Farm to table: Grant Family Farms agriculture program expands to Craig
June 9, 2010
For more information on Grant Family Farms' Community Supported Agriculture Program, visit http://www.grantfarms.co…
Something as simple as a carrot may have traveled 1,800 miles or more before arriving at Yampa Valley dinner tables, Steamboat Springs resident Michael Moss said.
The funny thing is, Colorado — and most other states — can grow carrots.
"Our food chain is about 1,500 miles on average," Moss said. "And the carrots aren't nurtured on that trip."
Moss, the Grant Family Farms Mountain Coordinator, visited Holistic Health & Fitness on Tuesday to announce the expansion of Grant Family Farms' Community Supported Agriculture Program to Craig.
Moss gave a presentation to about five Craig residents, explaining that Community Supported Agriculture is a program in which backyard gardens or large farms sell shares of their harvest to community members.
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Owners of the farms or gardens get financial security and a dependable client base, and local consumers get healthy, clean, fresh-grown food, Moss said.
"It's called CSA because without the community there would be no agriculture and without agriculture there is really no close-knit community," Moss said.
Residents can purchase shares for the 26-week growing season and pick up their produce every week at Holistic, 420 Breeze St.
The food travels about 150 miles from a farm in Fort Collins.
Shares from Grant Family Farms will begin to arrive in Craig on June 16.
Shares come in different sizes, from feeding a couple to an entire family.
Recipients will receive a variety of produce each week, and can also purchase fruit and grain shares.
"With the cost of fuel becoming more and more expensive, we decided we wanted to feed Colorado," Moss said.
Aside from Grant Farms' CSA program, which ships produce form Fort Collins weekly, there are other opportunities to eat closer to home.
The Farmers Market, an offering of the Craig Downtown Business Association, will begin June 17 in Alice Pleasant Park, and includes local farmers, growers, crafters and vendors.
The Farmers Market will be entering its fourth year.
DBA member and former downtown business owner Carol Wilson said residents enjoy having a fresh, local selection.
"There are lot of benefits," she said. "A lot of customers make a point to come by, even if it's just to buy a few fresh tomatoes."
She said the food often tastes better as well as gives a boost to local farmers.
Wilson said she tries her hand at growing produce herself, and has succeeded so far with zucchini and sunflowers.
"When you shop at a farmers market, you're supporting a member of the community as opposed to a big box store or a large grocery chain," she said. "There are limited selections, but the ones that are there are definitely well done."
She said the farmers market has featured homemade pastas, locally-raised meat products, produce and baked goods in the past.
Holistic owner Karrie Booth is a supporter of local and organic food, something she said is sometimes difficult to find in grocery stores.
She said often her personal training and diet counseling clients say it's "too expensive" to eat organically.
"I think it boils down a lot of times to the cost," Booth said. "It's changing the mindset to you get what you pay for."
That's why Booth partnered with Grant Family Farms to bring the option of the Front Range's longer growing season and certified organic produce to Craig residents.
Moss said the farm is looking forward to expanding its territory and partnering with local communities.
"A core aspect of our CSA model is to partner with local businesses and individuals that support healthy food and healthy lifestyles in communities that we serve," Moss said in a recent news release.
Moss said the CSA model is a good fit for Craig.
"It has the opportunity to really revitalize agricultural communities, " he said. "It helps build even more community."