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Local, CSA Farms Cultivating Onions, Potatoes & Popularity

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNETRISTA, Minn. (WCCO) – With fresh snow on the ground in many areas, it’s hard to think about growing vegetables. But across the Upper Midwest, CSA farms are not only thinking about it — they’re planting.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. In the spring, you can purchase a share of the CSA, which gets you get a bag of fresh vegetables and fruits every week for about 19 weeks.

At the Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista, broccoli was being planted Thursday, and CSA shareholders like Tammy Wenning and Kathy Norton couldn’t wait to get their weekly bags of produce.

“Brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes — anything that you would grow in a Minnesota garden,” Wenning said.

Norton added that she likes knowing where her food comes from and who grows it.

A CSA share at Gale Woods is $575, and all the 2013 shares have already sold out.

“I think the value is definitely there,” Norton said.

Many others agree. CSAs are surging in popularity.

Shareholders can often pick up their weekly bags of produce at central drop off points, which are often local co-ops like the Linden Hills Co-Op in Minneapolis.

Maia Campbell, the manager at the Linden Hills Co-Op and a longtime CSA shareholder, says her CSA share forces her to try new recipes and even new vegetables.

“There’s so many fun things that you get to do with these new produce, like…kohlrabi. I mean, I never knew anything about Kohlrabi,” she said.

CSA farmers say that despite the late start, their produce will be just as fresh and tasty this season.

Tim Reese, the farm supervisor at Gale Woods Farm, said the farm is a week or two behind schedule due to the wintry weather. But he has hope that long days of sunshine are here at last.

If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, click here.

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