwy. 2
Donnellson
319-470-1558
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www.kathyspumpkinpatch.com

OTTUMWA

Gene Kromray
546 Crestview Ave.
Ottumwa
641-683-1471
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IOWA CITY AREA

Echollective
Michelle Kenyon Brown (563) 432-7484
Derek Roller (319) 325-3910
879 Echo Avenue
Mechanicsville, Iowa 52306
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Gooseberry Hill
John & Dianna Fuhrmeister
3310 Lynden Heights Rd.
Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 354-7260

Simone’s Plain & Simple

Simone Delaty
1478 470th Street SW
Wellman, IA 52356
(319) 683-2896, Cell: (319) 631-0146
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www.simoneplainandsimple.com

Sass Family Farm
Maurice & Sherry Sass
3060 160th Street
Riverside, IA 52327
(319) 648-3788, Chris Sass: (319) 629-1220
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www.sassfamilyfarm.com

Scattergood Friends School
Mark Quee
1951 Delta Ave.
West Branch, IA 52358
319-530-3782
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CEDAR RAPIDS

ZJ Farm/Local Harvest CSA
Susan Jutz
5025 120th St NE
Solon, IA 52333
(319) 624-3052
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www.zjfarms.com

MUSCATINE

Seeded Earth Growers
Muscatine, IA
(563) 210-5029
Available at Freight House Farmers Market
Visit them on Facebook

An extensive variety of sustainably grown flowers and foliage

ATALISSA

Oak Hill Acres
Andy and Terry Tygrett
978 310th St.
Atalissa, IA 52720
Andy: (563) 946-2304, Terry: (319) 560-4826
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Comments (1)Add Comment
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written by 1iowaguy, December 02, 2008
Lets all start supporting our communities and other farmers! Let's all be original and come up with our own ideas for our own products. Geez smilies/smiley.gif
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